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“Oddness Abounds”
Review of The Lake House

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The Lake House
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Where to start? There's much to say about this place because of the oddness of the experience, so I may be giving more detail than some would want, but because I found this so confusing, I want to paint a picture for those few who might find it useful. This review is not for The Lake House, which is listed here, but for The Lake House Townhouses, which is not but is run by the same proprietor. The address given for both is identical, but in fact, both do not exist at that same address: read below.

I had booked my room on another site. I stayed there because I was competing in a race the following morning, but my plans were finalized last minute because I was uncertain about entering, and this was the only hotel close by that had a vacancy. In any event, pre-race stays for me are a very utilitarian exercise – I just want to eat, shower, sleep, get dressed, and get going. No frills necessary, but I do have requirements: decent bed, enough pillows, and amenities as promised.

After driving 3½ hours, I get to Richfield Springs, about 12 miles from Cooperstown, NY where I will compete. I had kept my cell phone on airplane mode to conserve battery, and had gotten a voicemail about 2 hours earlier from Gene, who I took to be the manager or owner. He sounded a bit weary, I guessed because it was 8PM and getting late for check-ins. I call back to say I'll arrive in a few minutes, and when I get to the address given, I see a restaurant / tavern and outdoor musical venue, on the lake. It had basically the same name as the place I booked, but didn't look like the picture on the web site I had seen, so I continue driving, thinking it's a little farther down the road. I soon realize there's no other hotel and turn around. I go in and explain my situation to Megan, the clerk on duty, and sure enough, this is the right place. Only it isn't, quite—this is The Lake House. She is to escort me, each in our own car, to the place a mile up the road, far from the lake—these are The Lake House Townhouses.

On arriving, the facilities consist of the main building, which also was not pictured on the web site, and the separate set of eponymous “townhouses” which I recognized. Megan mentioned that the hotel had been an “old folks' home” before being converted, and I learned later that it was renovated in 2012. I was given a room on the 2nd floor of the main building. It was chilly inside. Storms had just gone through and the temperature would drop to 45 degrees. Megan said the heat had been turned off just recently by the town (!) and they had no control over it. By now I'm also pretty hungry and bit tired so I ask Megan where I can get a good hamburger and fries easily, which for me is a decent pre-race meal option. She said a McDonald's was close by but I demurred, and then she mentioned the restaurant / tavern where I had initially arrived. She was kind enough to take my order and place it with the kitchen when she returned. I would have to trudge back again to pick it up.

After getting set up in my room, I checked out main building. The 1st floor had several rooms on one wing as well as a large communal kitchen and dining room, tiny game room, living room with out-of-commission fireplace, and what looked like a reception area with desk, but no receptionist. The floors in the ground-level room wing were done in old linoleum; the living room was covered in carpet and a large oval rag rug. The kitchen had some rusted appliances on counter but no coffee maker as described. Broken promise number one. There was a big commercial side-by-side refrigerator but when I opened it it was warm inside. I would have to make other plans for my yogurt for tomorrow morning.

On my way back downstairs, I saw a mother and 2 children just standing and waiting, for what I'm not sure. They looked morose and at a loss. I drove back to the restaurant to pick up my burger, and while I waited, I had time to listen to an act performing in the outdoor theater. The band was playing a Journey song, and the singer sounded a lot like their actual singer. Prior to that, they played some other random Dino-rock at ear-splitting volumes, so I was actually relieved that the hotel was far away. Paying for my meal, the waitress needed to ask for my credit card a second time for some reason before we could settle up. While that was going on, I met Gene from the voicemail. He said that sometimes the refrigerator door latch didn't close completely but thought it was working now. The green light on top should be on; I said I hadn't noticed. In any event he would send someone over to fix it if necessary. I said I doubted it would be ready for me to use by the time I needed it, all things considered. I left with my food and got back to the hotel. The little green light was in fact on, but the door was not completely closed, and it was warm inside.

