Thistle, an Auberge spa at Wildflower Farms, is exactly what you need.
By Marco Medrano
Think Succession meets Bonanza in the Hudson Valley. Auberge is globally known for its extraordinarily sophisticated properties. And this 140-acre retreat in Gardiner, NY doesn’t disturb that sterling reputation of excellence. Wildflower Farms exudes the luxury of new, now, next. It’s sumptuous design and earthy elegance feels personal and familiar: Think billionaire family compound with all the trappings. This can’t-miss destination is clearly intended for those among us who know our way around a luxe experience.
Architecturally, this resort was recently built with the breathtaking views in mind at every turn. Walls of glass open to your world of expanse, no matter what freestanding cabin suite you’re in, regardless of the weather. Rain, snow or sunshine, this panorama is stunning in its full natural setting. We do live in a gorgeous corner of the planet.
Auberge’s publicly stated ethos fits the experience: “A natural playground from which to explore the bounty of the Hudson Valley, Wildflower Farms is a basecamp for adventure, craft, exploration and curiosity.” Want to hike a challenging trail? Or perhaps test drive an electric Mercedes Benz? Take in the scenic paths and country roads on an all-electric Ösa Flex CAKE bike? Yes, you can.
Onsite is Clay, with Executive Chef Ron Lawson in charge of the kitchen, and its expert preparations of seasonal produce direct from Wildflower Farms offer fine dining that highlights local bounty. Chef Lawson also runs the adjacent cooking school and farm education center, Maplehouse. Other offerings include the ability to learn the farm-to-formulation lab process relating to skincare and wellness, while making your own home-grown fragrance at their Cultivate Apothecary. Or if you prefer, there’s an on-site bee apiary that’s both interactive and educational. The above barely touches upon the numerous Auberge “experiences.”
Don’t worry. If you love being in nature but don’t want to roll around in it, there’s plenty of town in this country with divine Ralph Lauren-like moments at the must-try-right-now indoor/outdoor Great Porch. Nearby, you can take a distillery tour or formal wine tasting, or just drink.
Thistle Spa is steps away, providing calm, roomy spaces for experiences that feature steamed farm botanicals for poultice and deep massage or bespoke facials. Try “Heightened Healing,” “Bodywork,” “Skin Remedies” and/or “Wildcrafted Experiences” (the latter includes “Recovery Remedy,” “Body Botany” and “The Cultivate Facial,” which are unique to Auberge’s Wildflower Farms location with ethically sourced ingredients from the Hudson Valley).
Personal rejuvenation with varying types of yoga, meditation, breathwork and Pilates each have multiple offerings including sound baths and a “Healing Reiki Ritual” (recommended). Just relaxing? Perfect. The herbal steam room, saunas, outdoor hot tubs, indoor saltwater pool or fine Dew Bar pool are, well, great. How could they not be?
Whether it’s a spa/thermal day pass or as a registered guest, Wildflower Farms offers curated spaces with well thought out experiences that can either be indulgent fun or provide informative life skills. Of course, this is the perfect place to host a wedding, corporate team building or a milestone gala. A highbrow take on glamping? Maybe. But know this: Wildflower Farms is just what you need. A sort of farm-to-opulence experience.