My husband, myself and our 6 yr. old son had booked a weekend stay at Hemlock Hall in Blue Mtn. Lake, NY after reviewing its cabin options on the internet. We drove up on a Friday evening arriving in time for 6pm family style dinner at the hotel. After dinner we settled in to our cabin which had a fireplace with kindling and wood available to take the chill off. We are experienced wood burners, as this is how we heat our home year round in downstate NY. We started a fire, making sure that the draft was fully opened. The wood was cured well, and began to burn right away. Smoke started to immediately fill the room at the same time the fire was clearly being pulled up the draft. The smoke alarm was going off. We could not figure out why all the smoke was filling the room and decided we should let someone know in the event that the chimney might have a build up of creosote or some other blockage, etc. My husband went up to get someone while my son/myself could no longer stay in the cabin, but had to go outside on the porch for air. The alarm continued to ring. It was now approx. 8pm and the temp. outside was in the low 50's and declining. A man came down the footpath in a cart speaking in a loud voice, yelling about rookies who come up from the city and can't start a fire. When I realized he wasn't joking, but rather yelling and clearly agitated, I came in from the porch and told my 6yr. old to stay out on the porch. The man came in yelling about fires and people who don't know how to start a fire. When I tried to explain what had happened, and that we burned wood at our regular house he became even more hostile, yelling, etc. My husband came in at this point and we looked at each other realizing that this was a volatile situation we did not want to escalate so we refrained from speaking. The man went to the fire and made a statement that the draft was not in good shape/not good and because of this you had to burn the wood completely vertical and upright at all times. He stood up, retrieved 2 large fans and placed them in front of the doors turning them on to bring in the air. I had already opened all of the windows and doors to get air in, but the smoke was so thick the alarm was still going off. He made a blunt comment that we would have to run the fans with everything open to get the smoke out, then he turned and left. We were faced with a cold and smoke filled room with no where to go---and the fact that it was getting later and would not be a place we could sleep with our young son. We packed up our car, I went to the main office to ask to speak with the owner and was informed that the hostile, volatile man that came to our cabin was in fact the owner. There were no other rooms available for us--we couldn't go back and breathe in the residual smoke, nor could we stay in the cold room for the night. We made the long trek back home exhausted and with all of our belongings smelling of heavy smoke. We are avid hikers, campers, etc. and have never had such a horrible/hostile/stranded experience before. The fireplace was clearly in a state of unsafe disrepair that was being maintained "on the cheap" at our expense. In short --it was so surreal--we experienced being put in an unsafe/harmful environment, yelled at by a hostile person who "ran us out of town and kept our money." Buyer beware.
- Also Known As:
- Hemlock Hall Hotel Blue Mountain Lake
- Hemlock Hall Blue Mountain Lake