The 9 Best New York State Winter Resorts of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Whiteface Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Couples will appreciate the romance of one of America’s top-rated spas, where massages, body treatments, and salon pampering await."

Runner Up, Best Overall: Mohonk Mountain House – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Choose from a variety of Victorian-style rooms, suites, and cottages, most of which have romantic wood-burning fireplaces."

Best Budget: Holiday Inn Resort Lake George – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The resort has an indoor pool and hot tub, a bowling alley, and outdoor sports courts for milder winter days."

Best for Luxury: The Point – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Meals are typically enjoyed amidst candlelight in the Great Hall and pair world-class cuisine with fine wines from the resort’s cellars."

Most Romantic: Lake Placid Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Artisans restaurant serves sumptuous breakfasts and gourmet four-course dinners overlooking Whiteface Mountain."

Best for Families: Hope Lake Lodge – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"It’s the official accommodation option for Greek Peak Mountain Ski Resort, with its own shuttle to the mountain."

Best Spa: Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"You can visit Lake Placid’s Winter Olympics sites, and even sign up for a ski session with two-time Olympic medallist Andrew Weibrecht."

Best All-Inclusive: Rocking Horse Ranch Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Go ice skating or snow tubing, learn to ski or enjoy a romantic moment on a horse-drawn sleigh ride."

Best Seaside: Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Imagine long, romantic walks along the near-empty shoreline, followed by cozy evenings spent in front of a roaring fire."

01 of 09

Best Overall: Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid

Lake Placid Winter
Getty Images/Winnie Cabelus/EyeEm

Located in the heart of New York State adventure, the Adirondacks, Whiteface Lodge enjoys an idyllic setting in the woodlands surrounding Lake Placid. The facilities leftover from two Winter Olympic Games are within walking distance; while the East Coast’s highest vertical drop is minutes away at Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort. For more laid-back winter adventures, go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing through the resort’s beautiful, snow-covered grounds; or take a whirl on the complimentary winter ice skating rink. Indoor facilities abound as well, from the year-round indoor pool to the movie theater and family game room. 

Couples will appreciate the romance of one of America’s top-rated spas, where massages, body treatments, and salon pampering await. However, you choose to spend your days, campfire s’mores sessions are a tradition at Whiteface Lodge. Then, make your way to Kanu Restaurant for Adirondack-inspired cuisine beneath soaring ceilings and antler chandeliers; or opt for cocktails and live music at Peak 47 instead. Suites come with one, two, or three bedrooms, cozy stone fireplaces, and fully equipped kitchens. 

02 of 09

Runner Up, Best Overall: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz

Mohonk Mountain House in the Winter
Mohonk Mountain House

Surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest on the edge of Mohonk Lake, Mohonk Mountain House opened in 1869. Now a National Historic Landmark, its fairytale façade has become something of a Hudson Valley icon. Rates are all-inclusive and include three meals a day, unlimited activities, and scheduled seasonal adventures. In winter, that means ice-skating in the open-air Pavilion, then warming up afterward with a cup of hot chocolate by the 39-foot fireplace. It means exploring miles of groomed cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, or making family memories in the heated indoor pool. 

Throughout December, the lodge is decorated in traditional festive style with Christmas trees, wreaths, and gingerbread displays. A complimentary Kids Club is available on weekends for the duration of the winter season, while included evening entertainment ranges from movies and live music to nature presentations. Some activities (like horse riding and spa treatments) carry an additional charge. Choose from a variety of Victorian-style rooms, suites, and cottages, most of which have romantic wood-burning fireplaces. 

03 of 09

Best Budget: Holiday Inn Resort Lake George, Lake George

Holiday Inn Resort Lake George

Holiday Inn Resort Lake George

If you’re looking for a winter getaway that won’t break the bank, consider booking a stay at Holiday Inn Resort Lake George. Located in Lake George town and a few minutes’ walk from the waterfront at Million Dollar Beach, this family-friendly resort offers rates from as low as $90 per night. In winter, it’s a convenient base for exploring the surrounding ski resorts, with West Mountain just 15 minutes away by car and Gore Mountain reachable in under 40 minutes.

The resort has an indoor pool and hot tub, a bowling alley, and outdoor sports courts for milder winter days. When hunger strikes, you don’t have to venture far to find food. TR’s Restaurant and Lounge serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner while keeping costs down for families with its kids-eat-free policy. Children aged 12 and under also stay for free in their parents’ room. Ask for one with a pull-out sofa bed or two queen beds and benefit from free WiFi, cable TV, a coffeemaker, and basic self-catering facilities.

04 of 09

Best for Luxury: The Point, Saranac Lake

The Point, Saranac Lake

The Point, Saranac Lake

An original Adirondack Great Camp built from native timber and stone by William Avery Rockefeller II, adults-only resort The Point is the only Forbes Five Star property in Upstate New York. It recreates the glamor and luxury of the Gilded Age with gracious service and an intimate atmosphere made possible by the fact that there are just 11 rooms. Located within four log mansions, each one boasts original 19th-century art, a handcrafted bed, a decadent bathroom, and a gorgeous stone fireplace. 

