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The Reinvention of The Point, The Classic Adirondacks Resort

What does reinventing a classic entail? Avery Carmichael checks in to The Point in the Adirondacks to find out. The property is scheduled to re-open June 25 and is available for takeovers from June 15.

There is something wonderful about a hotel that has history. The Point, the former home of William Avery Rockefeller, perched alongside Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, is just that, with the best kind of history. Over the course of its nearly 100 years in existence, it has had only five owners, one of whom was Rockefeller himself. Laurie and Pierre Lapeyre, the property’s current stewards (and Indagare members), were loyal guests for more than 24 years, having fallen in love with the hotel’s rich culinary offerings, history and wonderful team.

Contact Indagare for more on planning a trip to The Point or creating a summer escape in a location that is right for you, when travel resumes.

When given the opportunity to purchase The Point, the Lapeyres proceeded with the express intention of continuing the property’s long-held tradition of high-touch service and hospitality. Their mission, among other goals, is to provide a “solid financial foundation, while staying true to The Point’s heritage and traditions.” When it changed hands in 2007, The Point was sold for the highest per-room price of any hotel in history. In June 2016, as The Point’s former owners were facing foreclosure, the Lapeyres purchased the property, and all of its historic furniture and art, at auction, so the significance and vitality of restoration and preservation was of the highest importance: they wanted to retain the heart and soul of The Point, while ushering it into a new era with updates to the structures and services. The multimillion-dollar renovation, completed in 2018, included an updated kitchen befitting a culinary behemoth, revitalized staff housing and further art investments.

Their dedication to restoring the property to its former luster is apparent in its look, and in the feeling you have as you wander the halls and surrounding hiking trails. One of the area’s sprawling lakefront compounds known as “Great Camps,” built by the Gilded Age elite, The Point is a resort that feels more like a private home that welcomes guests. As you enter, you’ll be greeted by an Arts and Crafts mailbox and gate, along with one of the property’s adorable mascots, a Lagotto Romagnolo (Italian water dog). The onsite Pub plays host to a self-service bar, dartboards and extensive puzzle sets. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Reindeer Room is the backdrop for communal black-tie dinners, with seasonal decorations and flowers, while your own accommodation is appointed with charming, rural touches such as a wood-burning fireplace, patterned comforters and Hudson River School art, not to mention views of the lake, sitting silently and majestically in the distance.

The property seamlessly blends an old-world feel with friendly service, incredible culinary offerings and a rustic yet refined sense of place. Its 75 acres of land for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are idyllic all year long: there are crackling leaves and fires in the fall, trees and flowers beginning to bloom in late spring, waterskiing, wake-surfing and boating on Saranac Lake in the summer. In winter, the frozen lake plays host to an ice bar for cocktails and a set of Adirondack chairs for lazing about. Midway through a popular hiking route, a small cabin known as Camp David affords a warm respite from the cold with light bites and beverages. Every detail is considered, and great pains are taken to assure the most personalized experience for all guests. In summer, head out in the morning for a boat ride across the lake, or an afternoon spent wakeboarding or tubing. Enjoy an outdoor BBQ overlooking the water, replete with fried chicken and onion rings, and then dive into a great book while seated in an Adirondack chair under a tree.

During my visit this past winter, while I was enchanted by the snow-dusted trees, the frozen lake and Camp David, as well as the dutiful efforts to maintain the integrity of this fabled estate (Rockefeller’s personal photographs hang in the Reindeer Room, and the shelves in the Pub are made from the property’s artfully restored former radiators), I was most impressed by the team’s dedication to going above and beyond. On a chilly Saturday morning, my travel companion and I headed to the Pub to watch Arsenal play Crystal Palace on The Point’s only television set. Holly, a member of the staff for decades, greeted us with a steaming pot of coffee and a selection of pastries, despite the fact that we had only casually mentioned that we might be watching the game there. (I won’t spoil any of the other surprises that await you, but know this: there will be more.) From general manager Joe and assistant general manager Tony to Grace, Steven and Josh in the restaurant and the bar, to Romeo and Enzo (the property’s resident pooches), the team at The Point is at once personable and truly expert at providing thoughtful, attentive hospitality, and it’s largely thanks to them that this Great Camp feels great once again.

Contact Indagare for more on planning a trip to The Point or creating a summer escape in a location that is right for you, when travel resumes.

– Avery Carmichael on May 19, 2020

Quotable

One of the area’s sprawling lakefront compounds known as 'Great Camps,' built by the Gilded Age elite, The Point is a resort that feels more like a private home that welcomes guests.

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