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January 28, 2014

The Ultimate Winter Escape: Whiteface Lodge

By Deborah Frank | Travel

The Ultimate Winter Escape
Courtesy of Whiteface Lodge

Snowstorms do not translate to cabin fever at the Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, New York. On a recent stay during the holidays, the 94-room Adirondack resort, made up of one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and duplexes with fully equipped kitchens, proved the place to be when temperatures fall below zero at night and run in the single digits during the day.

Despite the town’s numerous offerings—everything from bobsledding on a World Cup track to ice-skating on an Olympic oval to dogsledding on Mirror Lake, not to mention downhill and cross-country skiing—time spent at the lodge can be as adventurous or as relaxing as one wants it to be. Skipping the complimentary five-minute shuttle service into the village, we opted for a morning “yogalates” class (a combination of yoga, Pilates and body resistance training) on a terrace overlooking snow-capped mountains. Afterward we plunged into the 87-degree pool with its massive, 104-degree hot tub, steam rising up into the five-degree air outside. (The lodge has an underground passageway to the pool, which is partly indoors, so there’s no need to freeze getting in and out of it.)

An 80-minute deep-tissue massage ($180) at the recently enhanced spa, with its new Spa Café and hair salon, prepared us for a cozy retreat to our suite for some downtime by the fireplace. The spa’s menu of services features HydraFacial MD facials (from $125 for 25 minutes), which we recently experienced and highly recommend as a quick and effective way to deeply cleanse and intensely hydrate skin. The take-home kit (available with the purchase of a six-treatment series) helps the detoxifying and rejuvenating effects last even longer.

Dinner at restaurant KANU consisted of oxtail soup and wild-boar stew cooked to perfection, plus a dessert of homemade ice-cream-cookie sandwiches topped with fudge and whipped cream. Drinks in the KANU lounge, where entertaining local musicians played, closed out the day. And there was even the option of watching the film Avatar that evening in the resort’s movie theater, located next to the old-fashioned arcade. (Earlier in the day it screened Madagascar 3 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to keep the kids entertained.)

There is no doubt plenty to do at Whiteface. But one of the best parts of staying at the lodge is the comfortable at-home feel you get from the beautifully rustic Adirondack Great Camp decor and the exceptional, welcoming service. Here, everyone knows your name. Rooms start at $375; 7 Whiteface Inn Ln.; 518-523-0500; thewhitefacelodge.com.

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