Dreams of rustic elegance drew wealthy vacationers to Upstate New York in the latter half of the 19th century. Luxurious lodges sprang up as summer destinations and winter retreats around lakes and rivers, such as Lake George and the St. Lawrence River. Many of the romantic hotels scattered throughout this region still capture the spirit of this “great camps” era, offering opulent accommodations nestled into wilderness areas.
The Sagamore Resort on Lake George
An upscale hotel situated on a private island off Bolton Landing, the Sagamore Resort on Lake George offers luxurious lodging in the heart of the Adirondacks. The hotel first opened in 1883 as an exclusive upstate escape, and today claims a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. You may see celebrities and international figures relaxing on the expansive decks or at the Boathouse, a lake front bar. Begin your day with a romantic balloon ride or riverboat cruise across Lake George, stroll through history at nearby Fort William Henry and then rejuvenate with a couples treatment at The Sagamore Spa. Enjoy a sunset dinner at the Lake House before retiring to the elegant comfort of your own suite.
The Queensbury Hotel
Enjoy gentle sophistication at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls, located a few miles from Lake George and the Adirondack Mountains. A five-story redbrick dating from the 1920s, the Queensbury Hotel evokes romantic bygone eras with ivy-covered walls and lace-curtained windows. Spend your day wandering through downtown boutiques and lunching at one of the streetside cafes before exploring the acclaimed art collections of the Hyde Museum Complex and Historic House. Relax later with a massage at the hotel’s spa or a dip in the skylight-illuminated indoor pool. Wrap the day with a cozy dinner and a romantic nightcap of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries at on-site Fenimore’s Tavern.
Nestled into the Adirondack Mountains, The Point affords eclectic yet elegant accommodations inspired by the Great Adirondack Camp era. The hotel’s guest rooms tempt with expansive views of Upper Saranac Lake, custom-made and antique furniture, stone fireplaces and private decks. Reserve the Boathouse, a honeymooner’s favorite, and watch the sun rise from your wraparound deck. During summer months, enjoy waterskiing or swimming on the lake and hiking along the trails of nearby Ampersand Mountain. After winter has set in, strap on skis or skates and take to the snow-covered lake. Unwind with a Swedish couples massage in your guest room, and then savor family-style dining fireside at the hotel’s restaurant.
The Madalin Hotel
Located in the heart of Tivoli in the Hudson River Valley, the tiny Madalin Hotel charms with a romantic wraparound porch and Eastlake Period antique furnishings. The three-story hotel dates back to the turn of the century, and offers 11 spacious and tastefully outfitted rooms to guests. Spend your day antiquing at one of the many shops and galleries lining Warren Street in nearby Hudson, and explore the Shaker Museum and Library for a glimpse into the region’s history. Cozy up for drinks at the hotel’s 19-foot bar, or relax on the porch for dinner, sampling delicacies such as stuffed rainbow trout and buttermilk-fried chicken.
- GORP Parks and Outdoors: An Upstate State of Mind
- “Fodor’s New York State”; Fodor’s; 2005
- “Frommer’s New York State”; Neil Edward Schlecht, Brian Silverman, Kerry Acker, Tom Gavin; 2009
- Pond in Old Forge image by TamaraTK from Fotolia.com