ROUND TOP, N.Y. -- Two phrases, "family friendly" and "they made us feel like family," are staples in travel reviews.
But having visited (and reviewed) dozens of hotels and resorts, I can honestly say that neither of those phrases was ever more true than at Riedlbauer's Resort. It felt like spending the weekend at a favorite aunt's house, where you're a little bit spoiled and your only job is to enjoy yourself.
Located on 70 acres of scenic land in Green County, in the Catskill Mountains of New York, Riedlbauer's is truly the perfect family getaway for any and all seasons. At Riedlbauer's, the food and the decor are as German as the name. So is the music -- live and otherwise -- that plays over the speakers from before breakfast to well after dinnertime.
There are also occasional surprises, such as a local dance troupe that
performed authentic dances for us (in German costumes, of course). Many of the guests are native Germans, or have parents who are. Some speak the language, many understand it, and everyone enjoys singing traditional songs after dinner and dessert.
Many of the guests are regulars, returning to Riedlbauer's year after year, season after season. I even met several young parents who'd grown up visiting the resort as children and are now continuing the tradition with their own families. At check-in, I noticed how the resort staff treated other guests like family, and worried that, being newcomers, we'd feel like outsiders. Couldn't have been more wrong.
The staff -- and the other guests -- immediately welcomed us as if we were long-lost relatives.
After just one day, it was kind of like "Cheers," everybody knew your (and everyone else's) name. We sang and danced together and enjoyed the evening festivities together.
Most meals were family- style with others -- which I didn't think I'd like, but very much enjoyed. My 5-year-old son quickly found a girlfriend and two of them ate at an adjoining table.
The resort is home to many interesting events and activities and, of course, the New Year's Eve party.