Bradstan cabin view 1

Great Escapes: Stepping out From the Past in the Catskills

Courtesy of Barron’s Penta: During the first half of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of visitors flocked in the summer to the southwestern corner of the Catskills, where resorts and bungalow colonies comprised the Borscht Belt. But by the mid-1900s, tourism to the Belt had slackened as air travel became more convenient and affordable.

Sullivan County, N.Y.—where the Borscht Belt stretched—experienced one more great pilgrimage during the summer of ’69. For three straight days, the county became the world’s epicenter when nearly a million young people congregated on an old farm in Bethel for the historic Woodstock music festival.

Since then, the county has been relatively quiet. In the last year, however, this region of the Catskills has inherited dozens of exceptional reasons for out-of-towners to return. But unlike the blitzes at the Borscht Belt and Bethel, today’s visitors will find things to be quieter, quainter, and more elegant…


South, in the secluded Eldred Preserve, stands the newly opened Bradstan Boutique Hotel. Stone grays, tan woods, and earthen browns make up the color scheme throughout the property, helping lavishness to fuse with nature. Spacious suites and modern cabins—already huge—include floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto rolling lawns and quiet ponds. Many rooms have in-room fireplaces, artwork featuring nature’s producers, heated bathroom floors, deep-soak tubs, and soft touches like bath salts. The 600-acre property has Sunrise Lake, where Bradstan guests can use watercraft or walk the lake’s two-mile loop. A huge on-site restaurant blends in but has a country-club feel.

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