Stargazing and relaxing at the Bedford Post Inn

A view of the outdoor dining patio of

A view of the outdoor dining patio of Bedford Post Inn, which is owned by Richard Gere, Carey Lowell and Russell Hernandez. The inn offers accommodations in a rural setting just an hour's drive from New York City. (Credit: Bedford Post Inn)

Celebrities are a dime a dozen in Bedford, where the Clintons, Martha Stewart and Ralph Lauren own homes — but a luxury inn is a rare find. Until recently, unless you could score a guest room in a boldfaced name's manse in this whitewashed, historic town, there really wasn't anywhere to stay overnight.

That changed with the eight-room Bedford Post Inn, which also happens to be owned by a celebrity couple — Richard Gere and Carey Lowell — who took a dilapidated farmhouse and turned it into a Relais & Chateaux hideaway.

Questions abound: Do guests get to interact with Gere, of "Pretty Woman" fame? Or catch a glimpse of "Law & Order" star Lowell? Well, the couple calls Bedford home, so there's always a chance ...

Intent to try my luck, I booked an overnight getaway with my husband, Jeff.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

We pulled up to The Bedford Post Inn complex, a pale yellow farmhouse that houses guest rooms, the Farmhouse Restaurant and an abutting house that includes a casual dining cafe (The Barn) and a large yoga studio.

I didn't expect to see Gere clearing brush outside, but once inside, I kept an eye out for the movie star.

A capable concierge took us up to our room, the Queen Deluxe ($495 plus tax), which had a high ceiling, serene decor and lots of rustic wood. The gray marble bathroom, nearly as large as the bedroom itself, featured a shower big enough for a couple to dance in and an antique claw-foot tub. Even the custom organic toiletries (a brand named Sponge) worked the woodsy palette.

AFTERNOON EXTRAS

Wine and appetizers are set out on weekends from 4 to 5 p.m. We had free rein over bottles of Oregon red and white, served with a plate of lip-smacking mushroom pate crostini in a small parlor. I skimmed a magazine that announced Richard Gere's appointment as "Ambassador" for the Relais & Chateaux Hotel group. Exactly what does a name-brand hotel Ambassador do? No sign of Gere, so I wasn't able to ask him.

I had called ahead with a challenge for the chef of the highly rated (and pricey) Farmhouse Restaurant: Jeff is a gluten-free vegan. "No problem," I was told.

I paced myself through a varied and toothsome five-course tasting menu ($75, with $10 from the tasting menu donated to a different charity each month), and Jeff was pleased with his gluten-free pasta and mushroom dish.

Several other tables were occupied, so it took me a while to realize that a party of eight at the central table included none other than the Inn's owners -- a blue jeans-clad Gere, Lowell and their business partner, Russell Hernandez, out for a Sunday evening meal with their children.

While leaving, the silver-maned and bespectacled Gere flashed us a mesmerizing smile and broad wave. "He's one good-looking guy," said Jeff. I had to agree.

IN THE MORNING

The artisanal croissants, scones and muffins offered in The Barn Cafe were drool-inducing (and included with room), but I opted for the hearty farm breakfast and cleaned my plate by the heat of a blazing fireplace.

That wasn't the best choice before taking an advanced yoga class (also complimentary with the room).

"Just do what you can," advised manager Rebecca Jacobs, handing me a mat. The instructor, Courtney, was gamely forgiving of my ineptitude. Had I known that inn-owner and former Bond Girl ("License to Kill") Lowell was doing the Downward Dog right behind me, I might have felt more intimidated -- but the group of mostly local, lithe women was welcoming. Afterward, I introduced myself to Lowell as a guest of the inn.

"How was it?" she asked, genuinely interested. My brush with fame was complete.

WORTH IT?

If your sole intention for staying at the inn is to interact with -- or just spy on -- its famous owners, you may be disappointed. But if you are looking for a romantic hideaway long on style, short on drama, with the possibility of bumping into a celeb or two, then it's worth the $650-plus (for room and dinner for two) that you'll end up spending as a guest in this special place.

IF YOU GO

BEDFORD POST INN: 954 Old Post Rd., Bedford, 914-234-7800, bedfordpostinn.com

RATES: $395-$650 a night, includes afternoon wine and cheese on weekends, breakfast and yoga class.

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