Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A mix of couples, families, and groups enjoying cozy surroundings
The Whiteface Lodge will charm even the most weary of travelers. Mature pine trees welcome guests along the driveway leading toward an authentic wooden entranceway — it looks spectacular, especially at night when year-round holiday lights give it a festive glow. Guests can unload luggage and valet the car, or self-park nearby. A covered walkway leads to the lobby, impressive with elegant carpets and unique rustic furnishings. Reading nooks beckon with oversized leather sofas, often pointed towards a blazing fireplace. Also in the lobby area is a general store — operated by front desk staff — selling espresso drinks, fresh pastries, gifts, and sundries.
Guests can take elevators up to their rooms, or walk the stairwell up to the restaurant on the second floor. The majority of the 94 suites are in this main building, and the Clubhouse (separated by the well-manicured, picturesque grounds) has more suites, event space, and the pool complex (also look for the catch-and-release fishing pond). The breadth of activities makes it easy for everyone to stay busy during the day, and families will likely appreciate the free, organized children's program, Kamp Kanu (available seven days a week during the summer). After camp, parents might take their kids to the ice cream parlor for a sundae, or to the bonfire for s'mores. Romantic couples, on the other hand, might prefer to watch a classic movie in the theater, or enjoying one of 400 wines next to — you guessed it, another fireplace.
The atmosphere is all about quiet luxury, and there's enough space for everyone to spread out. If a wedding or business group is on the premise, they tend to blend right in with everyone else, not disturbing the natural, and totally relaxing ambience.
A peaceful and spacious setting just a few miles from town
Skiiers: Do not be confused by the name. The Whiteface Lodge is not attached to the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center — a major draw in the area (they are, in fact, 11 miles apart). The location of the resort, though, is just five minutes outside of downtown Lake Placid and there is a free shuttle to and from. Guests have easy access to a large grocery store, Hannafords, for stocking the kitchens (each suite has one), as well as pharmacies, gas stations, and several restaurants and bars. Though all these things are close, the resort feels far from the hustle and bustle, especially in the middle of the property with beautiful trees and mountains providing peaceful views.
Lake Placid is a small town known for hosting two winter Olympics. Winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, and hockey, while swimming and hiking are popular in summer months. The property is central to nearby attractions, and most destinations are within short driving distance from each other. Adirondack Park is the largest in the lower 48 states and has 3,000 lakes and 2,000 miles of hiking trails to explore. A well-kept path around Mirror Lake offers a brisk 2.7-mile walk or jog that can be accessed from the entrance in front.
Cozy suites, all with kitchens and jetted tubs
There are 94 suites on the property in two buildings. Most are in the main section of the resort, but a few suites — such as the four-bedroom Presidential Suite — are located in The Clubhouse, across the grounds. All suits have come with bathrobes and slippers, plush seating areas with pullout sofas, large flat-screen TVs, dining tables, and stainless steel kitchens. The style is similar to what is found in the rest of the property, and the quality lodge decor incorporates earthy, muted color palettes of green, brown, and red, hand-made furnishings, Tiffany-style lamps, and wood-beamed ceilings. Guests are welcomed with home-made chocolate chips cookies placed next to the beds. Kitchens come equipped with large sinks, microwaves, stovetops, ovens, dishwashers, coffeemakers (coffee included), toaster ovens, and dining/utensil sets for at least four people (larger suites have more). Bathrooms have double vanity sinks, granite countertops, jetted tub/shower combos, and green tea lemongrass toiletries. There is a European-style combined washer/dryer in the closet with laundry detergent. Each unit has a furnished patio or balcony with wicker furniture (first-floor units tend to have a bit more space).
Junior Suites are the smallest room category, with a one-room layout. Superior Suites are slightly larger, with a separate bedroom and living room. Deluxe Suites and Two Bedroom Suites have two-person jetted tubs; some Deluxe Suites have an extra half bathroom, while Two Bedroom Suites have two full bathrooms. Both the Two and Three Bedroom Suites have king beds in the master bedrooms, and (typically) queen beds in the extra bedrooms. The Grand Lodge Suites are slightly larger than the Three Bedroom Suites, though some of the extra bedrooms might have bunk beds or twin beds. These units also have more than one private balcony.
