I LOVED my stay at Hoot Owl Lodge. Newcomb is a great town with a wonderful public beach on Lake Harris. No membership needed, clean sandy beach, spacious changing rooms, and a crystal clear, refreshing lake supported by a lifeguard staff. After completing a 3 day high peak backpacking adventure and spending a night at Harris Lake campgrounds, I was ready for a little pampering. Hoot Owl Lodge did a fantastic job of doing that. It is a clean and spacious house with architectural charms...my favorite being the face of the fireplace designed with flowers made out of pinecones. Our hostess Kelly went above and beyond. She told me to help myself to anything in the fridge during the day including some chilled wine. My husband & I stayed in the TR room ....large, with a comfortable queen bed. All the bedrooms share a bathroom. There was 1 other couple at the b-n-b and this sharing of bathroom space did not bother me. After all, I had to use a pit toilet for 3 days! The following morning Kelly made a delicious hot breakfast, accommodating our need for an early start. I am very social and the conversation flowed. The house has a pretty backyard with an old apple tree and a big fire pit; such a relaxing environment.
Hoot Owl Lodge is close to the historic Santanoni Camp, SUNY ESF Newcomb campus (with interesting displays and easy walks with no elevation or an intermediate hike up Goodnow Mt. to a fire tower) and the Upper Works hikes. We will be back again for sure!
The High Peaks accessed from Upper Works trailhead are remote and the sparse lodging in nearby Newcomb (especially winter) made hiking logistics tough. Problem solved! The Hoot Owl B&B is a perfect staging area for these hikes. Comfortable and homey. Like minded folks. Plenty of coffee and easy breakfast options for early starters. Stayed there twice recently and will absolutely go back!
I'll have to caveat that by saying that I've actually never stayed at a BnB before I stayed at this one, but the fact of the matter is that I don't think I could find a better one if I tried. Kelly and Tony made us feel as though we were long-time friends. Screw what people say about being made to 'feel like family'. That doesn't really describe how they treated us, because you treat extended family with respect, but it doesn't mean you roll out the red carpet for them. You make them feel comfortable, but you don't go crazy on the effort.
What Kelly and Tony did for us is that they made us feel as though we were close to them in that same way you treat a good friend you haven't seen in a long time: you know, one of those childhood friends you share jokes with, that you'd do pretty much anything for, and they did.
My girlfriend and I went out there to take a quick weekend getaway. She works with a schedule opposite mine, so once in a blue moon we get a weekend together and I try my best to see that we make it special. That's what we did with this trip to Newcomb, and whether or not they knew it, Tony and Kelly made that experience the most refreshing, enjoyable, warm stay that I've had, family, friend or guest. We ended up kayaking out in the Essex Chain Lakes and when we didn't come back before sundown, Tony came out looking for us. We made it out all right just before he came out there, sacrificing a DLSR in the process, but that's our fault and it certainly didn't sour our experience with the gents at Hoot Owl, and he invited us into his home to sit and warm up.
Oh, forgot to say, the lodge itself is awesome. The rooms are well maintained, the breakfast Tony and Kelly make in the morning is more than enough and it's delicious, and the location is so much quieter than going up to Albany.
10/10 A+ Will stay again.