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Friends Lake Inn
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Reviews (185)
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All reviewswine cellarfriends lakecommon roomsleigh ridetop notchget awaythe entire staffpork chopchocolate chip cookiesthe main dining roomrestaurant staffsteam showergreat weekendcurrent ownersbed and breakfastlook forwardscreened porch
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110 - 115 of 185 reviews
Reviewed 17 January 2014

We spent last weekend here with friends of ours and had a great time (again). The weather was not very nice and the roads were very icy. We spent all of Saturday reading, talking, laying around and totally relaxing. Being with friends at Friends Lake Inn is special enough, but the service, kindness and pampering by the hosts and the entire staff, goes well beyond what can be expected. Dinner on Friday was delayed as our friends were late in arriving, the wait staff and kitchen stayed open late and provided a great meal with not the least bit of trying to rush us.
If you are into good wine, great food and a relaxing weekend I can think of no other place in this area that can deliver more.
We have decided with our friends to make this our annual get away together. We just wished we lived closer to do it more often.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KenLCt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2014

Spent our third New Year's Eve at the inn. Each time being an individual who does revues for the media I try to find something that is not up to my standards. Simply, are you receiving the quality of service, food and ambiance you are paying for. Time after time this inn exceeds or equals the price assigned to the particular item. The staff is friendly and well trained,the wine list among the regions best,and the food creative and outstanding. Our room,the fieldstone was immaculate ,romantic and offered every value.
This is a top of the line experience. Expect to pay for excellence,rarely found across the board at many accomodations.

Room Tip: Ask for one with a balcony or private entry
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2013

I usually go to the great Inn during January or February when they have their overnight packages including a wine pairing dinner. The ambience, service and food are always excellent. I would highly recommend the midnight snow shoe package as well.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Eric12302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Once we got over the initial sticker shock, my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Friends Lake Inn. When all the factors of our stay were considered (especially the meals), the overall price, although expensive, was worth it.

Making reservations was simple. We wanted the "Romance in the Adirondacks" package to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, but we wanted to upgrade the room from the base package room. I called the Inn so that I could discuss options and prices with a live person (Andrea), who was very friendly and answered all my questions. Prior to our check-in date we received at least two emails from the Inn confirming our reservations and suggesting other options and services. Check-in was painless, and Melissa at the front desk gave us a short tour to get us acquainted with the Inn.

We ended up going with the Great Room (one of four Adirondack-style rooms), which was very nice. It had all the amenities we could need or want, including a double steam shower, Jacuzzi tub, wet bar, wood-burning fireplace, TV, and a comfy king-size Adirondack-style log/twig bed. The room was spotless on arrival, and the staff kept it that way during our stay. Our only disappointment with the room would be that the front of the refrigerator was inside a cabinet under the wet bar and was propped up on a loose piece of 2x4, apparently so that the door could clear the bottom lip of the cabinet when opened. However, this made it difficult to close the fridge door because it would get hung up on the 2x4 (a problem others must have experienced due to the amount of ice buildup on the freezer section). It was a mild bother, and we didn't think it was worth contacting management to fix it.

There was also a noticeable hum and vibration on the back porch. I'm pretty sure it was from the motor of some large appliance or ventilation system underneath (maybe in the kitchen?). But it was not present inside the room, so, like the fridge, we didn't feel this was worth contacting anyone about since it wasn’t really bothering us.

The staff and owners were extremely friendly and happy to help us. Every last detail of our package was provided for during our stay, and nothing was left out or late. Our main server for both dinners was L.J., who was very good and helped us out with the extensive wine selection by suggesting wines to complement each meal. Trudy, one of the owners, introduced herself to us at breakfast the first morning, and we had a nice conversation. We also ran into her several times throughout our stay, and she always greeted us with a smile, asked us if we needed anything, and chatted a bit.

The food was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. They were serving the Fall menu, and we received personalized menus printed with our names at the top wishing us a happy anniversary. The staff also signed an anniversary card for us (nice touch!). The first night I had the elk, and my wife had the grilled Oscar's smoked pork chop. The elk was very good. I thought it was a stronger taste than venison, but it was cooked perfectly and was balanced with the ancho chili bittersweet chocolate demi-glace. The pork chop was incredible. Absolutely the best pork chop we've ever had (Oscar's is a local butcher shop that has superb smoked meats). The second night I chose the duck breast, and my wife had the tenderloin. Both were phenomenal. The desserts were equally good, as were the soups and salads.

Breakfast was also great and included more of Oscar’s smoked bacon and smoked maple sausage. You can order off the menu as well as help yourself to an extensive buffet. Our package also included a picnic lunch on the second day, which included two huge sandwiches (we chose an Oscar’s Black Forest ham and cheddar and a pastrami and swiss), chips, an apple, and chocolate chip cookies. We ended up having lunch at one of the scenic pull-offs on the drive down from Whiteface Mountain after checking out the Fall foliage from the summit.

We also took advantage of one of the Inn's canoes and paddled around Friends Lake for a while on our first morning there. Melissa helped us get the lifejackets and paddles checked out and directed us to the lake access road. It's a relatively short and easy walk to the lake access. The hardest part was taking the canoe off the rack and getting it back up there when we were done. We also took a stroll around the grounds, which were beautiful and appeared to be carefully tended.

One area that needs improvement (and the Inn certainly isn’t the only place lacking in this) is the strength of the WiFi signal on the property. WiFi access is becoming ubiquitous at hotels these days, but if you’re going to offer it, then make sure it works and has a strong signal everywhere on the property. WiFi at the Inn was backwards as far as need vs. availability goes. We had absolutely no WiFi signal in our room (where we would have felt the most comfortable using it if needed), yet the WiFi signal in the main dining room (the one place I would feel most uncomfortable using it) was full-strength. WiFi access points can be placed at intervals and bridged together to adequately cover a desired are, and the strength of the radio signal for each access point can be adjusted up or down. In other words, mute it near the dining room(s) if needed, but jack it up near the guest rooms. I suspect there is one (perhaps two) access points at the Inn, but it’s just not enough. I don’t expect WiFi access at every hotel I stay at (yet), but, if it’s offered as an amenity and included in the price of the room, it’s got to work and work well.

As a side note, some past reviewers have complained about the lack of disclosure of the 18% gratuity added to all food and drink orders, but we were advised of this up-front and given a thorough explanation of how it is applied. In addition, when we noticed a $75 charge on our bill at checkout that we couldn't account for, Trudy personally looked into it, found the error, and immediately apologized and took the charge off of our bill.

We had a wonderful time at the Friends Lake Inn, and hope to return someday. It did seem a bit pricey at first, but when we took everything into account, it was definitely worth the money, especially considering the quality of the meals included with our stay. It was definitely nice to be able to stay at the Inn for meals instead of having to search for an acceptable local restaurant, especially considering that the Inn has a restaurant that we would probably have gone to had we stayed at another hotel in the area.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JafaDog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2013

Staying at The Friends Lake Inn was very good. Our room was a very nice Adirondack style room with a fire place and private deck. Check out their web site for other rooms .... ours was very nice, and added to our fine experience. Dinner was very good with a large wine list and very nice service. All of the staff make us feel very comfortable. Ours was a quick getaway with not enough time to take advantage of what the area has to offer.... we'll be back.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank abarasol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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