Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Passion for Hospitality

I have always believed that there is as much intrinsic and therefore artistic value in a piece of music as in a painting or an edifice or even a well-appointed room. This is why a recent visit to Glenmere Mansion, in Hudson Valley, reminded me that beauty and elegance are all around us if we really start looking. Built in 1911, Robert Goelet commissioned the famed architects Carrere & Hastings to create a Tuscan style villa for his wife who had always dreamed of one. The estate soon became a favorite haunt for such noted guests as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor but as time ran its course ownership changed and the estate was seized as a tax lien. After years of neglect the current owners drove past, fell in love, purchased, renovated and transformed Glenmere into a Relais & Chateaux establishment
My favorite quote is by William Blake “To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands and eternity in an hour.” At Glenmere, those words were beautifully brought to life and it was clear, even before entering this Italianate Mansion, that loving and talented hands had tended to even the lowliest blade of grass and that indoors every curtain stitch, hidden lining and object had a place and purpose. Antiques and modern pieces, old world charm and modern comforts which are often, wrongly so, thought to be at odds were somehow drawn together and connected by an invisible but deeply artistic power. Some may say that too much attention to detail is trivial, I say it is profound.
Glenmere is a throwback to a more glamorous and leisurely time. But these qualities will appeal to some and less to others. There is, however, one word that, for me, encapsulates Glenmere Mansion and speaks to all and that is: passion. I believe every one of us has a passion and we become truly alive when we honor it. Daniel DeSimone and Alan Stenberg, co-proprietors and “imagineers” of Glenmere Mansion, whether they know it or not, have a passion for beauty, finesse and hospitality which makes their Glenmere more than just a stunning homage to the past but a vibrant testimony to the Present…
No, it's not Florence Italy but if you suspend disbelief it could be...about a 25 minute drive from Woodbury Commons Fashion Outlet...fashionistas, this one is perfect for you!

Damn, that garden is stunning!!! It looks like a picture perfect Italian postcard!

Love the pinkish walls and the statues!

And dont even get me started on the gorgeous blue shutters!

The driveway...private, exclusive,'s everything you think it will be and more...

A stunning view of Glenmere Lake

Too bad it was November and the weather was a bit dreary...

Matching blue it!

The Inner courtyard

The view from the Penthouse...not bad!

I loved this piece of furniture...took lots of pictures of this one!

Just look at the detailing on this chair

Old world mirror and contemporary art: a perfect marriage

Do you see the snack bar on the far left...sssh, for guests only...

Look at that detailing

The Frogs End the upholstery on those high chairs...the details at Glenmere Mansion are its most amazing feature

Pony Hide Chairs

Check out the wallpaper in the ladies adds a whole new dimension to the bathroom experience:-)))

The library...also for guests only. Pictures do NOT do it justice!

Do you love this piece as much as I do?

Check out the fabric of those curtains! Gorgeous!!!

Inside the elevator...newspaper clippings about Glenmere Mansion from way back when...see what I mean about attention to details!

The Living Room...and boy was that room made for Living!

The gorgeous piano plays itself...

Now that's what I call LIVING

Look at the detail on this chair

The Bed...I think the sheets were a billion thread dont need to die to feel what it's like to be on Cloud Nine, just spend the night at Glenmere

Lounge Chair in the room

I really liked this piece- every room has one

Sound System

Check out the complimentary Bellini's

I could write at this desk all day

Ah, the Bathroom...this Venetian mirror is to die for!!!

Everything is marble

That is the CUTEST sink ever

Turndown service...

Bright green footstools at the edge of bed...once again a perfect fusion of classic and contemporary styles

Soaking tub in the Penthouse Suite...we can dream can't we?

Red Leather Chaise Longue in Penthouse Suite...who said money can't buy you happiness?

One last look at the garden...the perfect Hudson Valley, the ultimate Hudson Valley getaway...I havent tried any of the others and I don't need to...I KNOW Glenmere can't be beat!