“Destination resort” flashes from travel brochures the way “free cable television” beckons the weary traveler; so ubiquitous it seems almost an afterthought. But add “spectacular,” as in “spectacular destination resort,” and the choices become fewer and a bit more exceptional.
One might duly call The Sagamore a spectacular seasonal luxury resort located in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Perched on a private 70-acre island along the western shores of Lake George, The Sagamore commands a 270-degree vista of the lake and softly rounded peaks to the east.
Since the 1880s, The Sagamore has been a lofty presence and top vacation spot for people throughout the eastern United States. But spectacular is as spectacular does, and in January, 2009, the resort’s new owners, Ocean Properties Ltd., invested $20 million in renovations to preserve The Sagamore niche and add to its allure.
It’s really a touch-up in the sense that an exquisite piece of art might receive a light gloss, but it has also expanded the essence of a Sagamore stay. “We’ve added 37 new rooms to the 100 already here,” says director of sales and marketing Kevin Rosa. In the process the lobby has been extended to form what Rosa calls a “dining lobby with a new lounge bar crafted of old-fashioned mahogany and set off with finished hardwood floors.” It’s called Caldwell’s, and it offers casual food throughout the day.
The new multi-tiered dining room, La Belle Vista, opens to an outdoor deck where al fresco dining literally means overlooking the lake and tasting the soft mountain views. Part of the menu includes locally grown and cultivated gourmet-style cuisine like chèvre cheese from nearby Granville, fresh bib lettuce from local farms, and respected New York state wines and microbrews.
The opening of four luxury veranda suites on the second floor is one of the most intriguing results of the renovation. “If you stand by the lake and look back at these suites,” says general manager Tom Guay, “you’ll see columns and porticos and architecture that resemble a view from the south lawn looking back at The White House.” Each suite has a private veranda area that boasts spectacular views of the lake all the way to Lake George Village.
The pool complex alone might also be considered spectacular thanks to a brand new outdoor swimming pool with a smaller warming pool and enough space for more than 100 chaise lounge chairs that share exquisite lake and mountain views.
But when it comes to truly spectacular, the acclaimed Sagamore golf course designed in 1928 by the legendary Donald Ross deserves top honors. Measuring 6,800 yards from the tips for a par of 70, the course shows off all the classic Ross touches: deep bunkers, natural hogback greens, and consistent risk-reward decisions. The course sits on a ridge just a few miles from the hotel, and shuttles to and from the golf course are available. Pick a spot on the first tee, gaze down the carpeted fairway to the green far below, then fix your eyes above the golf course to the easterly outline of Adirondack peaks across the lake and you’ll understand why, in 1929, Donald Ross knew right away that this was where his golf course would take shape.
Hike down to the resort’s private beach for a swim or take advantage of boating, water skiing, parasailing, or fishing at The Sagamore’s newly upgraded marina.
To complete The Sagamore experience, there’s lakeside dining at The Pavilion restaurant, golf course dining at The Club Grill, and pub dining at Mr. Brown’s Pub (named for Myron Brown, the first proprietor of The Sagamore). And for unwinding or simple pampering, The Sagamore’s spa and fitness club offer total mind and body revitalization from massage to shiatsu to acupuncture and even personal training.
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