Our website has been designed to provide as much information as possible to answer most potential questions. If you still have questions after perusing our site and FAQ, our administrative or front desk staff would be happy to speak with you to fully answer your questions.
Guests can stay at Menla for one of three purposes:
1) to attend a Menla-sponsored Retreat.
2) to enjoy a Personal Getaway (either one of our seasonal Cleanse or other scheduled Getaways, or a Create-Your-Own Getaway anytime we have vacancy).
or 3) to attend a retreat sponsored by another organization.
To book a room for a Menla-sponsored Retreat, go to the Retreats section of our site and select the Retreat you want to attend. Click the link to Register Now.
To book a room for a Personal Getaway, call our Front Desk at 845-688-6897 ext 101 or go to the Personal Getaway section of our site and choose one of our seasonal Cleanse Getaways or opt to Create-Your-Own-Getaway, where you book a room and then choose whether you want to book any of our guest nature experiences, private classes, and spa treatments.
To book a room for a visiting group retreat, go to our full Events Calendar, find the retreat in the chronological list, and click to Register Now. If you cannot find your retreat on the Events Calendar, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the front desk.
Costs vary depending on the duration of the event, the number of participants, your choice of housing and meeting space(s), the time of year, night of the week you require, your specific add-on requests, and a variety of minor factors. Visit our Host Your Retreat section to view our accommodations and meeting space options. Please contact our Group Booking Manager at email@example.com or 845-688-6897 ext.105 when you are ready to book, or if you have questions. We do our very best to try to balance your needs with our own, and we deeply value the unique relationships we cultivate with each of the groups who choose to book here.
About 40% of retreats at Menla are programs that Tibet House US/Menla sponsors. These including traditional group Retreats as well as Personal Getaways. Our retreats explore a wide range of subjects relating to Buddhism, Yoga, Spirituality, and Holistic Wellness. And our Personal Getaways consist of small intimate seasonal Cleanses, specially themed small Getaway Packages, or most-often customized Create-Your-Own-Getaways, which let you design your own experience ahead of time, based on your preferences and needs, whether you come with a partner, bring along a group of your best friends, or just need a break by yourself!
To see the Menla-sponsored Retreats & Personal Getaways taking place this year, visit their respective webpages or simply visit our full calendar. In most cases, We also offer a variety of our own retreats, most of which are related to some aspect of the Buddhist teachings.
The other 60% of the retreats that take place here are group bookings sponsored by other organizations who Host Their Own Event, renting housing blocks and meeting spaces from us but offering their own workshops and classes to their own students. We have hosted a wide range of groups here, ranging from yoga studios of all kinds to social justice groups, from shamans to corporate leaders, from student groups to teacher trainings. Menla works to forge lasting relationships with compatible organizations, helping to support their production needs and providing participant registration services for most group bookings. We can even help you plan your retreat if it’s your first time leading one or you just want some good recommendations and tips.
Please note that some organizations opt to handle their own participant registrations for both tuition and housing. To register for one of these retreats, please contact the sponsoring organization directly.
Most, but not all, of the retreats at Menla appear on the Full Calendar. Programs not on the calendar are either still unconfirmed, cancelled, or they are private events not open for public registration.
For information on the specific themes and content of this year’s Menla-sponsored Retreats, please go to the Retreats section of the website and then click on the specific retreat(s) you would like to know more about. If you don’t see a retreat you’re looking for there, find it on our complete Events Calendar.
While each retreat is unique in its content, Menla-sponsored Retreats tend to follow a similar format:
– On check-in day, people typically arrive anywhere from early afternoon to evening, check in and settle in. Dinner is served from 6-7pm, followed by the introductory evening program at 7:30pm.
– The next morning we often offer optional yoga or meditation from 7-8am, followed by breakfast at 8am. The morning program usually begins at 9:30am and lasts until just before lunch. Lunch is from 12-1pm and is followed by 2-3 hours of free time, when guests have the opportunity to engage in any number of free-time activities (see below). The afternoon program usually starts at 3:30 or 4pm and lasts until 5:45pm. Dinner is served from 6-7pm and is followed by an evening program at 7:30pm.
