This century-old Adirondack "Great Camp" once owned by the Vanderbilts (not to be confused with the Sagamore Hotel on Lake George) sits on a peninsula several miles down a forest road from the town of Raquette Lake. It's been preserved and maintained in recent years by a nonprofit historic-preservation organization. As such, it's not run as a typical resort or hotel, but as an historic landmark that offers lodging in conjunction with its educational/cultural programs. People looking to be catered to, resort-style, will be disappointed -- you need to make your own beds, there are no bellhops, concierges, waiters, TVs, phones, Internet, or cell service, and the cuisine is just a few steps up from summer camp. But for those who can appreciate the beautiful Adirondack setting and the opportunity to experience a little of the world of the richest of the rich "roughing it" in the deep woods 100 years ago, it's a rare pleasure. The "camp" consists of a main lodge, a dining hall, some subsidiary lodgings, and a variety of other buildings like a boathouse, a playhouse, and a (no longer working) open-air bowling alley. Canoes and rowboats are freely available and well worth taking out on the lake, there's a ferny 4-mile walking path around the lake, and a myriad of other places to explore. The programs are thoughtfully presented - my family went for a "Summer Songfest" weekend ($339 adult, $139 child, including all lodging, meals, events & facilities for the entire weekend), featuring several local and very talented bluegrass/folk musicians who played, formally and informally, throughout the weekend, including a campfire singalong. They also have more historically-oriented programs, and some grandparent-grandchildren sessions (no parents allowed). One of the best rooms for a family (which we happened to get) is #1 in the main lodge, which was the Vanderbilts' former master bedroom. Not inexpensive, but well worth the cost.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sagamore, once the summer retreat of the Alfred Vanderbilt family, is now a National Historic Landmark that runs a variety of residential education programs from late May until late October. Neither a hotel, motel nor resort, we are instead a non-profit "living museum," one that attempts to allow as many people as possible to learn more about Adirondack history, nature and the Gilded Age amid the rustic beauty of our wilderness location. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Great Camp Sagamore Hotel Raquette Lake