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“Great family resort on most beautiful lake in the US”

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Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great family resort on most beautiful lake in the US”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

That tag, most beautiful lake, is not ours, and while it is clearly arguable, it came from Dmitri Kessel, a Time/Life war photographer (see his coffee table book) who, given a gig to "do lakes for a break" after the Greek civil war, traveled the famous lakes of the US and took no photos, since he found no scenes better than those on his favorite, Lower Saranac Lake, to which he returned from his Paris home annually for decades, always to Ampersand Bay Resort.

For many of those years, my family and I shared part of his annual retreat, and we know why others do the same today. Management has changed several times and each with improvements contributed. Today it is managed better than ever with professional and friendly people, and the lodging options now include great comfort and elegant touches.

If you don't like boat noise, don't come here. If you don't want to hear kids and grown-ups laughing around a bonfire as late as 10pm, don't come here. If you don't want the chance of a local micro-thunderstorm of epic proportions bearing down on your cabin for a few minutes, don't come here.

If you like freedom to play on a lake, walk in nature, swim safely, fish successfully at all levels of skill, see amazing sunsets, meet happy people (staff and guests), come here. The town and region offer everything "wilderness" with options to civilize it, and history that is amazing.

The Resort offers great accomodations, rustic to elegant, for prices that make sense when you see them. Study the website: it tells you exactly what to expect, and they deliver, with great courtesy and friendship. Love this place and this management crew.

Room Tip: Pet friendly in selected cottages. See website.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rick399
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trish W, Manager at Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club, responded to this review, 1 August 2014
There are not words to thank you not only for your kind and thoughtful review, but also for the pleasure and fun that your family brings to our resort. Summer would surely not be the same without your lovely family here to join us. We look forward to many more years of great fun, campfires, and days on the most beautiful lake in the world (in our opinion and yours). See you soon!
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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English first
Springfield - Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014 via mobile

This place always exceeds our expectations. We are faithful annual guests. The place has it all; beach (raked every morning) clean cabins, great boats/ kayaks/ paddle boards... Every year the add some new resort amenities, and we definitely appreciate it. The GM, Mary, takes pride in every detail of the resort. Her passion is impressive and her goal is to someday be a Conde Nast recognized property.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Jmac014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trish W, Manager at Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club, responded to this review, 1 August 2014
Thanks so much for taking the time to share such kind words about our property. We truly enjoy seeing your family every summer and look forward to next year!
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Buffalo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

I would highly highly recommend Ampersand Bay. It is definitely the highlight of my year. We come back as a family every year because it is so much fun and we can't get enough of it. DEFINITELY come to Ampersand!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mgbobak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trish W, Manager at Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club, responded to this review, 1 August 2014
Thanks so much for your review of our property; your kind words are so appreciated. We love having you here and can't wait to see you again next summer. It is truly a pleasure watching all of the kids grow from year to year and to share in your special family time. See you soon!
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Grand Island
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2014

The place is great!! Super clean and the beach is always raked and the sand is beautiful. Every night there is a bonfire set up and the whole family goes out for s'mores!! Theres a great fishing dock and kayaks are always available! Im coming back every year until I decide to live up here!!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Throwbackbobak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trish W, Manager at Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club, responded to this review, 1 August 2014
Thanks so much for reviewing our resort! We sincerely appreciate your kind words and can't tell you how much of a part of this place you and your family have become. We sincerely look forward to every year and are so glad that you plan to continue your tradition of staying with us!
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Fulton, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2014

We arrived on a Saturday about an hour ahead of when we thought. No one was at the office or answered the phone that was posted on the door, so we sort of wandered around the main building for a few minutes. Finally the grounds manager arrived and said that he had our keys and check-in form. He was really nice and showed us to our site and talked about the grounds. Since it was dinner time we looked for a place to eat and left. Upon return we had a message from the property manager asking where we were and that she wasn't going to be there much longer and hoping we would arrive soon. Ummmmm, staff communication a problem??? Oh well, we chalked it up as a mix up.

Stayed in the corner unit of the Heron suites above the water that overlooked the small "beach" area which was nice because it allowed us to watch the kids without always being on the sand. And while the lodging was decent, the building suffered from "differential settlement" which means the foundations on the ground side had settled further than the water side. So what? Well,that meant the floors were all sloped from the water side to the front door. You could put a ball down and it would roll the entire length of the rental ......... on all floors.

Furnishings were decent, appliances were nice and a very rustic typical Adirondack unit. Beautiful view over the lake. No accessories at all though. Very bare bones. I'm talking about basic kitchen stuff. Plastic cooking utensils, cheap silverware and really simple basic plate ware. If you looked at it funny it would probably break. For the cost of the unit we expected better.

