POINT OF VIEW VANESSA CRAFT

A se­cluded retro-glam es­cape in the Adiron­dacks.

ELLE (Canada) - - Lifestyle -

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Point, a grand es­tate on Saranac Lake in Up­state New York, be­gins with a glass of cham­pagne. Be­fore I’ve taken a proper sip, my bags (and the car I drove up in) are seam­lessly whisked away. It’s the first glimpse of the level of ser­vice to ex­pect here—and a wel­come dis­trac­tion from the fact that my mo­bile phone lost sig­nal about an hour ago. (R.I.P., cell re­cep­tion.) My bed­room, one of just 11 at this in­ti­mate wooded re­sort, has no Wi-Fi, tele­phone or tele­vi­sion (gasp) but is full of books and an­tiques and has a sun­lit deck over­look­ing the lake, a gi­ant stone fire­place and a tall hand­built bed fit for a movie star.

Be­fore the Hamp­tons, the Adiron­dacks was the pre­ferred des­ti­na­tion of the rich and fab­u­lous. (See: the Van­der­bilts, As­tors and Guggen­heims.) Here, New York’s old-money elite built “great camps”— rus­tic lux­ury get­aways (com­plete with staff, of course) on pris­tine lakes. The Point, orig­i­nally built in the late 19th cen­tury, was Wil­liam Rock­e­feller’s gift to his wife.

Al­though the ac­tiv­i­ties avail­able are many, from boat­ing and hik­ing to ten­nis and even retro games like cro­quet, I got over the lack of tech­nol­ogy mainly by par­tak­ing in the most pop­u­lar things to do here: eat and drink. Well-stocked wet bars with s’mores sup­plies and truf­fle pop­corn are dot­ted all over the prop­erty, in­clud­ing in­side a tricked­out lean-to filled with cozy pil­lows and blan­kets and set atop a hill that is per­fect for stargaz­ing.

Guests eat com­mu­nally in the great hall of the main lodge; you could be seated next to a for­mer pres­i­dent, a busi­ness mogul or re­turn vis­i­tors Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig. Twice a week, din­ner is a black­tie af­fair with a deca­dent seven-course meal. There are no chil­dren here, but well-be­haved pets are wel­come. (One dog vis­it­ing dur­ing my stay had its own natur­opath.) The dis­creet staff seem to an­tic­i­pate what you need and have a rule to “never say no” to a re­quest—the only thing you’ll do with­out here is cell ser­vice.

The Boathouse, one of 11 uniquely dec­o­rated rooms spread across four orig­i­nal log build­ings, has been win­ter­ized and is avail­able year-round (right); the writer takes in the scenery (be­low right).

The Point is a 30-hectare pri­vate es­tate. Guests are asked to treat it like their own homes— sit­ting with an aper­i­tif at the chef’s table in the kitchen while he pre­pares din­ner is en­cour­aged.

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