Attention, New Yorkers: Your Next Catskills Weekend Getaway Is Here

This Scandinavian-inspired retreat in a quiet corner of the central Catskills exudes calm.

Interior of guest room at Eastwind Oliverea Valley

At Eastwind Oliverea Valley, thanks to design and decor, no two rooms are the same.

Photo by Lawrence Braun


The vibe: Cool camp for grownups

Location: 212 McKenley Hollow Rd., Big Indian, NY | View on Google Maps

Book now: Website



The AFAR take

In January 2023, the New York–based Eastwind hotel collection launched Eastwind Oliverea Valley near the Big Indian Wilderness area of the Catskills. The third property from Bjorn Boyer, Julija Stoliarova, and Dan Cipriani, Eastwind Oliverea Valley is a welcome addition to the brand’s portfolio of Scandinavian-inspired, minimalist cabins and rooms, joining Eastwind Windham (2018) and Eastwind Lake Placid (2022). The first of the three properties to be built from the ground up, Eastwind Oliverea Valley is framed by three 3,000-foot peaks; the burbling Esopus Creek runs alongside the hotel, which feels like camp for grown-ups—think breakfast baskets delivered to your door, complimentary s’mores kits, and cozy country decor.

Who’s it for?

Anyone looking for a tranquil, off-the-grid upstate escape—that doesn’t sacrifice any creature comforts. Given its ambiance, amenities, and location, it’s especially good for families with young children as well as New York City residents looking for a weekend in the countryside.


Cabins and suites sit inside a valley framed by three mountains.

Photo by Lawrence Braun

The location

The hotel is roughly two and a half hours from Manhattan via the Taconic State Parkway, 80 miles south of Albany, and a manageable drive to some of Upstate’s more popular towns: Phoenicia (12 miles), Woodstock (26), Hudson (48 miles). Other driveable landmarks include Belleayre Mountain, Shandaken Historical Museum, Woodland Valley State Park, Giant Ledge, and the Ashokan Rail Trail.

It’s easy to while away the time in front of the communal firepit, and the complimentary s’mores kits help make it all feel even more like you’re staying at a chic summer camp.

Lushna Suites have a lounge area, writer’s nook, bathroom, and lofted queen bed.

Photos by Lawrence Braun

The rooms

The hotel comprises 30 rooms with several different types of configurations. For a king bed, guests have the option of a room that sleeps two and has one bed and one bath; a suite with two connected king rooms and two bathrooms; and a king loft, which has a substantial upper-level space accessible by a ladder.

At Oliverea Valley, Eastwind’s freestanding A-frame Lushna cabins come in four varieties: The most basic has a queen bed and bathroom, while others have a queen bed, bathroom, and deck. Lushna suites, meanwhile, have a lofted queen bed, outdoor deck, lounge space, and writer’s nook. There’s also the new-to-this-property Double Lushna—two separate cabins with queen beds, connected by a private deck.

No two cabins are the same, thanks to differences in the furnishings and decor, though the brand’s signature Scandinavian minimalism is consistent throughout. Blond wood furniture features heavily, as do midcentury-modern touches like macramé wall hangings and Eames-esque chairs. Old books, framed vintage prints of fauna, and Turkish rugs make it feel like you have walked into the country escape of someone with very good taste.


Dandelion is helmed by Dan Cipriani, veteran of such Brooklyn restaurants Urban Rustic and Seawolf.

Photo by Lawrence Braun

The food and drink

For those who have lived or eaten in Brooklyn in the past two decades, the name of chef Dan Cipriani is no doubt familiar. He’s behind Urban Rustic, Sea Wolf, and Gemelli—all in New York City’s hippest borough. (Cipriani was also at the helm of the now-shuttered Lodge in Williamsburg and the Playland Motel, in the Rockaways.) Dandelion, the restaurant at Eastwind Oliverea Valley, is Cipriani’s first full-service restaurant outside of New York City.

The menu at Dandelion, which serves dinner in a sleek building that doubles as the property’s reception and lounge, is tight but well curated. It’s comfort food with a foraged, farm-to-table twist: think house-made ricotta cavatelli tangled with wild mushrooms; pull-apart short ribs caramelized by gochujang and paired with blistered shishito, and a deeply flavored, herb-forward lohikeitto, a riff on traditional Finnish chowder, made here with steelhead trout.

The wine list is similarly compact, with more whites than reds, and options featuring all of the heavyweights: Italy, California, France, Australia, Argentina, Austria, South Africa. Save for two options from Boston and San Diego (an alcohol-free offering), the beer list is devoted to local breweries within a short drive, like Catskill Brewery, Woodstock Brewing (Phoenicia), Another Moon Brewing (Livingston), and Return Brewing (Hudson). There is a full bar, and cocktails are predictable but pleasant. Be sure to make a reservation: When I visited, the restaurant was full every night with a mix of hotel guests and those stopping by from nearby towns. (I even ran into someone I knew from the city, overnighting at a nearby Airbnb.)

Though Dandelion is only open for dinner, Eastwind Oliverea guests can order a snack board with locally sourced meats, cheeses, crackers, fruit, and a variety of pickled items to be delivered throughout the day. Breakfast baskets—ordered via text the night before and available from 8 to 10:30 a.m.—include fresh fruit, boiled eggs, Greek yogurt with berries and house-made granola, plus freshly baked mini chocolate croissants, butter croissants, and rolls.

Staff and service

Communicative, thoughtful, and warm. During my stay, owners Boyer and Cipriani were both visible and easily accessible, and they personally made house calls to our cabin on separate occasions to deliver food and check on a door that we’d had issues with opening. The property is also dog friendly, and staff members not only accommodated my very large and sometimes socially anxious Borzoi but also went out of their way to make sure he was comfortable, too—rearranging furniture in the restaurant, bringing him water, and checking in to make sure he was doing OK.

Note: You will most certainly lose cell service on (or even well before) reaching the hotel grounds. Free Wi-Fi is available, and to communicate with staff, you’ll receive a text message at check-in with instructions on accessing your room; you can also order food, supplies, or ask any questions this way.


Much of the property’s walkways are gravel or mulch, and many of the rooms have stairs or lofts with steep stairs. Hotel staff are available to help transport items to/from accommodations, and anything can be delivered right to your door. Come nightfall, pathways are lit by strings of bulbs from the main lodge; otherwise, lighting is minimal.

Going above and beyond

Bicycles are available for guest use on a first-come, first-serve basis, and there is a trailhead to Balsam and Eagle mountains just off property grounds. It’s easy to while away the time in front of the communal firepit, and the complimentary s’mores kits help make it all feel even more like you’re staying at a chic summer camp. Two saunas—one dry, one infrared—are located a short distance from the main lobby and can be opened with a code; an in-ground pool will debut later this year. In warmer months, Eastwind Oliverea Valley also offers activities like a complimentary 30-minute foraging walk followed by a cocktail tasting.

Katherine LaGrave is a deputy editor at AFAR focused on features and essays.
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