Memo from Glenmere Mansion

” . . . . a weekend in the country,
How amusing,
How delightfully droll.
A weekend in the country,
While we’re losing
Our control.”
Stephen Sondheim

Good evening and greetings from Glenmere Mansion in Chester, New York – a mere 75 minutes from Manhattan. This is our 3rd visit to this enchanted hostelry and we couldn’t be happier to be here. The occasion is the 10th anniversary of our very dear friends, A and K, who we met aboard Crystal Serenity on an Atlantic crossing back in 2013.

About Glenmere Mansion: Designed by famed architects, Carrère and Hastings, Glenmere was built in 1911 for multimillionaire Robert Wilson Goelet (1881-1966). Goelet’s charge to his architects was to think “Tuscan villa”. The mansion was built on a hilltop overlooking a lake amid hundreds of acres purchased by Goelet. The stunning gardens surrounding the estate were originally designed by Beatrix Jones Farrand, America’s first major female landscape architect.

Glenmere Goelet

Glenmere was sold during World War II and became a resort hotel; over the years, the hotel sadly fell into disrepair and, eventually, was seized by the local authorities and a tax lien was placed upon it. 

In 2007, the mansion and estate was acquired by Alan Stenberg and his partner, Daniel DeSimone, whose inspiration it was to restore Glenmere Mansion to its former glory. It took several years to complete the multimillion dollar project and you can see all that was spent from the moment you arrive. 

In fact, Glenmere Mansion is held in such high esteem that it is a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux which, at present, has only 530 properties worldwide.

Glenmere Entrance
Arriving at Glenmere Mansion

Glenmere - AAC Arrives
AAC CPA has arrived

As soon as we drove up, the mansion’s butler, Charles, came right out to meet us. If we didn’t know already know Alan, we’d swear that Charles ran the place – he’s extremely knowledgeable about everything Glenmere, and has the knack of anticipating what you want and/or need, sometimes before you do. He’s that good.

Glenmere - Charles
AAC CPA and the indispensable Charles

While Charles took care of our luggage, we went to check-in. Michelle at reception told us that, thanks to Alan, we’d be upgraded from our usual #16 (there are only about 19 or so rooms in the place) into the Master Suite. (How lucky are we?) Charles got us into the private elevator and we ascended to the top floor and entered our digs for the weekend.

Glenmere Elevator
Private elevator to the Master Suite

We knew, from past visits, that every inch of this place has been thoroughly and lovingly thought out and impeccably designed, but we were still unprepared for the sumptuousness of the Master Suite. We later realized that the “formal” entrance to the suite is on the floor below, after which you ascend a gorgeous staircase. The suite has a master bedroom with en suite bathroom which features a free-standing bathtub (rubber duckies included), a steam-shower and (even in July) heated floors. Down the hallway is the beautiful living and dining room. Outside the living room is a private terrace, which runs the entire length of the suite. Thank you, Alan, for your generosity!

Manor Suite Entrance
Lower entrance to the Master Suite
Manor Suite Hallway
Master Suite Hallway
Manor Suite Bedroom
Master Suite Bedroom
Glenmere Tub
Bathtub with rubber duckies
Manor Suite Living Room
Master Suite Living/Dining Room
Manor Suite Terrace
Master Suite terrace overlooking the Cortile

After settling in, we met the boys for lunch in the mansion’s Cortile (or inner courtyard). We started with a perfectly chilled bottle of an Italian Rosé, followed by salads and – for one of us with a real appetite – a chicken and waffle sandwich with lots of French fries. Everything was delectable.

Glenmere Cortile
The cortile (or inner courtyard)
Glenmere - waffle
The chicken and waffle sandwich
Glenmere Nicoise
Salade Nicoise

After lunch, it was time for a walk around the grounds. In addition to the gorgeous pool area, there’s a loggia (which was set out with jigsaw puzzles and games), the bocce ball courts, the tennis courts, the croquet lawn (all very Gatsby, don’t you think?) and, finally, the fabulous spa, the main feature of which is one of only four authentic hammam spas in the entire United States. If spas are your thing, Glenmere is where you want to be.

Glenmere Formal Gardens
The formal gardens

Glenmere Pool
The pool
Glenmere Hammam
The fabulous hammam

Then we came back inside to snoop around the common areas of the mansion: Frog’s End (the more casual restaurant where we’ll be dining tonight), the library, which has a wonderful collection of books and more games, the “living room”, where cocktails are served each evening, the Supper Room (the more formal restaurant, where we’ll be dining on Saturday night) and, finally, the China Room, which is available for private dinners. The thought and care that has gone into every detail of every room is absolute and complete.

Glenmere Supper Room
The Supper Room

Glenmere Terrace
AAC CPA on the terrace

Before I forget, I want to put in a word for the Glenmere staff. Alan and his partner, Dan, have assembled an outstanding group of local professionals who are here for one reason only: to insure that you have a memorable visit. We remember many of them from past visits and some of them have been here since the mansion opened in 2010.

So now the rain has stopped and we’re going to have another walk around before inviting the boys up for cocktails in a few minutes.

Stay tuned for more details of our Glenmere adventure.

To be continued . . . . . . . 

Glenmere Sunset
Another perfect Glenmere sunset