The Abbey Inn and Spa, Peekskill NY: A True Sanctuary

The Abbey Inn & Spa

Atop Fort Hill in Peekskill NY, overlooking the fabled Hudson River, the castle-like Abbey Inn and Spa was built in 1902. For nuns. Yes, these glorious structures belonged to a religious order – the Episcopalian Sisters of St. Mary – housing habited women sworn to a life of austerity and service to God.

The Abbey Inn and Spa exterior shot, Peekskill NY

By 2003, the abbey was closed and new owner, Martin Ginsburg, spent over a decade repurposing the compound into something for a very different clientele: romantic luxury hotel guests and wedding parties. 

Hudson River and pergola from entrance to Abbey Inn and Spa Peekskill NY

Opened in March of 2020 (phew, a very tough time), The Abbey Inn & Spa caters to the affluent traveler (or to those who save up for a splurge). It has obviously strayed from its austere origins, with expansive rooms sporting upscale furnishings, modern amenities, and an in-house spa.  (Among the demands of a convent, it’s doubtful the Sisters were rewarded with saunas, massages, facials, and dermabrasion treatments).

Abbey Inn and Spa gardens from above

With Hudson River views, exclusive hilltop locale, and stunning rooms, it’s no wonder that The Abbey Inn & Spa has quickly become the place for weddings and other soirees.

Want to explore the area? Croton-On-Hudson is a mere 10 minute drive south, and  West Point and Bear Mountain are close by to the north.

The Abbey Inn is one of the Getaway Maven’s recommended Best Places to Propose in New York State.

Blue neon light art juxtaposed with contemporary painting at Abbey Inn and Spa NY

First Impressions of The Abbey Inn & Spa

Open the door to the Inn and the décor is quite a jolt. In a good way. A total contrast to the church-like exterior, guests are faced with contemporary artwork – one, an eye-popping blue glowing neon piece in a small vestibule leading to the reception area. In fact, modern art, sculptures, and photos are scattered throughout the inn.

Reception area Abbey Inn and Spa with stone walls and art Abbey Inn and Spa

Check-in is intimate and friendly. The small desk is located in a stone walled room, with more art, comfy seating – and a glass case filled with items unearthed during the abbey’s renovation.

Some relics date back to the Revolutionary War. Fort Hill was a key American lookout post during our War of Independence, as it was a high promontory overlooking the River in the Hudson Highlands.

Rocking chairs overlooking Hudson River on Sunset Porch Abbey Inn NY

Even before walking in, you’ll have a good sense of this mesmerizing view from the circular drive outside the front door of the hotel. But, to take it all in, sit in one of the rocking chairs lined up along windows in the enclosed Sunset Porch, right off the reception room.

Afternoon tea and cookies Abbey Inn and Spa NY

From 4-6pm you’ll find tea and cookies, and coffee in the morning, each day. Those are prime times for just sitting, sipping, and watching the action along the Hudson River.

Sculpture at end of hallway, the Abbey Inn and Spa NY

The vibe throughout the property seems timeless and contemporary at the same time – tough to pull off, but “apropos” for this lodging.

Ballroom in former chapel Abbey Inn and Spa Peekskill NY

Common Rooms and Gardens

Guest rooms are vast improvements on the originals. In other cases, such as the Cornerstone Room, Ginsburg reverently kept the integrity of the abbey intact.

Enclosed walkway from inn to ballroom/church at Abbey Inn and Spa NY

Meander from the hotel building to the massive chapel/event ballroom through an enclosed glass and stone walkway, with views into a small English Garden.

Water spraying dragon in Abbey Inn and Spa garden

The Garden feels snug and cozy in relation to the grand structures. It’s made even more interesting with unique fountain and other sculptures.

Hand painted Cornerstone Room Abbey Inn and Spa NY

But whatever you do, don’t miss a peak into the 2nd floor Cornerstone Room in the hotel building: once the nun’s private chapel. One astoundingly talented Nun, Sister Mary Veronica, hand painted the religious artwork on all walls and ceiling. These beautiful panels have been conserved (some restored) in testament to those who once lived and worshiped here.

Apropos Restaurant

As a destination restaurant, Apropos ratchets up the dining level in Peekskill and the surrounding area. The Hudson River Valley is known for its indie farms, and chefs take full advantage of the region’s bounty.

Bar at Abbey Inn and Spa NY

You can choose to dine in a light, windowed room (of course, overlooking the Hudson), in a darker, clubby space mostly desired in the wintertime, or at the lovely bar, where you can watch bartenders concoct signature craft cocktails.

In all cases, the food is mighty good: especially the pasta dishes, which seem to come directly from the hands and hearts of Italian Nonnas. 

Dinner at Apropos, Abbey Inn and Spa Peekskill NY

Although most menu items are seasonal, the Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Pesto ($24), is a permanent home run. Portions are Goldilocks perfect – not too small, not too big, so as not to waste a precious drop. I also wolfed down the incredibly toothsome white asparagus appetizer, this time made Au Gratin ($14). Bathed in melted Morbier Cheese and Sherry, it was a definite reminder of Spring.

Guest Room at Abbey Inn & Spa Peekskill NY

Guest Rooms

Guest rooms are soothing and bright, in shades of sand and putty. Contemporary-handsome furnishings feature touches of leather (ottoman table, bed backboard) and soft textiles (seating). With hardwood floors in the bedrooms, and decorative tiled floors in the bathroom, the effect isn’t extravagant so much as elegantly, but not harshly, modern.

Hudson River view from guest room at Abbey Inn and Spa NY

Ask for a room with Hudson River views.  Even in dreary weather, it’s a treat to look out over the dreamlike hills and waterway captured in early American art (the Hudson River School of Art), and books (Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow).

Art everywhere at the Abbey Inn & Spa Peekskill NY

Just the Facts

Guest rooms start at $429 per night include parking, 2 bottles of water, use of fire-pit, fitness center, whirlpool, dry sauna, wifi, afternoon tea and cookies, morning coffee. Romantic Getaway Package includes overnight stay, bottle of champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries on arrival, and breakfast for two in Apropos. From $542 per night.

(The Abbey Inn & Spa was included on Getaway Mavens Best Romantic Hotels in the Northeast US 2022 list.)

Abbey Inn and Spa Review pin


  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine,, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.