I go upstairs to my room. No in-room fridge or microwave. Broken promise number two. Luckily for me, I knew my yogurt would keep overnight no problem. The bed had a thick quilted blanket but only a couple pillows. I wanted one more pillow and an extra blanket just in case, but my room had neither. The doors to two rooms across the hallway were both open and they were vacant, so I wandered in and borrowed the extra pillow and blanket. Rooms had wood plank floors, and although hallway floors were partly carpeted, you could hear every foot-fall and closing door. The small LCD TV sat high atop an armoir. Since you couldn't adjust the angle down, the picture was shadowy and shimmery, so I had to put a towel under the base. The renovations had apparently included the bathrooms, and the location for the light switch almost seemed an afterthought. It literally took me 5 minutes finding it—wedged in the corner outside the bathroom, behind the hinge-side of the door. Windows had old, wavy glass and wood frames to match. Once I settled in, it was reasonably comfortable and mostly quiet. I ate my dinner in peace; the burger and fries weren't bad.

The take-away impression is of a decidedly odd experience. Although the staff were accommodating, the ludicrous confusion and lack of distinction between the locations of The Lake House versus The Lake House Townhouses suggests a certain indolence or indifference on the part of the owner. And the space fell well short of expectation. I can imagine that some would be pretty put off by these circumstances, and I've since read angry reviews by others. If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind experience full of local character, far from the big-box hotel chains, and you're flexible, this is your place. If on the other hand you want a hassle-free stay to make your life as easy as possible for a brief period of time, you may want to look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Knuckle-draggeur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine C, Owner at The Lake House, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Thanks for your many observations and comments. We will consider each one carefully. We appreciate you staying and realize that this is not your average hotel stay. You are a very descriptive writer! Thanks again for staying with us.

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104 - 110 of 169 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2014

My wife and I took a Columbus Day weekend up in Cooperstown and stayed at the Lake House in Richfield Springs. The room was a good size with 2 double beds, Bathroom was a good size with tub / shower . The room and bathroom were very clean and shampoo and soap were provided The Inn has canoes and rowboats free of charge.
There is no elevator, which doesn't bother me, but might put some people off.
But the tradeoff is that the prices are extremely reasonable, especially for Cooperstown Area. The inn is very clean, and the staff is friendly and helpful. We will be sure to return since this is close for us to travel also.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Margaret W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine C, Owner at The Lake House, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2014

Thanks for your kind observations- we are glad you enjoyed the view and being here with us. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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Reviewed 15 March 2014

The rooms in this place were amazing, as we stayed here for the weekend. Love all the knotty pine ceilings and walls. Bedrooms are very quaint and gives you that homey feeling. However, as soon as we walked in the door, it smelled like cat pee, as well as the upstairs social area. I don't know if this is because it's their down season, but WOW!!! And no staff anywhere to be found...all day. The dining area looked like a storage closet and there were no place to sit even if we wanted to, let alone it was closed. When I called to make the reservation, the man that I spoke with on the phone was rude. When I was asking the man about the place, he kept trying to let me go, and when I asked him, "Am I inconveniencing you?", he responded by saying, "Well there's a concert going on" and I said, "sorry that the concert is more important than the customer". I then asked if he was the manager and he said yes. Well, when we got here, the man that greeted us was not the manager, but a man that said he was watching the place (He was wonderful, nice man). He also mentioned that there were renovations going on. But this man explained that there was no concert here last week and hasn't been since last year. So, where was this concert? The point is, It seems that there shouldn't have been reservation given to anyone considering there were renovations in progress. I am sure that this place would be awesome if cleaned up and organized, but it wasn't while we were here. I will say though that when someone on the staff finally showed, we met Christine (Owner) and she was lovely, helping us get whatever we needed.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Coleburner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine C, Owner at The Lake House, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2014

It is nice that these guests liked the rooms and the Lake House in general. They were aware when they booked that the restaurant was closed for the season. We are in the process of redoing our kitchen floor. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced the problem of having a contractor start a project and not be able to finish it on time. As I explained to both of them, it was taking longer than the time estimated and in fact, most of the kitchen equipment was in the dining area and indeed it looked like a storage closet- it was also closed off so that it would not be accessible to guests for safety reasons. As for the concert, she talked to my husband the week before to change her reservation while we were at a concert- at a different place- The Lake House has a summer concert series. We were just entering the concert hall when she called; my husband should have explained that better to her. We were with our five year old granddaughter and it was a little hectic getting to our seats just as she called. I know that John who greeted them played piano for them and that they enjoyed it and the wife also plays and is very talented- I wondered if she was a professional entertainer. I hope they will give us another try after the kitchen is back together and the dining room is ready for guests. it is beautiful here.

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Reviewed 7 January 2014

I went to The Lake House to attend the Back 40 Band concert. They were excellent and so was the food here! The concert was amazing, I'm a huge fan of the Back 40. This was a beautiful spot to have the concert, the sunset over the lake was breathtaking and the small flocks of ducks and geese there just added a touch of nostalgia to the place. Inside it was like a blast from the past, the old newspapers and magazines were so interesting. They even have one from the day Kennedy was shot! If you like this sort of thing, like I do, you'll LOVE this place!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Kathrine J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine C, Owner at The Lake House, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2015

We are honored by the review you posted about your experience with us. While we are constantly told face to face how much customers enjoy our service, it takes a very special person to proclaim to the online world that they should check us out. You are one of those individuals and we are proud that you do business with us.

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Reviewed 30 December 2013

We had a family gathering here - 42 people in all. It was a great place to meet. The kids loved running around exploring the lake, woods, etc. My mom organized everything and I know the proprietor was very patient with her in working out all the details. My cousin mailed his golf game - hula hoops and flags, we played golf on the lawn in front of the lake.
The resort is a little slice of heaven with great mountain views, lake views and great for star gazing you just can't replicate in town.
We had a week of memories here that will last us a life time.

Room Tip: The lawn by the lake was perfect for the kids to play.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ReeseRoth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine C, Owner at The Lake House, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2015

Thanks for the kind words- we love the Lake House and feel like custodians of a great place that will continue long after we are gone. We are glad that you enjoyed yourself, too. Come often!

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Reviewed 18 December 2013

We a had a beautiful view of the lake from one of the upper units. The fog hanging over the lake in the morning was wonderful and we were a short drive from downtown. The room had everything we needed plus a little bit more, the staff is friendly and the rooms are comfortable.
Our first stay here and first trip to Cooperstown. Side trip on our vacation to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is a great place for those on a budget. The staff gave great ideas for places to visit and eat, my friend was able to fish and really enjoyed that, they have fishing poles you can borrow.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank audrey n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine C, Owner at The Lake House, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2015

Thanks for the kind words- we love the Lake House and feel like custodians of a great place that will continue long after we are gone. We are glad that you enjoyed yourself, too. Come often!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2013

My boyfriend and I couldn't believe how incredible the Elvis concert was back in September! It was so much fun and I couldn't believe how delicious the food was at the Lake House. My boyfriend got a simple bacon cheeseburger but said it was the best he's had in a long time. My chimichanga was beyond good and I had to stop myself from trying to take one home with me. The cook at the Lake House makes one good chimi! If you want an awesome show and amazing food, hit up the Lake House!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jenny-Mae S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christine C, Owner at The Lake House, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2015

We are honored by the review you posted about your experience with us. While we are constantly told face to face how much customers enjoy our service, it takes a very special person to proclaim to the online world that they should check us out. You are one of those individuals and we are proud that you do business with us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Lake House

Address: 2521 County Highway 22, On Lake Street, Richfield Springs, NY 13439-2723
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > Richfield Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Richfield Springs
Price Range: £64 - £161 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Lake House 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lake House Restaurant and Lodge was built in 1843 and rests on the shores of Canadarago. The lodge and restaurant are a secluded haven for those looking for a place to relax, fish, hunt, and simply get away from city life. Lake House Restaurant and Lodge is host to our ever popular sulfur baths, which is great for your skin and has even proven to heal skin disorders and help relieve arthritis. There is plenty to do out here Richfield Springs, including a short drive to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, or rent out a jet ski and explore Canadarago Lake. We also boast large out seating area, which is perfect for outdoor wedding or concerts. Hurry out to Lake House Restaurant and Lodge and stay awhile. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lake House Hotel Richfield Springs
The Lake Hotel
Lake Hotel Richfield Springs

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