Recently I needed a break.
I'd been working myself into the ground and something was bound to break if I didn't recharge my battery. But the reason I was working so hard was because I'd started a new job and thus hadn't accrued many vacation days.
So instead of taking the five-day break I needed, I booked a 24-hour getaway at Buttermilk Falls Inn, which, at anywhere from $300 to $1,500 a night, isn't my usual level of practical luxury.
But you know what? I think one lazy day and night at a bucolic retreat with a 40-acre farm, state of the art spa, and amazing restaurant was better than five days sleeping in an economy hotel and traipsing around a big city.
Just look at everything I did (and more importantly, didn't do) in 24 short hours!
Welcome to Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa in Milton, New York. There's not much to do here, and that's a very good thing.
The inn is named after a waterfall on the 75-acre property. The 18th-century main house was the first thing I saw as I drove up.
Surrounded by nature and country houses trimmed in white string lights, I felt like I was on the set of a '90s wedding rom-com starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.
LOOK AT THIS PLACE.
The main house, with its 10 rooms, is a step back in time. The floors creak; chicly beat-up brown leather couches invite you to sit down with a cup of coffee; the inn's friendly cats roam the patio; and instead of TVs and a huge business center, there's an impressive collection of old books and nostalgic board games (think: How to Host a Murder and Chess).
The calming Hudson River was never out of my sight.
Seven luxury guesthouses are scattered around the property.
I made a beeline for the solar- and geothermal-powered spa...
...where I met up with a doctor friend who suffers from an equally hectic work schedule. Let the 24-hour vacation begin.
The spa has a sauna, steam room, pool, and six treatment rooms.
This is not a typical spa. This is an institute of relaxation.
I could see the river in the distance as I waded around the pool.
I went for the 60-minute age solution facial — because I didn't want to just feel rested, I WANTED TO LOOK IT!
The treatment was incredible, from the farm-fresh cucumber slices placed over my eyes to the alpha hydroxy peel that made my skin feel fresh as a daisy with zero redness. I used to be a beauty editor so I've been to a lot of spas — the service here is impeccable. I appreciated the switch-off between hot and cold compresses during the facial.
The spa mostly uses products by Babor, a pricey German brand, but many treatments utilize fresh lavender, honey, and cucumber grown on the hotel's 40-acre organic farm.
My friend smartly chose the 60-minute Millstone Farm massage, a Swedish massage using lavender oil made on premises. Check out the full spa menu here.
I couldn't resist buying a few of these lip balms made with beeswax from the farm's own hives.
Check-in was at three, but we'd arrived early to enjoy the spa facilities for a few hours before and after our treatments. At around 5:30, we began the stroll to our guesthouse.
And what a charming stroll it was.
After taking a swim in the whirlpool tub, enjoying some more Babor products, and putting a dent in a bottle of wine from the nearby Finger Lakes, we got dressed for dinner and paid a visit to the Millstone Farm.
The farm is home to fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens, heritage chickens, alpacas, llamas, goats, peacocks, and the fruitful Millstone bees.
The farm's fresh eggs, berries, herbs, and veggies are put to delicious use in the kitchen of Henry's at the Farm.
The vibe at Henry's is casual yet thoughtful. I started with a Mint Julep.
Tables here are made of reclaimed barn wood, glass jugs serve as light fixtures, and early evening light flows through French doors. A mix of locals and hotel guests seemed permanently fixed at the center bar. Once again, I was back in a Julia Roberts rom-com.
Our favorite appetizers were the lobster and shrimp potstickers with yellow curry and sambal...
...and the salmon tartare with crispy lotus root, avocado, and cucumbers.
We mopped up the juices from these little neck clams with pieces of crusty bread. INCREDIBLE!
The great thing about a 24-hour getaway is that you don't have to hold back. You're only paying for one big meal so you can really make it something special. We drank as much as we wanted and ordered three appetizers and three desserts.
The chef left the dairy out of my friend's wild mushroom and truffle risotto at her request, but the taste was so decadent even without butter and cream.
I dove right into this paella with colossal shrimp, mussels, clams, chorizo, and chicken.
It was actually a steal at $35. Had my dining companion not been vegetarian, I would have DEFINITELY ordered and shared the 48-ounce tomahawk steak with truffle mash, braised kale, and wild mushroom demi-glace ($65). Check out the full dinner menu here.
You'll never guess what's in this ice cream.... GARLIC, black garlic to be exact. The flavor is nothing like garlic, though.
It's a very smooth vanilla ice cream with an earthy, slightly savory aftertaste. It was an excellent palate cleanser.
Sure, we could've stopped there, but mushroom ice cream was also on the menu.
It's made with ultra-sweet candy cap mushrooms. I still don't believe these mushrooms are that sweet. The ice cream tastes exactly like maple syrup, but chef insists it's all mushroom without a stitch of sweetener. Delicious.
And aw hell, bring us a fresh fruit crumble made with just-picked pears from the orchard. We're on day-cation!
Checkout time was at 11 the next morning. I woke up at 7 am and drank my coffee very slowly on our cottage's front porch.
Then we headed back to the main house for complimentary breakfast.
The inn also hosts a free afternoon tea every day; the hot-from-the-oven scones, fresh jams, and sweet creams are drool-worthy.
This is not my breakfast. I ordered smoked salmon toast with whipped cheese, scallions, and farm eggs — and I ate it quickly before even thinking about my camera.
I couldn't say goodbye quite yet so I squeezed in a not-so-quick manicure in the nail salon.
A few hours after checkout, it was time to get back to the city. But between the spa, the nature, and the incredible food, that single day on the farm had totally refueled my energy tank.
Not one ounce of me regrets taking a day trip rather than a "real" vacation. I can 100% see myself doing this again. Sometimes 24 hours is all you need — and it's better to be a queen for a day than not at all.
Disclaimer: Buttermilk Falls Inn paid for Revelist's editor to stay at their hotel. We chose to review it because the experience was a good one.