New York City

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

One of our favorite areas in the Hudson Valley comes alive with these can’t-miss experiences.


Buttermilk Falls Inn

Oh, the magic of Buttermilk Falls Inn. It starts once you reach their property, when you notice the change of smell. The fresh air and cool breeze definitely relaxes you right away. The staff eagerly awaits you at their desk inside a charming rustic guesthouse.

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

One of many seating areas sprinkled around the grounds at Buttermilk Falls Inn

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

Swans in the pond at Buttermilk Falls Inn

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

Part of the sanctuary

The whole property boasts of trail tracks (some which lead to the actual Buttermilk falls waterfall), a huge pond, an organic garden, a Llama sanctuary, a couple of farm animals, a bee house, an indoor/outdoor bird aviary and peacock sanctuary, an ancient graveyard, views of the Hudson River, many adorable guest cottages, and a spa with an indoor pool and sauna.

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

We arrived to champagne in our cottage – a yummy surprise!

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The North Cottage at Buttermilk Falls Inn

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The fireplace in the North Cottage, a pet-friendly cottage

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The kitchen in the North Cottage is fully stocked

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The large bathroom in the North Cottage even has a window in the shower and a washer/dryer in the closet

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The bed in our cottage was super comfy, with windows all around

I particularly enjoyed my stay at the North Cottage, with its wood burning fireplace. Add the fact that it was on top of a cliff with amazing views of the Hudson River, and we wanted to stay all month! The North Cottage is great for friends or family as it can house four people in the two bedrooms. It’s right next to the aviary (peacocks have such strange voices — I’ll never forget the sound!).

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

Feathered friends, just outside our cottage

Because it’s the most removed from pretty much everything else on the property, at the end of the trail, it forces you to either drive or, better yet, walk through the property to get to the spa and restaurant. In the process you pass the llamas and a barn, and walk over a bridge with a gorgeous duck-and-swan-filled pond underneath. This walk made our stay all the more memorable.

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The bridge we cross to get to the main Inn buildings

Make sure to take some time to relax at the spa, where you’ll have a choice of several treatments that use natural products (some of which are made on the premises). I got the Millstone facial from a fantastic esthetician named Dana Gonnella, who is very knowledgeable in the area of natural and homeopathic skincare. As she says: “My specialty is holistic/natural skin care. I really try to educate clients about true natural skin care products and how it effects us a cellular level. Inside and out. After all, 60% of whatever we put on our skin goes into our bloodstream. I treat the skin as our whole being. It reveals what’s going on inside.”

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

My treatment room at Buttermilk Falls Inn’s Spa

The Millstone facial uses Babor for cleansing (I’m not sure why they chose this line, but make sure to ask the esthetician not to use Babor products, as it’s a brand full of toxic chemicals), almond/oats/honey exfoliant (which is made on premises), cucumber toner, and an apple honey mask. By the end I was super relaxed and ready for a nap!

This facial is one of a couple of treatments offered that use mostly natural skincare, which is why I’m recommending it. As Dana says: “It’s all about allowing our cells to breathe and keep their integrity. Petrochemicals [which are in almost all non-edible skincare products] mutate our cells. It’s like putting Saran Wrap around our cells and not allowing them to breathe. Essential oils do the opposite. They allow our cells to breathe; they regulate inflammation and strengthen our cells mitochondria so we don’t mutate into disease…” As a rule, if you can’t read (or, better yet, eat) the ingredients, don’t put it on your skin.

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The spa and indoor pool at Buttermilk Falls Inn

6 Reasons to Visit Buttermilk Falls

The pool and sauna area in the spa at Buttermilk Falls Inn

One word of advice: it may be difficult for you to just walk-in and have a treatment because they’re frequently fully booked. You don’t want to waste your stay without trying their spa, so make sure to book in advance.

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Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 34 Comments

  1. Avatar of Caroline Zalog

    You’ve really convinced me to book a stay there. I really like how the Buttermilk Inn looks like. It’s plain and nothing really too fancy, but the surroundings and the views are really great. I will literally turn off my phone just so I can really relax during my stay here. No social media or gadgets aside from taking pictures. No WiFi for me and no data connection either. I just want a vacation that’s away from all the pressures of daily life and I just want to chill!

  2. Avatar of Lorena Suarez

    It must be very fun to travel to a lot of places. If only I had that luxury too.

  3. Avatar of Carol Ribeiro

    Sorry, but I’m not a fan of historic places. It’s just nice to take pictures but it just doesn’t feel fulfilling for me.

  4. Avatar of ERICA


    Rhineback looks like a very colorful place to visit. It’s an eye-candy to look at. I bet pictures and OOTDs would be amazing here. But I prefer the scenery in Buttermilk more than the Hamptons style one. Sometimes, luxurious hotels aren’t the key to a great vacation. It’s the amount of lush greenery that I see around me. We’re always surrounded by hotels in the city anyway and I want a change of scenery when I’m on a vacation. I don’t even mind sleeping in wooden beds.

  5. Avatar of Lorena Tucci

    Where’s the falls? Of all the things… That’s what you didn’t show.

  6. Avatar of Caroline Leonora

    I didn’t think drive-in theaters still existed. It’s a nice thing though! I want to experience it.?

  7. Avatar of Jeanette Cobb

    Jeanette Cobb

    A facial sounds really good right now. I agree with your philosophy that our skin will reflect what’s on the inside. I’ve never encountered Babor products, but if I ever encounter them I’ll avoid it because I don’t want toxic products on my skin. Cucumber toner sounds really great and refreshing on the skin, I would also want to try that apple honey mask. It probably smells like delicious pie. I really want to try. I’m asking my friends to go here with me.

  8. Avatar of KELLY


    If you enjoy places like this or museum like visits, this can be a good place. But if I wanted R & R, I would rather go elsewhere.

    • Avatar of Carol Hopkins

      Carol Hopkins

      I kind of feel the same. This place looks beautiful but there isn’t much to do.

  9. Avatar of Debora Candiotto

    The Vanderbilt mansion looks really cool. It looks like something from the movies. It would be really great to take pictures here.

  10. Avatar of Lorena Yoshi

    Llamas are so cute. I like that the wildlife here is very abundant. I really think that there should be more places that are like this– a sanctuary for wildlife and a haven for people to enjoy nature at its finest. I find it really rare for places like this to be frequently be visited by people, unless you’re a nature lover and you’re in a vacation. But places like this need regulars so they can appreciate the beauty of having nature around us instead of skyscrapers.

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