Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Anyone who’s traveled in the American Northeast knows that there’s much more to the state of New York than just New York City. Upstate New York is a playground for nature lovers with an array of inviting destinations to explore, offering a welcome retreat for luxury travelers and a fresh air haven for couples and families with kids. Some of the most popular places to explore here are Saratoga Springs, Johnstown, Adirondack Park, Lake Placid, and the Thousand Islands.
This is an ideal place to visit during all four seasons, with fishing and swimming in the summer, colorful leaves in the fall, snow sports in the winter, and blooming flowers in the spring. And any time of year, you can find gourmet restaurants, local artisans, unique shopping opportunities, and comfortable places to stay. These are some of the must-stay hotels and resorts to consider for your trip to Upstate New York.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
One of the most well-known and historic resorts in Upstate New York is the Sagamore. It even earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places! The resort is over a century old and perfectly situated to overlook the scenic Lake George. It has been updated and renovated, but still maintains the classic charm that has always brought the elite of Manhattan to its doorstep. This AAA Four-Diamond resort is a luxurious home base for going fishing from the resort dock, playing golf and tennis, indulging in a spa treatment, and hiking the Adirondacks. There are elegant guest rooms, including lavish suites with lake and garden views in the historic hotel. You can also book a lodge room or suite, the Hermitage private luxury suite, or a two-bedroom condo for an extended stay.
The Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz is more like a castle perched atop a cliff, surrounded by the serenity and wilderness you wouldn’t expect to find in New York. It’s just 90 minutes north of New York and near the Catskills but feels like a world away. This National Historic Landmark was built in 1869 and has an elegant Victorian vibe. Rooms, suites, and cottages are available, and several dining options are offered for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Even if you don’t book a room to stay overnight here, Mohonk makes an excellent Hudson Valley day trip for hiking, rock climbing, ice skating, tennis, and other seasonal activities.
Geneva on the Lake is an Italian-style mansion that’s also steeped in history, luxury, and local culture. Geneva on the Lake has received the AAA Four-Diamond Award for over 30 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s located at the top of Seneca Lake and serves as a perfect home base to explore Upstate New York’s wine country. Italian style and design are at the heart of the architecture and décor, which blends perfectly with the fine wine and food featured in the area. There are a dozen different room and suite options to choose from, and breakfast and lunch can be enjoyed al fresco on The Terrace.
For secluded log cabin-style accommodations in Upstate New York and access to boats and high-end amenities, look no further than The Point. This is an old Rockefeller Great Camp in the Adirondacks and practically defines “rustic luxury.” Breakfast in bed is just the start to days of fine dining, with private picnics and fireplaces to set the mood. There are four buildings that have cozy guest rooms at The Point that feature fine antiques, 19th-century oil paintings, and calming views of the lake.
As the name suggests, Saratoga Springs was traditionally known for its healing spring waters, and one of the best places to stay in the area is the Gideon Putnam. Built in 1935, this resort is located in Saratoga Spa State Park and also near the local thoroughbred horse racing track. This is also a wonderful place for art lovers to stay because the Saratoga Performing Arts Centers hosts top-notch acts, including the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Saratoga has a vibrant downtown nightlife scene that’s just minutes away.
Another lovely place to stay in Upstate New York is the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa, which is just 30 minutes from I-87 and in the village of Lake Placid. Guests enjoy all the comforts of modern amenities within cozy walls and antique fixtures. Favorite relaxing activities include reading by the fireplace, sipping afternoon tea, and getting a rejuvenating body treatment at the on-site spa. This is also a popular place for business conferences and small to mid-size corporate retreats. It’s truly a resort for all seasons with a private ice skating rink, world-class skiing nearby, a private natural beach for swimming, and a world-class golf course nearby too. Downtown Lake Placid is just a short walk away.
Diamond Mills is a boutique hotel with a contemporary American restaurant in the village of Saugerties, New York between the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River. The intimate collection guest rooms offer private balconies and views of the Esopus Falls. Travelers looking to spend more time in the area can book an extended stay apartment. This is a popular place for weddings and conferences since there are over 7,000 square feet of event space in the grand ballroom and seating for 400 guests.
Nature lovers will be delighted by the Elk Lake Lodge, which is closed for the winter but offers authentic accommodations between May and October. There are only six rooms in the main lodge, which was built in 1904, as well as charming cottages to stay in as you relax along the quiet and private Elk Lake. This is a perfect place for hikers who like a little luxury after a day out on the trail. There are 40 miles of hiking trails and 12,000 acres of private forest preserve here. Onsite dining is available for guests as well.
With all the classic elegance in Upstate New York accommodations, the Roxbury stands out for its funky design and creative vibe. The inviting rooms are bold, bright, and inspired by retro movies and TV shows. There is a spa with affordable options for pampering treatments and although there is no on-site restaurant, there is one right across the street. Guests enjoy being close to skiing and hiking since the Plattekill Ski Resort is just 15 minutes away. This is a great place to stay for travelers who are looking for a whimsical experience and who want to spend time in the great outdoors.