– If the retreat is longer than the typical two day format, the same pattern is followed for each successive full day.
– The last day usually starts with optional yoga or meditation from 7-8am, followed by breakfast and check-out from 8-9am. Checking-out consists of stopping by the Front Desk, settling any unpaid charges, returning any borrowed items, and stripping one’s bed of linens (but not the duvets) and placing them in a pile by the door along with a separate pile for towels. Guests are welcome to leave their belongings in their rooms until 11am, or sometimes, if there are no incoming groups that day, until they leave after lunch in the afternoon. Breakfast and check-out are followed by a closing program from 9:30-12pm. Lunch is served at 12pm, and then guests start departing. You are welcome to stay on the premises into the afternoon.
How can I become a Tibet House member and what does that entail?
To become a Tibet House/Menla member, you can call or stop by either location or sign up online on our Membership page. You may also become a member during registration for Menla-sponsored retreats. All Tibet House/Menla members enjoy a 10% discount on all events both at Tibet House in NYC and Menla, as well as a 10% discount on all items in our stores.
There are several levels of membership, each with its own perks and rewards:
Tibet house us remains committed to preserving, presenting, and promoting the Tibetan people and the distinctive, beautiful, and uplifting culture they created, while they remain in exile from Tibet, where the Communist Chinese government has been inflicting the second most brutal human rights violations in the world, behind only Syria, in an ongoing nearly 70-year ethno-genocide. We rely on your generosity to keep our mission and programs growing and relevant. We encourage you to tell your friends about us, bring them by for a visit or, better yet, to participate in an event, and share the magic of Menla.
Become a Tibet House/Menla member today or renew for another amazing year!
STUDENT/SENIOR MEMBERSHIP – $24/YEAR
– Unlimited access to Tibet House’s online digital media archive
– 20% off all titles from Wisdom Publications
– 10% off all year long from Satya Jewelry
– One 25% coupon from Satya Jewelry
– 15% off online language classes from LearnTibetan.net
– 10% off THUS ticketing* and gift store purchases
– 10% off Menla-sponsored Retreats & Getaways and Menla giftshop purchases.
– 10% discount from select Tibetan businesses in NYC
BASIC MEMBERSHIP – $60/YEAR
– All benefits of the Student/Senior membership above, plus:
– Reserved seating for THUS programs*
– Pre-sale of preferred seating for THUS large events
– Member only giveaways
UPGRADE TO FAMILY MEMBERSHIP – BASIC MEMBER LEVEL
Family/Spouse may be added to Basic Membership for an additional $12 a year/person
SNOW LION MEMBERSHIP – $240/YEAR
– All benefits of the Basic and Student/Senior Membership above, plus
– Free webcasts*
– 15% off THUS ticketing* and gift store purchases
– 50% off your first spa treatment at Menla
– Private Docent Tour of Tibet House US Collections and Gallery Exhibitions (by appointment)
UPGRADE TO FAMILY MEMBERSHIP – SNOW LION LEVEL
Family/Spouse may be added to basic membership for an additional $12 a year/person
ARRANGED CHARITABLE GIFTING
To donate endowments, securities and estate legacy funds please contact our Executive Director, Ganden Thurman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-807-0563.
For donations via cash, check, PayPal or Credit Card, see our site for easy click to donate options or mail in your donation to 22 West 15th Street New York, NY 10011.
Executive Chef Alicia and her fabulous kitchen crew pour their love into the food, and our guests can really taste it! Much of our vegetarian cuisine comes straight from our organic vegetable garden, and we also strive to provide the healthiest most delicious seasonally-sourced whole foods from our best local vendors. We can handle most special dietary needs (e.g. vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, nut allergies, etc) with sufficient notice. Please let us know your needs during registration.
