Food & Travel

Hudson Valley Escape: Diamond Mills Hotel & BLACKBARN Hudson Valley Restaurant

February 28, 2024
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Escape the city hustle with a quick two-hour drive to the picturesque Hudson Valley, where Diamond Mills Hotel and BLACKBARN Hudson Valley Restaurant await, promising not just a getaway but an indulgent experience. From the breathtaking views that Saugerties has to offer to flavorful dishes and exceptional service, this review delves into the details of this ideal retreat.

Diamond Mills Hotel: A Tranquil Oasis

The short journey to Diamond Mills Hotel is a picturesque adventure that begins as you leave the city behind, crossing the Throgs Neck Bridge. The drive to Hudson Valley, surrounded by scenic views, sets the tone for a tranquil escape. Upon entering the charming town of Saugerties, the atmosphere transforms with mom-and-pop shops exuding a trendy vibe. Whether exploring boutiques or savoring local cuisine, the town’s blend of modernity and historic architecture enhances the overall allure of the getaway.

As you arrive at Diamond Mills Hotel, the hotel overlooks the Esopus Waterfall, boasting luxurious accommodations and stunning vistas. From well-appointed rooms to top-notch amenities, every aspect exudes comfy upstate vibe you would expect.

Private Balcony from room looking out onto Esopus Falls

Each and every room at Diamond Mills has its own private balcony and heated bathroom floors! With your choice of a King or Double Beds and adjoining rooms, any room will meet your needs.

King Bedroom with option for adjoining room

Not only is this beautiful property  surrounded by opportunities to explore (local hiking, wine touring, antiquing, kayaking and skiing to name a few), it also has been recognized as a premiere wedding venue in the Hudson Valley.

Farm-to-Table with a Modern Touch: BLACKBARN Hudson Valley

Adjacent to the hotel lies BLACKBARN Hudson Valley Restaurant. BLACKBARN Hudson Valley is a new signature John Doherty restaurant, sister to the BLACKBARN Restaurant in New York City, with Executive Chef Marcos Castro at the helm. Chef Castro perfectly features a menu boasting a distinct Hudson Valley flair and locally sourced farm-to-table ingredients.

Let’s start with the not-so-ordinary bread basket. 

When I tell you that this bread basket was one of my favorites of all time, I am being completely serious. Why? Well I will tell you…

This bread basket offers a three carb variety – focaccia with flaky salt and garlic, a roll with a cheesy crust and crunchy and extremely flavorful breadsticks. Now for the best part…THE BUTTER! This was not your everyday bread basket butter. Imagine this, soft butter sitting atop olive oil and balsamic vinegar with an olive. Yeah, we ate every last bit.

Crispy Seared Octopus
Local Heirloom Vegetable Pizza

Moving on to the appetizers…

Well it will come to no surprise that we had the charcuterie board. When a charcuterie board is sourced locally and the ingredients are carefully chosen, you will have an incredible tasting experience. From the dried fruits to the honey to the meats to the cheeses, every bite seemed to be better than the last.

The Crispy Seared Octopus  was incredibly tender and delicious. Sitting atop roasted garlic hummus, cauliflower caponata and a charred carrot bruschetta, this appetizer was exactly what we were looking for.

Our third appetizer, yes third because who doesn’t love appetizers, was the Local Heirloom Vegetable Pizza. Kale pesto, caramelized fennel, smoked pine nuts and local burrata — chef’s kiss!

Roasted Faroe Island Salmon
Pan Seared Diver Scallops, BLACKBARN HV Burger, Roasted Faroe Island Salmon

The main courses at BLACKBARN Hudson Valley continue our foodie adventure. The Roasted Faroe Island Salmon, perfectly cooked and presented, is served with curried veggies, wild rice with pickled golden raisins. The pop of the golden raisins in each bite literally made this dish a gift for my tastebuds. 

The BLACKBARN HV Burger, perfectly cooked a requested, sported a delicious medley of toppings – bacon jam, creamery cheddar, BBQ sauce and jalapeños. Served with parmesan fries, this spin on a classic cheeseburger was totally worth every bite.

The star of the show – the Pan Seared Diver Scallops. Initially my husband and I bypassed this menu items. When I asked Helen, our waitress, what her favorite dish was, she quickly said the scallops. The chef kindly made a tasting of this dish for us to try. In hindsight, we should have ordered the scallops as a dinner and also ordered one to-go! It was literally that good! Perfectly seared scallops served on top of butternut squash risotto, heavenly chucks of guanicale (a special cut of bacon), ginger crumbs and a sage puree. It was ridiculously good and I am so glad we got to taste it!

Waiting room upstairs at The Waterside Spa
Fitness Center
Smoothie & Coffee Bar

Treat Yourself at The Waterside Spa

Nestled in the historic ice houses of Saugerties, the spa and fitness facilities at The Waterside Spa are a testament to true rustic charm.

The spa features services including facials, massages and body treatments. The fitness center which includes a full gym as well as fitness class offerings like spin and pilates, boasts weathered wooden beams and exposed brick walls creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

After pampering yourself, unwind with a smoothie while basking in the serene outdoor setting, offering a picture-perfect view. It’s the epitome of a perfect, relaxing day in a setting that seamlessly blends historic charm with modern tranquility.

Though my own time constraints prevented me from experiencing the Waterside Spa, it’s worth noting that this facility, located just under a mile down the road, adds another layer of relaxation and rejuvenation to the overall escape.


Service Beyond Expectations

What truly elevates this getaway is the exceptional service. The staff at Diamond Mills and BLACKBARN Hudson Valley Restaurant are attentive, knowledgeable, and go above and beyond to ensure a memorable experience. From check-in to the final course, the seamless service adds that extra layer of charm.

A quick getaway to Diamond Mills Hotel and BLACKBARN Hudson Valley Restaurant offers not just an escape from the city but a journey into luxury, culinary excellence, and unparalleled service. Whether you’re savoring appetizers, indulging in entrees, or soaking in the gorgeous views, every moment is crafted to perfection, making this Hudson Valley retreat an unforgettable experience. Additionally, the nearby Waterside Spa provides an opportunity for further relaxation and pampering, enhancing the overall allure of this enchanting destination.

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