The Adirondacks has become a favorite place for my family and I to visit. A few times we’ve bitten the bullet and driven the 5.5 hours there on a Friday afternoon, just to get as far away as we could from the hustle and bustle of the city. Even the little ones look forward to the escapes to the mountains and have enjoyed our few trips out to places like Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. And the area has been a huge draw for many other families looking to escape as well.
It is a favorite retreat for ski bunnies and snow loving families during the Winter months. But it is equally fun and beautiful to visit during the warmer months as well. This past weekend my family and I visited one of the most popular resorts in the Lake Placid area, Whiteface Lodge.
Whiteface Mountain, best known by city dwellers as being one of the best ski destinations in New York state, is the namesake for this luxury resort. Recognized as a Top Ski Resort and Lodging by About.com, as well as named Best Hotel by Region-US by Travel and Leisure, Whiteface appeals to the desires of those seeking refuge in nature while still being able to enjoy the access and comforts of home. A very luxurious home.
From the moment you drive your vehicle up to the main entrance you are enveloped with the experience of a courteous and gracious staff, as well as great service.
We arrived late to the lodge, and a bit tired. However upon entering our 2-story, 3BR Suite, we felt a tad bit more energized. The little ones so much so that they immediately stripped off their clothes and jumped in the jacuzzi in (you guessed it) the Master bedroom. I realized I had walked into this amazing place, romantic even, and had an amazing room, including king size bed, LCD television, walk-in closet, with sounds of owls and other birds chirping in the night coming through one of the many windows, and my own personal bathroom–ridden with kids in seconds.
We immediately devoured the complimentary cheese and fruit platter left for us (as well as some of the chocolate chips cookies left for guests at time of fold down). The boys all fell asleep right away, however I stood awake in awe of the sounds of nature.
And we were surrounded by it. From Kanu Lounge, where we sat to enjoy our breakfast buffet, you could see Whiteface Mountain. From our suite balcony you could see the many Adirondack mountains and trees, as well as the small pond where kids line-up for catch and release. All around you is this amazing, peaceful woodland setting, the likes from which paintings and poems are inspired. The original owner purchased the wooded land, cleared if for development, and reused all of the lumber to build the resort. Many local artisans and craftsman were hired (and are still recruited) to continue on with the inspiration of the natural resources of the Adirondacks as a base. And not only do you see it, but you smell it as well. The natural smell of mahogany and cedar is everywhere you turn, giving you a real sense of your surroundings, even when inside.
Buying local is important to the resort. The vegetables, meats, cheeses, and other treats are all purchased locally, many from the local farmers’ market that takes place in the area every Wednesday. The freshness and quality of the products they use is so evident in the tastes of their foods. I had the best rib-eye I have had in a long, long time…and their baked goods are truly delicious, made every morning right on site. Dinner is a gourmet experience, one for which reservations are required.
The little ones took part in the activities offered by Kamp Kanu, which aims to reconnect children with nature and with skill-building strategies. My kids loved it. They kept them busy and active, and even though it was just for 2 hours, my little boys really seemed to enjoy their time there and were excited to go back the next day. We took that time to explore another wonderful amenity available to guests: Canoe Club.
Canoe Club is located off the main lodge area, available by complimentary shuttle service only a short drive away. It is the Lodge’s exclusive lakefront property and offers many activities, including kayaking, canoeing, swimming, badminton, bocce ball, croquet, and rentals of boats for couples or larger groups to take around the lake. They also offer grilled and BBQ meals.
The scenic surroundings of the resort made me wonder about the many beautiful weddings and celebrations that can be had there. At the time of my visit, much of the remainder of this calendar year was already booked with events. Those looking to host say a wedding or a conference event at the Lodge have their choice of beautiful settings and great options, but must consider booking at least a year in advance. If you are hoping to enjoy many of the winter activities that also take place at the Lodge, you might want to consider reserving your stay by the end of the Summer the latest.
It rained most of the time we were there, but we had an amazing stay. Though most of their outdoor activities are definitely fun (tennis, basketball, hiking, etc.), the inside activities kept us equally busy. Their 56-seat movie theater hosts family-friendly movies at no extra cost throughout the day. The game room offers a pool table, shuffleboard, air hockey, and more, including a two-lane bowling alley!
The kids loved the ice cream parlor, while hubby and I thought their spa was just amazing.
But when the rain died down, and the sun came out, we went for a swim, enjoyed the hot tub, and then took part in their nightly gathering over the campfire for s’mores. Here we met other families, with little kids and babies, as well as older couples enjoying a romantic getaway.
When considering the cost of the stay, also note that the Lodge offers varying levels of Resort credits depending on the length of stay. Called the “Customized with Credits” program, the package offers credits that encourage and assist in enjoying the various services at the Lodge. So for example, guests who book a Superior one-bedroom for one night received $50 credit, two nights $150 credit, and three nights secures a $300 credit. These can then be used towards dining, beverages, spa treatments, and.or ice cream treats on site.
Also, suites come with full service kitchenettes which include stove, oven, fridge, pots, pans, utensils, etc., as well as washer for laundry (there is also a laundry room located at the lower level of the Lodge which washer and dryers).
By the time we left, we felt renewed in spirit and mind. Our family had come together more than once in conversation, whether it was about the fun had at camp or kayaking, or over a hearty breakfast at the start of our days. My husband and I bonded as a couple, and are ready to take on parenthood in the big city.