Updated: May 21, 2015
Sagamore Lake George ResortThe area in Upstate New York, from the Hudson River Valley to the lakes leading up to the Canadian border, is rich in early American history and prominent in early American literature. It has also been a vacation playground for New Yorkers for more than a century. The Lake George area is a summer time haven for vacationing families, and the Sagamore is its most famous resort (how far is the Sagamore from New York City? about 4 hours..). The Sagamore is a Victorian-era grand hotel, stunning in its pure white, and situated on its own 70+ acre island about 15 minutes north of the Lake George Village, in the little town of Bolton Landing. Cross the little bridge out to Green Island, and you enter the world of the Sagamore. The Sagamore was built by millionaire investors back in 1883, and it quickly become the leading social scene for the wealthy who had homes around the lake and spent summers in the Adirondacks. By the early 1980s, though, the hotel fell out of favor and was closed temporarily. But after significant renovations, it has been returned to its former splendor for the last 20+ years.
Sagamore Hotel Map - How to Get ThereDriving Directions to the Sagamore: The Sagamore is located close to the New York Thruway, I-87 -- take it north to exit 22 which is Lake George Village, then follow route 9N north for 10 miles to Bolton Landing, and make a right onto Sagamore road which takes you across the bridge and onto the island. It's about 1 hour from the Albany airport if you are flying in. The property is made up of the Historic Hotel itself, with its spacious verandas and lawns and gardens that stretch down to the lakefront, and the seven lodges that line the perimeter of the island. There is also tennis courts, a full spa, and a Conference Center. The Sagamore Golf Club is located on the mainland and overlooks the lake - hotel shuttles will take you there if golf is part of your plan. You can view a map of the Sagamore grounds in PDF format here. You can walk all around the island in about 15 minutes -- there is a nature trail along the east side of the lake that leads to the main hotel. The lodges along the east side of the island are numbered as they move away from the main hotel - first comes Lodge #1, then #2, onto #6. Lodge #7 is the solitary one closest to the bridge on the other side of the island. Lodges 1-6 offer views of the lake, filtered through trees, from their private balconies in the suite rooms on the upper levels -- if you are not staying in the main hotel, those are the best lodging choices (be sure to get the upper floors as the lowest floor is below the ground level of the parking lot and feels little like being in a pit. These are officially called the "lower level lodge rooms" as opposed to "walk-in" which is on the ground floor). Their official website is TheSagamore.com. There are 100 rooms in the main hotel, 46 of which are suites. To give you an idea of rates, in winter rooms start at $200 and suites at $315, while in summer rooms start at $459 and suites at $609 (keep in mind these are rooms in the main hotel, not the lodge buildings, which are less expensive). We checked nights in November and found Lodge room rates of $180, hotel garden view $219, hotel garden view suites for $335. For April, lodge rooms started at $245 and hotel lake view rooms were $395. For mid-summer we found lodge rooms for $329, lodge suites for $575, hotel lakeview rooms for $560, and hotel garden suites for $629. So you get the picture. This is mainly a luxury resort with fairly expensive rooms. Off-season, you can get some decent deals for a top-rate resort, but summer months will cost you dearly. If money is no object, go for the hotel lakeview rooms, as they are by far the best.
Sagamore Spa, Restaurants, and AmenitiesThere are a few small restaurants nearby in Bolton Landing (2 minutes away), while the town of Lake George Village is more than 15 minutes away, so you may want to take advantage of the dining options at the Sagamore. They offer 6 restaurants. The Trillium Bis (just to the right of the lobby as you look out towards the lake) is the fanciest, with view of Lake George and a dress code -- great food (ranging from lamb to duck to steak to salmon) and a 13 page winelist. The Sagamore Dining Room serves breakfast each day from 7-11. Downstairs is Mr. Brown's Pub, a more casual setting with lunch and dinner menus and things like sandwiches, fish and chips, and spaghetti (dinner menu also offers things like cod, BBQ ribs, and jambalaya). Just off the lobby entrance is The Vernada (see photo at left), an indoor dining spot with a very airy, outdoor feel to it. It looks out over the sloping lawns and gardens that lead down to the lake. They serve coffee in the morning, afternoon tea from 12:30 to 3:30, and snacks are available from the other property restaurants from 11:30 to 9PM -- great place for a cocktail , with expansive views. During the summer months, there is lakeside dining at The Pavillion, offering lunch and dinner. The fresh air and views don't get any better than this.
Golfing at the Sagamore is a treat as well. The course was built in 1928 and takes you through meadows and mountains and forests -- terrific view of the lake from the elevated first tee. Weekday greens fees are $130, $115 for resort guests; weekend rates are $145, $125 for resort guests. The course is just 3 miles from the resort if you choose to drive yourself -- head out on Route 9 going south, and quickly make a right onto Horicon Avenue. After 2 miles you turn left into Sagamore Golf Course. It's a challenging course with lots of ups and downs, tight fairways, and undulating greens. During the summer months, children and adults both take advantage of opportunities for boating, water skiiing, fishing, swimming, and much more on the lakefront. There is also an indoor pool and jacuzzi. If you are more of a spa person, visit the Sagamore Spa for Aromatherapy Massage ($105 for 50 minutes), Classic Swedish Massage ($100 for 50 minutes), or Adirondack Hot Stone Massage ($155 for 75 minutes) to name just a few options. They also offer facials, mud therapy, citrus exfoliating, and loofah scrubs.