Monday, May 20, 2024

Island Resorts

USA: The Sagamore Resort – An Island Hideaway in the Adirondacks

Found within New York’s scenic Adirondack mountain range, this island resort on Lake George has been a prestigious destination for over a century, and offers the ultimate in traditional elegance.

(Image Courtesy of the Sagamore Resort)

In the upper regions of the Great Appalachian Valley, at the point where the ancient mountains of the Canadian Shield meld into the gentler hills that graduate down into American, one finds Lake George, rather quixotically, given its name, known as the “Queen of American Lakes.” This narrow, long lake, bordered by Lake Champlain to the north, and the St. Lawrence River’s drainage basin to the south, is filled with fresh, clear water, and a multitude of forested islands.

(Image Courtesy of the Sagamore Resort)

For more than two hundred years, the small population of the Lake George area has swelled each summer and winter, the elite of America’s east coast flocking inland for boating, cottage relaxation, and the region’s excellent skiing.  Thomas Jefferson was among them, greatly impressed by its scenery; “Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin… finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountain sides covered with rich groves… down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony.”

(Image Courtesy of the Sagamore Resort)

Millionaire’s Row, on the western side of the lake, in the late 19th century saw each summer illustrious residents like famed Wall Street financier Spencer Trask, and one of the world’s richest men and friend of Andrew Carnegie, Robert Pitcairn. This was truly the golden age of Lake George, ending with the 1930’s Great Depression, when extravagant summer homes became out of the question for many of America’s formerly-rich. Some remnants of this era remain, however; such as the Sagamore Resort, a stunning hotel on Green Island.

Blessed with the unforgettable setting of its small, privately owned island, the Sagamore opened in 1883, and played host to many of the era’s famous and wealthy families. It served as a club and gathering place for many residents of Millionaire’s Row, becoming an essential part of Lake George’s social milieu.  The hotel faltered during the Great Depression, but survived – just as it overcame several devastating fires, changes of ownership, and the ebb and flow of the economy and public taste throughout the 20th century.

(Image Courtesy of the Sagamore Resort)

Taking center stage in the redeveloped resort is the preserved old hotel, a supremely elegant white building, adorned with a red roof and wrapping around an entrance courtyard. While current additions have been made, the resort has endeavoured to preserve the Victorian charm of the original building, with even the guestrooms decorated in a classic period style. Visitors can avail themselves of a luxurious spa, tennis courts, boating, and visits to nearby Bolton Landing, a pretty and history-rich town.  On the mainland, golf aficionados will be delighted by the Sagamore Golf Course, lauded by Condé Nast and Golf Digest.

The 137-room hotel offers guests numerous options; they can stay in the historic hotel, in low-level wooden lodges, and even the “castle”, a traditional six-bedroom home, dating from the Victorian era and accommodating private parties of up to 12 people. Special condominiums with their own terraces provide a true “lifestyle” experience – they are privately owned, and rented out through the resort. Despite its lofty beginnings, a stay at the Sagamore is now a highly accessible luxury, with rooms suited to most preferences and budgets. Whether visitors to the gorgeous Adirondacks are searching for a family vacation, a golfing weekend with friends, or an intimate, romantic getaway, this stunning private island resort has reinvented itself over the past century to suit any discriminating traveller.

Visit the official website of the Sagamore Resort:

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