Gliding up the long, winding drive to the sprawling Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort, we realized that the brief hour’s drive from the George Washington Bridge was a subtle, quiet passage from the clamor of the city to the calming hush of the Kittatinny Mountains.
There seems to be a general consensus that if you, your family or your company are located in or anywhere around the five boroughs of New York, you must fly to somewhere far, far away to truly escape to serenity and sanity. Nothing could be further from the truth – or closer than this 4,000-acre getaway, sheltered in the picturesque rolling hills of Sussex County, NJ.
Just 47 miles from Manhattan, and even closer to most of northern and central New Jersey’s towns and cities, Crystal Springs Resort bills itself as the New York Metro area's closest-in four-season resort. The Crystal Springs complex includes two hotels, the 250-room, AAA 4-Diamond Grand Cascades Lodge and the luxurious 175 room Minerals Hotel and Spa, both surrounded by three world-class golf courses.
We found our rooms in the Lodge to be luxurious, with capacious bathrooms and views from both the sitting rooms and bedrooms that literally go for miles. However, Chris Mulvihill, the resort’s chief marketing officer, says in first quarter this year, all the guest rooms of Grand Cascades Lodge, as well as the lobby and other common areas, will be undergoing renovations. “For this project, we have retained New York-based INC Architecture & Design, who recently did a fantastic job for us on the renovation of our flagship restaurant, Restaurant Latour,” Mulvihill says.
MEET & BLEAT
Meetings and events at Crystal Springs take on a life of their own. For Big Apple-weary corporate meeting goers looking for a change of pace, the bucolic location helps ensure that attendees get that resort experience and that mini-vacation, if only for an afternoon.
Conferences and events can range from 10-person pow-wows to lavish meet-ups for 200-plus with complex staging concepts and sit-down dinners. Some 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor gathering spaces spread between the two hotels.
Spaces are divided among 29 meeting room options, the largest being 18,000 square feet and the next largest measuring 5,400 square feet. Outdoor options meander around pools with waterfalls, fire pits, scenic golf settings, terraces, while partnerships with local farms, ski resorts and stables can inspire creative planners. In addition, the resort’s grand ballrooms, rotundas and elaborate lawn tents are easily convertible for meetings and events.
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