The Swiss Hutte inn in Hillsdale, NY may just be our new go-to in the Berkshires (yes, technically it’s in the state of New York, but for all intents and purposes it’s basically the Berkshires!). It’s well located, has a b & b type vibe, warm hospitality, an excellent restaurant, and is good value for your money.
About Swiss Hutte
First, let me give you some background on the Swiss Hutte. It’s an inn and restaurant (a highly regarded one at that) conveniently located next to the base of Catamount ski mountain, about 2 ½ hours north of New York City. Perfect for skiers visiting the mountain, it is also a popular place to stay any season. Located on the cusp of the Berkshires, beautiful countryside and landscape abound, making it a relaxing escape no matter what time of year.
The Swiss Hutte is an old farmhouse that was built in the 1800’s, eventually having been turned into an inn. I’m not sure there’s anything I love more than an old farmhouse as an inn! Years later a second building was added to the main house, more of a motel-ish looking building. But don’t let the word motel fool you – both buildings have their charm and appeal.
The current owners, Gert and Cindy Alper, purchased the Swiss Hutte in the 1980’s and gave it a complete make-over, with a European touch. Gert is a chef from Switzerland, having trained in Luzern, and together with his wife Cindy they re-built the Swiss Hutte inn and restaurant. It’s a charming inn where during the warmer months there is an outdoor pool, as well as a pond to sit and relax by. In the wintertime you can watch the skiers fly down Catamount, as the hotel overlooks the ski area. People come to both stay at the inn as well as dine at the restaurant.
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About the Swiss Hutte restaurant
I’m not sure there’s anything cozier than saddling up to the wooden bar at the Swiss Hutte restaurant after a long day of skiing, and watching the night skiers with cocktail in tow. The restaurant and bar has a perfect, and unassuming, view of the mountain and slopes. If I didn’t have kids, I could have spent all evening at the bar watching the goings-on of mountain life. The décor is homey and comfortable, as if you’re inside someone’s home.
Known as “the Hutte” by locals, people come from far and wide to eat chef Gert’s cuisine. Though not on the light side – far from it – his food is delicious and good for the soul; sophisticated, European comfort food at its best. He uses local produce from the Berkshires and the Hudson Valley, and the ingredients and preparation are of the highest quality. Additionally, apparently all baked goods are made on site, including the bread.
The Swiss Hutte serves both lunch and dinner, with things like Double Thick Pork Chop with Caramelized Onions, Honey Glazed Duckling, Steak Aux Poivre, Wienerschnitzel and Grilled Atlantic Salmon as some of the mains on the dinner menu. They do not have a children’s menu per say, but children’s meals can be made upon request (my girls ate pasta). The restaurant is very family-friendly despite its sophisticated menu, and we saw all types of people dining – families, couples, and groups of friends.
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Our Experience with the Swiss Hutte
We loved our stay at the Swiss Hutte. In the past when we’ve gone to ski at Catamount we’ve rented Airbnb homes with friends, but this year we decided to mix things up. And how glad we are that we did! For $160 for my family of 4, the convenience of the inn next to the mountain, the good food, the hospitality and the general vibe made it completely good value in my opinion.
The rooms are very basic – they aren’t winning any interior design awards – but the beds are super comfortable (we had two Queens), with a flat screen t.v., a mini fridge and coffee maker. We stayed in the “motel” part of the inn, and there was something about it that I really loved, something nostalgic, something that brought me back to the days of traveling with my family when I was a young kid. Again the rooms are very simple, but very cozy, and each room has a little patio with chairs in front where we convened with other friends of ours who were staying at the Hutte as well. In the morning everyone was sipping their coffee outdoors watching the fog come in.
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We spent one night and all of us slept like rocks. Prior to hitting our rooms and watching movies in bed, we ate at the Swiss Hutte restaurant in the main building next door and had a fabulous meal. All 8 of us sat next to a roaring fire, where we ordered appetizers, main courses and desserts. The bill was not cheap. In fact it was pretty pricey. It’s an expensive restaurant. But again, for the convenience and excellent cooking, it didn’t seem to bother me. Every last morsel was delicious and cooked with care, and the ambience a relaxed sophistication that also catered to kids.
All of us were so satiated by the end of the night, with the good food and drink and atmosphere. That combined with the coziness of the rooms, we crashed fairly early on in the night. Which was a good thing because the next day we were ready to roll early and hit the slopes, practically just outside our door.