Mirbeau Inn & Spa Beacon
Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Beacon, New York
The Mirbeau Inn & Spa Beacon will have a very residential, rather than commercial, feeling and will be patterned after a large French country estate in the Loire Valley. It will be introspective in character, with activities in the spa, a fine dining restaurant, gardens and estate-like grounds inspired by Henry Winthrop Sargent that will offer guests a balance to the hectic modern lifestyle. The distinctive building style will marry the Gothic Revival architecture of the existing historic mansion with the Mirbeau brand aesthetic of a romantic French country manor house and will feature the signature Mirbeau Pond Gardens, patterned after the Monet Pond Gardens, at Giverny outside of Paris.
As with the four current Mirbeau locations, the vision for the Mirbeau Inn & Spa Beacon is to become a significant resource for the residents of the community and the surrounding regional area. While new construction of the Spa Mirbeau will be the emotional heart of the property, the proposed restoration of the 1859 Howland Estate mansion and 1872 Hunt Music Room along with Henry Winthrop Sargent’s landscape stewardship and development of “Monet Gardens,” exceptionally appointed “Château” guest rooms and “Grotto” suites will offer guests truly unique experiences. A former estate gatehouse, the Dr. Bennet Cottage will be restored as an outdoor event catering venue with guest amenities which will further provide for views of the Howland Mansion, exceptional Sargent weeping hemlock tree, and sweeping estate lawn.
Project Architecture Specifics – Initial Phase
The Mirbeau Inn & Spa Beacon project is part of an approximately 64-acre site master plan that includes four distinct buildings in its first Phase: the Howland Mansion; the Mansion Addition; the Spa Château; and the Dr. Bennet Cottage.
The original historic Howland Mansion is a building of significance – designed by architect Frederick Clarke Withers circa 1859 with a unique pipe-organ music room addition by architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1872. The Mansion will be thoughtfully rehabilitated while brought to 21st century building standards. The initial project scope includes demolition of the two 1970s era buildings attached to the historic Mansion – a prior cafeteria and mechanical spaces at the north-west and the former two-level multi-room Craig House sanitarium facility with an enclosed walkway to the south. The Mansion total area is 18,759 square feet. At the lower and ground-levels, the Mirbeau Inn & Spa Howland Mansion program incorporates hotel guest services, food & beverage venues and required back-of-house, and corporate offices and a meeting room. Guest suites will be on levels two and three.
The Mansion Addition will reconstruct the former at-grade rear porch while it connects to the historic Mansion and adjacent new Spa Château building at both ground and lower, garden levels. The program includes the new grade-level enclosed porch, glass conservatory restaurant and kitchen, a function room, and vertical circulation in 5,445 square feet. At the lower level, the Mansion Addition consists of eight “Grotto” guest suites, a private wine tasting room, food & beverage support, storage, vertical circulation, and mechanical spaces. Buried at the garden-level, the “Grotto” suites are integrated within the landscape with fully vegetated roofs with direct Monet Pond Garden access. The total lower garden level area is 12,808 square feet.
The Spa Château building has a full-service garden-level health spa with women’s and men’s locker rooms, changing rooms, showers, steam rooms, and sauna; massage and facial treatment rooms; nail salon; state-of-the art fitness center with private and group fitness programs; interior and exterior terrace resting areas; staff support, storage, and mechanical space. The spa will include an exterior Mirbeau Aqua Terrace with heated whirlpools and lounging areas that overlooks the scenic vista of the property. The spa total square footage is 25,168 and the design strives to blur the exterior with the landscape to create a natural and harmonious foreground to the historic Mansion.
The Dr. Bennet Cottage is notable for its position at the estate entry as well as for architectural revival style elements which include the cross-gabled roof and dormers, 4/4 and 6/6 true-divided lite casement windows, and bracketed canopy entrance. The Mirbeau renovation will include interior alterations and a single-story, scale-appropriate amenity addition to the west side of the building which will provide accessible building access respectful of natural site slope for staff access to and from the catering kitchen, and guest restroom amenities with access to and from the outdoor event venue lawn.
Above the spa there are three levels of guest rooms which step-down in building scale and mass to appreciate the Mansion context. The guest rooms vary in offering per level with double-Queen, King, and suite rooms, common areas, vertical circulation, and support services on each floor. Level-one has a total of 15,969 square feet; level-two is 16,041 square feet; and there is a total of 9,910 square feet on level three.
The Mirbeau Inn & Spa Beacon project plans additional developments in the future, adapting and reusing the two other historic buildings on the property, bringing back micro-farming elements historically present on the property, as well as longer-term rental cottages in select areas of the sprawling estate.
Tioronda School Event Facility and Pond Recreation Area: The entire west side of the property found at the bottom of the steep slope and along the Fishkill Creek will be planned to accommodate a wellness and outdoor recreation center to be used by the resort guests. This will include trails, tennis games, sitting areas with views of the Fishkill creek and the re-use of the former Tioronda School.
Resort Farm: A passive, resort-servicing micro-farm will be constructed at the Southeast corner of the Premises along Grandview Ave. This will include lavender and spice fields and production of on-site farm to table products. The proposed future farm area is shown on the accompanying site plan drawings.
Resort Rental Cottages: The 6.5 acre parcel delineated on the site plan will be subdivided from the Premises for future related development by an affiliated entity, and will have a density limited to a maximum of fifteen (15) resort-related rental cottages, with two (2) to three (3) bedrooms in each cottage.
The proposed Mirbeau Inn & Spa Beacon at the former Howland Estate will restore the Mansion building and landscape of historic importance to the community by providing unique opportunities for the use and enjoyment of these recognized resources.