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Upstate New York offers gorgeous scenery, including brilliant foliage in the fall, soaring mountains for hiking, and lots of sparkling lakes for water sports like kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. There are charming small towns, wineries, and plenty of luxury accommodation too. Whether you’re looking for a resort where you can bliss out with total relaxation, including spa treatments, a property that offers lots of activities, or a little of both, you’ll find it among the region’s fabulous luxury hotels.
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Looking like a cliff-top castle, Mohonk Mountain House – a must-stay Upstate New York hotel – is surrounded by wilderness at the edge of Lake Mohonk, providing an especially tranquil setting that’s only 90 minutes from New York City while feeling as if it’s worlds away. A National Historic Landmark, it was built in the mid-1800s and has an elegant Victorian vibe throughout, with upscale accommodation provided in cottages, suites, and rooms. An all-inclusive, there is a wide range of activities available, including hiking, rock climbing, and ice skating, while meals can be enjoyed outdoors and in the main dining room with dishes focused on the Hudson Valley’s local bounty.
The Sagamore Resort is a National Historic Landmark that dates back nearly 150 years and overlooks Lake George. Accommodation is offered in everything from lodge rooms and suites to two-bedroom condos, some with kitchens, fireplaces, and balconies or terraces with lake views. All come with TVs and free Wi-Fi. The Sagamore provides a luxurious base for enjoying the area’s activities, with plenty to do on-site, too, including golfing, tennis, swimming in the outdoor pool, and fishing from the resort’s dock. Spa offerings at this top New York spa hotel are numerous when it’s time to relax, and the beauty salon offers hair styling and makeup application. There are also multiple dining options on-site, from casual bites at the cafe to a New York-style steakhouse.
The Inns of Aurora is a collection of four inns that overlook the sparkling waters of Lake Cayuga in the village of Aurora. Each one evokes the feel of an old-fashioned, relaxed stay with wide porches with Adirondack rocking chairs, sweeping lawns, and panoramic sunset views. The rooms are luxurious and individually designed, some of which come with four-poster beds, marble fireplaces, balconies, and lake views. All include Frette Italian linens, TVs, and Bose Bluetooth speakers. There is plenty to do on-site, including complimentary yoga, tea-blending lessons, and activities, with free paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and bicycles available for guest use. Guests can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese session before dinner, with the innovative menu featuring refined American and seasonal fare. It’s also one of the most festive hotels in the U.S. at Christmas and for Halloween.
Lake Placid Lodge sits along the shores of Lake Placid, the only property you’ll find at the lake’s edge. This secluded forest retreat, one of the best resorts in America for peeping fall foliage, includes both private cabins and rooms in the main lodge, with quintessential lakeside furnishings and decor such as stone fireplaces, lots of plaid, and large covered terraces furnished with Adirondack chairs. Activities are available year-round, including kayaking, canoeing, boating, snowshoeing, ice skating, and skiing if you want to do more than just relax. Delicious farm-to-table eats can be enjoyed along with tasty pints at Maggie’s Pub and s’mores around the bonfire.
The stylish adults-only The Point resort sits on 75 acres along the shores of Upper Saranac Lake and offers secluded log cabin-style accommodation. Built more than a century ago by William Avery Rockefeller as his family’s private home, today it offers a luxurious “Great Camp” type of stay complete with antiques and fine art. The guest rooms are spread throughout four buildings and offer serene lake views and fireplaces. Most have access to an outdoor sitting area or terrace. There are many activities available on-site, with complimentary kayaks and canoes available along with the opportunity for fishing, boating, and water-skiing. When it comes to dining, you can start your day with breakfast in bed, enjoy private picnics, and end the day with four-course fine dining.
The Gideon Putnam sits within Saratoga Springs Spa State Park in a peaceful wooded setting. It offers a luxurious full-service spa for enjoying a wide range of pampering treatments and mineral baths with the mineral water derived from the city’s famous underground springs (one of the reasons Saratoga Springs is a must-visit destination in New York). There’s a fitness center and a restaurant/bar open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and guests also have access to the park’s pools. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, minifridges, Keurig coffeemakers, and robes.