The four-bedroom, four-bathroom Presidential Suite is the largest on property and has its own private elevator entrance in the Clubhouse building. This two-floor unit has a king bed in the master, two bedrooms with queen beds, and one bedroom with two twin beds. There is a spacious living and dining room, a large all-season porch, and wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen with Viking appliances is great for cooking and entertaining.
Plenty of activities on-site, as well as the private lakefront area
In summer months, the Canoe Club is in full swing. This is a private lakefront area of Lake Placid down the road that can be reached by the free shuttle. There is a beach, and lunch served from the bar and grill. Guests can use canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, for free, or play volleyball, badminton, horse shoes, and bocce ball. Three motor boats may be rented by making reservations with the concierge: the Ski Nautique speed boat, a Hacker-Craft, and pontoon boat. Each motor boat comes with a certified driver.
The spa is located on the lower level of the resort and offers salon treatments (hair and nail) and seven spa treatment rooms for a range of services. There are separate men's and women's lounges, and the spa can accommodate large groups for events and weddings. There is also a sauna and steam room that can be used at no charge to guests. Down the hall from the spa is a large fitness center (no windows) open 24 hours a day with a number of cardio and weight machines. Classes are also available for yoga, aqua aerobics, and more.
The kids' club called Kamp Kanu, free for guests, is offered daily in the summer, and on weekends in the off season. Morning and afternoon sessions are available, and box lunches are offered for a fee. Activities might include treasure hunts, arts and crafts, and science experiments. Both kids and adults can likely appreciate the indoor and outdoor pool area with both indoor and outdoor hot tubs. This is open all year round — even the pool, which is heated to 84 degrees. This area can be accessed either by walking outdoors or through an underground tunnel from the main building. Also available on the grounds are tennis, a catch and release fishing pond, basketball, an ice skating rink, and snowshoeing (rentals are free). Rainy day activities include a game room with air hockey, a pool table, and a single lane bowling alley with a range of shoe sizes. There’s an indoor movie theather showing three films daily, and offering free popcorn. In the evenings in season, the staff put on a nightly bonfire with s’mores from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Meetings and events can take place at a range of indoor or outdoor spaces, and the lodge can accommodate groups of up to 200 people, with catering available. Wi-Fi is free throughout.
A restaurant serving local fare, a lounge with live music, and a charming cafe
Though all units have kitchens, the dining at Whiteface Lodge is impressive and attracts both guests and locals. Free buffet breakfast is served in the KANU dining room, which also opens in the evenings for dinner with both indoor (and fireplace) seating, as well as outdoor seating in warmer weather. The menu is elegant and focuses on fresh, local ingredients (including local fish and meat). Lunch is offered in the KANU lounge, the slightly more casual area of the second floor with two more fireplaces, oversized leather sofas, and bar seating. This is where guests can have pre- or post-dinner cocktails until 11 p.m. at night. The bar and lounge offers nightly drink specials, as well as 25 single malt scotches, international and local beers, and more than 400 wines on the list (a sommelier is also on hand). KANU Lounge features live music every Friday and Saturday year-round with additional nights during Holiday Periods.
On the lower level of the hotel is a charming cafe that serves spa lunches such as healthy bento boxes. This area turns into an ice cream parlor on weekend evenings during the year (and all evenings during the summer and peak holiday season).
Bears Den Market is next to the lobby and is operated by the front desk staff. There is coffee served here — including espresso drinks from the copper espresso machine — and pastries from the in-house bakery, which can be enjoyed on outdoor tables by the entrance. The market also sells grab-and-go snacks and treats for those heading out on the slopes or to the lake. Picnic arrangements can also be arranged, including wine glasses. Also available here are sundries and items like swimsuits and towels.
Opened in 2005, Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid offers a luxurious escape a few miles from town. The 94 suites all have kitchens with stainless steel appliances, laundry, and free Wi-Fi. Activities for every season and every age include ice skating, snow shoeing, tennis, canoeing/kayaking, motorized boating, a movie theater, and bowling alley, to name a few (all are free). KANU restaurant and lounge, with fireplaces roaring, serves three meals — breakfast is another freebie — and adults can hit the spa while the kids participate in the free "Kamp Kanu" children's program. An underground tunnel connects to the indoor/outdoor pool and hot tubs during cold weather, otherwise it's a short walk across the beautiful grounds. Other extras include coffee, tea, and refreshments in the afternoon, and s’mores around the bonfire in the evening.