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“We'll Be Back!”
Review of Camp Driftwood

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Camp Driftwood
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Indian Lake
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 11 October 2012

We're thrilled Jon and his Camp Driftwood had room for our small group (6 of us) over the Columbus Day holiday on such short notice...a month out we were scrambling to find a place on Indian Lake.
Every detail has been carefully thought out and over the many years in business they know what a stay in a cabin/camp in the woods should be like.
There was ample wood, heat and everything we needed in the kitchen and throughout to make our special birthday weekend a happy one. Despite rain and low clouds one day we were out paddling (great selection of kayaks, etc.) and enjoyed the subtle yet gorgeous leaf colors.
I, too, like Susan S, would prefer not to let on about a gem such as this but we want to let folks know how much we loved it.
It may not be for everyone but this small group loves the Adirondack vibe (we spent childhood summers on Blue Mt. Lake, the entire summer, as our parents were managing a resort) and can't get enough of it.
We'll be back, that's for sure.
Thanks again, Jon, for a lovely stay.

Room Tip: Don't be too fussy, this is a camp in the finest, old tradition.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Louise A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 - 34 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 8 October 2012

Columbus Day Weekend 2012

Sometimes my girlfriend and I have a hard time submitting a review on Trip Advisor. When we love a place, we don’t want anyone else to know about “our” favorite retreat. We decided to submit a review because we were in shock reading a few of the other reviews for Driftwood. To us, anything but a 5 star positive review is inconceivable. We choose to stay at Driftwood because we appreciate the quality and simplicity of the cabins coupled with our love of the outdoors and the Adirondacks. With that in mind, Driftwood doesn’t disappoint. Jon has decorated each cabin with a rustic attention to detail. My girlfriend and I NEVER sleep as well as we do at Driftwood. The bed was incredible – we slept 10+ hours each night - so comfortable. The cabin was immaculate. The hardwood flows glistened. The bedding (bedspread) was crisp and clean. We had the woodstove burning throughout our stay. Jon provides ample firewood and kindling is abundant around the cabin grounds. Without going into too much detail (don't want to give all the splendor away) Driftwood is a relaxing, back to basics vacation retreat.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Lablover27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2012

We just spent a 3-day weekend on Labor day weekend, staying at Camp Driftwood and we are already talking about going back! We stayed at The Cedar cabin. It sleeps 5 and it is lakefront!
It is no Ritz-Carlton and one should not expect it to be like a 5-star hotel. It is a very basic and rustic cabin. This is the Adirondack and you are there to enjoy the beauty of the lake and the nature, so expect to live-a-simple-life for the week or for whatever duration that you are there.

We enjoyed our morning coffee on the screened porch. We cooked in the kitchen and also outside. A small portable grill is provided but we prefer cooking with open fire in the firepit. Cabin Cedar is right next to the sandy beach area. So if you go there during peak season, expect to hear children's lauhgter or children playing(some may find it too noisy). Our 20-month old really enjoyed playing with the sand and in the water. Beach toys are even provided!

All I can say is we had a wonderful time and we will definitely go back. Don't let some not-so-good reviews of others deter you from Camp Driftwood. I personally think that those people were expecting a 5-star hotel experience.

Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
4  Thank ysdavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2012

The Driftwood Cabins are awful. We did something that I have never done anywhere else - we actually left mid-week (with two small children!) and looked for a different place to stay. We stayed in the Hemlock Cabin. The cabin was TINY (and we are from NYC so we are used to small living spaces), living area and bedrooms were clean, but both the kitchen and bathroom were filthy (other people's hair and other people's crumbs--gross).

The 'fully' equipped kitchen did not have matches -we got there at night and realized that we had no way to light the stove, when we asked for some in the morning they were begrudgingly given to us by the owner, with the comment to make sure we brought them back. The kitchen also did not have a garbage pail, the silverware was cracked and disgusting and there was an ancient, greasy wooden cutting board that I was afraid to touch. The bathroom sink did not drain and gurgled anytime water was run in the kitchen sink or when the toilet was flushed- the toilet did actually flush- a miracle that I will be eternally grateful for. The shower was warmer than cold, but was certainly not hot. And the bathroom smelled bad and had obviously not been cleaned since the last people had stayed there.

