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“Dreary cabins perching on a cliff with grumpy owners” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Camp Driftwood

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Camp Driftwood
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124 Driftwood Trail, Indian Lake, NY 12842-1603   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Indian Lake
GreenLeadersBronze level
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Dreary cabins perching on a cliff with grumpy owners”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

The Driftwood Cabins are awful. We did something that I have never done anywhere else - we actually left mid-week (with two small children!) and looked for a different place to stay. We stayed in the Hemlock Cabin. The cabin was TINY (and we are from NYC so we are used to small living spaces), living area and bedrooms were clean, but both the kitchen and bathroom were filthy (other people's hair and other people's crumbs--gross).

The 'fully' equipped kitchen did not have matches -we got there at night and realized that we had no way to light the stove, when we asked for some in the morning they were begrudgingly given to us by the owner, with the comment to make sure we brought them back. The kitchen also did not have a garbage pail, the silverware was cracked and disgusting and there was an ancient, greasy wooden cutting board that I was afraid to touch. The bathroom sink did not drain and gurgled anytime water was run in the kitchen sink or when the toilet was flushed- the toilet did actually flush- a miracle that I will be eternally grateful for. The shower was warmer than cold, but was certainly not hot. And the bathroom smelled bad and had obviously not been cleaned since the last people had stayed there.

They did provide wood for the cabins but no kindling wood, or newspaper (and no matches). When I asked about kindling I was told to go gather it in the woods-no joke.
The website does say ' Firewood is provided at no extra charge'. To not also provide matches and kindling seems sort of passive-agressive.

The bed was very uncomfortable. We asked for the 'linen service' and arrived to unmade beds with a bunch of folded sheets in a basket in the living room. Were they clean? They smelled OK but were so worn that it was hard to tell.

The cabins themselves are quite close together and are perched on a very steep piece of land above a fine lake. Because the land is so steep there is nowhere to really hang out and sit and relax. There is a rocky beach and a dock that is attached to some fairly flat rocks, and a lean-to with some chairs, but all of this is so shabby and depressing and unkempt that it is not a very pleasant place to spend any time in. One plus-there were rasberries growing near our cabin-that was a small source of pleasure in an otherwise dismal experience.

Just to give a little bit of context: I like to backpack and hike and I am OK with a bit of roughing it. I've also travelled quite a bit. So I am not so particular about where I stay but this was unbelievably bad- almost as if the owners wanted you to have a bad time.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jonvoorhees, Owner at Camp Driftwood, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Not sure exactly what prompted this spiteful review, but I hope these folks find happiness somewhere.
When this guest woke me up early for matches, after their late night arrival, all I could find were my wife's pack from her cigarettes. I mentioned that she might want them back later that morning, and told the guest where to find the ones that were provided, on the top of the refrigerator in his cabin. Apparently he never noticed the trash containers on the back porch or the park benches on the beach or the Adirondack chairs and folding chairs in the lean-to, either.
It's unfortunate that these folks found the $700, 1-year old Sealy Posturpedic mattress uncomfortable. It's as good as the one I sleep on. Nor did they contract for "linen service". They requested that a set of linens be provided for them, because unlike all our other guests, they did not care to bring their own, even though they were only traveling from Brooklyn.
Since this gentleman claims to be a backpacker, it's surprising that he finds the thought of collecting his own kindling to be unbearable. Our guests use tons of our freely-provided, seasoned firewood each year for campfires and cookouts. To provide kindling for these would require a mountain of twigs. All he had to do was step 5 feet into the woods and pick up a handful. Everyone else does.
Now the Hemlock cabin is located in the mountains. That's what the Adirondacks are. So the terrain and the size of the cabin are exactly as depicted in the photos on our website. The fact that it is not on level ground does not make it fair to say that it's perched on a cliff.
As far as the cabin's cleanliness, this is utterly baffling. Two crews of three cleaners each do a spectacular job on our places during the summer. I'm very proud of my cleaning crew, and we receive many compliments on how well-kept the cabins are.
It's regrettable that these folks had such a bad time. They're obviously used to full-service hotel accommodations, and were not familiar with what are known throughout these parts as "housekeeping cabins".
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33 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

The Poplar cabin was clean,spacious, and fairly new, but it is furthest from lake requiring a 5-7 minute hike on steep trail. The Willow next door was cramped with a tiny dysfunctional kitchen and not a single closet for storage. I do not recommend the Willow. Both cabins had separate unmarked entrances which made it difficult to find and dangerous getting on and off the highway. Both cabins desperately need new furniture. Sofas and chairs were worn, rusted, and starting to break. The mattresses need to be replaced as they were either rock hard or badly sagging. Getting in and out of the cabins requires taking a big step. Would be difficult for small children or elderly. There are no parking spots by the lake or restrooms for those staying in distant cabins making it very inconvenient. No chairs are provided for the popular sandy beach. The rocky beaches were difficult to access because you have to step down rocks-no steps. Staff was shooting squirrels and tree trimming our entire week invading our privacy and ruining our afternoon siestas. We do not think it was necessary or appropriate to be using firearms while guests are present. Another inconvenience was having to haul our trash quite a distance rather than providing a trash pick up. The lake itself is beautiful with great swimming and fishing. Plenty of boats were available for our use. A few fans and BBQ grills should be provided. You can get wi-fi access by owner's house. Absolutely no cell phone reception. Recommend catching a movie at the town theatre and eat at Indian Lake Tavern. The town grocery is closed, but there are 2 convenient stores for basics. Closest grocery store is 1/2 hour away.

