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The Gideon Putnam 3.5

Saratoga Springs, New York

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Charming historic hotel surrounded by peaceful park grounds
  • Adjacent to the park’s 18-hole golf course
  • Full range of rooms and suites with great park views
  • Some rooms have private screen porches 
  • Free shuttle service to area attractions and throughout the park
  • Putnam’s Restaurant and bar serves American comfort food in quaint setting
  • Full-service spa with salon services and various massage and body treatments
  • Nicely equipped fitness center with cardio and weight-training equipment
  • Self-contained conference center with space for up to 500 people
  • Free access to the park’s outdoor pools
  • Free parking and Wi-Fi
  • Pets are welcome in some rooms 

Cons

  • Secluded location requires driving or shuttle ride to town
  • General housekeeping and maintenance complaints 
  • Bland room decor
  • Rates can spike into the pricey range at certain times
  • One slow elevator services entire hotel

Bottom Line

Originally opened in 1935, the upper-middle-range Gideon Putnam is a charming hotel located in beautiful Saratoga Springs Spa State Park. It's in a peaceful, wooded setting next to the park’s golf course, connected to downtown via free shuttle, a nine-minute ride. Other amenities include a full-service spa, access to park pools, fitness center, restaurant/bar, and lots of event space to host weddings and corporate events. The 124 rooms are comfortable and have mini-fridges and Keurig coffeemakers, but they're dark and a bit bland, and some past guests have reported minor housekeeping and maintenance issues. It’s a solid choice for travelers seeking non-chain accommodations, although rates can spike significantly at times. For a historic downtown alternative, consider the mid-range boutique Saratoga Arms.

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Scene

A historic landmark hotel in a beautiful park setting

The Gideon Putnam makes an impression from the moment of arrival as guests drive up a pine tree-lined lane through the beautiful Saratoga Springs Spa State Park to the stately, five-story brick hotel that first opened in 1935. A row of white rocking chairs entice guests to relax and take in the views of the adjacent golf course and wooded grounds of the 2,000-acre park. The lobby also makes a lasting impression, with light polished marble floors and white columns. It’s a large and lovely space, with burnt orange walls adorned with traditional artwork depicting pastoral scenes. Brown leather sofas sit atop large Oriental-style rugs, and a wood-burning fireplace acts as a focal point. With a large inventory of indoor and outdoor event space, this landmark hotel often buzzes with activity, from weddings to corporate retreats and trade shows. It’s also a destination hotel for travelers who love to stay in historic hotels with character. But note, there is only one elevator that services the whole building and at busy times, it can be slow. 

Location

In historic Saratoga Springs Spa State Park, nine minutes from downtown

The Gideon Putnam is located in the beautiful Saratoga Springs Spa State Park, surrounded by over 2,000 acres of peaceful wooded countryside and facilities that were built in the 1930s during the New Deal. The park’s golf course is adjacent to the hotel, and several other attractions in the park are within walking distance of less than 10 minutes via lovely trails, including the Roosevelt Baths & Spa, Peerless Pool Complex, Hall of Springs, Saratoga Automobile Museum, and the Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center. The hotel operates a free shuttle service to park landmarks, and to downtown and other area attractions. A restaurant in the park is a 13-minute walk or four minutes by shuttle, but that’s the extent of dining options outside the hotel within walking distance. Downtown Saratoga Springs is a nine-minute drive, and the Saratoga Springs Race Course and Saratoga Springs Casino and Hotel are seven minutes away. Skidmore College is a 14-minute drive. Saratoga Springs National Historical Park and its Revolutionary War battlefields are 21 minutes away. The Six Flags Great Escape theme park is a 32-minute drive. Albany International Airport is 33 minutes away, and the city’s Amtrak station is a nine-minute drive. 

Rooms

Spacious, traditionally decorated rooms with robes and Keurig coffeemakers   

The traditional decor can vary slightly between the 124 rooms, but they carry a similar color palette and mood. Overall, rooms look dark and a bit dated, but they appropriately reflect the hotel's history. Walls are painted light yellow and soft shades of green, brown, gold, and beige are used for the drapes, bed skirts, throws, upholstery, and bolster pillows. The reddish brown furniture resembles a Mission style and includes matching dressers, chairs, desks, nightstands, and padded headboards. Black-and-white photos give another nod to the hotel's history. 

Many guests find the aging hotel to be clean and charming in a “shabby chic” way, while others have complained about general housekeeping and maintenance issues ranging from malfunctioning air-conditioning units and peeling paint to dusty furniture and bathrooms in need of a good scrubbing. Room size and configurations can vary even within the same categories, too. Some past guests have complained of cramped rooms, but the Standard Double Room we saw had ample space for an easy chair and desk. Deluxe Rooms are large enough to add tan granite vanities with sinks outside the bathrooms. Some of the suites are quite spacious, with dining tables and separate living rooms. Porch Suites even have large screened-in porches. White-tile bathrooms are original and feature 1930-style pedestal sinks and shower/tub combos. Standard amenities in all rooms include flat-screen TVs, robes, Keurig coffeemakers, mini-fridges, safes, and free Wi-Fi. Views from the rooms of the surrounding wooded park are typically quite nice. 

Features

Free area shuttle, restaurant, fitness center, and full-service spa

This grand old hotel has attractive amenities for leisure and business travelers alike, such as free shuttle service to the park’s landmarks as well as to downtown Saratoga Springs and other area attractions. The hotel operates the Roosevelt Baths & Spa in the park, which is a full-service spa with salon services, massage and body treatments, facials, and mineral baths. Hotel guests can use the steam room, relaxation room, and locker room facilities free of charge. Guests also get free access to the park’s Peerless Pool Complex that’s open in the summer and includes a kiddie pool. The park’s four tennis courts are free, and its golf course has reasonable rates. The property offers various golf packages, and it has an on-site fitness center with free weights and several cardio and weight-training machines. Bicycle rentals are available at the front desk.

Putnam’s restaurant and bar serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a focus on steaks, seafood, and American comfort food. Outdoor dining is available in season. The lobby gift shop also sells snacks, drinks, and sundries, and vending machines are available as well. The hotel has 12,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, including a self-contained conference center that can accommodate up to 500 people. Wi-Fi is free and accessible throughout the hotel, which has a business center with printers and two computer stations with internet access. Self-parking is free and concierge services include valet dry cleaning and laundry. Pets are welcome in certain rooms.

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Address

24 Gideon Putnam Rd, Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866-6218, United States

Also Known As

  • Gideon Putnam Hotel and Conference Center
  • Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa

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