For many families, winter vacation planning always comes down to one big question: to hit the slopes or head to the beach? Fortunately, a stay at Whiteface Lodge, with its gorgeous natural setting, kid-friendly amenities, no-flight-needed proximity to Westchester, and the famous Olympic-worthy skiing at nearby Whiteface Mountain, can help make the decision very easy.
Nestled high in the Adirondacks in Lake Placid (home of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics), Whiteface Lodge is one of the top winter escapes rivaling even Aspen and Jackson Hole with its legendary slopes. Skiing, ice skating, a luxurious spa, indoor/outdoor heated pool, bowling and nightly shows are just some of the activities that can keep families busy, morning to night.
Arriving at the resort after a five-hour drive, one is immediately transported to a place of serene calm, where scenic expanses of mountains and lakes relegate the screams and crankiness of the back-seat brigade to a thing of the past.
The grand resort is large but never feels pretentious. The interiors feature dramatic woodsy décor, and every area is covered in planks of bark, giving a warm, inviting feel to every room no matter how grand.
The accommodations are all rustic charm and woodsy coziness designed to evoke the charm of the Adirondack camping tradition. Each suite was designed with families and groups in mind, with even the smallest Junior Suite offering 500 square feet of comfort with a queen bed in a separate room, a queen sleeper couch for the kids, a jetted tub, washer and dryer, a cast iron fireplace, and a full kitchen. The resort also offers Superior Suites and larger two bedroom configurations for those needing extra room. It’s not hard to imagine spending an entire week here due to all the en-suite comforts available. Each room even offers its own private balcony so guests can stay connected to the great outdoors from the comfort of their rooms.
While the nearby Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa caters to the adult set, the Whiteface Lodge prides itself on always putting kids first. There is a complimentary Kamp Kanu program for kids ages 3 to 10 that runs on weekends during the year and seven days a week in the summer (make sure to call the concierge in advance to book). Kamp Kanu offers a variety of activities such as frog catching, arts and crafts, and sports all led by enthusiastic staff who know how to keep kids entertained. There is also a bowling alley, a large well-outfitted game room, and a movie theater that shows three films per day. The nightly shows are also a big hit with the kids, with many featuring local wildlife to keep them entertained.
The dining here is also a warm and inviting family affair. Kanu Dining Room is the more formal option set in a soaring wood-beamed space with high ceilings. Parents can drop off the kids at the Sunset Club (the evening kids’ camp) before enjoying their dinner of seafood and steaks, or take them along to enjoy the full kids’ menu. For those wanting a more casual option, the Kanu lounge provides a nice laid-back spot to enjoy flatbread, wood fired pizza menu, salads and burgers. A complimentary breakfast buffet is also a nice way to start the day with plenty of options for even the pickiest palettes.
While the kids enjoy the festivities, the adults will want to book themselves a half-day or full-day to enjoy the spa, ranked Top 100 in North America by Condé Nast Traveler. With over 8,000 square feet of rustic elegance, it is a not-to-miss experience with treatments ranging from Whiteface Aroma-Sensory Massage to an Ausable River Stone Massage that both draw inspiration from the natural environment.
With all these comforts and amenities, it’s no wonder many guests never feel the need to leave the plush confines of the lodge. Still, many guests will want to venture out for at least a few hours to experience the historic town of Lake Placid with the convenience of a luxury shuttle that will whisk guests free of charge anywhere they want to go. With so many shops and restaurants in town as well as the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, it’s well worth making the excursion to enjoy this quaint village before heading home.
Elina Furman is a frequent contributor to Westchester Family.
7 Whiteface Inn Lane
Lake Placid, N.Y.
518-523-0505 or 888-582-0505
Rates from $466 to $5,654