It is a rarity to find the name William Avery Rockefeller coupled with The Grateful Dead. Yet, The Grateful Dead’s lyric “too much of everything is just enough” is an apt description of The Point—the former Great Camp of William Avery Rockefeller and now a Relais & Chateaux property located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains.
Do you wish to have every whim answered? Do you wish to have every need met? Fortunately for you, The Point is reopening this month after a three-month, multi-million dollar renovation. The 11 guest rooms spread across four beautifully secluded log buildings have been refurbished with elegant fabrics and classic furnishings that epitomize rustic elegance. Views of glittering Upper Saranac Lake and the rugged Adirondack Mountains can now be enjoyed from the guestrooms’ expanded private terraces. Rejuvenated bathrooms make dressing for The Point’s legendary black-tie dinners an experience in itself.
Romantics will rejoice to hear The Boathouse suite has been winterized, allowing it to be booked year round for the first time. A 950-square-foot suite that hovers over the lake and features a wraparound porch, The Boathouse has been recognized as one of “The Top 100 Suites” by Elite Traveler. It is no wonder The Boathouse is the property’s most coveted room.
One aspect of The Point that needed no enhancement is its exceptional level of service, which guests experience before even setting foot on the 75-acre property. Solicitous emails sent before arrival to establish food and activity preferences end with the phrase “we are always here for you.” As the food and activity options are nearly limitless, it is wise to give some thought to these preferences. Yet, in the spirit of “we are always here for you,” the accommodating staff thrives on responding to guests’ flights of whimsy. A casual inquiry about a massage results in the arrival of a masseuse at one’s door 30 minutes later. A last-minute desire to explore the historic town of Lake Placid, New York is fulfilled with the delivery of a Mercedes-Benz luxury SUV stocked with chilled water, dried fruit, and guide books.
Summertime is the time for water lovers to visit The Point. Boating adventures can be as intimate as a picnic for two on a private island reached either by kayak or electric Budsin boat. Those inclined toward more convivial adventures will enjoy a sunset cocktail cruise on The Point’s glass-enclosed Elco launch or a tour of the lake in the resort’s mahogany speed boat, a thirty-three-foot replica of a 1933 Hacker-Craft.
Guests who prefer the terra to the aqua may pursue activities ranging from tennis to croquet. While some may regard hiking as a questionable vacation pursuit, The Point transforms this rugged activity into a sublime adventure. The trail starts at a warming hut stocked with hiking boots in all sizes, veers through a forest trail thoughtfully dotted with water bottles, and ends at a wooden cabin dubbed “Camp David.” On a cool day, a roaring fire in the cabin’s stone fireplace greets hikers as they sit down to a casual lunch featuring regional delicacies like Maine lobster rolls and pea shoot salad. A bottle of Hudson Baby Bourbon, a cult favorite among whiskey drinkers, sits as the center of the self-serve bar. Discovering the property’s other self-serve bars could be described as an activity in its own right. With bars tucked away in locations ranging from the antique-filled Reindeer Room to the cozy billiard room in The Pub to the luxurious lean-to outfitted with overstuffed kilim pillows and oriental rugs at the bonfire site, cocktail hour can easily morph into cocktail hours.
The options for dining are as equally varied as the options for imbibing. While breakfast and lunch are delightful and may be enjoyed anytime and anywhere, The Point’s dinners are unparalleled. In the Great Camp tradition, an invitation is slipped under guests’ doors inviting them to dinner at 7 p.m. in The Great Hall. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, dress is elevated from jacket and tie to black tie. An elegant seven-course meal featuring dishes such as grilled Piedmontese beef tenderloin with black trumpet mushrooms paired with wines such as a 2009 Chateau Pichon Longueville Cabernet rightfully commands such sartorial splendor. Guests also have the option of a chef’s table in the kitchen where they can interact with Executive Chef Loic Leperlier, a veteran of a three-Michelin-star restaurant and five-star resorts in Europe and Bora Bora.
Cherished memories are just one more thing effortlessly and abundantly produced during a stay at The Point. It is these memories that bring so many back—60 percent of The Point’s visitors are return guests with a growing contingent hailing from Chicago’s North Shore. From fog-filled lakeside mornings to star-filled bonfire evenings, every day at The Point is an exercise in abundance and a memory in the making.
For additional information call 800-255-3530; 518-891-5674 or visit thepointsaranac.com. The Point is best reached by plane. Cape Air makes scenic hour-and-a half flights directly from Boston’s Logan Airport to Saranac Lake Airport several times a day.