Room Tip: The Birch, Balsam, Beech, and Cedar are closest to the swimming areas. These are rustic, old cabins...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

We have been spending a week in July at Camp Driftwood for the past 7 years. We love it. It is an opportunity to enjoy a lovely pristine setting. If you want to get away from TV and everyday static, you might consider CD. (wifi is usually available on the office verandah: cell phone service is spotty)The cabins vary on size, shower vs bath, fireplace,view of the lake etc. The Camp is not the Ritz; it is basic, very clean, has well-stocked kitchens, free firewood,outdoor barbecue facilities,and is pet-friendly. A great place to read and do puzzles. Guests have access to kayaks, row-boats, a sun-fish and life -jackets. The lake is stunning in the early morning. Those hills are a true challenge for runners and bicyclists. There are a few local restaurants, a great
theater, campy nine-hole golf course and an impressive library with Internet access.
There are no grocery stores in Indian Lake but necessities can be bought in town at the Lake Store.

Driftwood is a family owned and treasured respite that we will return to for a long long time.

respite which we will return to for many years to come.

Room Tip: Review options with Jon or Brenda
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syracuse, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

I was looking for an excursion away from urban civilization, work, computers, email, and so forth - a week along with my girlfriend.

I stayed in the Apple cabin from February 19th-24th. We had a great time relaxing in front of the warm fireplace/stove, reading books and drinking wine. It was nice to get away from the world, with no cell service (verizon) or internet. Both are available nearby though, as referenced in the guide book/manual left in the cabin for us.

The cabin itself is in good condition. It is sturdy, warm (centrally heated), and has hot & cold water for drinking/showering/dishwashing/etc. All furniture and beds were clean, and there was no problems whatsoever with appearances, smells, or anything else you might worry about in this type of cabin setup.

There was a large stock of firewood available for the fireplace, though the logs I retrieved from outside were a little wet. A short bake in the kitchen's oven got them ready to burn quickly, though.

The kitchen has all the utensils and cookware you might need, and the fridge/freezer, microwave, gas stove & oven work perfectly.

BRING FOOD! The town nearby has very, very bare essentials and that's it.
Other things to bring - dish towels, dish soap, bath towels, toiletries, bath soap, lighters/matches, blankets, bedsheets (1 queen, 2 twins, 2 bunkbeds), extra pillows (for lounging comfortably in front of the fire). Music/movies as desired.

You have a great view of Indian lake from the cabin. It was too cold to lounge outside in the screened-in porch, but anyone going during bug season would find that a nice addon. There are an abundance of chairs and benches to relax on.
There is also an outdoor stone fireplace on the outside portion of the porch (not screened in) for use, but again due to the cold we forewent its use.

The lake was frozen over during our stay and we did a "hike" through the cabin/campgrounds, along the lake, and envied all the beautiful cabins along the shoreline.

There are numerous trailheads nearby within driving distance as well as skiing/snowboard, tubing, etc. There are some quaint touristy towns (North Creek) close by, as well as an Alpaca farm(!) that the owners will give a lovely tour of, to include petting the Alpacas (kindly stop by their giftshop for an Alpaca wool hat or pair of gloves - you won't regret it).

If you want to eat out, there are a few restaurants as well as bars nearby, meeting the upper and lower range of options you might expect for a region that sees a medium amount of visitors. The rule that "everything tastes better when you're camping" does apply to the cabin stay, though. So don't shortchange yourself by relying on eating out all the time!

Room Tip: I can only comment on Apple cabin, but the rooms were (1) queen bed; (2) 2x twin beds, and (3) 2x bu...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
buffalo, new york
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

We spent 3 nights at Camp Driftwood recently. Stayed in Maple cabin which had 3 bedrooms, screened porch, bathroom with shower, living room, kitchen. This is a rustic cabin in the woods. Clean , basic and comfortable. We found the place to be quiet and peaceful. We enjoyed a canoe ride and swimming in the beautiful lake. We found trails to hike nearby. We had a campfire each night and appreciated the free firewood. We had a lovely dinner at a fine dining restaurant 45 minutes away that the owners recommended ( Owl at Twilight in Olmsted) and another meal that was a pig roast at the local firehall. If you stay here, you will need to bring supplies that you would bring for camping: dishsoap, sponge ,foil, food storage containers, garbage bags, extra matches, etc. The nearby grocery store closed a few years ago, but we brought our own food from home. Great place and we'll be back..

Room Tip: Website describes the various cabins
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Upstate New York
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2010

My husband, teenage daughter, and I just spent a long weekend at Camp Driftwood on Indian Lake. It was a fantastic experience. The owners were welcoming and informative in spite of our arrival at 10:00 p.m. They had already turned the heat on for us. The 3-bedroom cabin (Balsam) was right on the water, and was lovely and uniquely decorated---in fact the walls were so covered with amazing and interesting things that we discovered something "new" every time we took a look.

There were also plenty of canoes and kayaks available as well as a sunfish, nice swimming dock (too cold while we were there), and easy access to the hamlet of Indian Lake and some good restaurants. We would have loved to stay for a longer period of time. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this camp to other visitors who are looking for a great Adirondack experience.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mattydale,ny
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2009

we have stayed at camp driftwood for 5 years straight. great place.great cabins.free firewood. all access to the boats and canoes. no charge. not alot in the area especially when we go in the fall. but the area is great.the owners are friendly the cabins are clean and well stocked with everything.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camp Driftwood

Address: 124 Driftwood Trail, Indian Lake, NY 12842-1603
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > Indian Lake
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Indian Lake
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique cottages on 870 feet of wooded Indian Lake shoreline ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Camp Driftwood Indian Lake

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