When Richard Gere went looking for a nice place to enjoy his horsies on an afternoon, he stumbled on Bedford, New York. The village’s proximity to New York City, its genial, upscale population, and acres of open land, make it irresistible to equestrians. After spending time there, Gere and his wife Carey Lowell decided to open their version of the good life to the public. Their hotel, The Bedford Post Inn, has become a local institution, hosting holiday parties, weekend getaways, and weddings, as well as something as simple as a great Sunday brunch. They’ve brought on significant new staff within the last year or so, including executive chef Jeremy McMillan, who loves partnering with local farmers to stock his pantry, and general manager Oscar Henquet, who’s bringing his background in hotels like the St. Regis and the Four Seasons, and restaurants including The Monkey Bar and Rouge Tomate, to a much more intimate scale. Just two months into the job, we checked in with Henquet to get his first impressions of his new property:
How would you characterize the overall feel of your property?
Luxurious Relais & Chateaux property set in a wooded area in the heart of Westchester, under an hour away from Manhattan.
What are some of its unique design features?
It’s a unique historic property that dates back to the 1860s. Carey Lowell and Tiffany Vassilakis did all the interior design and have created a magnificent property. Most rooms have working fireplaces, all original wooden beams are visible, and some rooms have beautiful terraces overlooking the property.
What’s the best dish on the menu?
Fagotelli with fontina fonduta, chestnuts and shaved truffle.
Which room or suite is your favorite, and why?
Room 7 is my favorite. It’s very spacious, lots of daylight, California King bed, overlooking the woods.
What’s a special amenity or service guests should be aware of?
Guests who stay with us at the Inn receive complimentary yoga classes. We also offer in-room spa treatments. And we wake you up in the morning (at a requested time) by knocking on your door with with French-pressed coffee and some delicious breakfast treats.
Where do you send guests for a great excursion from the hotel?
We send guests to the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation for hiking, and the Yellow Monkey Village in Cross River is great for antique shops.
What’s the best neighborhood to shop in your city?
Local shopping is best in the village of Katonah or in Chappaqua. Greenwich is nearby as well.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen happen at the hotel during your time there?
So far every day has been special at Bedford Post. The unexpected snowstorm in late October that cut us off from the outside world for brief a moment created a magical picture. Since we have a working generator we quickly became a safe haven not only for our inn guests but also for the local community. It was amazing to see it all come together. Recently we had a guest who flew in the famous Troisgros family for a special event to cook alongside our chef Jeremy McMillan, which was a special moment for all of us at the property. And then there are the endless guest stories, but their stories are safe with us, as that will make them come back time after time again.