Biggest complaint ....... "Quiet hours" are from 10pm to 7am. What we didn't know is that the week we were there the facility had rented out a portion of the places to Bass Pro Shops to do photo shoots of the Tracker boat line. That meant all day long there were two to three boats pulling in and out as they went out or returned from photo shoots on the lake. Oh ...... did I forget to mention that they started this at 0515 in the morning? Every morning? And while they weren't talking loudly, sound carries across water and went right into our suite. And since it was gorgeous weather, it made no sense to "have to" close our windows to avoid that. Oh yeah, they started up boats in the slips underneath us. Nothing like a 300cc engined bass boat firing up right below where you're sleeping.

When we mentioned this at the end of the trip we did not even get much of an apology or is there anything they could do for us. Just a "Well, I guess most guests would just shut the windows and put the AC on." Not for $3500 a week they wouldn't.

Overall it is not a bad place and it appears they are really trying to improve the entire facility. But don't get your hopes up that this a resort. It is a rental facility with a few amenities. And it is a VERY active boat area as they also rent out slips which means a lot of other people coming and going who are not guests. So if you don't mind boats? Go for it. We'll be looking for a little bit quieter place next time.

Room Tip: Staying on the water is nice, but noise and sloped floors aren't great. The newer units toward...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rick C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trish W, Manager at Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club, responded to this review, 1 August 2014
Thank you for taking time to review our property. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay and absolutely loved meeting your family.

We truly wish you would have conveyed your concerns prior to checking out as we would have happily relocated you to a quieter spot. We pride ourselves in offering a wide variety of options to fit everyone’s needs and one of our Birch Suites might have made all of the difference for your family as they are much more removed from the hustle and bustle of the marina. We understood during our several conversations when making your reservation that being right over the lake, with air-conditioning was a high priority for your family. It’s always our pleasure to make changes any time that things don’t meet our guests’ expectations. We feel strongly that advertising ourselves as Ampersand Bay Resort and Boat Club clearly conveys the nature of our resort, and apologize that your expectations were not clearly aligned with our property’s function as a resort with a full-service marina and boat rental shop.

We would like to apologize that you felt that our customer service was not up to your standards and that you felt dismissed at check-out. We take satisfaction in providing an excellent experience to all of our guests. We genuinely hope that you will give us another shot in the future as we know how much your children enjoyed making new friends and playing volleyball on the beach. We always use feedback like yours to continue improving our resort.
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Moravia, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Stayed in 2 story suite on the water for two days with my wife and daughter and her husband and child. Unbelievable view of the lake. Everything you could want in a rental, felt like home, clean, well furnished, modern. Great kitchen. Loved the access to water sports like paddle boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and canoes free of additional charge. Beach was sandy and great for my 3 year old granddaughter. Mary and Kelsey were informative and very helpful. The nightly bonfire is cool too! Had a terrific fireworks show downtown Saranac over Flower Lake and we were back in the condo 10 minutes after the conclusion of the display. We will be back to this place and the wonderful surrounding area.

Room Tip: Loved the Heron suites poised right over the lake
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JHHaight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary G, General Manager at Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Thanks so much for taking time to post a review and for your positive comments. We are happy to have introduced Ampersand Bay Resort to you and your family. We so enjoyed having you and seeing you and your family enjoy the views, sandy beach, complimentary canoes, kayaks and Paddleboards, along with our nightly bonfires. And the fireworks over Lake Flower were indeed spectacular. We look forward to seeing you all again.
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Colts Neck, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Just rented a 2 story suite on the water for three days with my wife and 2 older children. Unbelievable view of the lake. Everything you could want in a rental, felt like home, clean, well furnished, modern. The fishing on the lake was great. Mary, Kelsey and Hunter were gracious staff. The nightly bonfire is cool too! We will be back to this place and the wonderful surrounding area.

Room Tip: Their website is very accurate in terms of what you will be getting, so review it carefully.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BazC123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mary G, General Manager at Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club, responded to this review, 7 July 2014
Thanks for taking the time to write a review about your stay with us at Ampersand Bay Resort. We so enjoyed meeting you all. We are glad that you enjoyed our signature nightly bonfires. They are certainly a way to gather each evening while relaxing with that magnificent six-mile view down the lake. Thanks for the wonderful comments about our staff. As I mentioned in an earlier review with one of your family members, it's enjoyable work when you have such a wonderful group on property. Thanks again and we hope to see you all in the future.
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Additional Information about Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club

Property: Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club
Address: 31 Bayside Dr, Saranac Lake, NY 12983-1576
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > Saranac Lake
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Saranac Lake
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ampersand Bay Resort is a cluster of vacation rentals spread over 28 acres on the shores of Lower Saranac Lake in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains of New York. We strive to provide our guests the privacy and family oriented nature of a vacation rental with many of the added amenities of a resort. All of our rentals units have full kitchens, necessary cooking utensils and appliances, BBQ grills, linens, dining rooms, living rooms and multiple bedrooms. We offer an evening campfire, marina with bait shop and gas station, free canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards, beach volleyball and other beach games for all of our guests. If you'd like to bring a boat, you can launch it here on our property and keep it in one of our slips. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ampersand Bay And Boat Club Hotel Saranac Lake
Ampersand Bay Resort & Boat Club Saranac Lake, New York

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