With his Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club, Michael Bruno proves that if he builds it, they will come.
While giving a tour of Valley Rock Inn & Mountain Club and its surrounding natural resources, Michael Bruno tells a story: A big snow once hit his inn, and he had a group of ladies coming in. The women still wanted to hike one of the trails, and when they reached their destination peak, Bruno had a surprise: snow saucers. “We’re doing it, guys,” he told them. After battling the elements to reach the top, they all barreled down the hill, picking up speed and laughing their heads off. When the group returned to the resort, Bruno arranged a yoga class for them all before promptly showing them to the bar.
Interior designer Lisa Bowles outfitted the houses with Bruno's never-ending stash of design inventory
The real estate broker, founder of 1stdibs.com and now hotelier has plenty of tales along these lines—first immersion in the outdoors and exercise, followed by some well-deserved partying back at Valley Rock. “It’s part of who we are, to be in nature and be physical and then live your life,” Bruno says.
The picturesque grounds are surrounded by ample spots for hiking, biking, swimming and kayaking, and Valley Rock often arranges a quintathlon of all these. There’s also a membership program meant to draw locals to the gym, spin classes and yoga.
From top: The living room at Twin Peaks; a seating area in The Farm House.
Neatly in a row, four spacious guest houses are designed with the eccentric eye Bruno has gained over his years of selling and designing homes. He points out all the areas in which he is expanding: massage houses, hot and cold pools right here, a screening room so the big festivals will want to preview films here.
Newly open is The Lodge, a marble-laden, poolside restaurant serving all the local ingredients you would hope for from Hudson: rainbow carrots with togarashi and creme fraiche, crispy duck cassoulet, brook trout with a crispy, salty skin. The Mountain Market retails organic products, as well as buffet-style meals, and the open-air Cantina seems like the only place to be in Sloatsburg during the summer, especially for what the inn calls “Shelter and Nature” stays during the pandemic.
From top: The Lodge bar area; Twin Peaks is one of four guest houses.
On his winding tour of the area’s beauty and history, Bruno says with a laugh, “Those are the kids’ camp. Ours is the adult camp.” From $495 per night, 27 Mill St., Sloatsburg, N.Y., valleyrockinn.com