Formerly the private home for the resort’s innkeepers from the 1800s and on, this new lake house-like accommodation is now a completely modern, two-level home away from home that makes for the ultimate Adirondack retreat.
As if The Sagamore Resort didn’t already have quite the impressive roster of diverse accommodations to choose from – including the historic hotel, the inviting lakeside lodges, bi-level suites in The Hermitage building, and individually-decorated condominiums – this past spring saw a new stand-alone addition added to the mix: The First House. And what an example of luxury lakeside living it is. Taking inspiration from a private lake house, the 3,500-square-foot meticulously decorated home away from home boasts two levels, four rooms spread across two wings, and a full kitchen and dining room.
But despite its hulking size situated on the west side of Green Island – the private 70-acre island on the western shore of lower Lake George that the sprawling Victorian-era resort commands – it’s likely you’d never even know it was there. “You can catch a glimpse of it while driving over the bridge onto the island,” says Tom Guay, GM of The Sagamore Resort who has been with the property for 20 years. “Other than that, it’s pretty tucked away from the world, with the exception of the lake, of course.” And that’s precisely the point.
Origins in the 1800s: Inhabited by Innkeepers of the Past
The first thing you need to know about The First House is that it isn’t a new build. Rather, what makes this New American Colonial so special is that it has been a part of the resort fabric since 1870, when it was first built. Serving as the private home for the various innkeepers who have worked at The Sagamore Resort, it has seen many a family flourish within its walls – all the way up until the early 2000s. In more recent years, it usually sat dormant, with the exception of the intermittent need to serve as housing for visiting staff during peak season or events.
“We first started talking about revitalizing the home and turning it into a private accommodation years ago,” notes Guay. “It was just a really neat house given its history and the way it’s architecturally laid out, not to mention it has such a great private location on property and an amazing view of the lake. I always thought of it as a gem just waiting to be polished.” After a roughly eight-month renovation, the home premiered in time for the summer 2020 season. And despite the recent pandemic putting a damper on travel, the house has been pretty much fully booked. “It’s proven to be a popular accommodation for its privacy as a stand-alone accommodation with all the creature comforts of a home but the full-service of a resort,” says Guay. “It’s a true retreat from everything. That’s precisely what travelers are looking for now.”
Hallmarks of the Home: Great Room, Dining Room & More
Divided into two wings that house two master bedrooms, a kid’s room with bunk beds, and a queen bedroom, the home’s heart is, undeniably, its central great room. Anchored by a huge sectional couch, the space is decorated in classic lake house style (think decorative oars, an arching ceiling lined in wood panels, plush pillows with classic lake-living sayings). Off of the great room, you’ll find both a full kitchen outfitted with stainless steel appliances and an oversized dining room with a farmhouse table seating up to 10 people.
Other favorite features include the gleaming hardwood floors (actually original to the building), a stacked-stone fireplace in the master, and even a laundry room – ideal for those visitors looking to get down and dirty in the wilds of the Adirondacks during an extended stay. It’s all suited perfectly whatever kind of group you are – whether that’s an immediate or extended family, a bachelorette or bachelor party, a bride or groom looking for a central hub for a wedding weekend, or even just a couple. “During this first summer, we had a couple from D.C. book it for 14 days,” says Guay. “Every other day, they had different friends and family come visit. It served as sort of home base to rotate through the loved ones they hadn’t been able to see in a while.”
Still, all the luxurious details aside, nothing beats what sits just outside the home. Large sliding doors on the great room, the expansive front porch and patio, and the great lawn are all about one thing: optimizing your unique and exclusive view of Lake George.
Easy Access to the Outdoors & Other Amenities
Despite the building being completely private, it’s surprisingly accessible. “The great lawn is completely enclosed and private – it’s the perfect place to roast s’mores from the Adirondack chairs over the firepit, play corn hole, bocce ball, whatever,” says Guay. “But, then, literally just 400 yards away, you can be at Lake George Kayak Company, which rents kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards that you can launch right from their boathouse.”
Not to mention, the various amenities of the resort are just a quick stroll away, including eight dining outlets, a 95,000-gallon outdoor pool, and the 10,000-square-foot Rec Center. And, of course, beyond that, the six-million-acre forested wilderness of the Adirondacks, boasting pristine waterways, boreal forests, and the Northeast’s 46 famous 4,000-foot peaks. So don’t think privacy means disconnected. Rather, you choose how inaccessible you want to be.
Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort