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Lake Placid Lodge - Beautiful Property - Terrible Service

Lake Placid Lodge - Beautiful Property - Terrible Service

Old Jan 11, 19, 3:01 pm
  #1  
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Lake Placid Lodge - Beautiful Property - Terrible Service

Recently returned from a four night stay at the Lake Placid Lodge over the New Year's holiday and I am sorry to report that this property seems to have really gone down hill in the service department. On a positive note, the Lodge and Cabins are really lovely with gorgeous views over Lake Placid. Our cabin Eagles Eyre, was right on the lake with a large picture window with uninterrupted views of the beautiful scenery. The cabins are rustic log cabins, with large fireplaces, beds made from logs and a spacious seating area. Bathrooms are adequate but probably have not been refreshed for over a decade. The Lodge itself is sort of an Adironack fantasy - all decked out for Christmas with christmas trees and roaring fires in every room. The food served at Artisan's and Maggie's Pub is also very tasty and well prepared although perhaps somewhat limited in choices for a multi-night stay.

This was our first stay although we had always heard terrific things about the property with favorable comparisons to The Point (where we have stayed twice) as both properties used to share the same ownership. Our experience at these two properties could not have been further apart. We were traveling with friends and had booked two LakeFront Cottages - with plans to celebrate a birthday and New Years in rustic beauty with the added bonus of traveling with our dogs. The service issues started to present before arrival when we tried to inquire about any plans the property might have for News Years festivities. I called on two separate occasions in October and again after Thanksgiving and was told they had not yet organized anything. In mid December our friend's received a voicemail asking if they would like to reserve a time for the 7 course NYE dinner at Artisan's - she tried to call back five times and left messages and never got a return call. About ten days later they called me and asked about dinner - I explained that we were traveling together (as the reservations were linked) and that we had been unable to reach them - the woman explained that she was very busy as they had a full property and at this point she only had remaining seatings at 6 or 10pm. A little frustrating - but I was not that worried at this point. When we arrived - at about 2:30pm our room was not ready (okay check-in not until 4pm) so we went and had lunch - while they watched our dogs. Our friends arrived about an hour later and were checked in - but our room still not ready so we went with them and hung out in their room - the front desk said they would call. By 5pm - no call - so we called the front desk - no answer. Called again and they said 15 more minutes. Finally they called back and said they would meet us at our cabin with our car, luggage and dogs. We get to the cabin - no-one is there - about 5 minutes later - they arrive with the dogs on foot - no car/luggage. We said where is the car? Response - what car? So another 15 minutes later they bring the car and luggage. 15 minutes later they knock on our door for turn down service - we said please come back later - they never returned - no turn down that night.

At about 7:30 the four of us headed over to Maggie's Pub (their casual dining option) for dinner. The place was packed (with guests and non-guests), we asked one of the servers about a table for four - she looked at us with wide eyes and said "It is first come, first serve and we are full". I asked if we could put our names on the list while we had a drink - she said "there is not list and we are full". Finally another server took pity on us and said okay wait here and I will take your name - after waiting 10 minutes at the bar to try and get the bartender's attention - my husband lost patience and suggested we try and see if they had a table at Artisan's. The restaurant was basically empty but the hostess - said she would have to check to see if she could seat us - 5 minutes later she returns and says okay. Service at dinner was pretty slow and awkward. Every time they came to refill water glasses, they would ask each person if they wanted water (probably heard that question at least 20 times at dinner). Food was pretty good - so the kitchen is okay but front of house needs an overhaul.

Next day at breakfast - we are the only people in the restaurant it takes 30 minutes and food has not arrived - we ask what is up. We are told they will go check - 5 mins later server comes back and says we have a ton of room service orders so you are behind those. Then when finishing breakfast each day (it was included in the rate) we are handed the check and reminded that it does not include the gratuity.

On NYE - they served a 7 course special menu at Artisan's we arrived for our reservation which was quite early (see above) and we placed at a tiny table (really a two top) that was set for four. Next to it was a table twice the size set for four. We asked if we could sit at the more spacious table in front of the fire. They said yes that would be okay and we were seated. A few minutes later the manager rushes in and says oh no you can't sit here - I need that table for a group of 10 that is coming in at 8pm. We are moved back to the small table - no gesture is made to make up for the awkwardness. After dinner it is quite early so we moved to Maggie's Pub where they are having some live music and will show the ball drop. Around 11pm, we are feeling a bit peckish - and ask if we can order some snacks and are told the kitchen is closed. I ask if they have anything available (chips, peanuts, pretzels etc...) - but no they have no food at all. It is NYE - they have 50 people drinking in the bar and no food to offer anywhere??

