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USA: Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

Sunshine Flint
02 November 2016

While this rustic-luxe resort may offer some of the best winter and summer activities around, it’s not all about being outside, says Sunshine Flint. With an in-house cinema, bowling alley, and ice cream parlour, there’s plenty to keep you indoors, too

THE LOWDOWN:
Over a century ago, the wealthy elite of New York built their Great Camps on the shores of the ice-blue lakes that lie deep in the forests of the Adirondack Mountains. The Whiteface Lodge, constructed in 2005, is modelled on those camps in its log construction on a grand scale, hand-crafted furniture, and Arts and Crafts details in cast iron and hammered brass; as well as its devotion to both homely pursuits and pampered luxury.

Located just outside the Olympic town of Lake Placid (home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games), the all-inclusive resort’s 94 plush, cosy suites come complete with fireplaces, full kitchens and Washer dryers, which make it easy for families and groups of friends to stay together.

On bad weather days take a seat at the in-house cinema, which shows three different films a day, or visit the games room, equipped with two bowling lanes, a pool table and air hockey, and decorated with winter gear of yore. There’s nothing like a pair of old-time wooden skis and vintage snowshoes hung on the wall to make you feel like you could go all Swallows and Amazons again, or at least curl up with a copy of Winter Holiday. And best of all is the ice cream parlour; just hop on a stool and order your favourite milkshake or sundae.

But you’ll want to get outside to swim in the indoor/outdoor pools or cast a line in the little fishpond nearby or plunk down in a wide Adirondack chair by the campfire after sunset, ready to toast some marshmallows and admire the mountain peaks.

In summer, a shuttle takes guests to the lodge’s Canoe Club on Lake Placid for canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding, and in winter… Well, there’s a reason the Olympic Committee came here twice. Whiteface Mountain has 86 ski trails and 11 lifts, plus a plethora of other winter sports.

THE GOOD:
Relaxed, warm service from the general manager down to the teen taking tickets at the cinema.

Some very excellent bartenders at the Kanu Lounge.

The endless breakfast cornucopia in the Kanu Restaurant.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD:
The property is a few minutes away from the shores of Lake Placid, so there are no lake views.

THE VERDICT:
All the relaxing old-timey lodge traditions you want, but with the service and comfort of a modern, luxury resort.

BOOK IT:
Whiteface Lodge, 7 Whiteface Inn Lane, Lake Placid, New York 12946 (+1 518 523 0505; thewhitefacelodge.com)