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“Renaissance of a superb X-C venue!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Garnet Hill Lodge

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Garnet Hill Lodge
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39 Garnet Hill Rd, North River, NY 12856   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 North River B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Greenwich, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Renaissance of a superb X-C venue!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

Rather than flying down to Florida for another lazy, inactive Presidents Day weekend in "God's waiting room," my daughter and I decided to consider a more active local alternative, one which we could reach via car.

After Googling around a bit, I discovered the website of Garnet Hill Lodge in the Adirondacks, which is a cross-country ski venue. I sent a hyperlink to my fourteen year-old to see if she approved and then made reservations with Debra. Two weeks later we drove up I-87 through Albany and then up the Northway! It was a 4 1/2 hour drive to Cross River from Westchester County, as the website mentioned. Next time we'll leave early enough to arrive during daylight.

The Garnet Hill facility has just changed hands and the new owners (Don Preuninger and his partner Mindy) seem to have accomplished a great deal since taking possession of the establishment in December 2011. In consideration of the brief tenure of their ownership, some of the minor inconveniences we experienced can certainly be forgiven.

The main lodge is delightfully rustic, serving fine meals with a cheery fire every night. We stayed in the "Tea House" where our room was functional but very simply appointed (it didn't even have a chair or desk). Unfortunately I had reserved so late that we had to settle for a room with just one queen-sized bed and a "rollaway" cot which was really uncomfortable - especially after a day of X-C skiing (guess who got the rollaway...ugggh)! Electronic addicts may want to think twice about GHL as Wi-Fi service is spotty in the main lodge and non-existent in the guest houses, and cell phones are entirely useless there.

Don sometimes plays piano for the diners at night and Mindy tends the bar in Preuninger's Pub, which has a fireplace and a couple of beers on tap.

The real highlight of Garnet Hill is the cross-country trail system (almost 35 miles!), which are all groomed. We stayed on the "Old Faithful" trail since it was the easiest. We made four loops over two days and our times improved steadily. The trails were generally empty, with lovely weather and solitude. The GHL ski shop is well-equipped and X-C ski rental costs are much more reasonable than downhill. The lack of crowds made GHL so much nicer than overrun downhill venues!

Of course, the lodge is located at the top of an Adirondacks mountain so it actually HAD SNOW (the metro NYC area has had a VERY mild winter with no meaningful accumulation). On the way up, we didn't even SEE any snow until we got into North River! We were glad to have driven our 4x4 pickup as the roads up to the lodge were well-sanded but still snow-covered.

Kudos to Don & Mindy for the terrific job they've done re-invigorating Garnet Hill!

We would definitely consider another visit...

Skip & Izzy Parker
Rye, NY

Room Tip: If you can stay at the Lodge itself you don't have to move your car frequently...constant starti...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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140 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Binghamton, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2012

If you have visited here in the past few years and were disappointed, come back, Andy is back as chef and MaryJane is back baking her delicious pies, breads, and muffins. The new owners are great and really care to have it be like it was when everyone was happy here. Food is wonderful, atmosphere great, and ski trails are wonderful. There may not be snow where you are but there is snow here and more forecasted to come. We almost didn't come this year after having been here for the last 14 years, but are very glad we did and will return next year.

Room Tip: Log House looking out onto 13th Lake
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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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

Review by Karl & Joanne, Mohawk, NY: Our first trip to Garnet Hill was in March of 2010 and we had originally reserved a room at the Tea House for two nights; we ended up staying an extra night because we were so pleased with this resort, and all of the ski trails, and pick ups at both Roger's Road and Schoolhouse Road were marvelous. We then decided that we would make this our Christmas gift to one another every year for as long as we are both able to ski, and in February of 2011 we reserved the Tea House, once again, for three nights. We ended up staying an extra night that year as well because of the great skiing and great dining we were experiencing. Our choice to stay at the Tea House was mostly based upon the jacquzzi bath beacuse after 4 to 6 hours of skiing, there is nothing more relaxing than a nice jacquzzi before dinner. This year we made our reservations at the last minute because of the lack of winter weather. However, we were blessed to be able to get "our room" at the Tea House and this time, we reserved for five nights. Again, we ended up staying an extra night because of the snow that fell the day before our scheduled departure. We were unable to stay in the Tea House for the extra night and we stayed in a room at the Lodge. Both the Tea House and the Lodge rooms have thin walls, but it seemed as though everyone staying during the time that we were there were courteous and considerate of other guests. The staff is comprised of extremely helpful individuals who all seem to take pride in their work. Judy even helped us find a Wednesday evening church service to attend as we are accustomed to doing at home. It was also nice to have the new owners mingle with their guests. The condition of the trails during our stay was the most rewarding; Jay and the groomer(s) did what they could with what they had and they produced great surfaces on which to ski, and the trail conditions went from good to excellent during our stay (even without any bus pick ups). The restaurant facility had much to offer as well and we enjoyed the dining very much. The only dissatisfaction that we find with Garnet is that we called to see if there was a room available (any room) for this coming Saturday, as we were in hopes of making the 2 hour drive early Saturday morning, and be able to ski, stay the night, and ski Sunday, so that we could enjoy "the Hill" one more time this ski season. When I called, I indicated who I was and the individual who answered indicated that she remembered us (and, I presume, had remembered that we had just spent some time there recently). I was informed that on the weekends they have a two night minimum required stay. I responded that, unfortunately, we could only spend Saturday night. I would have thought that we would have at least been given the courtesy of being able to call back Friday night and, if there was a room available at that time for Saturday, that they would reserve same for us, in light of the money that we had just paid to stay for six nights, as well as the fact that we are returning guests. Apparently they have enough guests that they don't need to worry whether or not they keep those who have returned happy. Perhaps another resort will.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Cambridge, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2012

