Upstate Hotel Troutbeck: Review

Open calendar, click pen, search weekend. If you are looking for a mini-break just two hours away from New York City by train, finish reading this but start packing. A few weeks ago we interviewed Anthony Champalimaud, the Founder of Upstate Hotel Troutbeck (read interview here), but it all seemed too good to be true, so we had to see the place for our own eyes. Anthony, chapeau; you’ve delivered what New Yorkers have been wanting for years.

troutbeck-common area partImage credit: Design Hotels

We actually drove from the city, but the final stop on the Metro North Railroad is only ten minutes away, and the hotel will gladly come and collect you or organize a taxi to do so. As you approach what looks like a manor house, the first overwhelming emotion is that of tranquility (a large helping of what all New Yorkers need each month), sourced from running rivers, rustling trees and a distinct lack of any traffic nearby. You even feel guilty closing your car door with any hint of a slam.

As you step in to the hotel, the reception is more like the entry hall to a country house, which is fortunate really, considering the designers Anthony and his well-known mother Alexandra Champalimaud want guests to feel just that. In the background you hear a crackling fire, soft music and the click of someone breaking to start a game of pool. Immediately, we were in heaven.


Troutbeck itself has a distinguished history – the 18th century private estate has only changed hands a handful of times – and that authenticity has been thankfully maintained. I’m almost positive Anthony will shoot me for the analogy, but it was within a few hours of meandering the corridors of this impressive home away from home that it struck me as being akin to Soho Farmhouse in England – without the ego. Surrounding the main building are all the toys you would hope to find: tennis court, swimming pool, hikes, bicycle trails… all of which have yet to be tested given the nascent stages of this hotel – Troutbeck hasn’t even been open one year yet.

Troutbeck-surroundingsImage credit: Design Hotels

The rooms have a warming simplicity to them, and they encourage you to both relax and feel taken care of. It felt like there was a touch of Wes Andersen in the room’s designs, with some even having that freestanding bath on a porch – of course, perfectly symmetrical, just as Wes would have wanted.


The bar is small and cozy which, perhaps deliberately so, encourages its patrons to get to know one another – a task I had no hesitation in doing as two young Australian models were in the vicinity. It was obviously a delight to hear that they had heard of the place through Just Opened – a round on us. The other patrons are a mix of locals who seem very happy with the new owners and come regularly to the restaurant, and guests who’ve come from New York City to escape. People of all shapes and sizes, but all with smiles on their faces. The atmosphere is positively succoring and solacing.

Troutbeck-restaurantImage credit: Design Hotels

The restaurant itself is like a room full of wishbone chairs and banquets speed dating, and as such you are, without one word of a whisper, encouraged to stay as long as you want. At dinner, the brilliant Chef Marcel – previously of the Plaza Athenee – takes time to greet guests, as does Anthony, while at breakfast newspapers are laid out for you to digest the day at your own pace with my favorite accompaniment: home made marmalade on toast.

troutbeck-common area

Finding shortfalls at Troutbeck is like ‘getting a quick salad at Sweetgreen during lunch hour’ – possible but ultimately futile. If you are a light sleeper, you might want to bring earplugs as – sticking to the country house theme – you can hear the odd floorboard creak. Also, they don’t have mini bars yet, but they are on the way, and the bar is just steps away.

Importantly, stay tuned as we keep you up to date with their exciting events, including several pool parties this Summer – save these dates: May 26, June 21 and of course, July 4.

Featured image: Troutbeck, by Design Hotels