They did provide wood for the cabins but no kindling wood, or newspaper (and no matches). When I asked about kindling I was told to go gather it in the woods-no joke.
The website does say ' Firewood is provided at no extra charge'. To not also provide matches and kindling seems sort of passive-agressive.

The bed was very uncomfortable. We asked for the 'linen service' and arrived to unmade beds with a bunch of folded sheets in a basket in the living room. Were they clean? They smelled OK but were so worn that it was hard to tell.

The cabins themselves are quite close together and are perched on a very steep piece of land above a fine lake. Because the land is so steep there is nowhere to really hang out and sit and relax. There is a rocky beach and a dock that is attached to some fairly flat rocks, and a lean-to with some chairs, but all of this is so shabby and depressing and unkempt that it is not a very pleasant place to spend any time in. One plus-there were rasberries growing near our cabin-that was a small source of pleasure in an otherwise dismal experience.

Just to give a little bit of context: I like to backpack and hike and I am OK with a bit of roughing it. I've also travelled quite a bit. So I am not so particular about where I stay but this was unbelievably bad- almost as if the owners wanted you to have a bad time.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank tippyb17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jonvoorhees, Owner at Camp Driftwood, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2012

Not sure exactly what prompted this spiteful review, but I hope these folks find happiness somewhere.
When this guest woke me up early for matches, after their late night arrival, all I could find were my wife's pack from her cigarettes. I mentioned that she might want them back later that morning, and told the guest where to find the ones that were provided, on the top of the refrigerator in his cabin. Apparently he never noticed the trash containers on the back porch or the park benches on the beach or the Adirondack chairs and folding chairs in the lean-to, either.
It's unfortunate that these folks found the $700, 1-year old Sealy Posturpedic mattress uncomfortable. It's as good as the one I sleep on. Nor did they contract for "linen service". They requested that a set of linens be provided for them, because unlike all our other guests, they did not care to bring their own, even though they were only traveling from Brooklyn.
Since this gentleman claims to be a backpacker, it's surprising that he finds the thought of collecting his own kindling to be unbearable. Our guests use tons of our freely-provided, seasoned firewood each year for campfires and cookouts. To provide kindling for these would require a mountain of twigs. All he had to do was step 5 feet into the woods and pick up a handful. Everyone else does.
Now the Hemlock cabin is located in the mountains. That's what the Adirondacks are. So the terrain and the size of the cabin are exactly as depicted in the photos on our website. The fact that it is not on level ground does not make it fair to say that it's perched on a cliff.
As far as the cabin's cleanliness, this is utterly baffling. Two crews of three cleaners each do a spectacular job on our places during the summer. I'm very proud of my cleaning crew, and we receive many compliments on how well-kept the cabins are.
It's regrettable that these folks had such a bad time. They're obviously used to full-service hotel accommodations, and were not familiar with what are known throughout these parts as "housekeeping cabins".

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2012

The Poplar cabin was clean,spacious, and fairly new, but it is furthest from lake requiring a 5-7 minute hike on steep trail. The Willow next door was cramped with a tiny dysfunctional kitchen and not a single closet for storage. I do not recommend the Willow. Both cabins had separate unmarked entrances which made it difficult to find and dangerous getting on and off the highway. Both cabins desperately need new furniture. Sofas and chairs were worn, rusted, and starting to break. The mattresses need to be replaced as they were either rock hard or badly sagging. Getting in and out of the cabins requires taking a big step. Would be difficult for small children or elderly. There are no parking spots by the lake or restrooms for those staying in distant cabins making it very inconvenient. No chairs are provided for the popular sandy beach. The rocky beaches were difficult to access because you have to step down rocks-no steps. Staff was shooting squirrels and tree trimming our entire week invading our privacy and ruining our afternoon siestas. We do not think it was necessary or appropriate to be using firearms while guests are present. Another inconvenience was having to haul our trash quite a distance rather than providing a trash pick up. The lake itself is beautiful with great swimming and fishing. Plenty of boats were available for our use. A few fans and BBQ grills should be provided. You can get wi-fi access by owner's house. Absolutely no cell phone reception. Recommend catching a movie at the town theatre and eat at Indian Lake Tavern. The town grocery is closed, but there are 2 convenient stores for basics. Closest grocery store is 1/2 hour away.

