The Hotel Fauchere is the sort of establishment that says more with a suggestion than many places do with intensive historic reproduction. Like an heirloom lavaliere in a curiosity shop jewel box, the Hotel Fauchere waits to be discovered by those who truly appreciate it.
Back in the late 1890s, the famed Swiss chef Louis Fauchere left Manhattan’s legendary Delmonico’s restaurant to serve the elite crowds that summered along the Delaware River. Milford, Pennsylvania was a favorite destination of the French expatriate community, and it was there that Fauchere built his own diminutive hotel among the hundreds of larger resorts that crowded the area.
His handiwork was of such legendary quality that his hotel outlasted them all. It remained in the hands of his family until 1976, when the area fell on times too hard to support it. But in recent years, with the rebirth of the Upper Delaware River Valley as a resort destination, the hotel has found new life in the hands of new owners under the auspices of Relais & Châteaux.
Walking up the steps to the wide columned porch, you’d never guess that this space has been anything but what it is. Strains of francophone cabaret music accompany you from the daffodil-yellow foyer up to the champagne-hued guest rooms and back down to the pearlescent sun-dappled breakfast nook. Paintings by Hudson Valley School artists line the walls. Luxuriant nosegays in monochromatic arrangements invite a pause for aesthetic reverie.
Owner Sean Strub has selected just the right notes of Belle Epoque detail to keep the hotel grounded in its historic pedigree but not fussy, formal but relaxed. Period-perfect patterns in the wallpaper are presented in serene neutral hues, muted by the glossy depth of the wooden accents.
Footsteps resound on the hallway’s marble tiles with a little more depth. You might find yourself moving with unwonted deliberate elegance, as if you were trailing a full skirt or a frock coat behind you. Stare down one of the corridors at the right time of day, when the afternoon light begins turning blue, and you can easily imagine the graceful ghosts of past eras wishing you as pleasant a stay as they once enjoyed.
The bed is a marvel of deep goose down. The bathroom is a columnar cave of Italian marble with double rainfall shower heads and a heated floor of Pennsylvania blue stone. Throughout the day, Nespresso coffee and Acqua Panna water are replenished; at night, we find to our delight that a telephone buzz brings fresh cookies, milk and a bedtime story printed on creamy cardstock.
This being a Relais & Châteaux affiliate, the hotel’s entire sensibility is built around excellence in food. Our high expectations were completely overwhelmed by chef de cuisine Scott Myers’ unparalleled continental breakfast. Bruléed grapefruit, crisp scones, and homemade yogurt flecked with vanilla bean kept us talking all day and sent us early to bed in eagerness to repeat the experience.
The charms of Milford are mainly bucolic – trails along the Delaware River and up into the mountains, national parks and historic sites, and a slew of arts festivals during the summer – making it a perfect place to rejuvenate at a leisurely pace. The Hotel Fauchere makes it extra easy to savor the slow-down, with a bakery and café just next door to keep you sustained throughout the day. Upstairs, a thoroughly modern conference space combines the airy historic elegance of the hotel with up-to-the-minute technology and amenities.
A revived grand dame in the charming Catskill village of Milford, the Hotel Fauchere will transport you to a bygone era when elegance was comme il faut. Elegant, ethereal and exquisite, this boutique hotel is the rare destination that you’ll want to keep a closely guarded secret. It’s up to you whether to enjoy in blissful solitude, or in the company of those with taste to match your own.
Hotel Fauchere, 401 Broad Street, Milford, Pike County, PA 18337
Tel: +1(570) 409-1212
The hotel is located in the heart of the Delaware River Highlands, along the Upper Deleware River. Milford is located 20 miles west of Middletown in New York State, 50 miles east of Scranton and 75 miles from New York City. You can take a Metro-North train from Penn Station in NYC to Port Jarvis, which takes about 2-3 hours depending on which train you take.
Type of Hotel: Boutique Hotel
Number of Rooms: 16 guestrooms and complimentary Wi-Fi
Price Band: Medium to High
Insider Tip: Planning your visit to the Hotel Fauchere around a holiday usually means an opportunity to enjoy a special prix fixe menu from Chef Scott Myers. Springtime is an especially good moment to savor local flavors, both foraged and cultivated.
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
The Connoisseurs are Chelsea Batten and Bryan Thompson, two global travel writers based in The United States. Find them at TheConnoisseurs.us
Photographs courtesy of Hotel Fauchere