This hotel was one of the oldest resort hotels located in Sullivan County, New York. What began as a boarding house in the early 1900s, eventually became one of the most successful hotels in an area—known as the Borscht Belt—that was once a hugely popular summer destination for (mostly Jewish) families from all over the East Coast. In 1992, the hotel became part of the Best Western Hotel chain and it closed for good in 2000 after a fire gutted the main building.
Despite the smoke and water damage to many of the guest rooms, a corporation agreed to pay $4.25 million for hotel in 2004. The new owner had plans to build a 70,000-square-foot hotel on the site, investing an additional $3 million into rebuilding a 250-room hotel employing as many as 100 people. But those plans obviously never materialized, and when we visited last year the hotel still sat nearly empty and crumbling, much of it structurally unsafe.
Amenities included indoor and outdoor pools, outdoor tennis courts, ice skating on a 20-acre lake and snowmobiling. The outdoor pool now sits in a wonderful state of rust and decay, chair cushions, life preservers and buoys still floating in the murky water. The hotel also offered bocci courts, shuffle board and ping pong tables affirming my belief that these all-inclusive Catskills resorts (featured heavily in the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) were basically cruises without the ship.
Most of the famous resorts of the area have been torn down or are in the process of being redeveloped, but there are still hints of the region’s heyday if you look hard enough. It’s a life goal of mine to spend a night at the Cove Haven, a couples-only resort in the nearby Poconos. The Pocono Palace Champagne Tower suite comes with a seven-foot-tall Champagne Tower whirlpool bathtub (which is, as you may have already guessed, quite literally shaped like a champagne glass) and a heart-shaped swimming pool.