Visit our Cuisine page in the Experience Menla section of this site to view a few sample menus from among the myriad dishes our Chef has to offer.
To cancel your registration if you registered through Menla: 1) sign into the registration software, 2) email email@example.com, or 3) call Menla at 845-688-6897 ext. 101.
If you registered for attendance at another organization’s retreat at Menla via the other organization, you will also need to cancel directly with them, according to their cancellation policy.
Tibet House US/Menla reserves the right to cancel any program due to low registration. In the event of a cancellation of an event, a full refund will be granted.
Participant Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel:
*Please note that there will be no refunds issued within 24 hours of the start of the retreat for arriving late, leaving early, flight cancellations or travel delays.
Menla agrees to block (hold) ample rooms based on the contracted room block required minimum guarantee of however many participants you booked when you made your deposit. In doing so, Menla may be forced to turn away other groups that would want to book during this time. Therefore, Menla limits the amount of attrition (reductions in the required minimum number of participants) to the following schedule:
Days From Retreat Start Date; Allowable Attrition Percentage; Allowed Reduction of # of Participants
180+; 100%; 22
180; 35%; 8
120-180; 25%; 6
90-120; 15%; 3
30-90; 10%; 2
1-30; 5%; 1
If reductions are made within the allowable schedule above, a new revised contract will be generated and signed.
Additional reductions in the required minimum beyond the allowable attrition (i.e. if your registrations don’t meet the newly established minimum guarantee) will be billed at 100% of the contracted room rate. For example, if your minimum guarantee is for 50 people (10 in single queen rooms, 10 in double deluxe rooms with private baths, 10 in double deluxe room with shared baths, and 20 people in standard shared housing), and you fall short by 5 people in single rooms and 4 people in double deluxe private baths, you will still be responsible for the cost of the full 50 people stipulated in the contract.
If reductions are not made in accordance to the time schedule above, all unbooked rooms will be billed at 100% of the room rate stipulated in this contract.
Menla is nestled in a wooded mountain valley and is a very different environment from urban and suburban environments, usually about 10-15 degrees cooler than NYC. Evenings can be quite chilly, even in warmer weather, and it gets quite dark at night, even with pathlights on. We recommend bringing the following items:
• Warm clothing options
• Walking shoes and/or hiking shoes with good ankle support if you plan to hike
• Toiletries (we provide face and body soap but not shampoo or conditioner)
• Blow dryer
• Alarm clock
• Notebook and pen
• Insect repellent (during warmer months)
• Bathing suit and swimming towel if you wish to use the outdoor pool (warmer months)
• Slippers (no shoes are allowed in most meeting spaces)
Cell phones do not work at Menla or the immediate surrounding area. However thanks to an amazing anonymous donation, all guest housing, all meeting rooms, and even many places outdoors have free fiber-optic high-speed wifi access, which can support VoIP cell phone usage. There are also landline phones in all deluxe guest rooms, as well as in the common area of our standard shared cabins and cottages.
While some of the buildings are not setup for wheelchair access, Lhasa Inn—the main lodge at Menla—is equipped with a wheelchair ramp, an elevator, and four rooms with specially-designed bathrooms to accommodate guests with wheelchairs. Additionally, Kathmandu has a 6 rooms on the ground floor that are similarly designed. The Conference Center Main Hall and Café/Bookstore area of the Conference Center is wheelchair-accessible. Please be sure to let us know your needs in advance, preferably when you register.
People attending non-Menla-sponsored group retreats should check with the sponsoring organization’s leadership.
For people attending Menla-sponsored retreats, yes! In these cases, they simply pay for their accommodations and while you’re in class, they can luxuriate at our spa, take a mountain hike on one of our enchanted trails, enjoy all our wonderful meals, and take advantage of a variety of individual guest experiences, private classes, and other activities which can be booked in advance to help them create their own retreat to whatever degree they care to.
Children are welcome at Menla! Children under 8 yrs old may accompany their parent(s) free of charge, while children ages 8-12 are charged half-price. Children 13 and up are considered adults and are charged the full accommodations fee.
While we have cots available for smaller children, we are not equipped with cribs or high-chairs, so please bring them with you if those are needed. We are also not setup to provide daycare, and our forest property does have areas dangerous for unaccompanied children, so we require children to be supervised by a parent or guardian while at Menla. There are no playgrounds at Menla, but children can swim in the shallow outdoor pool, go on nature hikes, splash by the gentle (but cold!) Pantherkill stream, and marvel at nearby wildlife.
While we love animals and enjoy sharing our valley with many of them, we do not permit guests to bring their pets. Licensed service dogs are the only exception, with proof of license—please notify the Front Desk in advance if you plan to bring your service dog.
Yes. We have four wooden platforms for tents and plenty of additional space in the grassy meadows overlooking the Pantherkill Stream. Falling asleep to the sound of water is magical and very refreshing. In the lower level of the Conference Center, we have men’s and women’s bathrooms with showers for campers. The Conference Center is just a short walk from the camping areas.
Yes. We have plenty of room in our Lhasa Inn lower parking lot or at the back of the Conference Center main parking lot.
When not in session, guests often like to:
1) Take advantage of our amazing Dewa Spa
> Massages & other bodywork: since space is limited, please sign up as far in advance as possible. See our complete Spa Menu for offerings and pricing.
> Steam rooms, Finnish & Far Infrared saunas, and rain showers: use of these facilities is complementary if you sign up for a massage. Booked alone, the cost is $25 per day.
> Sapphire outdoor swimming pool: located right next to the Spa. Menla does not provide lifeguards, so please be careful and swim at your own risk. Pool towels are available at the Front Desk, not the Spa. Children under the age of twelve must be accompanied by an adult.
2) Book some of our many guest experiences, private classes, or educational tours with Menla’s Head Horticulturalist to learn about the many healing and nutritious plants we grow at Menla.
3) Take a hike on one of our meandering trails. As we do not have our own rangers, we highly recommend hiking with at least one other person. Trails are marked with blue flares, or white flares, and/or small cairns. One leads to a partial view of the eastern Catskills beyond Menla.
4) Play tennis on one of our two tennis courts. Rackets and balls are stored in the back room of the 175 year-old vintage barn.
5) Do your meditation or yoga practice. There is a beautiful seven-sided Sanctuary for private silent meditation (when it is not being rented by another group). We recommend sitting in the Sanctuary early mornings and clear evenings at sunset. Others prefer to sit by the pond or the stream, or on the Lhasa Deck. If it’s not being rented by another group, guests are welcome to use the Yoga Studio.
6) Use the Fitness Room located on the lower level of Nalanda Conference Center. Towels for workouts are available at the Front Desk.
7) Sit and socialize with other guests at our Nalanda Café, located on the upper level of the Nalanda Conference Center. Guests can enjoy free high-speed wi-fi access, purchase coffee, tea, and snacks, or peruse our small bookshop. Adjacent to the Café is our Devi Practice Room, replete with stunning photographs donated by Steve McCurry, as well as the Main Hall, with a sand mandala and authentic Tibetan medical paintings.
8) Occasionally we offer sweat lodges. A sweat lodge is a traditional Native American ceremony where the lodge leader leads prayers in a collective effort to connect with Mother Earth as everyone sweats. The fire keeper tends the fire outside the lodge where stones are heated and then brought into the center of the lodge periodically to maintain the heat. Depending on the schedule, our sweat lodges last about three hours. People are allowed to leave prematurely if they feel overwhelmed, so don’t be afraid! Our lodge can fit up to about 30 people.
We have three hikes so far on our property and offer guided hiking on a few different off-site hikes.
A mild enjoyable hike that takes one behind our water-filtration building along the Pantherkill Stream towards its source (not all the way to the source), crossing the stream in three places and looping around the inside of the southwest corner of the back of Menla’s property. This hike is the shortest and easiest one at Menla and is appropriate for older guests or people who essentially want to go for a walk in the woods, rather than get a serious workout. This trail is marked with white flairs.
A slightly more challenging but still easy trail leading from the mouth of Eva’s pond partway up the northern ridge and then descending back to Menla’s property, follows the Pantherkill stream, until it intersects the Waterfall-Medicine Trail. This trail is marked with blue flairs.
The most challenging hike on the Menla property, but yielding the best view, is the Metta Trail leading to Lookout Point, where one can sit and enjoy a partial view of the Catskill Mountains. This trail is quite steep at times, takes about 45 minutes each way, and is not recommended for people with physical limitations. This trail is marked with blue flairs.
Giant Ledge Hike
A more rewarding nearby off-site hike and a local #1 favorite, this experience takes 4 hours, including the drive to the trailhead, and leads to Giant Ledge and the peak of Pather Mountain high above Menla. Here, breathtaking vistas reveal the awesome beauty of the Catskills east of Menla. This trail is not accessible from Menla and requires one to drive off campus to get to the trailhead. Local hikers abound on this locally famous hike, and each Fourth of July weekend Robert Thurman leads a hiking retreat, when guests and friends get together for a barbeque, ascend Panther Mountain to Giant Ledge where Thurman gives a teaching, and attend evening lectures on Buddhism.
Yes. This is what our Create-Your-Own-Getaways are for, maximizing your freedom to choose what you do while you stay. You can just book a room or you can book a room and take advantage of a variety of high-quality services, classes, and meaningful experiences to create your own custom retreat.
Pure, crisp and tasty! Menla sits atop a watershed, and the source of the Pantherkill Stream is on our property. We get all of our drinking water from two springs, passing it through a non-toxic water-filtration system which takes water directly from the stream, passes it through multiple filters, and then zaps it with ultraviolet light to kill bacteria. Needless to say, the water here is some of the cleanest one can drink. Drink freely from any tap.
In order of most to least likelihood of a sighting:
Birds: over a hundred varieties have been observed at Menla, an official Audubon bird sanctuary.
Wild turkeys: sometimes take refuge at Menla in large flocks, especially during hunting season.
Deer: live in the valley with us, rear their young here, and some will eat right out of your hand!
Groundhogs (somewhat elusive, but you may well see one by Lhasa Inn’s deck or down by the Vintage Barn
Bear (sometimes elusive, sometimes present, but black bear are non-aggressive, so not to worry)
Coyotes (nocturnal, elusive)
Fisher cats (nocturnal. highly elusive),
Mountain Lions (nocturnal, supremely elusive)
In 2006, Menla was recognized as one of Audubon’s Important Bird Areas. Menla was also named one of New York State’s Most Important Bird Areas, with its 330 beautiful acres entirely surrounded by publicly-owned “forever-wild” forest preserve. Our location is situated in the very center of one of the largest intact tracts of unharmed forest habitat in the state of New York—a sanctuary for native, wild species.
Just a few of the bird species found here include the beautiful Black-throat Blue Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler and the Scarlet Tanager.
Rare birds such as the high-elevation Bicknell’s Thrush and Northern Goshawk have also been seen nearby. While at Menla, take in the abundance of thriving forests and the myriad of native birds!
Other species of birds sighted at Menla include:
~ Great Horned Owl
~ Eastern Kingbird
~ Red-Tail Hawk
~ Eastern Bluebird
~ Wild Turkey
~ Barn Swallow
~ Common Merganser
~ Gray Catbird
~ Belted Kingfisher
~ Mourning Dove
~ Yellow Bellied Sapsucker
~ Red winged Blackbird
~ Hairy Woodpecker
~ White-Breasted Nuthatch
~ Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
~ Tufted Titmouse
~ Baltimore Oriole
~ Black-Capped Chickadee
~ American Goldfinch
~ American Robin
~ Indigo Bunting
~ Eastern Phoebe
~ Dark-eyed Junco
~ Rose Breasted Grosbeak
~ Common Yellowthroat
~ Scarlet Tanager
~ Pileated Woodpecker
~ Cedar Waxwing
~ Barred Owl
~ Wood Thrush
See or hear one not on our list? Be sure to let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As long as another group has not booked it, you are more than welcome to book your room for an extra night or extra nights. However, please be aware that unless the kitchen is open for another retreat, we will not be able to provide you with meals (and the accommodations fee will be prorated accordingly). Bring your own ready-made food or check out our recommended local restaurants.
It may be cheaper for you to rent a car and drive here than to fly to an airport, depending on where you are traveling from.
The fastest and most affordable way from NYC or from whichever airport you fly into (NYC airports, Newark, Albany, or Stewart/Newburg) is to take public transportation to the nearest bus terminal (Albany or NYC’s Port Authority), then take the Adirondack Trailways bus to our small bus stop in the town of Phoenicia. For people coming from NYC, it takes about 3 hours, and costs approximately $30 each way. Reservations not needed.
If you give us advanced notice of when your bus will arrive, we can send a shuttle to pick you up at the station and bring you here for $5. Adirodack Trailways can be contacted at 800-776-7548.
We offer a bus shuttle service to and from the Phoenicia bus station on check-in and check-out days only ($5 each way). If you will be staying an extra night, we can provide you shuttle service to the bus station, but we cannot guarantee we can provide any other trips to town.
Yes–we love our work-study and longer-term volunteers! Volunteers help with the garden, the flowerbeds, setting up and breaking down meeting spaces, cleaning, flyering, kitchen support, spring and fall grounds cleanup, data entry, and any number of special tasks that we don’t always have the time to address.
Usually volunteers stay in a tent or on a cot in one of the staff houses, although occasionally we may put them up in shared guest housing or the Conference Center Dorm Room. Volunteers enjoy free delicious healthy food, water, and air, access to Tibet House-sponsored classes, and much needed rest from their daily lives. They also come away feeling that they have meaningfully contributed to a great cause. Volunteers are expected to work at least 4 hours a day and follow all the rules for staff. Volunteers should be polite and friendly with guests and help us maintain our professionalism as an organization. Please see our Volunteer page for more information.
Menla also offers a limited number of partial scholarship options, based on need, for many programs that we sponsor. Email email@example.com to apply.
Yes! We are happy for local residents, people passing through, prospective retreat organizers, former Pathworkers, or anyone else to drop by and enjoy our breathtaking property. Please stop by the Front Desk when you arrive and check-in with us. We will provide you with a map and notify you which buildings are off-limits (staff housing and any buildings being rented by a group). There are only a few times a year when Menla is closed to the public—when large groups rent the entire property and have exclusive use.
Here are just a few of the many things to do in the nearby area.
1) Drive or take a local bus into Woodstock or Kingston, each 30 min from Menla, to treat yourself to live music on the weekends, or find out ahead of time about the music, food, and craft festivals in the area during the summer and fall, and time your visit then.
2) Shop for antiques at Country Gallery and Acorn Antique’s Craftsman’s Gallery on Route 214 off Main Street.
3) But really, Phoenicia is about exploring the great outdoors. The Catskill Forest Preserve is 300,000 acres of unspoiled woods, which the New York State constitution has deemed “Forever Wild,” never to be commercially developed. And hiking is the best way to see this countryside. Follow the numerous state-maintained hiking trails, maps of which are available at Morne Imports and the Phoenicia Library, or hire a guide through Menla.
4) Tubing on the Esopus is the most popular activity in town. The Esopus Creek follows Route 28 and winds through the bottom of town. There’s a quiet, calm section for family fun and a relaxing view, and a wilder section with rapids and whitewater for the more adventurous tubers, for a total of five miles of tubing pleasure. Each section takes about two hours to tube.