Choose The Boathouse with its beamed ceiling and canopied king bed for the ultimate luxury experience. Winter activities make the most of the resort’s fabulous location on the edge of Saranac Lake. Go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing around the lake’s perimeter; or venture onto the frozen water for ice fishing or skating adventures. Indoors, blazing fireplaces provide a cozy backdrop for card games and classic movies. Meals are typically enjoyed amidst flickering candlelight in the Great Hall and pair world-class cuisine with fine wines and spirits from the resort’s private cellars. 

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Most Romantic: Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid

Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid

Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid

Built in the Great Camp style, Lake Placid Lodge is a romantic winter retreat located directly on the lake shore. Expect magnificent views and hand-hewn furniture, and rooms filled with carefully chosen art and antiques. For the most tranquil stay, opt for a room in the Main Lodge. Wake up late in your hand-carved king bed, then spend indulgent afternoons in the deep soaking tub or relaxing together in front of the wood-burning stone fireplace. In-room massages are available upon request. 

During the day, the snowy forest and frozen lake set the scene for adventures on foot, skis, or snowshoes. You can go ice skating together, learn how to ice fish, embark on a dog sledding tour, or visit nearby Winter Olympics sites. As darkness begins to fall, gather at the lake edge for a snow bonfire complete with hot chocolate and s’mores. Artisans restaurant serves sumptuous breakfasts and gourmet four-course dinners overlooking Whiteface Mountain, while Maggie’s Pub is a cozy retreat complete with a billiards table and board games. 

06 of 09

Best for Families: Hope Lake Lodge, Virgil

Hope Lake Lodge, Virgil

 Hope Lake Lodge, Virgil

Hope Lake Lodge is your one-stop shop for family fun near Virgil in the Finger Lakes region of Central New York. It’s the official accommodation option for Greek Peak Mountain Ski Resort, with a shuttle to the mountain and excellent Junior Ski and Ride children’s programs. You can also enjoy hours of family fun while snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and exploring on rented kicksleds. When you’ve had enough of the cold, visit the lodge’s Cascades Indoor Waterpark or head to Starlight Arcade. 

Bearfoot Den Activities Center is another option for kids and teens, offering Wii games, arts and crafts, books, and puzzles. Don’t forget to check out the scheduled daily activities as well, which range from movie marathons to scavenger hunts. The resort has plenty of dining options. The most family-friendly are Acorn Grill (serving classic American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and Trax Pub & Grill (for sharing plates and make-your-own pizzas). Suites come with one or two bedrooms, with the largest accommodating up to 10 people. 

07 of 09

Best Spa: Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa, Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa

Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa

A AAA Four Diamond hotel and member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa is an oasis of tranquility on the shores of Mirror Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Its award-winning spa makes it the destination of choice for those planning a wellbeing retreat. Expect a seemingly endless array of treatments, and facilities that range from sanctuaries for men and women to Vichy showers and a full salon. The fitness center also boasts an indoor lap pool, sauna, and Jacuzzi. 

When you’re not indulging in a massage or taking part in a private yoga class, explore the surrounding area with the aid of the resort’s complimentary snowshoes. You can visit Lake Placid’s Winter Olympics sites, and even sign up for a ski session with two-time Olympic medallist Andrew Weibrecht. In the evening, take your pick of three acclaimed restaurants, each offering farm-to-table cuisine, innovative cocktails, and local craft beers. Suites spoil with a working fireplace and relaxing jetted tub, and most have balconies with inspirational lake views. 

08 of 09

Best All-Inclusive: Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, Highland

Scottish Higland cattle at Rocking Horse Ranch Resort

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort 

There are several all-inclusive resorts to choose from in New York (including Mohonk Mountain House, listed above). However, Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in the Hudson Valley stands out for the sheer variety of activities and adventures that are included in the price. During the colder months, the Winter Fun Park is the star of the show. Go ice skating or snow tubing, learn to ski or enjoy a romantic moment on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Unlimited horse riding is another highlight, with trails open all year round. 

Indoor fun ranges from the waterslides and splash zones of Big Splash Indoor Water Park to the family-friendly gaming arcade. In the evening, big-name musicians, magicians, dancers, and more take to the stage to provide all-ages entertainment. Meal plans are generous, with all-you-can-eat buffet breakfasts and lunches and multiple-course a la carte dinners. Meanwhile, accommodation options include floor plans to suit every kind of traveler from couples to larger families. Spa services are also available for an extra fee. 

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best Seaside: Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, Montauk

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Most of the winter getaways on this list focus on New York’s mountains; but there’s no reason you can’t have plenty of fun at the beach. Imagine long, romantic walks along the near-empty shoreline, followed by cozy evenings spent in front of a roaring fire. These are the experiences that await at Gurney’s, the only year-round resort in Montauk. It offers direct access to a pristine private beach, and the acclaimed Seawater Spa. The latter boasts a heated ocean-fed pool, a Finnish sauna, a Russian steam room, and a Roman bath.

Part of the attraction of winter at the beach is the excuse to warm up over languid meals. Gurney’s has several restaurants to choose from including stylish Italian restaurant Scarpetta Beach (for fresh seafood and world-class wines); and Tillie’s (for locally sourced American comfort food). Long evenings are best spent at The Regent Cocktail Club, with its sweeping sea views and outdoor fire pits. Accommodation ranges from ocean-view rooms and suites to multiple-bedroom cottages and luxurious private residences. 

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