“It’s not like being a guest at a hotel; it’s like being the guest of a very rich and much-loved uncle.” That’s how Julian Hutton, president of Merlin Hospitality, describes The Point Resort at Lake Saranac.
The sprawling 75-acre property has a rich and interesting past. The former summer home of William Avery Rockefeller, it was built in the 1930s and has now become the luxe, ultra-exclusive 11-room resort. Yes, that’s right, 11 rooms, and the rooms go fast. But it’s not just the secluded Upstate New York escape or the classy country-club-esque feel, it’s the experience that they provide that keeps regulars coming back and curious newcomers trekking to the Adirondacks.
The Point, originally called Camp Wonundra, changed hands and became the private home of the Briggs family (of the Briggs & Stratton engine fortune), and it wasn’t until the late 1970s that aristocrat Ted Carter bought it and started renting rooms to guests who were looking for a unique country house party atmosphere. In 2007, the Everlands Founders Co., a group of private investors, bought the property with the aim of making it a members-only private destination club, but the economic downturn put a wrench in that plan.
That’s good news to us; people continue to explore the lore and history of the property, preserving its country house party feel. But General Manager Megan Torrance says, in some ways, they are constantly evolving. She says, “Our challenge and mission is to provide our guests with a new experience.” While, years ago, people were more interested in sitting by the fire, nowadays, winter means cross-country skiing and summer means hiking the Adirondacks. Torrance says they are hoping to provide their guests with a new memory to bring home and tell their friends about. That means any activity that your haute heart desires, from physical activity to a long spa session, can be arranged.
The beauty of the getaway is neutral to season. Torrance says, “We know there is an intimidation factor because of the snow in Upstate New York, but winter up here is magical.”
Yes, we New York City-folk do tremble at the idea of two feet of snow and below zero temperatures, but Torrance describes a typical winter day quite cozily, “Everyone gets up for breakfast and then does some cross-country skiing, then we will have hot cocoa ready when everyone gets back, then it’s time for lunch.” And then each guest can retire to their room to sit by the fire, because each room is equipped with a wood-burning fireplace.
Note to those who are still looking for holiday gifts: This may be a great one for your overworked friend or loved one. A Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet is $3,550, but some R&R? Priceless.
To vacation like a Rockefeller, the inclusive room rates range from $1,720 to $3,315 per room per night. Visit www.thepointresort.com for more information.