Nestled just into the wonderfully wooded Lake Placid scenery, WhiteFace Lodgeis a haven for families that want to connect with nature without giving up an ounce of luxury.
Last week, the Momtrends crew drove up for a two-night stay at this glorious family resort. The lodge is Adirondack-chic. Think exposed beams, whimsical taxidermy and lively landscaping.
Most families could spend 5-7 days here without running out of choices. In the summer, most of the exploring happens lake-side. In the winter, skiing is the main attraction, but during either season, we can assure you you'll be well taken care of at WhiteFace.
Let's talk food for a moment. First things first--the breakfast buffet is excellent. Don't miss steel cut oatmeal and homemade granola. We can't thank them enough for not loading up on the junk!
We loved to sophisticated options on the kids menu. In addition to a burger with fries, there was broiled salmon, grilled chicken with veggies and a crudite plate. Our evening meals included duck, salmon and other grilled delights--all paired with wonderful wines. And the service, while a little slow at times, was always friendly and responsive.
Each day there were free treats for us to enjoy. One night a huge make-your-own s'mores basket appeared by an outdoor campfires. In the afternoon around 3pm, cookies and lemonade were delivered outside the lounge area.
After frolicking in the lake and pools, this mom needed a little R&R time away from the kids. We signed the girls (ages 6 and 3) up for Kamp Kanu, a comprehensive kids camp that makes the most of the natural surroundings. They did crafts, sports and fishing--barely a moment inside and NO TV!
The sitter service $20/hr. Was reliable and fun for the girls. In addition to enjoying a grown-up meal, we got in a round or two of ping-pong and pool while the kids were with a sitter.
The spa shares specials. We couldn't resist the Monday deal--$79 for a 50-minute massage. Both Mr. Momtrends and I were VERY impressed with the spa staff. These professionals gave a great treatment--just what I needed after my weeks of marathon training.
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Activities abound here. There are plenty of hills for avid cyclists. After a rather harried road bike along a narrow road, I think next visit we'll stick to mountain biking. For rainy days, the movie theater and the indoor bowling alley are wonderful to have on hand.
Camp Canoe sits a mile down the road. The small sandy beach has plenty of water activities. Canoes and paddle boats are free. As are the badminton, croquet and volleyball.
We suggest renting a motor boat to get a proper view of the lake and it's pristine surroundings. The water was delightfully fresh, clear and clean. We rented the pontoon boat ($100+ and hour) for a tour of the Lake (complete with local lore) and a bit of tubing.
And let's not forget about the three hot tubs and the massive indoor-outdoor heated pool. All in, I think we logged about 10 hours in the water either lake or pool. Impressive. There were so many pleasant families at the resort that our girls made many new "best" friends at the pool in a matter of minutes.
In the winter skiing is the big draw, most families drive the 10 miles to White Face Mtn. Back at the lodge, the pools are heated to 80+ degrees and there's an outdoor Ice rink that opens around Thanksgiving and stays icy until spring.
The rooms are spacious and well-appointed. Each space has a fully-equipped kitchen. The swankest room is the Presidential Suite--this room holds up to 8.Our room was massive--quite possibly the largest master bedroom I have ever stayed in. All four of us fit in the huge soaking tub in our bathroom. The guest staff did a terrific job keeping our room clean and the concierge had excellent ideas for our daily activities.
The only two things to note: The drive is long from NYC (around six hours) and the property is not actually on the lake. Guests take a shuttle to Camp Canoe about a mile away. It was never a hassle to get the shuttle, but if you are expecting lake views, I don't want to disappoint you.
What's it going to cost? There are many special packages. Here's an example: Family Four Night Stay, Enjoy a 3 bedroom 3 bath suite (that's what we had on our visit), full American breakfast daily and use of all resort amenities including Kamp Kanu our supervised children's programs for ages 3 - 14. Four nights for $4,000 inclusive of all taxes.
For more information visit: http://www.thewhitefacelodge.com/
Full Disclosure: Momtrends was given a two-night stay with food and other services to facilitate this review.