The Coolest New Spots in the Catskills for Your Next Winter Jaunt Upstate

From the best new restaurants to renovated lodgings, here’s a rundown of this winter’s buzziest destinations to check out on your next Catskills sojourn. 

Casa Susanna. Lawrence Braun

Let’s face it: the mighty Catskills have gone through multiple resurgences over the years. From a popular getaway during the Gilded Age, to a hippie haven in the ‘60s and a skiing getaway in the ‘70s, the area has long been popular with those eager to enjoy the best of all upstate has to offer. Indeed, the Catskills were already having another moment in the spotlight over the past half-decade, and travelers were further reminded of the area’s country beauty amid the pandemic, as city dwellers anxious to escape headed upstate to enjoy all the fresh air and plentiful space, a mere two-hour-long train ride from midtown Manhattan. 

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As a result, the Catskills local tourism scene is entering yet another new era of blossoming businesses, with both brand-new and refreshed properties perfect for a weekend visit. From the best new restaurants to renovated lodgings, here’s a rundown of this winter’s buzziest destinations to check out on your next Catskills sojourn. 

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Prospect at Scribner’s. Emily Johnston

A celebrity-favorite restaurant in a buzzy hotel: 

Prospect at Scribner’s

13 Scribner Hollow Rd, Hunter, NY 12442

Scribner’s has been a Catskills staple since the ‘70s, when it was known for its indoor pool parties. In February 2024, the property is unveiling new round cabins with 360-degree views, contemporary furniture and outdoor soaking tubs and showers made from Japanese cedar.  

Odds are that the main confines of the rustic property have popped up on your Instagram stories; a large, warm space with pool tables and cozy couches. Prospect, Scribner’s in-house restaurant, offers some of the best American food in the area. Menu highlights include truffle goat cheese gougeres, smoked trout rillettes and ribeye. Perhaps that’s why everyone from Olivia Wilde to Rami Malik have recently been spotted here. 

Refreshed, rustic charm: 

Hunter Lodge, a Bluebird by Lark Hotel. Lark Hotels

Hunter Lodge, a Bluebird by Lark Hotel

7433 Main Street, Hunter, NY 12442

Formerly known as the rustic Hunter Inn, the rebranded Hunter Lodge is now in the hands of the burgeoning boutique hotel chain Bluebird. Post-pandemic, the new operators entirely modernized the building, which is located just a two-minute drive from the Hunter Mountain Resort. The property offers 45 wood and stone rooms, some which span two levels, with balconies boasting picture-perfect views of the neighboring mountains. 

The hotel’s restaurant, Hunter Tavern, is a cozy refuge, complete with a roaring fireplace and a wrap-around deck perfect for relaxing in off-hours. A menu of regional dishes (including chili made with local venison and a charcuterie board composed of local meats and cheeses) and a regular schedule of live musicians help set the mood, creating a homey place to hang out during the day or imbibe at night. A nightly bonfire is the perfect spot for roasting s’mores.  

Babblers at the Wylder Windham. Babbler’s at the Wylder Windham

An iconic resort gets an impressive upgrade: 

Babblers at the Wylder Windham

19 NY-296, Windham, NY 12496

For 140 years, the Thompson House remained a family-owned resort, beloved by locals and visitors for its quaint cottages and serene landscape flanking the Batavia Kill River. In 2021, Wylder Hotels purchased the property, and after completing a major renovation, unveiled the freshly updated hotel a year later. 

The on-site bakery, cafe and restaurant, Babblers, has turned into a popular morning refueling station, with enticing offerings like flaky croissant sandwiches and avocado toasts. Babblers’ selection of pies (including apple crumb and bourbon pecan) are must-try items here. The restaurant is just as formidable for lunch and dinner, with dishes like beef stew, chicken Milanese and wild Alaskan cedar plank salmon. 

Cafe Susanna. Lawrence Braun

A unique restaurant wooing foodies far and wide:

Casa Susanna

800 Co Rd 23B, Leeds, NY 12451

Located on the property of boutique hotel Camptown (a mere 30-second drive from Exit 23 on the New York State Thruway), this restaurant has piqued the interest of foodies nationwide thanks to chef Efrén Hernández’s inspired menu of modern Mexican delights. A veteran of Michelin starred-kitchens around New York City (including Bushwick’s now-shuttered Faro), Hernández has created a menu of Jalisco-inspired favorites including masa, smoked goat birria Tatemada and mackerel al pastor, grilled to sizzling perfection. For drinks, check out the highly curated assortment of Mexican spirits and cocktails, as well as local libations.  

Nat’s Mountain House. Nat’s Mountain House

Olivia Rodrigo’s go-to Catskills haunt:

Nat’s Mountain House

6589 NY-23A, Tannersville, NY 12485

When Olivia Rodrigo headed to upstate New York this past December with her boyfriend, actor Louis Partridge, the two explored the Catskills community of Tannersville, where they dined at Nat’s Mountain House, which is celebrating its first winter season. 

From the team behind Greenwich Village staple Nat’s on Bank, this rural offshoot trades city streets for unobstructed views of the nearby eponymous mountains. Inside is a Dada-inspired mural from the artist Juliana Lupacchino, and the food is just as eye-popping, with an adventurous menu boasting elevated American comfort grub like pakora fried radishes and a crab rangoon dip. 

Tannersville. Paxton Todd/Unsplash

A community on the rise:

Tannersville Takes Over

The quaint town of Tannersville, with its bevy of unique shops and trendy restaurants, has been awash with exciting new businesses. Aside from the aforementioned Nat’s, Tabla, from the team behind New York’s Oaxaca Taqueria, opened last winter season. An upscale cafe featuring everything from branzino to cassoulet, the restaurant recently welcomed the likes of Succession actor Nicholas Braun. Meanwhile, nearby Notch offers similar vibes, but with an Asian-inspired menu of tapas. 

When it comes to shopping, Bear and Fox Provisions, which also opened in 2022, boasts a wide array of curated home goods, gifts and art (coupled with delectable pastries and coffee while you browse). Meanwhile, Tannersville Antique and Rustic Mountain hold their own as two quintessential local businesses crammed with goodies to take back home. 

The glitzy rebirth of a local favorite:

Windham Mountain Club

19 Resort Drive Windham, NY 12496

Perhaps you’ve heard about the brouhaha over the Windham Mountain Club. At the start of the winter season, it was revealed that the former ski and snowboard hangout Ski Windham is being rebranded and transformed into an ultra-exclusive destination where memberships start at a cool $175,000 and dues begin at $9,000 per year. If current members (some of whom paid around $25,000 for their membership) don’t choose to enroll, their membership won’t be renewed. The updates have divided the local community, who fear local skiers and businesses will be pushed out in favor of only the über wealthy. 

However things unfold, the resort has debuted a variety of fresh concepts that don’t rely on membership access. Among them is Cin-Cin!, which offers an Italian Alps-style menu with entrees including branzino and a handmade pappardelle with short-rib bolognese, and Foodhall, with updated lodge fare such as a spicy breakfast burrito stuffed with housemade sausage.

The Coolest New Spots in the Catskills for Your Next Winter Jaunt Upstate