What do you get when an actor and a set designer move to a tiny town in the Catskills to escape the crazy life of NYC?
The Roxbury. Part over the top kitsch, part luxurious escapism, and part relaxing spa all combine to make an unforgettable boutique experience you won’t soon forget.
They made it in New York but it wasn’t enough.
Growing up in a small town in Oklahoma, Greg Henderson realized his dream of moving to New York City and becoming an actor. Somehow, that led to a job on wall street and a realization that it just wasn’t him. Then came 9/11 and a close look at what he really wanted out of life.
So he and his partner, Joseph, moved full time into their weekend cabin in the Catskills. But now what? They considered starting a landscaping service but it didn’t feel right so when their realtor came across a run down motel in a small town nearby, they rushed to check it out.
A few sketches on a napkin while vacationing in Palm Springs, and the theme rooms were born. From Jeanie’s Bottle in all it’s orange and pink glory that took 6 months to complete the perfectly spherical bathroom made of marble dust and glitter glass tiles surrounding the 70 gallon soaking tub …
to the Coconut Cream room where the ceiling is a feast for all the senses (Joseph carved the cream peaks from styrofoam) …
complete with an autographed picture from “Mary Ann” (Dawn Wells) herself …
to the Amadeus’ Bride Suite (where I stayed with my family), that is truly fit for a queen with it’s spiral staircase ascending to the second of two stunning suites and miles of hand applied gold leafing.
The latest and greatest addition to this 28 room fantasy is The Digs. A completely over the top 3 bedroom cottage overlooking the creek. Greg grasiously offered us a guided tour and his enthusiasm was infectious. Loosely based on the story of Indiana Jones, there are secret passageways leading to hidden rooms and maps carved into the walls prompting you to discover the secrets of the former “inhabitant”. A full kitchen is complete with crystal skull decanter daring you to drink the red liquid from the skull of your enemy to gain powerful knowledge. The cottage comes complete with an outdoor shower and even a canopy of whips to fall asleep beneath.
The focal point of The Digs is a 400 gallon salt water aquarium that is being held under strict photography lock and key until it’s debut on Animal Planet next month. But believe me, it’s amazing and can be viewed from two rooms including the shower where the tank forms one of the walls!
Set beside a meandering creek and complete with fire pit for those late night s’mores cravings, a spa with a well stocked library where you can read all about the town’s history (and how it was once the fashionable place for robber barrens to vacation then later for people escaping cholera and malaria).
With skiing, kayaking, hiking and antiquing a stone’s throw away, there’s plenty to do in the Catksills. We drove to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the Mayberry like town of Cooperstown, took a leisurely hike to an amazing waterfall where we skipped stones, relaxed with a steam in the shimmering spa, celebrated with a fabulous birthday dinner at Peekamoose set in a renovated farmhouse, roasted s’mores in the motel fire pit, played board games and watched dvd’s from a well stocked collection that’s free for the borrowing. We left relaxed, happy and refreshed with the only worry on our minds being which themed room to choose on our next visit.
Interesting tidbit – if you visit The Roxbury, see if you can find which board game includes a picture of Greg from his acting days.
You’ve seen four of the 28 over the top rooms so head over to The Roxbury to get the grand tour.
I’ll be sharing my visit to Peekamoose next where you’ll meet two more NYC transplants who now call the Catskills home.