Saturday June 30, 2012 at 8:08 AM | 2 Comments
Weekend at The Point Resort
Tucked away in the Adirondacks is a little known gem called The Point, so exclusive that there are no signs guiding the way to its door. Only after you’ve confirmed your reservation do they tell you how to get there. Not even the folks in town will direct you to the property until they’ve contacted the resort. One of the Adirondack Great Camps built at the beginning of the 20th century, it was originally owned by William Avery Rockefeller. The property has been updated, expanded to 75 private acres and turned into a luxury summer camp hideaway for adults. When I received their brochure – actually a hard backed coffee table book – I suspected this trip might be different from others.
Upon arrival at the local airport, we grabbed our car rental and were off. When we reached The Point, we were greeted by the general manager with champagne and were given a walking tour of the property and an overview of what to expect. Meanwhile, our car was parked and our luggage was deposited in our rooms. This was a pretty nice check-in process;’ we were starting to like this place already. The 11 guest accommodations were spread among four log buildings secluded from one another. The rooms feature sumptuous custom fluffy beds and private baths, all decorated with Adirondack rustic charm. In a throwback to the days when it was built, there are no televisions, no phones in rooms, no cell service, no locks on the doors, and no tipping. This was distressing to consider going without a cell phone, but it turned out fine and everybody lived. With only 22 maximum guests at a time, the staff has plenty of time to pamper and guess your needs before you know them yourself. We discovered the extent of that attention on our first day while we were sitting in chairs by the water soaking in the environment, when attendants appeared from nowhere with snacks and our favorite beverages. Needless to say, we were impressed. The mantra at The Point is “The answer is yes. Now what is the question?” And we quickly learned that they mean it.
The Great Hall is the central lodge and gathering place. With huge fireplaces, beamed ceilings, wall trophies and comfortable furniture to sink into, it is here that meals are served around two large round tables. Actually it is a great way to meet and mingle with other guests. One evening the GM dined with us and was a welcome addition with her stories and jokes about the area. Dinner was served at 8pm sharp nightly and dress was suggested to be comfortable, but not casual. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, formal attire was required for dinner. Of course they’ll gladly accommodate if you want to eat in your room or on a deck or they’ll even set up a private table for you near the water if you prefer. There was no menu for dinner, all guests were served the same thing unless requests were made on the pre-arrival dietary and activities form guests completed before the visit.
There were plenty of activities available to inspire even the least active couch potato. Located right on Upper Saranac Lake, swimming, skiing, boating, hiking, fishing were available to get you out on the water. The Point has a vintage 1933 mahogany Hacker-Craft speed boat which looked like something out of an old movie. Once we experienced this thrill ride, we understood why they called it a Rolls Royce on water. There was also Buck Island for picnicking and exploring, which we also did one afternoon. For the landlubbers, there was usually a game of croquet or bocce ball happening on the front lawn where everyone was encouraged to join in. An electric Elco boat offered a sunset pre-dinner twilight cocktail cruise with appetizers and local lore. At night, there was a bonfire and marshmallow roast at Mr. Rockefeller’s original lean-to overlooking the water.
When you returned to your room at night, staff had already turned down your bed and stoked your fire. Flowers will have been refreshed, a late night snack will be there and if you had requested a bar in your room, your mixers and ice will have been replenished. All of this attention was a little eery at first because we’d never experienced it before and we didn’t understand how they knew exactly where we were at all times. Later we found out that they have a complex system of communicating with one another to make sure the guest gets taken care of in a timely manner. Our room was Algonquin, originally Mr. Rockefeller’s library and I couldn’t have been happier. Loaded with books and cabinets full of artifacts, there were plenty of things to discover. The wood-paneled room had a queen bed and a sitting area with sofa and overstuffed chairs, all in rustic lodge decor. I thought the Kiehl’s amenities in the bathroom were impressive until I noticed the walk-in family sized shower had the biggest rainhead shower head I’ve ever seen, at least 12” in diameter. Later when I was complimenting the shower to management they told me that although my room was not the most expensive, it was often requested simply because of the shower.
One of the best surprises of the visit was the “soft knock.” Early in the morning before daybreak as you sleep, an attendant knocks softly on your door, then comes in and quietly stokes the fire, delivering morning tea or coffee with scones and sweets. And then they’re quietly gone. It’s a great way to wake up and greet the day.
The Point is not inexpensive. All inclusive rates per room range from $1450 to $2850 per night. This includes all meals, snacks and treats. You may choose what you want from an award-winning wine list that would raise the heart rate of many sommeliers. And there are four self-service bars around the property (and in your room if you wish) stocked with top shelf brands. And all activities are included as well. They even sent a staffer along to bait the hooks for the ladies in our group who wanted to fish. Seriously. The Point was unlike any property I’ve experienced. The professional staff has it down pat. We left their feeling like we’d made new friends and we did. Upon checkout, our car was brought to us washed and with a filled gas tank. Now that’s service. We were wishing we could continue the dream and fly home in one of the private jets we had seen at the airport, but it was not meant to be.
INSIDER TIP – Many of the furniture pieces and serving trays at The Point are made by local craftsman Jay Dawson. Be sure to visit his studio just up the road. He loves to show off his work and usually has small pieces for sale. Ask for directions from someone on staff.
If You Go:
The Point (518) 891-5674 or 800-255-3530
P.O. Box 1327
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Sponsored Article Photos courtesy Ralph Warren.