Departures is published by Meredith Corp. and owned by American Express. While American Express Card Member benefits are highlighted in this publication, including through the links indicated below, the content of this article was independently written by the editorial staff at Meredith. Other Departures content paid for by American Express is explicitly marked as such.
Chef Daniel Boulud might be from Lyon, but he's called New York home for over three decades. When the insanely talented French chef is not donning his crisp chef whites in the kitchens of his celebrated Manhattan restaurants or working on his newly launched local non-profit Food1st he can be found taking some well-deserved time out in upstate New York. The Global Dining Collection chef even tied the knot in the Hudson Valley.
This summer, due to the pandemic, local road trips are more popular than ever. According to Skift Research, two-thirds of Americans expected their first post-pandemic trip to be a road trip. With that in mind, chef Boulud teamed up with Relais & Châteaux to curate a "soul-restoring" luxurious road trip itinerary through the scenic rolling hills of upstate New York and Massachusetts.
His eight-hour journey can be booked in three or six-day packages and takes socially-distanced travelers through pine-ringed lakes, the Berkshires, and Adirondack mountains. The trip has it all—five star stays, summer-camp activities, magnificent food—and some of the best foliage around if you time your trip right. All you'll need to supply is a hot set of wheels and a killer playlist. Rustic, luxurious hotels and inns await.
Keep reading for chef Daniel Boulud's charming New York to Massachusetts road trip.
Stop Number One: Glenmere Mansion, Hudson Valley
"[Glenmere Mansion] holds a special place in my heart,” says Boulud. “It was at Glenmere that I had the most magical weekend marrying my wife, Katherine." Situated in the lower Hudson Valley, and just a one-hour drive away from New York City, this spectacular 150-acre Italianate terracotta mansion is a former Gilded Age retreat designed by eminent architects Carrere and Hastings, who built the New York Public Library. "The atmosphere truly feels as if you have been transported to Tuscany,” adds Boulud.
There's plenty of relaxing ways to while away the day at this elegant adults-only retreat; swim the heated saltwater pool, have the staff pack a picnic to eat at the scenic lavish grounds, or perfect your serve on one of the two tennis courts. Art lovers who wish to add nearby stops should make for the area's Storm King Outdoor Sculpture Park, the DIA Beacon Art Museum, and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art.
Stop Number Two: The Point, Saranac Lake
Always wanted to vacation like a Rockefeller? A four-hour sojourn from Glenmere Mansion and past Lake George gets you to this unique property which was once camp for William Avery Rockefeller in the 1930s. The secluded 11-room stay still evokes a similarly elevated summer camp grandeur. "[The Point] is one of the most magnificent and peaceful camps in the Northeast, offering a true connection with nature,” says Boulud.
Nature-lovers can soak up the woodsy environment with hikes through the forest, smores and truffled popcorn around the nightly bonfire, or a spin on the lake in one of three historic boats, among them a vintage 1933 Hacker-Craft speed boat. Pro tip: the Saranac Lake property follows the motto “whatever you want whenever you want" which translates deliciously to acclaimed chef Loic Leperlier who makes sure the kitchen is open 24-hours a day for anything guests may desire.
Stop Number Three: Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts
The last and final stop on Boulud's trip is Blantyre, which has been dubbed the "Downton Abbey of the U.S. Berkshires," and looks like a Scottish castle. Set amidst 100 manicured acres in the Berkshires, this ivy-draped 1902 Tudor-style manor house “is a great escape for the summer,” says Boulud. If you stop here between now and mid-October you'll be rewarded with Boulud's latest venture, his just-opened pop-up Café Boulud. Guests can experience his beloved five-star Upper East Side fine-dining institution from the hotel''s generous patio overlooking the rolling lawns and pine-dotted lush gardens.
Interested? Road trippers can book Daniel Boulud's 3-night road trip for $3,475 which includes one night in each property or $6,950 for a two-night stay in each property.