Wander Women Wednesdays are back! This mid-week feature is all about highlighting an upcoming Wander Women Retreat, or a new aspect of our retreat business we’re excited about.
So… “I did a thing.”
Do you too have a love-hate relationship with that phrase now so popular on social media? I sure do!
Yet it feels appropriate to describe how I ended up adding a last-minute retreat to my calendar in just six weeks. There I was, innocently booking my flights for the rest of the year and into early 2023, when I realized I needed to get a day on the slopes in to fulfill my 2019 vow to ski once per season.
After kicking around a few ideas, I texted Jess, one of my best friends and regular retreat co-hosts, and asked her if she once again start the year with another special Upstate trip like we’d done at the beginning of 2022. I’d zero-ed in on a new lodge I was dying to stay at, and couldn’t stop thinking back to that dreamy trip we’d both held so dear. Seriously, we saw each other a few weeks after, with work and our personal lives in full chaotic swing, and both confessed that our trip was our happy place we’d been going back to mentally when we needed a break!
I pitched Jess on the trip, which she was in on from the jump… and ended my thought with, “or, you know… it could be really epic retreat.”
Wander Women Catskills, kicking off our 2023 retreat season from January 5-8th, was launched a week later.
I was a little nervous to launch a trip on such a tight timeline (something I regularly caution my consulting clients against, ha), and on a very different theme than we typically do (we’re more sand and sea than snow and ski!) but floated the idea to a few of our recent customers and when we got an enthusiastic mitten-ed thumbs up, we decided to go for it. Plus, our previous Upstate New York trip, a fall foliage and yoga retreat, had been wildly popular, and it truly warmed my heart to show people my own backyard.
I can’t wait to do so again! Eight spots are already booked, meaning this trip is 60% sold out. So, there’s still room for ya! Kick off your year right by joining us for a four da weekend of cozy firepits, foraged winter cocktails, warming yoga classes, snow sports, meeting likeminded women, and more — all a chic lodge conveniently located between New York City and Albany. The Catskills stretch between New York City and Albany and are famous for their 98 peaks creating a plethora of hiking trails, ski resorts, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and scenic views to soak up. It’s become a hip escape for those from the five boroughs — bringing with them boutique accommodation, trendy restaurants, and locally inspired boutiques. Windham itself is one of the oldest towns in the region, complete with a historic Main Street and a moniker as the “Gem of the Catskills.”
This is winter with a Wander Women twist: take a snowshoe snowga class, ski and sunset tube down Windham Mountain , cheer to your 2023 intentions at a local winery, and more. No ski? No problem. We will spend one morning at Windham Mountain, where lessons are available for beginners and seasoned skiiers will be thrilled with an array of black diamond trails — and everything in between. But if you’re absolutely not interested, there’s an onsite spa, too.
We couldn’t have picked a cozier spot. We’re checking into the Scandi-style Eastwind Lodge where we’ll share — boozy, if you wish! — hot chocolate happy hours overlooking Windham Mountain, dine on farm fresh meals, and bask in the warmth of our onsite saunas. There’s both winter glamping and cozy mountain retreat room options available. Read on for all the magical details — I’m pretty proud of them.
The retreat will be held from January 5-8, 2023. The cost, including all of the premium experiences below, starts at $2,050 per person for four days.
• Three nights of cozy winter accommodation
• Two breakfasts and two dinners
• Daily yoga
• Skiing at Windham Mountain (we’ll credit your final balance for the value of a lift ticket if you’re a season pass holder, or would rather visit the spa!)
• A foraged winter cocktail class
• Sunset snow tubing
• A snowshoe snowga experience
• A premium local wine tasting at The Vineyard at Windham
• A custom welcome bag
• All gratuities (we generously tip on your behalf, removing the stress and anxiety of when and how much to tip!)
• Professional photos of the trip
• Donation to Stride Adaptive Sports, an Upstate charity sharing winter sports with those with physical limitations
What’s Not Included
• Alcohol and meals not included in the itinerary
• Ski lessons (available as optional upgrade) or ski equipment rental (available onsite at Windham Mountain)
• Spa treatments
• Other activities or meals not outlined in the itinerary
• Local transportation (we will help coordinate groups of women who have cars, or are renting, or want to share Ubers or Lyfts)
• Mandatory travel insurance
Due to weather and other factors, the below is subject to change — but I guarantee you will have a beautiful winter-themed weekend regardless.
Day 1: Say hello to the Catskills! Join us in Windham in the late afternoon for an intention-setting New Year yoga class saluting the setting sun. After, we’ll enjoy a foraged winter cocktail workshop with a female local mixologist (pine-infused spirits, anyone?) before a private onsite welcome feast.
