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“Why all the good reviews?”

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The Elms Waterfront Cottages
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Lake Luzerne
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Stayed here for two nights to attend a wedding on the premises, in the Bay Harbor Suite A, which is located in the main building (the cabins were all booked up). Honestly, I can't understand all the glowing reviews; I can only imagine that people are reviewing the (stellar) riverside location and the fun times they had, not the actual lodging facilities. Or maybe the cabins are far, far better than the suites in the main building. Here are a few details:

- Cobwebs and active spiderwebs in/on curtains, walls and ceiling.
- Missing screen in both faucets (bathroom, kitchenette) made water spray out of the faucet, all over and around the sink. (Told owner about this shortly after we checked in, but no action taken during our 2-day stay.)
- Plaster literally crumbling away from walls in quite a few places.

In addition to the foregoing problems, the place was about as rustic as it gets. That's okay for some people, but if that bothers you, then don't stay here.

- Furnishings, linens, etc. that were probably 20+ years old.
- Haphazard and incomplete collection of glasses, plates, silverware, pans etc. in kitchenette.
- Crumbling plaster (as noted), wall repairs that didn't match the paint/styling around it, etc.

Additionally:

- Suite A is located next to the road, so it was quite loud (vast numbers of deafening Harley Davidson motorcycle riders ALL weekend long).
- No housekeeping service during our stay.

The good:

- Suite A is huge. There was one bed, but if the owner provides cots/fold-out beds, you could easily fit at least four people in here.
- Grounds and location right on the river is a big plus, so maybe the room wouldn't be so bad if you spent most of your time outside.
- The hotel provided a crib for the room, which was unexpected and appreciated.

We caught a brief glimpse of the interior of one of the cabins, and it seemed to be in much better condition than our room. So it's possible all of the positive reviews here are based on accommodations that are a lot better than Suite A. But if you have other options nearby, I'd pursue those instead. The room we stayed in was worth only a fraction of the $400 we spent for 2 nights.

Room Tip: Get a cabin; avoid the rooms in the main building.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank stricklandia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 - 75 of 92 reviews

Reviewed August 11, 2012

We just spent 4 days at the Elms for vacation. There were 3 familes with a total of 8 children ranging from 16 down to age 3. We stayed in the lodge and it was nice sitting on the deck and having lunch/dinner on the picnic tables while watching the sunset. The accomodations could use a renovation (beds are old, floors are saggy in spots, bathroom needs updating). It's camping, and you have to look at it like that. If you're doing it right, you won't be in the room all that much anyways. We took advantage of the kayaks, paddleboat, and rowboats. We also went tubing which was fun. We climbed Mount Hadley...which was challenging, but beautiful. The kids loved having a short walk to Cumberland farms for a slushie. It was a great place for families.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank FLANNY2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2012

This is out 5th year going to The Elms. Every year we have a wonderful time. Our first year, my husband and I went alone, just the two of us and we had a blast going jetski-ing, fishing, exploring the town and local wooded trails and trying some restaurants around town. Our second year we went alone just the two of us again, we had campfires together, relaxed, bbq'd together and explored Lake George a little bit. Our third year we took the kids. They had SO much fun! The safety and security of the property put me at ease. The kids swam and played in the sand every day. They met new children staying at the other cottages and all the kids then played together for the rest of the week. In the evenings when you look around the property, you see every family sitting around their own campfire area, talking about the fun things they did that day, roasting marshmellows, simply having memorable "family time". I also treasure those moments each year. Our fourth year, we came twice! I earned additional vacation time with my company so back to The Elms we went! It was a wonderful repeat of our last stay with the kids. This time we rented a small powerboat for a day in Lake George and fished and swam all day. We also went to a local craft fair that had so many interesting items of "The Arts", a subject that I love, It was great. This year we just recently came to The Elms again, just last week, July 23rd to July 27th. We rented a slightly bigger cottage this year because this year we have another new addition to our family. We had plenty of space, we asked for an a/c unit for the baby and it was installed immediately. The beach was perfect, raked and cleaned every early morning. The water was warm. We went kayaking 5 times and all of the kayaks we're in perfect condition. There was even a life vest perfect to fit my 2 year old Son who came in my kayak with me. We will with no doubt be back again next year.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank BethT163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2012

Stayed here during the summer and was surprised how run down it was. The cabin was ok. The problem was with the outdoor area - I love kayaking and we used them but the seats were duct tapped and the vests need to be replaced - had to sit on a towel so I wouldn't stick to the tape on the seats - they need to replace them badly. The game room was terrible - everything was broken and there was no lights in the the small building. I would never stay there again. We also had to move the last night from the cabin which I know upon booking but thought it would be the same quality as the cabin but it wasn't - they put us in the lodge room on the 2nd floor - the beds were terrible and there was no air flow - there was sliders but no screen when I asked the owner he said people kept breaking it and we had AC so that was good - i disagree - I wanted to open the doors - windows -etc. for fresh air. Never again.

Room Tip: The cabins on the water seemed nicer - our cabin was right in the middle of the grounds - so cars dr...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank livem1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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  • 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.
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Additional Information about The Elms Waterfront Cottages

Address: 1 Bay Rd, P.O. Box 95, Lake Luzerne, NY 12846-2600
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > Lake Luzerne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Lake Luzerne
Price Range: $172 - $492 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Elms Waterfront Cottages 2.5*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
The Elms Waterfront Cottages Hotel Lake Luzerne
The Elms Waterfront Cottages Lake Luzerne, NY - Lake George

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