Monday, March 25, 2013

Detour: Weekend Getaway in Lake Placid

Posted By on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The outdoor pool The Whiteface Lodge is heated at 85F and open year-round.

Howard Johnsons in Lake Placid

My family and I recently came back from a wonderful long-weekend getaway in Lake Placid. Instead of taking the kids to Florida for a break from this harsh winter, we decided to skip the airline headaches, save money, and embrace the NY winter by planning a long weekend away in Lake Placid. The Whiteface Lodge had everything we were looking for: cozy spacious rooms, buffet breakfast, tons of amenities, and a world-class spa. We booked it. Even though the rates are expensive, it is still cheaper than the airfare to Florida.

From Woodstock, it took us about four hours to get to Lake Placid, with one restroom stop. When we arrived there on Thursday night, it was snowing steadily. I knew as soon as I saw those heavy wooden Adirondack doors open for me, we were into something good! The star of our long weekend was our one-bedroom Junior suite. I call it a star because we really enjoyed being in the room so much that we didn't feel like leaving. The suite was luxurious, but had its own Adirondack style with vintage snowshoes decorating the walls. It also had a full compact kitchen with everything we needed. (There is a PriceChopper around the corner from the hotel, so if you want to pack your fridge and cook in you can.)

The housekeeping team is really over-the-top, knocking on our door around 5pm asking us if we'd like our icebox refreshed. Another knock on the door came later, offering two huge chocolate chip cookies wrapped in cellophane, and turn down service for our sofa bed. (Passed on the ice, but we took the cookies!)

Star #2 would be the swimming pool, which is part outdoor and part indoor. It was a surreal experience to start off swimming in the indoor pool then swim through a very short tunnel to pass into the great outdoors where we swam through a foggy mist while it snowed on us in the pool! I think the kids will remember this! I felt like I was in Iceland or the Twilight Zone. We went swimming twice a day. The pool was very kid friendly, and even has life-jackets for toddlers, though no lifeguard on duty. There were two outdoor jacuzzis and one indoor one.

The first night in Lake Placid, we went out for pizza, but the pizza was very bland even though the kids ate it. The restaurant was not Hudson Valley Good Stuff worthy. The second night, we decided to splurge for room service at Whiteface Lodge. It was pretty good, and arrived quickly. Tom had the cheeseburger, and I had mushroom and spinach wrap. The kids enjoyed the chicken fingers and pizza.

Buffet breakfast or a la carte breakfast was included in the room rate. I didn't try out the a la carte because I'm such a big breakfast buffet kinda girl. Everything on the buffet was very good, but my favorite dish was the oatmeal and granola.

Weekend highlights:

We loved ice skating at the outdoor ice rink at the Whiteface Lodge. The adult and kids ice skates and snowshoes are availalble in the hut next to the rink. I wish the ice rink had a railing though because it helps me bolster my skating confidence. (We'll bring helmets for the kids next time.)

The Spa at Whiteface Lodge is one of the best spas I've ever been to. I experienced the Great Lakes Salt Bath, a 45-minute soak in an oversized jaccuzzi bath with salt crystals and aromatherapy. By the way, the steam and sauna are available to all hotel guests. You don't need to book a spa service to enjoy these amenities.

Lunch at Howard Johnson's: I enjoyed the nostalgia of eating at HoJo's, and the kids loved their grilled cheeses! The meatloaf entree I chose reminded me of my old high school cafeteria food. Yes, it was that good! The Howard Johnson in Lake Placid is one of three remaining HoJo's in the US!

There are many fun activities to do with the family in Lake Placid, but since we were so comfortable at the hotel, and we don't ski, we didn't really have the urge to venture out that much, but next time we will be a bit braver.

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