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What would it be like to be a houseguest of William Rockefeller during the Gilded Age at his pastoral estate along the rugged lakeshores of upstate New York? Today, you can experience that life at The Point Resort located in New York’sAdirondack mountains.

During the Gilded Era, the wealthy families of the time – the Vanderbilts, Astors, Guggenheims and Rockefellers – wanted an escape from the rapidly expanding cities and established wooded retreats of rustic comfort.  These Great Camps, as they were known, were built along lakeshores in upstate New York and were designed to provide the families and their guests with a luxurious experience in a rustic setting.  One of the best expressions of these Great Camps was built by William Avery Rockefeller along the shores of Saranac Lake, which he named “The Point”.  

Photos courtesy of The Point

Today, The Point, which is now a Relais & Chateaux resort, offers that same luxurious experience as you might have had as a guest of William Rockefeller.  There are only eleven guestrooms spread among the four original log buildings.  All of the rooms have beautiful lake views and have been carefully updated with modern luxuries but retain the rustic charm of days' gone by.  

The resort invites a slower pace, allowing you to withdraw from frenetic city life.  In some ways, the resort forces you to withdraw since there are no TVs and cell phones are put away during your visit.  

The pace and activities are dictated by you.  Morning will begin with a gentle knock and the arrival of coffee, freshly squeezed juice and a basket of freshly-baked muffins.  You can enjoy this in your room, perhaps with a crackling fire on chilly mornings, or on your deck overlooking the lake.  When you are ready, you can stroll over to the Great Hall for a hearty breakfast of omelets or French toast with fresh berries. 

During the summer months, you can take a hike in the surrounding forest or wander down to the lake for swimming or boating.  In the winter, you might curl up next to a roaring fire with a glass of red wine and a good book or ask the general manager to organize a single-malt scotch tasting in the pub.  These are but a few of the many available activities and the professional staff can arrange for anything you can imagine…the day is yours.

Meals at The Point are very special and delicious.  You can arrange to have your lunch, or any meal for that matter, wherever you want…in the Great Hall, in the middle of the kitchen, on your deck, in the “pub”, as a picnic on an island or at their lodge in the middle of a forest that they call “Camp David”.  The options are also unlimited.  The kitchen and the wine and liquor cabinets are completely open to you during your stay. 

Dinner is taken in the Great Hall and, continuing the tradition of elegant Great Camp dining, is more formal with jackets and ties most nights and black tie suggested on Wednesday and Saturday evenings.  With delicious food, flowing wine and lively conversations around the communal tables, it feels very much like a dinner party that William Rockefeller might have thrown decades before.

The Point forces you to put aside the pressures and pace of your ordinary life and embrace, at least for a brief period, a more relaxed pace characteristic of prior eras.  The Point is truly a special place.

The Point // Saranic Lake, New York // Website