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March 26, 2013updated Mar 27, 2013

The Point Is Right On Point

By Chris Boyle

The Point Mohawk Upper Saranac Lake, NYBy Kelly Carter

By now, many New Yorkers are tired of the snow. But the late snowfall made March the perfect time to visit The Point, a private estate nestled in the Adirondack wilderness and the former home of William Avery Rockefeller.

For years I had listened to friends talk about their lavish stays filled with black-tie dinners and extraordinary cuisine and being pampered by a kind and thoughtful staff that bends over backwards and treats pets like royalty. Now it was my turn.

Lucy The Point Upper Saranac LakeThe first clue I was in for something special arrived before I left home in California. I received what serves as the resort’s brochure: a beautiful, hardback book that includes the history of The Point, information on the various accommodations, stunning color photographs taking during various seasons on Upper Saranac Lake and what to expect when I arrived, along with a handwritten note.

Still, I wasn’t prepared for the magnificence of The Point, a Relais & Châteaux property filled with priceless art and fine antiques. I was greeted with champagne before being escorted to the main lodge’s master bedroom, Mohawk (pictured above). A huge, roaring fire in a stone fireplace, platter of fresh fruit and dates, vase of fresh flowers and homemade dog treats and Bowser beer in beautiful ceramic awaited me and my pooch Lucy.

The Point Boathouse I imagined what it must have been like when Rockefeller entertained in gracious style during the Great Camp Era when the resort was known as Camp Wonundra. He and his guests probably didn’t have the benefit of heated bathroom floors backs then. The Point is a throwback but with modern bathrooms featuring rain showers, deep, claw-foot tubs (mine afforded me a view of frozen Upper Saranac Lake).

The most in-demand of the 11 guest quarters is The Boathouse (pictured right), which gets booked one to one a half years in advance by discerning travelers wishing to enjoy the most private accommodation and featuring a wrap-around deck with swinging beds. Being that it is only available from May through October, I was too early.

The Point Upper Saranac LakeIf the resort didn’t close next month as it does every April for maintenance, I would have stayed through May to enjoy the extra touches that made my stay so special. Each evening a handwritten note was slipped under the guests’ doors inviting us to The Pub  for cocktails and socializing prior to adjoining to the Great Hall for communal dinners.

Printed menus include each course and accompanying wine on one side and on the other side, the name of the guests in residence, lest anyone forget after indulging at the Pub. Executive Chef Mark Levy whipped up delicious dishes such as this one of seared scallops and andouille sausage with Carolina gold rice grits and lobster vinaigrette..

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Wolfi at The Point Upper Saranac Lake, NYSunrises were magical and despite the single-digit temperatures, beckoned me outside for a stroll through the snow. Even my four-legged companion Lucy seemed to appreciate  the environment.

The Point is one of those places where you can do as little or as much as you want. You can mingle with other guests or dine in your quarters, enjoy an in-room massage or explore the wilderness, hang out with Chef Mark in the kitchen or play billiards.

Being that I’m a dog lover, I would have been thrilled to do nothing except play with Wolfi, a sweet German Shepherd who accompanied his pet parents (repeat guests) on a private plane from Mississippi for his first stay at The Point. I’m sure it wasn’t Wolfi’s last stay and it won’t be mine either.



For more on where to travel with pampered pets, visit and read my Posh Pets in Tow column is every issue of Elite Traveler.




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