We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Castle full of history.”

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Chippewa Bay
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Singer Castle on Dark Island
Lantana, TX
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Castle full of history.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2013

On a recent visit to the 1000 island region we visited Singer Castle. You will find two castles in this area - Boldt Castle and Singer Castle. I really enjoy castles and love the history surrounding them. It's hard to compare these two as they both offer different perspectives. This is what I believe makes Singer Castle special: This castle has a guided tour providing lots of history. It was owned by Fredrick Bourne, President of Singer Sewing Machine. He used this "castle" as a hunting lodge and it attracted many New York elite. Bourne had special passage ways that servants could check to see how guest were doing during dining times rather than walking in the room. The grounds are beautiful! I enjoyed my visit and would recommend a visit. You can rent a room(s) at the castle that would be fun. Personally, I would want to make sure air conditioning is available in summer months. I could see with a bit of restoration/decor this could be an even better attraction/tour.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank luvdsny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

57 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    32
    17
    4
    3
    1
See reviews for
16
24
Solo
0
1
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Groton, New York
Level Contributor
57 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

We did not stay here overnight, but my husband and I took the Uncle Sam boat tour. We had only 45 minutes on the island. The tour was guided, but we were very rushed. We didn't have time to really enjoy the house and the architecture. It is a gorgeous place, but not worth the extra money, since you really don't get to spend enough time there. Our guide was pretty knowledgeable and polite. The amount of people in our group was so big that we really did not hear everything or ask too many questions.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank ladyofgrammar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, NY
Level Contributor
73 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2012

If you are a visitor to the Thousand Islands area you definitely have to see Singer and Boldt Castles. I recommend going to Singer first because while it is big and impressive it simply prepares you for the majestic Boldt castle and all of its outlying buildings. I truly appreciate the medieval style of the first floor of Singer Castle, though that's not the typical style of the gilded age homes. The first and second floor areas are very rich in detail and color. In most of the rooms you can find a secret passsageway or some sort of spying device (such as tip-out portraits or heating vents). The views from the rooms and terraces cannot be beat. I like that the home is furnished with some original pieces, but if they keep the shades open and continue to allow people to take pictures the furnishing are going to continue to deteriorate. I really enjoyed my visit to the house, but it was way too quick! I spent $70 for 2 adults and one kid (through Schermerhorn Marina, and Uncle Sam's is the same price). I had expected to roam the grounds or have the opportunity to shop in the gift shop after the tour, but that was not the case. When we stepped off the boat we were ushered into the gift shop. It was so crowded because another tour had just finished that I didn't even want to shop. I decided to try to take some pictures of the house. The tours are guided so if your group is big or your guide doesn't speak loudly you are going to miss a lot of pertinent information as there isn't much literature about the home on the property or in the rooms. Our guide was good and he seemed to be knowledgable, though no one in my group asked any challenging questions. Once you tour the interior of the house you come out the back of the house to look around at the boat house and what used to be the tennis court, then that's it. Tour is over. You cannot tour the grounds on your own, you can't go back into the gift shop, as your boat will be waiting for you. The other 5 people that we traveled with (we didn't know them) were already seated on the boat, so I had no chance of shopping for a book, dvd or souvenir. The island is much smaller than Heart Island where Boldt Castle is located so clearly they cannot accommodate an excess amount of people and I appreciate their attention to safety, but they should allot at least 30 additional minutes for pictures and restroom use. Most people who visit these homes are first-timers so they should understand that and let you linger for a little while. Even though the group was small and the tour guide was personable and audible I would prefer an audio tour with more details about each room and/or piece of furniture. Aside from feeling rushed and spending so much money I enjoyed the home. Boldt was literally half the price and we spent 5 hours on property, but Singer is not to be missed.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Nicole A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
156 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2012

