We booked just a few days before Christmas, which we realize is not an ideal time to look for a great bargain. We checked in Christmas eve and stayed 3 nights. The rate was not cheap ($175), and based on the other reviews we were expecting something nice. I'd been to Lake Placid before and knew this hotel had a great location right on the main shopping street and looked nice from outside. (Alpine style)
But our first choice was the Crowne Plaza, a new resort conference hotel up a steep driveway off main street almost across from this one. The public areas are great there, and feels first class. I haven't seen the rooms. Crown Plaza's rates were the same for the first two nights, but then they jumped to almost $300 on the last night, Dec. 26th, so it was out. And we checked rates on two other swank joints, Mirror Lakes (over $400) and another one, I forget which but also way up there. The Hilton was full. I wanted to be on main street so that if my husband or I took the car, the one behind could stroll and find things to do. We didn't want to spend so much, since we'd only be sleeping there, so Golden Arrow was the winner.
We checked in about 6pm Christmas Eve, not a terribly auspicious time we realize, and the nice newly-renovated lobby was almost empty and the desk person was a bit curt - probably grumpy having to work Christmas Eve. Got to our room on the 4th floor (#428) and it had some kind of bad odor - stale or stinky. Liveable, but almost worth considering changing rooms. The hotel was full up, so no thought of changing rooms. The heat/AC/ventilation is that kind of old-style radiator/wall fixture with the big dial and direct vent outdoors that you find in the older cheap hotels. While we were expecting something slightly upscale-looking, or even on par with the newer low-end chains like Hampton Inn, this immediately gave the impression of an out-of-date very mediocre room. We were immediately let down. Later, as we were checking out, we decided that the impression was largely cosmetic. The beds that appeared swaybacked and old were actually comfortable and just had spreads that were an '80's style fabric, and the drapes, wallpaper, carpet, tile floor in the bathroom... nothing matched, and nothing really looked up-to-date, mostly because of the mismatch. Individually, the pieces weren't too bad, but together it all gave the impression of being old (even if some if it wasn't). A lamp bulb was out, the tile grout on the floor was dirty... you know how it is, just a few little things during your first impression create an overall negative view.
During our whole stay, we didn't find the desk help to be friendly at all, and that was disappointing. Perhaps it was due to being over the actual Christmas holiday and they were on their third-stringers, so I give it the benefit of the doubt. But still, hospitality is hospitality. We actually tried to get one woman to cheer up by asking her if something was wrong, and she said "I'm here all alone with these phones!" Maybe someone didn't show up, or maybe no one else was scheduled. We felt bad for her, but bad for us too - no smiles. Just bad timing for us to have warm fuzzies.
On the plus side, the hotel began to slowly redeem itself as we got over the disappointment of how the room appeared, and began to appreciate the amazing lake/mountain view, the underground parking (a major asset in a snowy winter), the room conveniences such as refrigerator and large tub (for a tall spouse), and free wireless Internet in the room.
If I hadn't read so many favorable reviews, and instead had been expecting a standard semi-dumpy ski hotel sort of room with keep-to-themselves staff, I would have raved about this place too. They seem to offer a lot of extras, especially in the summer, such as free kayaks.
Since I haven't stayed in other hotels in Lake Placid at Christmas time, I can't really compare the value to others. As we left, we decided the hotel really wasn't that bad, but it was the room rate that set our expectations higher. If it had been $130 or so, we would have felt that was right on target. But, most likely all hotel rates were was jacked up Christmas week, and maybe we don't appreciate the value of the extras offered by this hotel enough. We enjoyed breakfasts at Charlie's next door (also owned by the hotel), which was just renovated in 2006 and is very nice modern wood decor and great breakfasts for $6-$10. Check out the beautiful stone bathrooms in Charlie's ... now THAT's what I'd pay big bucks for in my hotel room!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- “The Only thing we Overlook is the Lake.” Surrender yourself to the untouched beauty of the Adirondack Mountains at the first resort in the United States to receive the Audubon’s Society highest Platinum Eco Rating for Hotels. It’s a place to renew yourself on the serene shores of Mirror Lake, and a place to thrill yourself, just moments from the famed Olympic Village at the heart of Lake Placid, New York. We are proud to offer Deluxe Accommodations as well as over 20 different kinds of suites and specialty rooms. All of our rooms are 100% smoke free, our lake front rooms above ground level have private balconies, and the ground level rooms have large glass doors leading out to a patio. Don’t forget your pup because we are a Pet Friendly resort. The Golden Arrow has an indoor pool, steam bath, two whirlpool hot tubs, and sauna. There is also a private white sand beach that is the perfect place to take in a magnificent panorama of the Adirondack Mountains. In the summer there are complimentary kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats available, we also have an authentic Italian Gondola that can be taken out for a minimal charge. In the winter you can ski, skate, and even take a dog sled ride on Mirror Lake right out our back door. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Golden Arrow Lakeside Hotel Lake Placid
- Hotel Golden Arrow Lakeside
- Golden Arrow Lake Placid