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The Elms Waterfront Cottages
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Reviews (92)
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72 - 77 of 92 reviews
Reviewed October 19, 2011

This is our 6th year of going to the elms.I can't imagine a year when, I won't be going.There are always special moments,that keep me going back .The price is great.The owner is a beautiful person ,he puts his heart into the place.Ray,lorraine and the girls always make us feel like locals.There are the obvious lures of lake george,saratoga,race track,shopping,world class hiking,exploration,great food,and water activity[pontoon boat,kuyak,row boat, jet ski.But,what we really enjoy is sitting down to a great dinner{my wife has made many gormet dinners there]..Returning to the cottage,sitting by the fire with a good glass of wine, watching sunsets. Often times,we are joined by other cottages,we've met some truly wonderful people this way,it's always the same atmosphere.Smiling people,taking deep breaths,returning to nature,standing by a fire,drinking some wine, laughing gently,enjoying life .My wife Amanda and I,and my smiling, attention loving doggy brownie will see you there.

Room Tip: I've never, not been happy
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank thomas d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2011

This was a surprisingly memorable and fun little trip for us with our pets (including dogs AND cats). After renovating our old house for a year we found ourselves needing an emergency vacation. If you're here on Tripadvisor, you're experienced and traveled enough to know that a spur-of-the-moment excursion thrown together without research and planning can be awful (unless you are really lucky). We were really lucky with The Elms.

We made our booking about a week in advance for an October stay, just before they closed for the season. The owner, Chandler, was very attentive and personal, and even extended his closure of the camp for us. We got a decent off-season rate, and my request to bring dogs and cats was graciously granted. Having just remodeled and staged a home I had urges to remodel our cabin, but after a week there I wholly appreciated its rustic charm of some vintage gems mixed with basic essentials that were designed to function regardless of aesthetics. We were calling it "our little home," by the end of the week. We loved the village of Lake Luzerne, and found it really charming in its remoteness and aged feel. I can imagine that in the summer it would get really overcrowded for its size with all the tourists, and for us that would not have been fun. Seeing the fall foliage encroach on the town was beautiful, and to experience it as a local would, without all the tourists, was even better. I know some call this "upstate" but I went to college in way upstate NY (at the TOP of the Adirondacks) so I find that funny, but my point is, I know the "upstate" NY fall leaf show well from my years in school, but those 4 years' experience pale in comparison to what I saw in Lake Luzerne. This lake, and the trees nearby, were awesome! We took our dogs hiking, and even got them in the complimentary rowboat on the lake. Otherwise we didn't do much other than relax, The Elms was great for that.

We noticed the entire camp was kept clean and safe (excepting raccoons in the trash at night, who were more into food scraps than bothering anyone). I imagine it would be an ideal place to take over as a group or large family and have all the cabins to yourselves. However, with the whole camp packed, and some unsavory characters in one or two other cabins, any inconsiderate act would be easy to feel in the shared spaces (i.e. smoking, littering, loud noise or music, unruly children, greedy use of public amenities, etc.) so hopefully those who visit in the popular months are thoughtful types.

We did venture to Lake George one night to see it. It was a lot more cheesy than I thought it would be. I imagined old-school postcards of Lake Placid from the 1940's, and I never expected to see so many mini golf establishments, or other evidence of manmade crap thrown into an otherwise naturally serene environment just to appease the tourists to keep the dollars coming year after year--a casino? really? That was sad to us.

One negative, which has nothing to do with The Elms, but should be noted for travelers in the area: It really seemed to us that the local police were out to fine anyone who wasn't local because with our out-of-state plate we got pulled over TWICE on a night ride from Lake Luzerne to Lake George, both times for the same headlight bulb that had just gone out on us. Both times the officer was more accusatory than helpful, and even when we explained the bulb had just gone out, and since we were obviously a long way from home, without internet access or a GPS, we would have to wait to ask someone where to go to replace it the next day. Both officers had an attitude and acted as if we were committing an intolerable offense (I hardly think a bulb which we said we would replace is that big of a deal). The second officer almost demanded that we immediately detour from our touring ride and directed us to a Wal-Mart, which he said was "not far at all." Not wanting to be bothered by officer #3 or 4 or who knows how many more, we followed his demand. The directions he gave (take this road to this exit, etc.) neglected to mention that he was sending us 30 MILES out of our way. We would have turned around half way if there had been any options for exits along the way but save for a stretch of road that promised more deserted forest than the road we were currently on, there weren't! We felt like the butt of a rural joke when we finally got to the Wal-Mart almost an hour after we detoured. Needless to say we did not get to see all of Lake George but from the little we did see, and from the attitudes of the Lake George police, we didn't miss much. That experience was ridiculous and I almost wrote to the police department when we got home to complain. I figured it would do no good since they probably don't care about non-locals other than to take their money. But I will tell you if they came to the Philly 'burbs where we live they would NOT be treated so rudely. And an officer would not demand that they make a 30-mile detour (60 miles by the time we got back to the cabin) for a headlight bulb in the middle of the night, costing them $20 in gas on top of the stupid bulb! Totally ridiculous. We would return to Lake Luzerne and the nice haven created by Chandler at The Elms, but would shy away from interaction with locals, esp the police.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Boombafam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2011

The Elms is a wonderful place, and Chandler truly cares about his customers. I have been to the Elms three times now with groups of friends and I have some memories i'll never forget.
Thanks Chandler!

Best,

Corey

Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
1  Thank Corey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2011

A friend and I stayed in one of the one bedroom cabins this August and were kind of blown away by how great the place was. When we arrived, Chandler told us all of the things we needed to know, gave us a complementary bottle of locally made wine, and the keys to our freaking awesome cabin. Rustic, yes, but also really charming, clean, and comfortable. Great little kitchen, and the screened in porches are a dream. Seemed like most of the cabins were occupied when we were there, and kids ran around, but at the same time it didn't seem crowded ever, and there was no lack of privacy, even sitting out by the firepit at night, you could barely hear/see the other cabins' fire gatherings. The way the cabins are set up along the water works great like that. There are other cabins that seem more "grouped" in front of the beach area that would be good for larger groups.

We swam, we got in boats, we took advantage of the Elms' own tubing offer - Chandler drove us to the drop off with and it felt like we had the whole river to ourselves. The water was clear and cool and perfect, with areas of small rapids that make for very much fun in the tube, but not too scary, and large, lazy expanses of calmly flowing water. It's not only way cheaper than the larger tubing outfitters in the area, when the river shoots you out you just paddle in your tube right over to the dock at the Elms! This will work out your arms and work up your appetite, so be ready to grill afterwards.

There are convenience stores right there, a nice family-style restaurant just a few buildings down, and a grocery store with everything about a 15 minute walk away (we're used to walking in NY and didn't have a car so all of this was really great for us).

We liked it so much we stayed an extra night. Don't go to bustling Lake George if you're from NYC and want to get away from it all. It doesn't matter if you don't have a car. Take a cab from the train station and stay at the Elms.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank skizaor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2011

My family has been having reunions here for over 10 years. Chandler and staff are stars making everything so comfortable. There are activities for every age- from the tots on the playground or beach, to teens playing volleyball, tubing or swimming to "the rock", to the whole family relaxing on a sunset river cruise. My grandmother enjoys us watching us all play on the kayaks and paddleboats from the riverfront screened porch. Enjoy hiking, minigolf and Six Flags Park, and Lake George nearby.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank agent99nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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