On the housekeeping front - the room does not ever seem to be vacuumed, and there is a lot of sand everywhere to combat the snow and ice - so it gets tracked in every time you enter the room. At turn down - the person who brings in the logs leaves muddy, wet footprints across the floor every night (except for the night there is no turn down). We also notice that the fire pit by the lake - has dirty cocktail glasses from the prior night's guest left out on the chairs that are not cleared away until 4pm the next day.

Finally upon checkout - our bill was totally messed up. They were asked to divide charges across the two rooms and bill us separately. All charges were billed to my card and our friends were not even given a copy of the invoice.

My friend asked to speak to the manager to make them aware of the various lapses in service. The manager's response was that the property was at full capacity 34 rooms - and they were doing as much as could be expected. They said they were hesitant to promise ymore because they would probably not be able to deliver. Quite a lame response and in no way what you expect from a property charging $1,100 per night on top of which there is a 12% service charge and a $75 per pet daily fee bringing this to $1500 per night for accommodation. With this level of service - just not acceptable.

Management is not setting a luxury tone at this property, the facility is luxury but the service feels like a mid level budget hotel. The staff seem ill trained in how to provide good service let alone luxury service. Generally the staff are nice and friendly just a bit clueless.


I am not looking for any type of restitution - just wanted to make the community here aware as I know this sometimes comes up when The Point and Twin Farms comparisons are being discussed.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 3:57 am
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I’m so sorry to hear this. We’ve been to this property 3 times. The first 2 were great experiences, the last... not so much. I love, love, love the adirondack decor and view and will likely return again at some point. But not for the service.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 7:06 am
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Very sad that the hotel was not ready for prime time! They seemed to have really dropped the ball. With signals from the very beginning, it’s hard to know if you should bail out and cancel reservation before arrival, or cross your fingers and hope for the best like you did. They probably precharge the reservation and would have charged you a cancellation fee.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 9:47 am
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Doesn't sound like luxury property management. More like country bumpkin management. I would have insisted on a reduction of the (lack of) Service Charge.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 1:01 pm
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Yet another in a seemingly endless series of data points for me that in all but the rarest of cases it simply is not worth staying at a property over Christmas/New Years.

OP, please do not take that as "blaming the 'victim' ". You booked and paid, and if a property cannot handle 100% occupancy, then management/staffing need to be adjusted. The lack of service (generally), and service recovery ensure I will never visit ... not until reports turn more positive.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 3:43 pm
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unfortunate. was sold in 2013. prior ownership reshuffles in 2010 and 2005 still included original owner. the cost after fire (main building opened 2008) played a role. similar to The Point having a group of buyers who defaulted on their acquisition loan, prior to current owner.

think this is more US than occupancy. similar cabins rare in US, but most here want service.

Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
first 2 were great experiences, the last... not so much. I love, love, love the adirondack decor and view and will likely return again at some point. But not for the service.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 13, 19 at 11:35 am
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Old Apr 1, 19, 8:29 pm
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We were there for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago and it was pretty bleak. No special plans for the holiday. They brought in extra tables which were folding tables with too short table clothes. We were a large group and they had offered us a private room, but once we got there we were told they had changed their minds and we would be seated at the folding tables. After much back and forth complaining we were eventually seated in the private room. There were no apologies or even acknowledgment of any of it. Such a shame
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Old Apr 3, 19, 7:27 am
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This unfortunately sounds exactly like our one and only stay here. We stayed for a few nights between Christmas and NYE and it was just lackluster all over. The food was good and the views were beautiful, but service outside of Artisans for dinner was mediocre at best and downright bad at worst. Management's responses to our complaints were marginal at best. They seemed to blame it on low staffing for the guests as well, but I have been to far more remote places that seem to be able to staff just fine. For the cost they shouldn't have any problem paying enough to attract and house the people needed.

With Twin Farms just a bit further of a drive from us, I can't imagine ever returning to The Lake Placid Lodge. I'll gladly spend 2x at Twin Farms for an experience that is basically night and day when compared to The Lake Placid Lodge.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by javacodeguy View Post
This unfortunately sounds exactly like our one and only stay here. We stayed for a few nights between Christmas and NYE and it was just lackluster all over. The food was good and the views were beautiful, but service outside of Artisans for dinner was mediocre at best and downright bad at worst. Management's responses to our complaints were marginal at best. They seemed to blame it on low staffing for the guests as well, but I have been to far more remote places that seem to be able to staff just fine. For the cost they shouldn't have any problem paying enough to attract and house the people needed.

With Twin Farms just a bit further of a drive from us, I can't imagine ever returning to The Lake Placid Lodge. I'll gladly spend 2x at Twin Farms for an experience that is basically night and day when compared to The Lake Placid Lodge.
I love Twin Farms. But donít forget about The Point on Saranac Lake, too.
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