Monday, September 3, 2012

Nehapwa - Elegance and Good Energy

I don't just sell real estate. I write. And a magazine assignment led me to a place I will not quickly forget. Nehapwa is an historic, Arts and Crafts-style summer cottage - one of those rambling homes with fireplaces and endless porches where I still expect to see gentlemen in suits and ladies in long summer dresses drinking iced tea and playing croquet.

It's above Tannersville, NY, an area best known for Hunter Mountain and skiing, but once a popular Catskills summer destination.  The grand Catskill summer hotels are gone (though Mohonk, on the neighboring Shawangunks, preserves the tradition), leaving sweeping vistas, perhaps a step that once led to an entryway and, in the case of the Overlook Mountain House in Woodstock, stone walls and steps that offer an intriguing hint of what once might have been.

It's Romance with a capital R, and it's something I've longed for like a homesick traveler my entire life. Nehapwa felt like coming home.

It's a grand house, far too big for the couple who lives there. But after almost ten years of work reclaiming an abandoned house, they're opening the doors to guests.  Nehapwa is an intimate and inspiring bed and breakfast available for one night or a longer. There are four bedrooms, each with its own bath and covered sleeping porch.  There is an expansive living room and dining room as well as a cozy library. And there's the covered porch.  It extends the length of the house and around the side, facing a panoramic mountain vista, due east for sunrise and moonrise views.

The gardens are a study in colorful chaos and the grounds sweep gently away from the house on all sides, offering a meadow, a pine barren, a lovely meditation pool lined with bluestone or a path into the woods past a magnificent, soaring wooden Victorian water tower.

It's an escape for a life that is too busy, too frenetic, too "wired."  It is a place to breathe. 

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