DESIGN | NATURE
If you are at all like us, you feel disproportionately happy when you stumble upon, and book your stay at, a beautiful, intimate hotel in the Catskills. Couple the stunning woodsy surroundings and on-point design with gourmet cuisine, and you have found yourself at The DeBruce.
After a scenic drive through narrow roads encroached upon by overflowing vegetation, you arrive at what looks like a large private home flanked by a porch. Once inside, you find yourself in a magnificent living room dominated by warm brown and beige colors, palms, and antiques. The rooms are on the small side, but perfectly appointed with high-quality bedding and cozy details (like clawfoot bathtubs). The floorboards creak under your footsteps, betraying the age of the house.
What sets The DeBruce apart from any other boutique hotel we’ve been to is undoubtedly the food. It’s all about foraged ingredients and local farm produce served creatively and deliciously in a beautiful hall nearly fully surrounded by windows overlooking the woods. The room rates include a la carte breakfast and one nine-course meal. Prepare to taste the most perfectly cooked French omelette of your life (that’s very difficult to achieve, our server tells us). Leave some room for the duck confit on top of poached eggs.
The nine-course meal deserves its own paragraph. Many of the plates revolve around a single ingredient, for example mushrooms prepared four different ways. Some of them are quite surprising - charred onions with the crunchy texture and appearance of earth served on top of stones. Our favorite was probably the fish dish based on locally caught trout. After the ninth course, guests are escorted to the living room, where mountains of cheese and chocolates await them. They can top off their feast with coffee and aperitifs before leisurely stumbling into their rooms for the night.
Try visiting during the summer months when you can take advantage of the pool - that’s where we spent pretty much our whole days, interspersed with the occasional hike along the nearby lake. Even better - try visiting during the July 4th weekend when you can partake in a barbeque (those house sausages are…) and a bonfire with smores. If you are lucky, the chef will surprise you with roast beef sandwiches by the pool made from barbeque leftovers...We felt spectacularly pampered, and we’ll most certainly be back.