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The beauty of winter in the Lake Placid area was not widely appreciated until 1904, when skiing and ice skating were first offered by the Lake Placid Club. Lake Placid, N.Y.
The beauty of winter in the Lake Placid area was not widely appreciated until 1904, when skiing and ice skating were first offered by the Lake Placid Club. Even today, Lake Placid is chiefly thought of as a summer destination. All the better for serious skiers, especially those enjoying the extraordinary Lake Placid Lodge, whose windows offer stunning vistas of Whiteface Mountain, flanked by the milky expanse of the frozen lake.
The lodge began life in 1882 as Schroeder Camp. In 1896, it was expanded and renamed Camp Coosa. It was operated as a hotel and restaurant for the next century, with different families managing for decades at a time. People came for the natural beauty of the area; in those days the lodge and its cabins were-to be kind -basic. It wasn’t until David and Christie Garrett bought the place in 1993 that it acquired an interior to keep pace with the setting. The Garretts had already achieved tremendous success with their renovation of The Point, on New York’s Saranac Lake, and they brought that experience to their new project.
In a word, Lake Placid Lodge is cozy-interestingly and eccentrically cozy. In addition to antiques, oriental rugs and old sepia photos of the lake, all rooms have huge river-stone fireplaces, white birch-bark ceilings and coffee tables made of slabs of polished tree trunk. The furniture gives a whole new meaning to the creative possibilities of sticks and twigs. The interior successfully recreates the Adirondack style of the past, but it feels appropriate rather than nostalgic, and it suits the location to perfection. As Henry David Thoreau said: “This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than it is convenient, more beautiful than it is useful. It is more to be admired and enjoyed than used. In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” -Herbert Ypma Excerpted from Hip Hotels: Ski, published by Thames & Hudson. For a review, turn to page 66.
Rates for the 17 guestrooms and 17 lakefront cabins, all with soaker tubs and double-headed showers, run $350-$800, which includes a hearty breakfast, afternoon tea and use of toboggans and snowshoes (boats and beach in summer). Children 12 and older are welcome. 877-523-2700; lakeplacidlodge.com
This article was featured in the March/April 2003 issue.