The Catskill Mountains, recently rediscovered by New Yorkers with a thirst for the country life, have a host of funky staying places—some mod, some rustic—that dabble in weddings. But until recently, the area didn’t have much in the way of authentic elegance. Enter Spillian, former estate of the Fleischmanns Yeast family and now an inn, retreat center, and full-service estate for small weddings.
Its new owners have updated the essentials (plumbing, electricity) while filling the rooms with museum-quality antiques and hiring a crackerjack staff. In addition to eight highly individual guest rooms—some outfitted with tapestries, others with Persian carpets, one with a camel—the 1880’s Stick-style mansion shelters a dining room that fans of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast swear is a replica of the movie’s grand dining hall, complete with gleaming table and massive chandeliers. Outside are 33 acres in which to stage your ceremony—there are small meadows and a mature hemlock grove adjacent to the main house, plus a yawning front porch. In winter, two fireplaces on the main floor provide warmth and welcome.
This is a rare Catskill case of one-stop wedding shopping: One of the owners, Leigh Melander, is a wedding officiant, and in addition to boasting a full kitchen and liquor license (they’ll do a custom beer, wine, or spirit menu for you), Spillian offers an antique Steinway and a concert grand harp for your musicians, and state-of-the-art equipment for playing that “story-of-us” video during the reception.
While Spillian’s owners claim they can whip a wedding into shape in just a couple of months, we suggest reserving the place as soon as you start flashing that diamond. A spot this special isn’t going to fly under the wedding radar for long.