Room Tip: The Birch, Balsam, Beech, and Cedar are closest to the swimming areas. These are rustic, old cabins...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank TexasRoadwarrior0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2012

We have been spending a week in July at Camp Driftwood for the past 7 years. We love it. It is an opportunity to enjoy a lovely pristine setting. If you want to get away from TV and everyday static, you might consider CD. (wifi is usually available on the office verandah: cell phone service is spotty)The cabins vary on size, shower vs bath, fireplace,view of the lake etc. The Camp is not the Ritz; it is basic, very clean, has well-stocked kitchens, free firewood,outdoor barbecue facilities,and is pet-friendly. A great place to read and do puzzles. Guests have access to kayaks, row-boats, a sun-fish and life -jackets. The lake is stunning in the early morning. Those hills are a true challenge for runners and bicyclists. There are a few local restaurants, a great
theater, campy nine-hole golf course and an impressive library with Internet access.
There are no grocery stores in Indian Lake but necessities can be bought in town at the Lake Store.

Driftwood is a family owned and treasured respite that we will return to for a long long time.

respite which we will return to for many years to come.

Room Tip: Review options with Jon or Brenda
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Eric M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

I was looking for an excursion away from urban civilization, work, computers, email, and so forth - a week along with my girlfriend.

I stayed in the Apple cabin from February 19th-24th. We had a great time relaxing in front of the warm fireplace/stove, reading books and drinking wine. It was nice to get away from the world, with no cell service (verizon) or internet. Both are available nearby though, as referenced in the guide book/manual left in the cabin for us.

The cabin itself is in good condition. It is sturdy, warm (centrally heated), and has hot & cold water for drinking/showering/dishwashing/etc. All furniture and beds were clean, and there was no problems whatsoever with appearances, smells, or anything else you might worry about in this type of cabin setup.

There was a large stock of firewood available for the fireplace, though the logs I retrieved from outside were a little wet. A short bake in the kitchen's oven got them ready to burn quickly, though.

The kitchen has all the utensils and cookware you might need, and the fridge/freezer, microwave, gas stove & oven work perfectly.

BRING FOOD! The town nearby has very, very bare essentials and that's it.
Other things to bring - dish towels, dish soap, bath towels, toiletries, bath soap, lighters/matches, blankets, bedsheets (1 queen, 2 twins, 2 bunkbeds), extra pillows (for lounging comfortably in front of the fire). Music/movies as desired.

You have a great view of Indian lake from the cabin. It was too cold to lounge outside in the screened-in porch, but anyone going during bug season would find that a nice addon. There are an abundance of chairs and benches to relax on.
There is also an outdoor stone fireplace on the outside portion of the porch (not screened in) for use, but again due to the cold we forewent its use.

The lake was frozen over during our stay and we did a "hike" through the cabin/campgrounds, along the lake, and envied all the beautiful cabins along the shoreline.

There are numerous trailheads nearby within driving distance as well as skiing/snowboard, tubing, etc. There are some quaint touristy towns (North Creek) close by, as well as an Alpaca farm(!) that the owners will give a lovely tour of, to include petting the Alpacas (kindly stop by their giftshop for an Alpaca wool hat or pair of gloves - you won't regret it).

If you want to eat out, there are a few restaurants as well as bars nearby, meeting the upper and lower range of options you might expect for a region that sees a medium amount of visitors. The rule that "everything tastes better when you're camping" does apply to the cabin stay, though. So don't shortchange yourself by relying on eating out all the time!

Room Tip: I can only comment on Apple cabin, but the rooms were (1) queen bed; (2) 2x twin beds, and (3) 2x bu...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Camp Driftwood

Address: 124 Driftwood Trl, Indian Lake, NY 12842-2033
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > Indian Lake
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Indian Lake
Price Range: £82 - £1,349 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 131
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique cottages on 870 feet of wooded Indian Lake shoreline ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Camp Driftwood Indian Lake

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