Aprés ski, pamper yourself at the historic Mirror Lake Inn
We recently traveled to Lake Placid in New York for a freestyle ski competition. You may recall that Lake Placid, nestled in the scenic High Peaks of the Adirondacks, hosted the 1980 and the 1932 Winter Olympics.
Today, Lake Placid is home to the training facilites for the U.S. Olympic team. We visited the Olympic Jumping Center where we watched our daughter place third in aerials. And we skied the venerable Whiteface Mountain and saw our daughter compete in moguls — bumps and tricks.
But it was away from the ski slopes that we found the story for this column. We opted to spend the weekend at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa and discovered a real gem — one that is on my list of places I'd like to visit again.
Most of the time when we book lodging for ski trips we hunt for the budget bargains — basic beds and warmth. It's a must when you are feeding and skiing with a couple of growing teenagers. This trip, however, was different. Our kids were staying elsewhere, so we were on our own.
The historic Inn has a comfortable, casual atmosphere that reflects its outdoorsy, Adirondack mountain heritage. Yet, with its 101 rooms and 30 suites, the Inn is prepared to host small meetings and corporate retreats.
We found that the staff at the Mirror Lake ready to indulge the guests. Freshly-baked cookies greeted us upon arrival. A Saturday afternoon tea and a roaring fire warmed us following a day on the cold ski slopes.
The Inn features a five-star restaurant, aptly named "The View" and a club-style bistro called "Taste." Executive Chef Greg Michaud has been at the Mirror Lake Inn for more than 20 years. He and his culinary team have earned well deserved kudos for their awardwinning menu and elegant comfort foods. You won't go away hungry.
The Inn's staff posts a daily listing of available activites, so you can keep yourself busy without ever strapping on the alpine boards. The weekend we visited the Inn offered morning yoga classes, cross country ski lessons and tours, and a family magic show. Kids can attend creative arts and crafts programs.
Guides were available for a wilderness adventure snowshoe trek or you could try your luck at ice fishing. Those truly hearing the call of the wild could go dog sledding across the frozen Mirror Lake.
You'll find plenty to occupy your time in Lake Placid. In addition to those activities that I've already mentioned, there's ice skating and ice climbing. You can try the bobsled and the luge or rent a snowmobile. Summer activities include horseback riding, hiking the endless scenic trails, rock climbing, golf, canoeing and fishing.
The Inn also features a full-service spa, complete with an indoor pool and hot tub. Even if you don't swim, the pool is worth a look, resembling a hidden spring tucked away in the mountains.
Of course, while in Lake Placid you'll want to soak up some of the Olympic heritage. Start with a visit to the Olympic museum in downtown Lake Placid. And you can also watch some of the talented athletes who are training for the next winter Olympics.
Lake Placid is about a six hour drive from Jamestown. Definitely worth the trip!
The Mirror Lake Inn and its staff have accumulated an impressive list of accolates. Most recently, Travel + Leisure magazine selected Mirror Lake Inn as one of the 500 world's best hotels. The Mirror Lake Inn received top marks on the Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List, earning #11 spot on the list of the top 50 places to ski and stay in North America.
You can learn more about the inn at www.mirrorlakeinn.com.