These Opal Hotels & Resorts host fascinating secret histories as contained in these particular artifacts and items – you just need to know where to look.
Can you keep a secret? Opal Hotels & Resorts can – from near priceless paintings tucked in a guest room vestibule in the Adirondacks to a Florida tennis court once trod by pro players, these resorts hide a fascinating past tied to historic events. So the next time you’re visiting one of these four properties, take a moment to slow down and play a game of “I Spy” by looking for these relics from bygone days.
Lake Placid Lodge [Lake Placid, NY]
With loons and mountains alike calling in the Adirondacks, it can be difficult to focus on the interior of Lake Placid Lodge, but peer closely at an oil-on-canvas painting near the reception and note that yes, it’s an authentic work by fabled Hudson River School artist Sanford Robinson Gifford from 1877. The piece is just one of many gathered by the lodge’s original owner, David Garrett, an avid art collector who also acquired Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid by Benjamin Champney (in the hotel’s grand stairwell) and Arthur Fitzwilliam Tate’s Long Lake. See if you can find all 25.
Samoset Resort Golf Club [Rockport, ME]
When players are breezing through the 8th hole of the course at Samoset Resort, they might not notice a bronze plaque on a boulder set amid flowers. But if you take the time to explore, you’ll realize it’s a tribute to 96-year-old Rockland local Ray Fogarty, who worked for the club for 27 years, starting in 1934 as a caddy. The marker – titled “Ray’s Creek” – is also a nod to the fabled Rae’s Creek at Augusta National Golf Club.
Bar Harbor Club [Bar Harbor, ME]
While admiring the grandeur of the Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina, guests may never guess that the property’s Bar Harbor Club was once invaded by squatters, squirrels, and raccoons after the original property shut down in 1986. But thanks to the oversight of Harborside’s Eben Salvatore, who grew up at the club, the grandeur of the club’s heyday of the 1920s and 1930s is back in the triangular pattern of the stucco that was found in the original building. Look also for replicas of the original wall art and colors and furnishings that represent nearly a century of hospitality.
The Tennis Gardens at Longboat Key Club [Longboat Key, FL]
On the USTA-certified center stadium court at The Resort at Longboat Key Club, the quiet thwack of tennis balls is now so peaceful, it’s difficult to imagine roaring crowds here. But in the more recent past of 2011, some 33,000 spectators gathered here to watch James Blake win the second annual Sarasota Open. He was one of the top 10 players in the world at the time.
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