The Skylands Manor has a weathered stone façade and medieval architecture; it’d be easy to picture it built several centuries ago in a far-flung European city and somehow transported to the northern Appalachian Mountains. The building was actually constructed in the 1920s, but its anachronistic design—including arched doorways, a cross-gabled roof, and some Tudor Revival touches—gives the manor a certain fairy-tale charm. It helps that the castle stands amid 1,000 acres of manicured gardens and woodlands.
Gerald and Robert Frungillo of Frungillo Caterers run Skylands Manor and are no strangers to bringing fantasies to life. The brothers are renowned for catering elaborate weddings that fulfill every one of the brides’ desires, whether that means flying in specific candies from the Dominican Republic or resurrecting Mendelssohn to play the wedding march. The Frungillos even had their own TLC reality show, Masters of Reception, and they've worked with celebrities such as Alec Baldwin and James Gandolfini.
The brothers attention to detail can be seen throughout the manor. The castle's Family Chateau rooms, Gatsby rooms, Knight rooms, and Queen Antoinette and King Alfred suites are opulently appointed with chandeliers, gold-leaf moulding, and built-in armoires. The sumptuous, royal-red furnishings in other chambers fall in line with the estate's baronial vibe. Large windows look out on the grounds, which encompass a lakeside chapel and a tree-lined orchard. The same attention to detail found in the guest rooms is also on display in the common areas, which include a dining room graced by a carved oak mantel. Inquire at the front desk about guided tours of the grounds and manor, where you can learn about the history and architecture of the place.
Highlights of Ringwood, NJ
Why visit: The highland town of Ringwood is a short day trip from New York City (just 39 miles away) in the Ramapo Mountains—a region filled with lakes, forests, and other natural attractions.