It is a scenic 5-hour drive that took me from a hot and sticky summer in Manhattan to the beauty of the Adirondack Mountain’s High Peak region, setting of the breath taking Whiteface Lodge. Inspired by the historic Adirondack Great Camps, the Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid is an impressive handcrafted resort. Even though its opening is fairly recent (June 2005), this property gives the warm feel of an older traditional lodge created from the majestic timbers of the region. The result is a brilliant balance of modern luxury expressed through the local and elegant rustic style of the region using all natural materials such as wood, fiber and stone.
It is in a gorgeous wood panel alley where I caught my first deep breath of the fresh pine tree infused air that welcomed me to the main entrance of the Whiteface Lodge. The very friendly and professional hotel staff warmly greeted me and led the way to the spacious suite (the Whiteface lodge is the only all-suite resort of the region) that I was to call home for the next few days to come! And home in the fashion of the Whiteface lodge means complementary fresh-made cookies and granola, local wine selection, cast iron gas fireplace and luxurious accommodation surrounded by Adirondack style furnishings. My room had plenty of windows and outdoor access overlooking the hotel garden and outdoor amenities such as tennis and basketball courts, outdoor pool and walking trails.
As tempting as it sounds to just enjoy your suite and the private cedar and mahogany patio overlooking the mountains, make sure to take the time to discover all this exclusive resort and its setting have to offer indoors and out. Even if the Olympic heritage of lake Placid sets a mood for more outdoor and sporty activities, don’t miss the opportunity to pamper yourself at The Spa of the White Face Lodge. I’m sure you will be as surprised as I was to discover this sanctuary. Located on the lower level of the hotel you will first pass by a charming and not to be missed old-fashioned Ice Cream Parlor before finding the doors of the spa.
Welcomed at the small reception desk that opens up on an unexpected 5,800- square-foot luxurious space dedicated to replenishment, I felt immediately immersed in an olfactory experience with a hint of balsam and juniper fragrance that sets you in the mood of local treats. As the spa offers an array of massage and signature body treatments and facials drawing on the area’s rich natural history and culture, using local botanicals such as bio-maple compounds, I decided to go for the apple cider masque and massage. This 80-minute-treatment was the perfect pampering not only for the senses with the delicious apple cider fragrance infused masque, but also this body masque and wrap contains mineral clays from the Canadian seas that left my skin so soft and nourished. Along with this treatment comes a scalp and body massage with an apple extract cream that sent me straight to relaxation heaven! To conclude this spa experience, I enjoyed a short visit into the sauna and steam room and finished with a mint tea and exquisite maple syrup cookies!
Before leaving the lower level of the Hotel, be sure to visit the great game room that even features a private bowling alley (available upon reservation), and check out the 54-seat movie theater with its two daily shows. Getting back to my room the day had flown before my eyes but the good news was that it was time for some local s’mores on one of the outdoor decks of the hotel. If you haven’t had the chance to experience camping (like my French self) in your childhood, or if you just wish to have some reminiscence of this time of your life, the Whiteface Lodge offers you the opportunity to connect or reconnect with a campfire S’mores ceremony every day after 6.30pm on the outdoor deck.
No matter how much chocolate, cookies and marshmallows you just had, I can’t recommend enough not to miss a dining experience a KANU, the restaurant of the Lodge. In the setting of a mountain lodge atmosphere with magnificent antler-ornamented chandeliers, soaring 28-foot roof lines, and six majestic granite fireplaces, Chef Chris Browne and sommelier Scott Waller will welcome you for a perfect blend of inspired and local gourmet dishes and wines. I was lucky enough to sit and converse with both Chris and Scott, who depicted with true passion and symbiosis their love for finding great local ingredients, wines and non-alcoholic beverages. Their philosophy for a Kanu dining experience is collaborative and simple: a wine list (one of the largest NY state wines selection of the region) that presents a low on oak selection to subtly accompany a seasonal food menu proud to feature gourmet local ingredients.
Through his menu selection Chef Chris Browne tells the story of his 25-plus years of experience serving some of the most renowned tables in the world. One of my favorite dishes was the Pan Seared NY Strip Porcini Crust paired with a Mettler Family Cabernet Sauvignon from California.
To finish on a sweet and delicate note, the white chocolate praliné mousse is a must!
I couldn’t have been sadder leaving the Whiteface Lodge. Not only because it feels like you never have enough time to experience all that this resort has to offer, whether you come for a romantic gateway or with friends and family, but also because the overall atmosphere of the resort and staff make you feel right at home in this magical and perfectly manicured setting.
The Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid
7 Whiteface Inn Lane, Lake Placid,
New York, 12946