Back in 1980, the U.S. ice hockey team beat the Russians when the winter Olympic Games were held at Lake Placid, New York.
As excitement builds for this winter's Olympic Games in Russia, the place to enjoy the action is Lake Placid's Olympic Park.
Twice host for the winter Olympics, Lake Placid is the opposite of Sochi when it comes to crowds. Small hotels, boutiques, and burger shops line the lakeshore leading to the Olympic Park. Set in the magnificent Adirondack State Park, the combination of sport and spa has never been better. There are thrilling rides on an Olympic bobsled with skilled racing team, and the gondola to Whiteface Mountain's ski complex. Avid skiers can hit the slopes on 86 trails spanning 22 miles of exhilarating terrain.
The perfect place to watch the Sochi games in comfort, Lake Placid's Whiteface Lodge has a full-service spa as well as indoor swimming pool, and open-air ice skating rink. Lodge guests will be treated to excursions and events throughout the area.
Tucked into a nine-room sanctuary, the spa has hair and nail salons, offers a wide range of treatments plus group exerise, fitness equipment, and a healthy option cafe. Featuring skin care by Naturopathica made in New York, the spa menu includes a maple butter body wrap, apple cider masque, outdoorsman facial, and hot stones massage. Packages are available for a half-day and full-day.
Designed like historic Great Camps that put the area on the map in the 1880s, the all-suite resort is one-of-a-kind. Entering the wooden porte-cochere is a sensory pleasure: spacious, intimate lounges, fireplaces perfuming the air, this is mountain living on a grand scale.
Massive logs frame the main dining room, Kanu. Stone fireplaces warm the room, and a wood-fired oven produces regional specialties as well as pizza. The farm-to-table menu created by executive chef David Haick and his team is sourced from local farms. During my visit last fall we were impressed by a bone-in beef tenderloin, butternut squash puree on toasted chanterelle mushrooms, baked Scotch egg with salad, and hay-smoked Nova Scotia oysters. Dessert was apple sorbet, with wines and beer from New York.
Ideal for families, the Lodge has a kitchen in every suite. With just 94 spacious suites spread on three floors, the central garden has an ice skating rink and indoor/outdoor swimming pools. The spa's underground location provides a warm walkway to the pools, which aren't large enough for swimming laps but keep kids happy. And there's a 56-seat movie theater for daily screenings, complete with popcorn.
As night came on, couples relaxed in the whirlpools, steam rising into the crisp air. The Adirondacks are about enjoying the outdoors, and cross-country ski trails on the Lodge grounds add an element of exercise. Some guests settle into open-air huts with snacks from room service.Two spacious, hand-crafted lean-tos provide an inviting, sheltered spot under the stars to gather for cigars, whiskey flights, and hors d’oeuvres by the fire.
Whiteface Lodge has daily rates that include breakfast buffet and use of spa facilities. The Olympic Experience Package includes a special Olympic-themed welcome amenity, two 50-minute sports massages, and two Olympic Sites Passports offering admission to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum and Ski Jumping Complex among other popular attractions. Whiteface Lodge’s concierge team will also be on hand as expert “coaches” to help guests go for the gold in events including ice-climbing, bobsledding, tubing, speed skating, and downhill skiing at nearby Whiteface Mountain.
Guests booking the Olympic package will enjoy luxurious suite accommodations complete with balcony, fireplace, and full kitchen, American breakfast daily in KANU, warm, homemade cookies at turndown, nightly s’mores, and access to all resort amenities including a two-lane bowling alley. The package is available now through March 31, with rates starting at $476 per night.
Contact: 800-903-4045 or 518/523-0500; www.thewhitefacelodge.com