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Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Saranac Saranac Lake
To a devotee of funky old hotels, the Hotel Saranac seemed a little bland. Room was adequate though a portable air conditioner labored mightily (and noisily) next to the bed, managing to cool the room a few degrees by check out time. Would have preferred to open the window. What I took to be a medicine cabinet in the bathroom opened into a plumbing chase. The Boathouse Pub was also adequate. Dinner at the main restaurant was fine, if on the pricey side. Free WIFI next door at the bakery/coffee bar, not in the rooms. I think in the dead of winter the place might be cozy, in the middle of July I would have preferred to be on the lake up the street at the Adirondack Motel.
Food & staff are wonderful
Stayed for 4 nights during Ironman Lake Placid, so it was very busy. Staff was very pleasant, particularly the maid service and at the AP Smith restaurant. We had breakfast a la carte, breakfast buffet and dinner many times here - all excellent. For dinner we ordered from the children's menu because we wanted smaller portions. The steak and barbecued chicken were done to perfection, definitely not your typical children's fare! At breakfast, poached eggs, apple crumb and pastries were excellent. A lot of healthy choices too.
Rooms were small but clean. The doors tended to slam shut and the bathroom facilities were somewhat loud (you could easily hear your neighbor start to run their shower). Convenient ATM in the lobby. Location is great.
Ok, not great, but doable
Stayed here for 2 nights, midweek. Staff were very nice and accomodating. It is a historic 1920s-ish hotel, so keep that in mind when I say that the rooms are pretty small. We just mainly used it to sleep - so that was fine, but you won't want to spend too much time in your room. Overall, the price wasn't bad, so I won't complain.
Location is great though - right downtown. The restaurant is so-so, would recommend it for pub-type food. There is a good bakery around the corner (on the other side of the building) which is nice. The italian restaurant across the street (the name of which I can't remember) is pretty good for dinner.
WILL NEVER, EVER EAT THERE AGAIN!!!
A few friends of mine and I ate at this restraunt January 14th of 2005, the service was well below average, as was the food! There were five of us all together, and we waited about fifteen minutes for the waitress to take our order, and she screwed it up! About one hour later the food was served to us, fairly cold, and we caught a glimpse of the cooks blowing spit balls at each other and carrying on like twelve year-olds!! Absolutely disgusted, we got up and left without paying the bill for the food and service we did NOT receive, none of us will EVER go back!
We visit this hotel two or more times a year, every single year. So I'm a big fan, and I'm going to have to disagree with some of the quibbles in other reviews.
I'm surprised by those who were shocked that their rooms were small. They are, but I expected that, knowing this was a European style hotel that built in the 1920s. This is one of those "lots of smaller interconnecting rooms" places. Also, somone made a bit of fun of the fact that the original bathroom fixtures are still in place. Again, yes. The 1920s fixtures, including the giant bathtubs, are all still here, and that's another thing I love about it. As others mentioned, eveything was spotless.
The fine-dining restaurant is great, if a little limiting in its menu, and the pub-type food in the smaller restaurant is good as well. Many rave about the trout, and I would have to rave about the pork medallions. The pastry shop is great for mornings (great fresh fritters), and we've been to both the buffets, both good. The gift shop is wonderful. Best in the area.
I guess my warning would be this - if you are looking for a luxurious modern hotel with big rooms, TVs in the bathroom, lobby bars, and a lot of gleaming chrome, this isn't the place for you.
It is a charming little 1920s hotel with great atmosphere in a small town. Don't expect the Hilton. Expect a lot of charm and some low-pressure good service.
Gracious Hospitality and Fine Food
We were pleasantly surprised with our recent stay at the historic Hotel Saranac. We were warmly greeted by the front desk and given helpful information regarding the Hotel and the village. Our room was not large, as one would expect in a historic old property, but was clean and comfortable and had a nice view of the picturesque town and mountains. One feels that one is stepping back in time walking past all the old doors with brass numbers. We were promptly seated in the busy restaurant, and graciously served by the students. I had the best brook trout I have ever eaten, and my beloved raved about the seafood linguine. I suppose the beer could have been a few degrees colder, but the mug was large. They have a nice selection of wines. The chocalate buttermilk cake melts in your mouth and my stomach was full before my appetite told me to stop.
The gift shop in the Hotel is better than most that we find while traveling, some real nice stuff.
The weekend breakfast buffet gives you a great bang for the buck. One gets the idea that both the managment and the staff are working hard at improving service at this wonderful place. Lots to do in this scenic wonderland and the Hotel Saranac makes a great home base to explore from.
This isn't the Waldorf, but it's very comfortable and welcoming.
