At this time of year as days get longer and the thermometer climbs higher, one might imagine the perfect day would include planing across an immense sapphire hued lake in a classic wooden boat. My recent visit to The Point Resort on Upper Saranac Lake provided several leisurely afternoons cocooned in a cozy corner of a classic mahogany Hacker-Craft. The timeless design of this traditional boat is indicative of the panache and polish of The Point Resort.
The Point, in Upper New York State, was designed and built for William Avery Rockefeller, a nephew of the tycoon. Situated amidst a pine forest on a peninsula jutting into Saranac Lake, it’s in the distinctive style of a private luxurious Adirondack Great Camp. In the early 19th Century, wealthy industrialists, the well-known families of this era, Vanderbilt’s and Astor’s, Guggenheim’s and Rockefeller’s built their summer Camps tucked into the tree line along this scenic lake. Log cabin mansions built of native timber and stone replaced their city mansions, truly ‘roughing’ it in rustic chic luxurious wilderness camps. Families would arrive to retreat for the summer and many still do to this day. The great Adirondack Park is a summer and winter paradise, a six-million-acre wilderness spreading from upstate New York all the way into Canada, a vast forest dotted with stunning lakes.
If you lack a perfectly outfitted Adirondack Camp, the only Forbes five star resort in upstate New York, is the picture-perfect solution for a decadent countryside escape. The ruggedly luxurious – this is an up-country resort in which two differing descriptions can be used to describe the eleven-room resort – the rooms are spread out between the main log-cabin mansion and several stand-alone cottages. Each room has a massive stone fireplace, lake views, hand built beds and private luxurious baths. Decorated with many original to the home, fine antiques, rustic log and twig furniture, 19th century oil paintings, rich fabrics, bookshelves stacked with reading material, honestly every comfort has been carefully defined. A fully inclusive resort, one should diet before arrival as No is not in the staff vocabulary. Fully stocked bars are scattered across the property, in the great room, along a trail, at the splendid boathouse, near the bonfire pit, tucked into a massive log… one will not die of thirst.
Enticed yet? We haven’t even discussed the gorgeous lake, and the beautiful mahogany boats for your pleasure. Several run about classic wooden electric boats with canopies are for guest use. Knowing my cell phone had limited coverage and not trusting my complete lack of direction on land, let alone a lake, I opted for lake cruising only with Captain Dion in the 12 passenger great power boat. Plus the ice bucket brimming with Champers would certainly have created additional navigation difficulty. Captain Dion is the local expert, pointing out the old guard Great Camps of the Robber Barons, tucked into the pine coves, you might actually just view the handsome ‘garages’ used to house the summer boats.
Although The Point is a summer and winter resort, due to the size of the lake, you are unlikely to encounter much traffic. Summer activities swim, fish, canoe, and water ski, or merely explore the lake in one of the resort’s swanky teak electric inboard boats. In winter, the rates include a variety of activities such as curling on the lake with a full ice bar and bonfire, outdoor snow barbecues each Saturday.
There is a genteel casualness at The Resort – in that doors don’t have locks and there is a no-tipping policy; however, refined customs are observed, as in the grand dinner served at eight pm, cocktails always precede, of course; change attire or not for the after dinner bon-fire up on the hill with a lake view. True to my must do everything when I perform site inspections, lit by moonlight, I traversed the rocky path up the hill to a roaring fire after dinner for S’mores. You might imagine a Gatsbyesque atmosphere. We, of course, didn’t refuse cognac, made successful attempts with the S’mores, but declined the baskets of truffle fries and truffle popcorn…well, maybe one nibble…but really – unfailing hospitality and beyond generous meals, it never ends here! The ever-gracious staff is extremely willing to please and is constantly offering drinks and endless delicious snacks before you even ask – they are mind readers!
On most nights, a jacket and tie is suggested attire for men for dinner. Ladies, glam up, you won’t be the only one who prefers to dress for dinner! On Saturday and Wednesday nights, regardless of the season, formal attire is de rigueur, black tie!
There isn’t a gym on property, however if you ask for workout equipment, it will be delivered to your room – for a buy out, consider using a room for a gym, hospitality, is their specialty. Drop in to the kitchen to see what Chef Loic Leperlier and staff are preparing, no problem – want a cooking class, of course! Take a well-marked hike through the fragrant pine forest and find a box of chilled water along the trail, discover Camp David, a small cottage on property and nosh on the cookies and fruit left for your arrival. Slip out of your room and multiple snacks are delivered, just in case you didn’t fill up at the barbecue lunch. Can’t say enough about the food, simply delicious, innovative cuisine.
My favorite room is The Boat House, it is an airy, open hall above the boats and water where a lofty, beamed ceiling vaults over a story-book canopied bed in the very center of the room. Wide porches front the suite with swaying hammocks on each end for afternoon snoozing!
I’m sure none of my clients enjoyed this luxurious lifestyle in 1933, relish it now, at The Point Resort! A five hour drive from Manhattan, but only a 60 minute puddle jumper flight from Boston!
An incomparable Resort, quite decadent, just like Summer Camp should be!