A ladies weekend extraordinaire! Greeted by an amazing winter wonderland landscape was an unexpected surprise to say the least, considering we were only an hour and a half away with not a speck of snow! I could not have improved one thing about our stay ( ok...maybe new ping pong paddles :) )...the very cozy, Adirondack and tasteful decor abound throughout...the dining rooms, tavern, sitting room,and guest rooms.Fireplaces everywhere,complimentary coffee,teas,hot cider all day was a nice touch.Our stay included room,dinner,breakfast (made to order) and trail pass...very affordable! Dinner was just lovely...from appetizer to dessert! The BEST Maple -citrus salmon I've ever had! Maryjanes unbeatable fresh baked bread and pies were to die for! Ski trails were numerous perfectly groomed..Homemade soup at the ski center was delicious too! Thank you Don and Mindy for a perfect weekend getaway!!!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 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.
Allendale, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2012

Garnet Hill is always the highlight of our year, and this is our 9th year! With kids ranging in age from 2-17, it can be hard to please everyone - but they all love Garnet Hill. Stays include dinner, a full breakfast (even big enough for a teenaged boy!) and trail passes. Rooms are simple, but well appointed and clean. The new owners have made some lovely improvements: the food is excellent (we are foodies), and the service staff both in the log house and the ski shop are warm and friendly. There was live music during dinner, a bonfire one evening, and there was even a wine-tasting event one afternoon!

The trails were beautifully groomed, despite the unusually low snow-fall. Free ski rental for kids under 5 made it easy to start our 2 and a half year old, and he loved it. Lessons are offered daily. An added bonus is that excellent downhill skiing is also available just 15 minutes away at Gore Mountain.

The days spent on beautiful scenic trails are followed by cozy wonderful evenings in the lodge. The older kids are completely independent there, enjoying the pool table, ping pong, TV lounge foosball and computer. There are toys and books for the young ones. The adults enjoy the charming pub, reading by the huge stone fireplace (the fire is always lit), and talking with the wonderful friends we've made there over the years. It's a charming community of like-minded people that we look forward to spending time with both on and off the trails year after year. We can't wait to go back, and have already booked next year's trip!

Room Tip: Rooms in the log house are smaller, but the most convenient. A larger family will prefer a room at T...
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  • Stayed February 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.
Rochester, NY
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012

We had a wonderful weekend at Garnet Hill. Even though there has been little snow this winter they have managed to keep their groomed trails in beautiful condition. Love the long downhill ski to Rogers Road where they pick you up to avoid the long uphill ski back! The rooms are simple but clean. The bar is cozy and always has a fire going. The dining room also has an enormous fireplace and the meals are delicious with lots of seasonal choices. There was a bonfire under the stars Saturday night and live piano music during dinner. The owners and staff could not have been more friendly or helpful. We'll definitely be going back!

Room Tip: Balcony rooms overlooking the lake have spectacular views
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Garnet Hill Lodge

Address: 39 Garnet Hill Rd, North River, NY 12856
Location: United States > New York > North River
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Ski-In / Ski-Out Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in North River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Garnet Hill Lodge is a 4 season lodge and resort in the central Adirondacks. Situated on a gentle hill overlooking pristine Thirteenth Lake, Garnet Hill Lodge offers a storybook Adirondack setting for individuals, couples, and families to escape from the hectic pace of everyday life and surround themselves with the serenity of nature. Our guests can choose to actively engage in hiking, mountain biking, swimming, paddling a kayak/canoe... Or just settle into an Adirondack chair on the expansive front lawn with a good book if preferred. Winter opens up 50k of beautifully groomed cross-country ski trails, countless miles of back-country and snowshoe trails. As well as 15 minutes to downhill skiing at Gore Mountain. Our main Log House Lodge is reminiscent of an Adirondack Great Camp. The original structure was built in 1936 and offers a casual, friendly atmosphere with Bed and Breakfast guest service. Our location provides convenient access to many vacation activities, but best of all, it is a unique opportunity for couples and families to reconnect over wholesome outdoor activities. Our full service restaurant is open to the public and nourishes all our guests with freshly prepared, hearty lodge meals. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Garnet Hill Hotel North River

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