Bedford Post Inn: Richard Gere’s Upstate New York Retreat

Sara Fifi Castany

The enchanting Bedford Post Inn in Westchester County has become an idyllic spot to nourish all the senses. Just 45 minutes from New York City, its grand estates and woodsy settings have attracted power players such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and four generations of the Rockefeller family.

Westchester County is known for its peaceful country lifestyle as well as for its famous residents. Just 45 minutes from New York City, its grand estates and woodsy settings have attracted power players such as Bill and Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and four generations of the Rockefeller family. Martha Stewart’s 150 acre estate is right next door to Ralph Lauren’s sizable stone manor home that stands as testament to the designer’s iconic style.

Bedford Post Inn at dusk

Yet these days, longtime Westchester resident, actor Richard Gere, is the one getting all the attention. He and his wife, Carey Lowell, restored an 18th century stone building connected to a barn into the Bedford Post Inn, an elegant eight-room luxury hotel with two well-loved restaurants.

→ 1. Richard Gere; Carey Lowell and friends. → 2. Richard Gere; Carey Lowell.

Before they became innkeepers, the couple would ride their horses by the dilapidated building. Despite its rundown appearance there was something about it that charmed them. When it went up for sale, they both felt a responsibility to bring it back to life. “It was such a melancholy feeling to watch this piece of history just fall apart,” said Gere, “and so I thought, wouldn’t it be great to open a fantastic, casual hotel and restaurant there, someplace we could ride to?”

Today, well after the transformation, Bedford Post Inn holds the honor of being on the Relais & Chateaux’s list of 518 worldwide properties that symbolize hotel and restaurant excellence. Designed with a charming coziness by Lowell and designer Tiffany Vassilakis, all the rooms are prepared with Frette linens and towels, and botanical bath products exclusively formulated for guests by Greek skincare line, Sponge. Most rooms have a working fireplace, a handmade antique claw-foot tub imported from Portugal, and opens up to a terrace that overlooks the wooded grounds.

                            → 1. Main Entrance. → 2. Exterior. → 3. Guest room.

, a peace activist and practicing Buddhist, has also made sure your stay at the inn includes some mind, body and spirit renewal. Each guest receives a complimentary pass to the popular Yoga Loft that offers an array of classes, including Vinyasa, Hatha, Anusara, Iyengar and Kundalini yoga. It also holds meditation classes and enrichment workshops that range from alternative medicine to Kabbalah. “There are a lot of people in this area who have been enormously successful and have done tremendous good work. It’s my hope that they will come and discuss and network at a very high level about how to have a positive impact on the planet,” says Gere. He and his partners have created what many feel is a truly sacred space where people have come together for fundraisers, guest speakers and even Tibetan monks.

Bedford Post Inn

Bedford Post Inn also provides you with two distinct restaurants. The Barn has a more casual atmosphere and serves delectable dishes of farm to table vegetables, seafood and even the local favorite hamburger. For a more formal dining experience, The Farmhouse, offers a la carte options as well a chef’s tasting menu. A first rate wine list and the culinary expertise of Chef Jeremy McMillan has made having a reservation a must.

                           → 1. Restaurant.2. Chef Jeremy McMillan.3. The Farmhouse Restaurant.

For guests wanting to explore outside of Bedford Post, there are horses for trail riding or hiking nearby in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. You can also take a short train trip to the picturesque town of New Canaan, or go antique hunting in Hudson.

As a weekend stay or longer, Bedford Post Inn will absolutely slow you down to a leisurely pace, because as Gere best described it: “The idea is to leave the world behind.”

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