Tucked within the Adirondack Mountains alongside Mirror Lake, Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa features picturesque water views from every window and is quite possibly the most luxurious resort in the state. Some of the upscale rooms and suites include fireplaces, four-poster beds, jetted tubs, and private terraces or balconies with lake views. There is a long list of activities on offer, with rowboats, paddleboards, paddleboats, kayaks, and canoes, all complimentary and for exclusive guest use. There’s a heated outdoor pool, a large indoor pool, a hot tub, and a fitness center, while dining options include everything from a casual bistro to a higher-end restaurant.
A former private residence along the banks of Seneca Lake, the 19th-century Belhurst Castle offers a luxurious and romantic getaway with rooms that include antiques, canopy beds, and cast bronze fireplaces. Some have private balconies and stained-glass windows. The stone castle hotel is a landmark here, and Belhurst Winery is right on the property offering tastings of award-winning ice wines and Rieslings. Guests can also enjoy signature spa treatments to take relaxation up a notch, along with an elegant fine-dining restaurant and casual tavern.
Glenmere offers 5-star accommodation on a 150-acre property with picturesque garden pathways in the Hudson Valley. It hosts 18 unique rooms that provide a peaceful setting and many upscale features, including multiple bedrooms, living areas with fireplaces, marble bathrooms with in-floor heating, and large furnished patios. There are two restaurants on-site, one of which offers fine dining, and a lavish spa and bathhouse. Outstanding golf courses and scenic trails for hiking are just a short drive away.
One of the most romantic lodges in the region and one of the best lodges in the U.S. for a winter stay, Whiteface Lodge was built using hand-milled timber and features cozy cast-iron fireplaces and leather armchairs. Come for a rustic experience that includes opportunities to explore the wilderness on foot or horseback. In the winter, snowshoeing is possible too. There’s a full-service spa, private movie theater, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a well-equipped fitness center, game room, tennis courts, and an ice cream shop. Rooms are done up in Adirondack camp style and include bathrooms with whirlpool tubs.
A French chateau-style inn, Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck sits on a property with gardens inspired by Claude Monet’s paintings, complete with picturesque walking trails and ponds. Guests can take advantage of a variety of fitness classes like Pilates and yoga, as well as indulge in the luxurious spa. The elegant on-site restaurant, not surprisingly, offers French-inspired cuisine, while even the most basic rooms come with separate living areas with fireplaces, HDTVs, high-end sound systems, and spacious bathrooms with soaker tubs, bathrobes, and luxury toiletries. By booking one of the Club rooms or suites, you’ll get access to a private lounge area and snacks.
Spread across three different properties in Lake Placid, High Peaks Resort offers an upscale getaway in the Adirondacks, providing an ideal mix of access to popular attractions and a wide range of shopping along with many on-site amenities. There are two outdoor and two indoor swimming pools, a fitness center, and complimentary use of paddleboards and kayaks for fun out on the lake. The one-bedroom suites come with private entrances, separate living and sleeping areas, minifridges and microwaves, and two private furnished balconies with spectacular views of the water. Both casual and fine dining can be enjoyed right on-site too.
An Italian-style mansion steeped in history at the top of Seneca Lake, Geneva on the Lake is a National Historic Landmark offering an ideal base for exploring wine country. With its formally manicured grounds and Italian Renaissance architecture, you’ll feel as if you’ve been dropped in Tuscany. The suites and studios are furnished beautifully, and all come with kitchens and living rooms with flat-screen TVs. Some also feature four-poster beds, whirlpool tubs, and furnished patios with breathtaking lake and sunrise views. Guests can enjoy free use of bikes, lawn games, access to the on-site gym, and a seasonal pool, while breakfast is served on an outdoor terrace or in the elegant columned restaurant.
A Federal-style resort, The Otesaga Resort Hotel was built in 1909. Luxurious throughout, it features everything from a neoclassical entryway to rooms like the ultra-spacious No. 245 with its high ceilings, magnificent views, chandeliers, and wide veranda that faces Lake Otsego. In the elegant dining room, enjoy delicious meals and picturesque views through the huge windows that overlook the beautifully manicured grounds that especially lure city dwellers in the fall when they’re splashed with vibrant autumn colors. Canoes are available for rent and provide a fantastic perspective of it all from the water.