At Lake Placid Lodge neither bucolic splendor nor first-rate service is compromised. And the 17 newly renovated cabins at the lake's edge are a perfect introduction to this legendary retreat for some of America's most famous families. They range from studios to two-bedroom suites, but share a sublime sense of comfort and ease. Owner David Garrett (member of the board of directors of Relais & Châteaux) has been a champion of local artisans who keep alive the tradition of "rustic" workmanship. One-of-a-kind beds, night tables, and flourishes like ceilings covered in a veneer of white birchbark are found throughout. Most cabins have big pedestal bathtubs and separate double-head showers, and all have stone fireplaces and spectacular views. The only caveat is the work being done at the neighboring country club (due to be completed next summer). When booking, ask to be out of earshot of any construction noise.
The main lodge, on a hillside overlooking Lake Placid and the mountains beyond, has several guestrooms, a snug bar, and the property's restaurant. The restaurant's private dining room, a wine cellar, is terribly romantic, and the talented husband-and-wife chefs, Rob and Vicky Breyette, will lead you through a perfectly orchestrated dinner with wines to match ($500 minimum check). Afterward, the cushioned rattan chairs on the covered terrace are a perfect vantage point from which to view the lake below; or walk down to the waterside lean-to and sit by the fire while sipping port or Cognac. $300-$800. Whiteface Inn Road; 518-523-2700; fax 518-523-1124.