Quaint, but not what we expected
The Hotel Saranac was a one-night stopover on our way to Lake Placid. We had heard a lot about the hotel and restaurant and wanted to try it out, rather than continuing on to Lake Placid. The hotel is listed in the Historic Hotels of America, and should be. Room was small and cramped, and the bathroom fixtures definitely qualify as "historic." Our main complaint, though, was the so-called "King" bed, which turned out to be two double beds pushed togther and covered with a set of king linens. Very uncomfortable and neither my wife or I got anything resembling a good night's sleep. The lakeview was really nice, but the window was very small and you couldn't see the lake while sitting on the bed, which was no more than 5 feet away. We had dinner in the main restaurant, and, again, had mixed results. The food was excellent, (make sure you try the trout!), but the service was not good, and the wait was too long for the number of people there. When we brought our concerns to the front desk during checkout, and adjustment was made to our room rate, but not a significant one. The Hotel Saranac is located on Main St. in Saranac Lake, a charming street of shops and very friendly people, with a nice walkway along the river, with the lake at the far end of the street. Made for a very nice after-dinner stroll.
All in all, a very mixed visit. Some good, some not so good, but I don't think we'll be staying here again.
Charming little hotel
The Hotel Saranac is a sweet, comfortable little hotel, with lots of neat art deco details in the decor and a staff that tries really hard to make sure you're happy.
We booked a single room, which was on the small side. It would have been fine for a couple, but we were traveling with our baby son and his Pack-n-Play (portable crib/playpen). Things were a bit snug with that set up. I'm sure that we would have had no difficulty with moving to a larger room if we'd asked... we just didn't bother. Our room was spotless and nicely decorated. The bathroom fixtures and radiator were old-fashioned, but that just added to the charm of the place.
[ One side note: the air conditioner was a strange-looking portable affair stored in our closet. We had no need for it since it was early spring and quite cool during our stay, but we wondered what it would look like and how it would work when it was hooked up. Being fresh-air types, we'd probably prefer an open window anyway. ]
We had breakfast in the dining room both mornings of our stay, and the buffet was pretty good. We peeked at the reception rooms, which were very nice, and there's a big balcony over the hotel's entrance. It looks like it would be a great place to have a wedding reception.
We understand that the Hotel Saranac is beginning a renovation project, and we hope that they don't modernize things too much because the old-fashioned atmosphere is one of the best things about this hotel. Rates are extremely reasonable, less expensive than the inflated rates you'd pay at the budget hotels in nearby Lake Placid for rooms that aren't nearly as nice.
LOVE this place, Staff is Down Home Small Town Friendly
A terrific value and a beautiful historic building in the best small town we've run across - and all this ten minutes from Lake Placid.
Okay, really, its Saranac Lake and this hotel we're in love with. I do have to agree with the previous reviewer though - the staff and students are wonderful, friendly, and SO helpful. Management is a different story, but they are pretty invisible and don't get in the way of any fun. As an example - the staff and students are always quick to make suggestions and answer questions ... the Management is a little impersonal and always takes over a week to answer emails. Anyhow. We LOVE this place! Incidentally, there is a dirt-cheap town sponsored SKi / tubing slope a few minutes down the road.
Value but be patient
Great value, excellent place for the family but one needs to be patient. Not with the staff, they are great, but the management. The staff works their hearts out, has fun and shares the fun with guests. There is something about students that try hard and succeed ... you know what I mean? The management is a different story. Trying to make a suggestion to the manager was impossible. I am not alone in this. The students agreed! That said, go there and have fun. Bottom line, no regrets.
TripAdvisor Reviews Hotel Saranac Saranac Lake
Travel Blogs from Saranac Lake
... later in the depths of the lake. After a quick lunch in Lake Placid we headed to Montreal. We expected a 3 hour drive but didn't count on nearly a two hour wait to cross the border. On we got to the border station it only took a few minutes to go through and get back on the road. We checked in to our Hotel.....a hotel atop a ...
... a mile to the top. There we had a 360 degree of the landscape-an amazing view in to both Vermont and Canada. We went down much more quickly then we went up-an 246 ft. elevator ride to the bottom. We enjoyed the majesty of the mountains, the amazing scenery and the views that only higher elevations can provide.
Family Folklore: We had interesting ...
... snooping through stores led to a dinner by Mirror Lake. Players sports bar has outdoor seating and while a little chilly-it was nice to sit by the water and have dinner. We watching the semi-final soccer game between Japan and England in Spanish (due to a TV issue). we're looking forward to sunnier skies tomorrow! ...
... team beat the German team in the World Cup semi-finals. More rain forecasted for tomorrow-ugh!
Family Folklore: The kids are thrilled that there is a glass shower! The door to the bathroom has an etched design which doesn't cover the whole door so....anyone taller than the design can see right into the bathroom-a design flaw!
... and the elevation climb was very gradual. Not a lot of towns or places to stop along the way, but the views were great.
Since we started out later than we had planned, we didn't get to Lake Placid until about 1:30pm. Luckily our rooms were ready so we were able to check in and unload. I'm starting to understand how these rides work. I thought we'd ride for 50 miles or so, then stop and see something, then get back on the road and continue on like that ...