buttermilk falls inn

Sometimes a day is all you need.

photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Recently I needed a break. 

I'd been working myself into the ground and something was bound to break if I didn't recharge my battery. But the reason I was working so hard was because I'd started a new job and thus hadn't accrued many vacation days. 

So instead of taking the five-day break I needed, I booked a 24-hour getaway at Buttermilk Falls Inn, which, at anywhere from $300 to $1,500 a night, isn't my usual level of practical luxury. 

But you know what? I think one lazy day and night at a bucolic retreat with a 40-acre farm, state of the art spa, and amazing restaurant was better than five days sleeping in an economy hotel and traipsing around a big city. 

Just look at everything I did (and more importantly, didn't do) in 24 short hours! 

Welcome to Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa in Milton, New York. There's not much to do here, and that's a very good thing.

Buttermilk Falls Inn
photo: TripAdvisor

Well, that's not true. There's plenty to keep you "busy" at the spa, and there are local breweries, wineries, and even a whiskey distillery within a short driving distance. The inn is a 10-minute drive from the Poughkeepsie train station, and an hour and a half trip from NYC. 

The inn is named after a waterfall on the 75-acre property. The 18th-century main house was the first thing I saw as I drove up.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Surrounded by nature and country houses trimmed in white string lights, I felt like I was on the set of a '90s wedding rom-com starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.

Buttermilk Falls Inn
photo: Buttermilk Falls Inn

LOOK AT THIS PLACE.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

The main house, with its 10 rooms, is a step back in time. The floors creak; chicly beat-up brown leather couches invite you to sit down with a cup of coffee; the inn's friendly cats roam the patio; and instead of TVs and a huge business center, there's an impressive collection of old books and nostalgic board games (think: How to Host a Murder and Chess).

The calming Hudson River was never out of my sight.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Seven luxury guesthouses are scattered around the property.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

I made a beeline for the solar- and geothermal-powered spa...

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

...where I met up with a doctor friend who suffers from an equally hectic work schedule. Let the 24-hour vacation begin.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

The spa has a sauna, steam room, pool, and six treatment rooms.   

This is not a typical spa. This is an institute of relaxation.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

I could see the river in the distance as I waded around the pool.

I went for the 60-minute age solution facial — because I didn't want to just feel rested, I WANTED TO LOOK IT!

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

The treatment was incredible, from the farm-fresh cucumber slices placed over my eyes to the alpha hydroxy peel that made my skin feel fresh as a daisy with zero redness. I used to be a beauty editor so I've been to a lot of spas — the service here is impeccable. I appreciated the switch-off between hot and cold compresses during the facial.  

The spa mostly uses products by Babor, a pricey German brand, but many treatments utilize fresh lavender, honey, and cucumber grown on the hotel's 40-acre organic farm.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

My friend smartly chose the 60-minute Millstone Farm massage, a Swedish massage using lavender oil made on premises. Check out the full spa menu here

I couldn't resist buying a few of these lip balms made with beeswax from the farm's own hives.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Check-in was at three, but we'd arrived early to enjoy the spa facilities for a few hours before and after our treatments. At around 5:30, we began the stroll to our guesthouse.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

And what a charming stroll it was. 

We stayed on the lower level of the incredible Riverknoll House. Natural light pours in and the river rushes below. I'll take one or two nights here over a week at the Marriott any day.

Buttermilk Falls Inn
photo: Buttermilk Falls Inn

Top floor rates start at $750 and the lower level, Riverknoll Downs, where we were camped out, begins at $450.

After taking a swim in the whirlpool tub, enjoying some more Babor products, and putting a dent in a bottle of wine from the nearby Finger Lakes, we got dressed for dinner and paid a visit to the Millstone Farm.

Buttermilk Falls Inn
photo: Tripadvisor

The farm is home to fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens, heritage chickens, alpacas, llamas, goats, peacocks, and the fruitful Millstone bees. 

The farm's fresh eggs, berries, herbs, and veggies are put to delicious use in the kitchen of Henry's at the Farm.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

The vibe at Henry's is casual yet thoughtful. I started with a Mint Julep.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Tables here are made of reclaimed barn wood, glass jugs serve as light fixtures, and early evening light flows through French doors. A mix of locals and hotel guests seemed permanently fixed at the center bar. Once again, I was back in a Julia Roberts rom-com. 

Our favorite appetizers were the lobster and shrimp potstickers with yellow curry and sambal...

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

...and the salmon tartare with crispy lotus root, avocado, and cucumbers.

Buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

We mopped up the juices from these little neck clams with pieces of crusty bread. INCREDIBLE!

The great thing about a 24-hour getaway is that you don't have to hold back. You're only paying for one big meal so you can really make it something special. We drank as much as we wanted and ordered three appetizers and three desserts. 

The chef left the dairy out of my friend's wild mushroom and truffle risotto at her request, but the taste was so decadent even without butter and cream.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

I dove right into this paella with colossal shrimp, mussels, clams, chorizo, and chicken.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

It was actually a steal at $35. Had my dining companion not been vegetarian, I would have DEFINITELY ordered and shared the 48-ounce tomahawk steak with truffle mash, braised kale, and wild mushroom demi-glace ($65). Check out the full dinner menu here

You'll never guess what's in this ice cream.... GARLIC, black garlic to be exact. The flavor is nothing like garlic, though.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

It's a very smooth vanilla ice cream with an earthy, slightly savory aftertaste. It was an excellent palate cleanser. 

Sure, we could've stopped there, but mushroom ice cream was also on the menu.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

It's made with ultra-sweet candy cap mushrooms. I still don't believe these mushrooms are that sweet. The ice cream tastes exactly like maple syrup, but chef insists it's all mushroom without a stitch of sweetener. Delicious. 

And aw hell, bring us a fresh fruit crumble made with just-picked pears from the orchard. We're on day-cation!

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Checkout time was at 11 the next morning. I woke up at 7 am and drank my coffee very slowly on our cottage's front porch.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Verrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyy slowly.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Then we headed back to the main house for complimentary breakfast.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

The inn also hosts a free afternoon tea every day; the hot-from-the-oven scones, fresh jams, and sweet creams are drool-worthy. 

This is not my breakfast. I ordered smoked salmon toast with whipped cheese, scallions, and farm eggs — and I ate it quickly before even thinking about my camera.

 

I couldn't say goodbye quite yet so I squeezed in a not-so-quick manicure in the nail salon.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

A few hours after checkout, it was time to get back to the city. But between the spa, the nature, and the incredible food, that single day on the farm had totally refueled my energy tank.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Not one ounce of me regrets taking a day trip rather than a "real" vacation. I can 100% see myself doing this again. Sometimes 24 hours is all you need — and it's better to be a queen for a day than not at all.

buttermilk falls inn
photo: April Walloga/Revelist

Disclaimer: Buttermilk Falls Inn paid for Revelist's editor to stay at their hotel. We chose to review it because the experience was a good one.