Thanks to The Whiteface Lodge for hosting our stay and experience.
My kids love all things winter—think skiing, sledding, hockey, and skating—and when I looked around to where to spend a long weekend, I knew I wanted to head north to the Adirondacks to get a full-on, snow-filled winter experience. The Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY, came up as a must-do because of its winter wonderland, luxe woodland-style decor, and family-friendly vibes. The impressive, rustic timber Whiteface Lodge is surrounded by the Adirondack mountains (you can see Whiteface Mountain in the distance) and has plenty of amenities to keep my crew busy and satisfy their craving for winter fun. Read on to see how our winter wonderland fantasies came true during a blissful three-day stay. (featured photo credit: The Whiteface Lodge)
Feel at home in a cabin-style room
Nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Park, a six-million-acre recreation area in upstate New York, Whiteface Lodge is about a 5-hour ride from NJ and a mile outside the village of Lake Placid, home to both the 1932 and 1980 Olympics. As we drove into the driveway that takes you to the resort, we were in awe of the grand style accented by the mountains and wooded surroundings. At check-in, the woodland and forest-inspired decor were nothing like we’d seen on the East Coast, and we loved how the resort is suite-only, giving families lots of space (some suites sleep up to 12). We brought my parents with us, so we decided on a three-bedroom, three-bathroom suite to give us plenty of room. All of us were truly amazed by our two-story room that had Adirondack-style furnishings, two cast iron gas fireplaces, slate floor, wood paneling, custom cabinetry, a fully equipped kitchen with granite countertops, two private cedar and mahogany balconies, a washer and dryer, and our favorite feature—the radiant floor heating in all the bathrooms.
Skate the day away
After we got settled, we explored the resort. My kids couldn’t wait to get on the full-size ice skating rink with complimentary ice skates and hockey equipment. I didn’t get on the ice but hung back, watching their intense hockey games from the comfort of the chalet-chic, sheltered lean-tos that felt like a living room outside. I settled into the comfy Adirondack chair, pulled up a cozy blanket, and stayed warm with the blazing firepit as I watched my kids glide along the rink. In the background, the view of the snow-topped mountains was mesmerizing, and I felt so relaxed just hanging out. When the kids were done, we stopped by the charming equipment hut for steaming cups of cocoa, which instantly heated us up.
Swim outside at 32 degrees
Though my kids are fans of ice, they were thrilled to jump into the year-round indoor/outdoor heated pool with a unique swim-through design—they entered from the indoor pool and swam past the heavy transparent curtains to a steamy outdoor oasis in the chilly 30 degrees. If they dared to get out, the outdoor pool’s patio was heated, melting any snow or ice and making it safe to walk on. It felt so free to swim outside in hot water while looking at the snow-covered trees around us.
After dinner, we were amped up to try one of the resort’s indoor amenities. One of our favorite parts was the 56-seat surround-sound movie theater that plays three movies daily and offers free popcorn. We watched Cool Runnings, based on the real story about a Jamaican bobsledding team—we were in the bobsledding spirit after we visited the Olympic Village Museum in Lake Placid and rode in the bobsled simulator earlier that day.
During our stay, we were warmed by the nightly bonfires lit in the courtyard or, depending on the weather, in the clubhouse. We spied all the ingredients to make the most delicious (and complimentary) s’mores, which my family did, and of course, gobbled them up. Afterward, we got into a few friendly family competitions in the game room, where there was plenty of entertainment, including billiards, shuffleboard, foosball, board games, and a two-lane bowling alley. My kids loved playing the USA vs. USSR foosball after learning all about the 1980 Miracle On Ice that happened at the rink in Lake Placid when the US beat out the Russians for the gold medal in hockey.
Spend time savoring every moment
While we took advantage of the full kitchen and cooked some meals inside our room, there are some great spots for dining within the resort. Besides the 24-hour in-room dining, the breakfast buffet had delicious pancakes, omelets, and pastries. And enjoying dinner at Kanu is a must—everything we ate was beautifully presented, and the short ribs and scallops were our favorites. They also have an excellent children’s menu with all kid-friendly favorites, mocktails, grilled steak, salmon, and chicken. After dinner, we stopped at Peak 47, the more casual restaurant serving lunch and dinner across the hall, which had yummy specialty cocktails, TVs to watch a game, and comfy sofas in front of a crackling fire where you can relax and have a drink.
If we had another day or two to enjoy the lodge, my husband and I would have put the kids in some of the scheduled activities like scavenger hunts or Kamp Kanu, the complimentary day-time kid’s program, while we enjoyed The Spa. Even though the Lodge Mud Wrap, the Great Outdoors Facial, or a Deep Tissue Massage were calling our name, we were having too much fun at the other amenities at the resort. I had planned on working out in the well-equipped fitness center with a generous schedule of complimentary fitness classes, but I stayed longer in the pool with the kids. We also wanted to explore the property’s snowshoe and cross-country ski trails (next time). At checkout, my kids were already buzzing about when we could come back, and we all agreed that we couldn’t wait to visit the lodge in a totally different season—summer, for sure.
There is also an indoor pool option for more winter fun. Photo Credit: The Whiteface Lodge
What to know before you go
The Whiteface Lodge is a luxury resort for all four seasons, and suite rates (starting at $395) vary depending on the time of year and increase on weekends and holidays. Almost all the on-site resort amenities are included in the price. There are two restaurants at the Lodge—Kanu, a more formal dining experience, and Peak 47 for casual meals with a lounge. During the summer, guests have access to the nearby Canoe Club, Whiteface Lodge’s exclusive Lake Placid beachfront area down the road. The lakeside spot has complimentary canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, paddle boards for water fun, and a grill for lunch and ice cream. The resort’s fleet of motorboat watercraft is also available, with a deluxe Pontoon boat for cruising and a Ski Nautique for tubing, water skiing, or wakeboarding.
7 Whiteface Inn Lane
Lake Placid, NY 12946
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