This classic retreat off the shore of Lake George offers an elegant backdrop to a busy, family-friendly getaway.
The scenic Lake George region boasts a long and illustrious history dating back to the French and Indian as well as the Revolutionary Wars. In the late 1880’s, when the spectacular Adirondack Mountains became the wilderness playground of wealthy residents from New York and Philadelphia, a local innkeeper persuaded five millionaires to invest in the creation of a resort worthy of its clientele, and The Sagamore (866/385-6221, 518/644-9400) was born.
In the Past
Built on 70-acre Green Island off the shores of Lake George, the luxurious hotel was completed in 1883, but was destroyed by fire 10 years later. Re-built within the year, the new building featured such modern conveniences as telephones, electric lights and a steam elevator, and offered tennis courts and a small golf course. Again, in 1914, fire raged and the building was destroyed. After some development of the property, plans for re-building were disrupted due to the 1929 stock market crash. However, in 1930, the building that stands today was completed and the hotel re-opened. The Sagamore welcomed guests through 1981 when, due to its need for renovation, its doors were shut.
After a $75 million, five-year restoration project, including the construction of seven lakeside lodges, a conference center and a health and fitness center, The Sagamore re-opened in 1985. Since then, constant improvements and expansions have added a spa, banquet space, room re-decorations, and refurbishment of the historic lobby. The Sagamore is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In the Present
While even further upgrading is ongoing, the year-round luxury resort offers a variety of accommodations. The classic, English colonial, Historic Hotel building, the centerpiece of the island, offers 100 elegant rooms and suites. The Lodges and the Hermitage, both decorated in a casual Adirondack style, offer 240 suite accommodations. A huge gourmet breakfast buffet is available daily in the lavish dining room, and includes everything from hot and cold cereals and French toast, to pastries and waffles (with warmed wild blueberry syrup), and made-to-order omelets are prepared.
There are several dining options for lunch, tea and dinner, and from May through September, The Morgan, a 72-foot replica of a 19th century touring vessel, offers lunch or dinner as you cruise around Lake George.
The Sagamore’s location places guests within the six-million acre Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve. The biggest park region outside of Alaska, it is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smokey and Everglades National Parks combined. It is comprised of both public and private areas, and is protected under New York State law to “be forever kept as wild forest lands.”
During your vacation here, your family will have opportunities to appreciate nature during every season. Lakeside activities such as swimming from a private beach, kayaking, sailing, water skiing and windsurfing are naturally popular. Tennis and racquetball are played at an impressive Tennis Club which features one indoor and five outdoor courts and a separate racquetball court. The resort provides complimentary transportation to the award-winning 18-hole golf course which is located on the mainland. State-of-the-art exercise equipment and complimentary classes are available at the glass-enclosed Fitness Club, from which you can observe the beauty of Lake George and the mountains.
A complete treatment menu, from Swedish to Thai, Shiatsu, Reiki and Hot Stone massage is offered at The Spa, and steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools provide hydrotherapy for extra relaxation. There is also a heated indoor swimming pool. Jogging trails abound, and the magnificent surroundings make The Sagamore a perfect spot for leaf peaking in autumn. During the winter, guests cross-country ski, ice-skate and sled on property, or take a complimentary daily shuttle to Gore Mountain for downhill skiing. Nearby attractions such as Fort Ticonderoga and Fort William Henry illustrate the area’s ties to America’s history, and the Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center and National Museum of Dance are venues for the celebration of the arts.
For the Family
The Lodges provide ideal accommodations for families. Cozy 1 and 2BR suites offer room to spread out in, kitchen and dining areas for meals and snacks, terraces and picture windows overlooking the lake, and fireplaces to curl up in front of. Children will also love the free cookies given at check-in. The Teepee Club, housed in its own cabin, provides well-supervised, exciting, sports and creative activities for children from 4 to 12-years-old. An authentic 18-foot teepee and a well-equipped playground round out the facilities, and the kids are also supervised at the beach.
The club is available daily from July 1 through Labor Day, and on Saturdays and holiday periods during the rest of the year. Fees are $25 for half day (9am-noon or 1pm-4pm) or $45 for full day(9am-4pm), including lunch, and $35 for evening(5pm-9pm), including dinner.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.