Embedded in the breath-taking landscape of the Catskill Mountains, the Emerson Resort and Spa is a hidden treasure located just two hours away from the city of Manhattan, USA. With the recent renovations to the resort, the interior designers, CAMA Inc. worked closely with the owners to create a biophilic space that borrows greatly from the surrounding natural landscape of the Catskill Park.
By interviewing a lot of the staff and people who used the space, we realized that the best feature about the Emerson is its location; right next to the creek, nature , the shadows of the mountain and beautiful sunlight coming through – Ed Bottomley, CAMA Inc.
In order to relate the indoors to the outdoors, the designer’s approach was to utilize materials, patterns, textures, lighting and a well curated art collection that alluded to nature. The first thing that meets the eye, as one walks into the entrance lobby, is a 3–panelled custom artwork of the Esopus River that passes right behind the resort. Use of artworks that portrays the nature of the Catskill region is a recurring theme throughout the interior.
The hallway leading towards the spa is lined with a long, vibrant mural depicting the historical natural development of that locality.
The intricately designed entryway into the spa leads to a central rotunda which is flanked by the treatment rooms to the sides. A centrally placed sculptural vessel with a lighting fixture at the top acts as a focal point within this transition space.
The spa floor finish consists of a carpet mimicking traditional tatami straw mats and river stone. The use of the river rocks was in a bid to create a link between the interior spaces and the nearby Esopus River.
LED strip lighting runs across the length of the walls, above which the designers applied textured wallpaper so as to mimic the shimmer of birch bark. At the end of the corridor, is a large lighted etched glass with a silhouette of locally found Dogwood flowers. Moreover, lighting designer, Michael Stiller, was commissioned to make the decorative light selections to make the space seem visually warm.
Another nature inspired detail is the remarkable canopy of LED lighting at the Woodnotes Restaurant that has been designed to resemble the dappled light effects created by sunlight peeping through the tree leaves. The large windows open the restaurant up to the stunning views during the day and lets in sunlight to brighten previously dark areas.