Fisrt of all, the real name of this place was originally The Towers, and it was built by Frederick Bourne, the president of Singer Manufacturing Company (wich explains all the old sewing machines you'll see throughout your tour). The castle took awhile to build because granite had to be hauled to Dark Island, and was completed in 1905. The Bourne family owned the island until the mid-1960's. My friend Sarah, who has a summer home at Point Vivian, says that this Singer Castle has the feel of a lived-in river home, compared to Boldt Castle, which was never completed or occupied. So getting a glimpse at how an island summer home operated (albeit one that most of us could never afford) is pretty cool. Seeing the crazy home-spa that heiress Marjorie Bourne Thayer had installed next to her bedroom was fascinating; there was some electro- thingy involving running water that looked like instant death to me, but I guess Marjorie got a thrill out of it.
As Sarah explained to me, once you haul stuff to a summer home on an island, you pretty much use the furnishings until they wear out, because it's so much trouble to replace them. That's why the draperies that appear gold in color are actually revealed to be originally deep green when the tour guide parts the folds & shows the parts not faded by time & sun.
The tour guide will make or break your visit, because you do not get free run of this place. You're on a tight rein with a second employee following behind to be sure you don't hide somewhere so you can swim back to the mainland later towing Marjorie's hydro-electric spa equipment behind you. The island sold within the past few years to a foreign investor who likes to collect islands, and they really could use more knowledgable docents rather than college students needing jobs for the summer. They were quite nice, but could be better trained with the castle's history. That's an issue for the trustees; the tour guides were very friendly.
Oh, and if you stay here overnight, you have free run of the castle & island, according to my friend, including all the secret passageways! She enjoyed her stay very much.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Bill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level Contributor
82 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2012

Maybe having really enjoyed our trip to Boldt Castle spoiled my family, but Singer Castle was a disappointment to us. First, I must explain, the guide we had (although sweet) did not know much about the castle. She would ask if anyone had questions, then answered, "I don't know," or seemed to make up the answer. Second, the tour had too many people in the group. Therefore, we were crowded into some areas. We were rushed to complete the tour. No leisurely visiting as at Boldt Castle.

The home offers a medieval theme, yet it is from the early 1900's not medieval times. Even the very limited gift shop has this theme rather than centering on the 1000 Islands area. In short, if you have decide between here and Boldt Castle, go to Boldt.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank abletravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delanson, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2012

I went to Singer Castle with Uncle Sam Boat Tours out of Alexandria Bay. I would not recommend touring with them. Although the cruise up the St. Lawrence was gorgeous, we were told when we arrived at the castle that our tour would only be 45 minutes, but those who came from Schemerhorn Tours or in their own boat got longer tours and got to see more things. We were told that the Castle had a torture chamber, hidden passages, and a secret tunnel. We saw NONE of it. They also had a tour group in each room and we were constantly being asked to leave the room so the next group could come in. We ran into tour groups everywhere we went. Also, the tour guide we had, Melissa, was AWFUL. She could not speak and didnt know what she was talking about. It was like she was reading from a script and had a stutter. She knew nothing about the castle. It was like it was her first day there. She said things that made no sense and spent more time policing people to stand in the right spot so tour groups could get in to the room then telling us about the castle and talking about rooms she would not take us to. The castle is FANTASTIC, it is worn down and needs to be rehabbed, but I really enjoyed it despite the people running the tour. So, that being sad, I would go again, but definitely NOT with US Boat Tours or on a busy weekend and try to get a seasoned tour guide when you go! I want to go back and actually see it next time! We paid $32.50 for the boat and tour, and found out schermerhorn is cheaper and offers more. Or take your own boat, if you are lucky enough! But the Castle is very cool!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank ineed2getaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2012

Went there with my family (sister, parents, grandma) and it was a fun time. Nice boat ride out, cool castle, and I learned a bit. We did not stay here overnight, just visited the castle for the day.

Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Adventure_Grad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Chippewa Bay
23.8 mi away
1000 Islands Harbor Hotel
13.1 mi away
Bonnie Castle Resort
Bonnie Castle Resort
#3 of 14 in Alexandria Bay
3.5 of 5 bubbles 880 reviews
13.2 mi away
Riveredge Resort
Riveredge Resort
#5 of 14 in Alexandria Bay
3.5 of 5 bubbles 535 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
12.7 mi away
Boathouse Country Inn
Boathouse Country Inn
#2 of 3 in Rockport
3.5 of 5 bubbles 43 reviews
24.8 mi away
Absolute 1000 Islands Suites
Absolute 1000 Islands Suites
#11 of 12 in Gananoque
5.0 of 5 bubbles 47 reviews
13.3 mi away
Capt. Thomson's Resort
Capt. Thomson's Resort
#4 of 14 in Alexandria Bay
4.0 of 5 bubbles 364 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Singer Castle on Dark Island? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Singer Castle on Dark Island

Property: Singer Castle on Dark Island
Address: Box 59, Dark Island, Chippewa Bay, NY 13623-0059
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > St. Lawrence County > Chippewa Bay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Chippewa Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 28
Also Known As:
Singer Castle On Dark Island Hotel Chippewa Bay

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing