Coffee in hand, I greeted a crystal clear Upper Saranac Lake, gliding across the glassy water in a gorgeous 33’ 1933 replica Hacker-Craft named “The Point of it All.” The hand-constructed mahogany speed boat was driven by Bradley, who grew up not far from The Point and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else in the world. He proudly pointed out other Adirondack Great Camps, built by captains of industry in the 1930s - sprawling compounds of dark native timber and stone lodges with bright trim scattered across deep green lawns dotted with pots of geraniums as big as a VW Bugs and proud boat houses full of vintage boats. An ideal morning at The Point, a charming 11-room Relais & Chateaux property and former Great Camp of William Avery Rockefeller II located in the Adirondacks in upstate New York.
Everything about The Point is welcoming, like a favorite pair of well-made leather gloves.
Thoughtful and elevated touches welcome even the most discerning guests at every turn. The game room bar is stocked with homemade chips and cookies as well as gin and whiskey from Lake Placid and beyond. The library offers old friends like Franny and Zooey and Anne Boleyn. Handmade wooden jigsaw puzzles from Stave taunt from a neat cabinet and a grand old billiard table stands sentinel, adorned with birch bark, antlers and a hand-painted landscape of some dreamy Adirondack lake (nearby, likely). If you must, you can watch television here (your room won’t have one) while you pretend the news or football score is more interesting than the view or the company. The Point attracts travelers who have honed the art of vacationing, taking pride in turning off phones and turning to the person next to them to carry on a conversation.
Dinners are an affair, with black tie dress suggested two nights a week in keeping with the historic perspective of the Gilded Age as no fewer than seven courses are served across tables set for a large party of your newest “Friends in Residence” (their names will be printed on the nightly menu laid at your place).
Meals can also be taken inside the kitchen at the chef’s table (my favorite), on the patio overlooking the lake, in your suite, on a boat, in the cozy lean-to up on the hill in front of a roaring fire (there’s a bar there too) or most anywhere you like on the 75 private acres.
Change after dinner and take a walk down to the lake, look up at the stars and listen. You may hear a loon calling, the crackle of a nearby bonfire, a champagne cork popping or nothing at all.
That’s the point of it all.