Craft House client, Troutbeck, featured in the Financial Times

 Troutbeck in Amenia, NY Photo by Paul Barbera

Troutbeck in Amenia, NY Photo by Paul Barbera

A hip country retreat close to Manhattan

Troutbeck’s chic rooms, fine dining and 5,000 acres of woodland make this grand 18th-century estate-turned-hotel an ideal weekend getaway

By Maria Shollenbarger, Financial Times How to Spend It

There’s a preponderance of high-quality hipness to Litchfield Hills, a region that straddles the border of Connecticut and New York: Annette de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, and actors Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Bacon all call the Connecticut side home. But the quaint New York town of Amenia is where Anthony Champalimaud – son of interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud (she of The Carlyle, The Dorchester and Hotel Bel-Air fame and, incidentally, a Litchfield resident) – found, and fell in love with, Troutbeck (troutbeck.com; from $295), a grand estate dating to the late 18th century, whose owners through the years have hosted the likes of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Now it’s an ideal Manhattan-escape destination at the weekend with 37 rooms bearing the chic imprimatur of Champalimaud mère, all pale washes of pastel and custom-built beds (but also faithfully retained original cornices and floors). There are fine dining venues, two tennis courts, and – best of all – numerous walking and hiking paths through the 5,000‑odd acres of surrounding woodland.