Day 2: We’ll start the day together with an — always optional — sunrise meditation before a seasonal breakfast. Afterwards, we’ll head Windham Mountain for a morning of skiing, snowboarding, or heading to the spa. Typically all of the resort’s 54 trails open by mid-December! We’ll group everyone by experience level and head off to the slops for lessons or free ski or board time before meeting up for lunch at the Lodge and a warm up slow flow at the onsite Alpine Spa. Toast to your morning of adventure at a private wine tasting at The Vineyard at Windham, nibbling on local cheese and charcuterie and opting between four flights of five local wines each, followed by a return to EastWind for a firepit cocktail hour under the full moon (the first of 2023!). We’ll close out the night with an optional dinner at Union + Post, mere steps away from our door.
Day 3: This morning we’ll rise for an optional morning meditation and enjoy breakfast at a cute local bakery before heading out for the ultimate Wander Women winter adventure — snowshoe snowga! We’ll set off on a snowshoe trail adventure in the woods, making our way to open spots for yoga poses and meditation among the shimmering icicles and snow-covered trees. In the afternoon, we’ll warm up back at EastWind with the onsite saunas and our own custom hot chocolate bar — boozy if you wish! We’ll head back out again in the early evening for sunset snow tubing before heading back for a dinner toasting to the weekend at EastWind, complete with live music and cocktails.
Day 4: We’ll gather for a final flow in the morning before an optional outdoor snow yoga or aerial photoshoot — Jess is bringing her outdoor rig for our aerial enthusiasts! Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a farewell breakfast and exchange photos and farewell hugs. Need some suggestions for more winter fun? Stroll along the Windham Path for awe-inspiring views of the spectacular peaks, or shop on Main Street at local spots like Briars & Brambles Books, where there’s a spotlight on Catskill-based authors, and The Knitting Room, where you can pick up supplies for a new hobby. Want to put another pin in your Upstate map? Stop at Hunter en route home for another ski day, a twirl on a Glice Skating rink, or a winter hike up Kaaterskill Falls.
Where We’ll Stay and Where We’ll Eat
We’ll be enjoying a weekend escape at a hip Scandinavian-inspired retreat, right in the heart of Windham. The property has two onsite freestanding wooden saunas, firepits aplenty, complementary snow-shoes, and a bustling weekend bar lounge and dinner service.
The room options include private or shared accommodation, as well as the option for cabin-based glamping or cozy bunkhouse rooms. The cabins are Scandinavian-inspired Lushna cabins that allow you to immerse in nature without sacrificing any comforts. Private cabins are heated A-Frames with a queen sized bed and with a private but separate bathhouse steps away. Shared cabins feature a private deck, an en suite bathroom, a queen size loft bed, and a lounge space with a pull out sofa.
Those opting for private or shared bunkhouse rooms will be in one of the property’s two main buildings. The remaining shared bunkhouse rooms feature a king size bed and a pull out sofa; while private rooms feature one king and all have en suite bathrooms.
Due to the high accommodation costs associated with this retreat, shared rooms can only be booked in full, for two guests. If you’re traveling solo, contact us to see if anyone else has reached out about a shared spot!
For included meals, we’ll be dining on incredible farm to table meals created by our hotel hosts — as always, any dietary restrictions or allergies will be accommodated. One dinner will be private to our group, while another will be a festive weekly gathering open to all. For other non-included meals, we’ll suggest and stop at local Windham favorites, from small-town breakfast cafes to hip dinner options.
Getting There and Away
Windham is under an hour drive from Albany, and under three hours from New York City.
If you’re coming from further afield, we’d recommend flying into one of the NYC area airports (JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark), and either renting a car, taking a convenient Trailways bus direct to Windham, or taking Metro North or Amtrak for a beautiful train ride along the Hudson River. The closest train station is Hudson, where you can hop in a taxi or ride share for a 40 minute drive to Windham, or make a rental car reservation through Enterprise and they’ll meet you at the station.
For transport within Windham, the distances we will be traveling are under ten minute drives. We will be using Ubers, Lyfts, or carpooling with other guests looking to share car rentals for the weekend. Please contact us if you need additional support booking travel.
Want to learn more about me and Jess, read our FAQ, or just sign the heck up already? Let’s do this!
Yup, I did a thing… your turn! Treat yourself to an amazing start to 2023 with me <3 Any questions, retreat requests, advice for the warmest winter leggings on the market (asking for a friend.) Hit me up in the comments!
Snow way — this retreat is six weeks away!
Thanks Jo! I really think it will be!
Y’all need to do wine school at Ze Windham Wine Bar next time you’re there (it’s every Tuesday year round). We did it when we were staying there in September, and it’s soooo much fun!
I can’t believe I nabbed the last two spots! You’ll read about it here soon enough 😉