Built in 1911 for Robert Goelet, a prominent member of New York society, Glenmere is a Carrere and Hastings-designed Italianate Villa situated at the top of a gently rolling hill overlooking Glenmere Lake. If turn of the century architecture emphasized the application of European ideals of balance, beauty and view, Glenmere exists as an understated embodiment of this ideal. The balance and symmetry of the floor plan are complemented by the use of statuary and classical materials in construction. The original marble fountain imported from Italy acted as the centerpiece of the courtyard; marble columns, hand-carved mantles, hand plastered moldings and antiquities imported from Europe embellish interior and exterior spaces.
Robert Goelet’s wealth and status allowed him access to the very best craftsmen, and Glenmere exhibits the work of some of the most historically significant artists of the day. Beatrix Farrand, America’s first female landscape architect (and a relative of Edith Wharton), designed the approach to the estate and the surrounding grounds. Reimagining classical design to suit the existing landscape, her genius is most apparent in the sunken Italian garden tucked into a natural depression leading to the lake. Iron balustrades and window grilles designed and manufactured by Samuel Yellin anchor the house in the Italian vernacular, and murals painted by J. Alden Twachtman ornament the center courtyard.
In the late 1930′s, Goelet began to tire of the 3000-acre estate. He began selling off parcels of land and the mansions interior decor, and ultimately the house and remaining acreage were sold to a development company in the 1940s. For the next few decades, the estate operated as a hotel and resort with golfing, horseback riding and boating on the lake. By the late 1960′s the property began to change hands often and gradually fell into disrepair.
In 2007, Alan Stenberg and Daniel DeSimone purchased Glenmere with a vision of restoring the property as a luxury hotel. The results are stunning. Warm and elegant, the 18-room Relais and Chatueax property has newly inspiring public areas, including a restaurant (The Supper Room), library, full-service spa, two bocce courts, two tennis courts, croquet, two miles of groomed walking trails, and an additional 150 acres to roam. Noted interior designer Scott Snyder is responsible for Glenmere’s exquisite décor. A light, soothing color palette allows an impressive modern art collection to shine, and rooms feature custom Italian linens and seductive marble baths.
One glance at the Supper Room’s menu reveals a devotion to utilizing local New York ingredients. A first course of 5-spice crusted scallops with puy lentils, Ossetra caviar, and carrot butter is paired by the sommelier with a Gewürztraminer from New York state. Tender short ribs, served with roasted hen of the woods mushrooms and hearty braising greens are a satisfying entree. Followed by a very-adult ice cream sundae and glass of dessert wine, it could, quite possibly, be the perfect meal.
2012 marked an important addition to Glenmere: the premiere of a 7,000 square foot spa facility. The spa offers a total of 5 treatment suites, all with a whirlpool tub and steam shower. One grand spa suite will hold serious appeal for couples with its romantic fireplace, side-by-side treatment tables and whirlpool tubs. The spa also offers an herbal steam room, sauna, cool mist room, and one very unique feature for a New York spa – hammam treatments. One final touch is an R&R library serving organic spa tapas, soothing teas, and organic wines.
If you’ve for first class accommodations with a breathtaking view and amazing service, Glenmere is the spot. Just be forewarned: it’s hard to leave.