The Town Tinker tube rental in central Phoenicia (on Bridge Street off Main–look for the barn with red and white trim) is open daily during season (May 15 to September 30). Rates are $12/day for inner tubes, $3 for life jackets, and $5 per trip for the Tube Taxi which will drop you off and pick you up from the creek. Worried about cold water? Rent a wetsuit for $15/day. A $25/day package includes inner tube with seat, life jacket, and wetsuit.
5) Theater is popular in our area, with Phoenicia and Woodstock each having their own Playhouse, plus Mt. Tremper Arts, and the Brydcliffe Colony each having one as well. For independent film buffs, Woodstock has the iconoclastic Upstate Films movie theater.
6) Horseback riding Indian paths and old logging trails in the beautiful Catskill Forest Preserve is also a pleasant past time. The Saddle up Ranch, on Kinsey Street off Route 28, offers year-round riding daily. They have a shop selling tack and western wear, including boots and hats. They also sell American made jewelry, dream catchers, and leather goods. Sign up for riding lessons or day camps, or go snowmobiling in the winter. There’s also the Ashokan Riding Club in nearby Olivebridge.
7) The flyfishing is good in Phoenicia! The Esopus Creek is noted for its rainbow trout in the spring and its native brown trout in the fall. There’s even a flyfishing tournament in May (visit the Phoenicia Supermarket for details). For those of you who have always wanted to try flyfishing, a local guide gives lessons at Morne’s Imports on Main.
8) In the wintertime, you can go skiing, snowboarding, or even snowtubing. Tubers should head to Romer Mt. Park, off Route 28, about a mile south of downtown. The closest place to ski is Belleayre Mountain, the highest skiing peak in the Catskills. Ski and snowboard rentals are available from the Belleayre Ski Shop. Adult ski passes are $39 on weekends and holidays, and $30 all other times. Two-day packages, group rates, season tickets and specials are available too. Hunter Mountain is a close 25-30 minutes away from Phoenicia, and Windham Mountain is about 45-50 minutes away.
9) The Catskill Mountain Railroad offers a 45-minute scenic rail ride along the Esopus Creek on weekends and holidays during summer. One of the train’s stops is the Empire State Railway Museum, located in the 1899 Ulster & Delaware railroad station, where you can catch a glimpse of the rich history of the railroad.
10) On your way home, stop at Catskill Corners, just three or four minutes south of Phoenicia on Route 28. In addition to numerous gift shops, two restaurants and a tourist information center, Catskill Corners is home to the world’s largest kaleidoscope. Don’t miss this kaleidoscope made of a sixty-foot tall hall of mirrors. They also offer historical lessons on everything from art to modern light sculpting. When you finish touring the exhibits, drop into the Kaleidostore, which sells thousands of kaleidoscopes, from inexpensive models to works of art worth literally thousands of dollars, all displayed on open shelves and available for your viewing pleasure. In fact, the only kaleidoscope you’re not allowed to look through is the world’s smallest, which is OK because it’s too small to see much through anyway.
For being dropped out in the middle of the Catskill Park, there are some pretty amazing places to eat in our local area. If you’re not taking advantage of Menla’s amazing meals, we recommend the following places for each meal:
Breakfast/Lunch: The Phoenicia Diner on Rt. 28 outside town. This is not your ordinary diner. They are family-owned and feature farm-to-table, locally sourced menu items.
Dinner: Tavern 214 in Phoenicia is the best option right in Phoenicia; the Peekamoose on Rt. 28 north about 5 minutes north of Phoenicia is the best very local option; and New World Home Cooking outside Woodstock or Sushi Makio in Kingston are favorites if you’re out for a local adventure.
“Came here for a yoga training for a week and loved my experience here. You are surrounded by nature and feel as if you are in another world.”
“Always a great stay at Menla. Staff very helpful. Programs excellent. I greatly enjoyed seeing Robert Thurman, Sharon Salzberg and Krishna Das together. A truly auspicious place. Visit and find out for yourself.”
“Beautiful place, in location and spirit! Wonderful staff. Fantastic, healing programs.”