Lake Placid's Mirror Lake Inn is resort for all seasons

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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Outside, 100,000 small white lights twinkled, reflecting off the snow-covered lake and pine trees, while within, the hypnotic glow of wood-burning fireplaces illuminated eight Christmas trees.

The Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa, situated in the Adirondack town of Lake Placid, exudes a special magic in winter. No doubt, however, clients would find it equally appealing amid a setting of spring flowers, autumn leaves or summer boating activity.

The white wooden structure, built in 1883 as a private residence, began life as an inn in 1924.

It quickly attracted an upscale clientele and not only survived the Depression, but actually added a dining room and guest rooms during that time.

In 1932, the property was modified for that year's Winter Olympics. In 1980, the Games returned to Lake Placid.

Until 1978, the inn consisted of a main building surrounded by private cottages.

One cottage was built in the early 1950s for singer Kate Smith, who, along with her staff, occupied it for more than a year while building her own home nearby.

After a devastating fire in the 1980s, the main building was rebuilt in its original, turn-of-the-century style.

Winter brings special decorative touches at Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid. Today, in addition to this structure, guests are housed in two, four-story buildings connected to the main lodge by enclosed, heated and elevated walkways as well as in two lakeside cottages, one with eight rooms, the other with seven.

The 128 guest rooms, including 19 suites, are spacious and attractively furnished, many with cathedral ceilings, four-poster beds, Jacuzzis and sitting areas.

Many rooms feature balconies overlooking Mirror Lake and the mountains beyond.

Each suite claims a different decorative motif. The Adirondack suite, for example, recalls the ambience of the 19th century Adirondack Great Camps -- which were not camps at all but luxurious summer havens for city dwellers.

A handcrafted cedar bed, stone fireplace and rustic touches enable guests in this lakeside studio suite to relive those earlier days.

The bi-level presidential suite features a many-windowed, octagonal living room, furnished with rocking chairs, a sofa and an arm chair, and an oak stairway that leads to the loft sleeping area and oversized whirlpool bath.

Although up to 80% of clients are either repeat guests or friends or relatives of past guests, the spa, inaugurated in July 1999, has become a big draw for both new and repeat guests.

The $3 million spa was transformed from three treatment rooms into a spacious facility featuring inviting sanctuaries for relaxation, appointed with fireplaces, whirlpools and steam rooms.

Some of the suites at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa in Lake Place feature a bi-level layout, with a loft sleeping area and an oversized whirlpool. A salon offers manicure, pedicure and hairstyling stations, and guests can be pampered with an array of European treatments and massages.

Body treatments include herbal and mud wraps and a seaweed body mask.

Various facials address skin problems, soothe irritated skin, restore moisture and relieve signs of aging.

Prices for facials and body treatments of 50 to 75 minutes range from $80 to $125.

Mirror Lake's massage therapists offer 10 customized techniques such as Swedish, reflexology, aromatherapy, Reiki and craniosacral.

Massage treatments range from $80 to $245 and last from 25 to 140 minutes.

The spa also boasts a wet room with a European Vichy shower.

Fitness buffs can stay in shape in an indoor, heated lap pool complete with a waterfall.

There's also a log cabin sauna and a Jacuzzi bigger than many backyard swimming pools.

The fitness center houses the usual cardiovascular machines. Most have individual televisions for guests able to draw their gaze away from the outdoor view.

Sports activities run the gamut of ice skating, snowshoeing, tobogganing, cross-country skiing and downhill skiing at Whiteface Mountain, located nine miles away.

In warm weather, guests can enjoy the inn's heated outdoor pool, boating on Mirror Lake, mountain biking, nature walks, one-day camping trips, rock climbing, golf, tennis and water aerobics.

Another option is sampling the boutiques and eateries of the village of Lake Placid plus a visit to the Olympic Center with its museum, ice rinks, bobsled and luge runs, speed skating oval and ski jump.

Dinners in the Averil Conwell dining room are candlelit affairs with fine food and service and great views of the outdoors.

For families with young children, the restaurant offers an early dining program that keeps service moving to accommodate children's limited tolerance for sitting still.

One complimentary meal from the children's menu (up to age 12) is provided for each adult entree ordered.

A special wellness menu is available with selected appetizers and entrees.

For casual dining, clients can head across the road to the Cottage, a lakeside, pub-style spot that is part of Mirror Lake Inn.

Midafternoon finds most guests gathered in the living room or library for tea, coffee and homemade cookies.

For business travel, the property's four meeting rooms are geared toward small and midsize meetings and conventions with a capacity of 125 classroom-style and 180 theater-style.

The resort encourages guests to leave business within the confines of the meeting rooms, banning mobile phone use from the dining room, lounge, living room, library, pools, beach and spa.

Spa, golf, honeymoon or anniversary, wine-tasting and ski packages are available.

Depending on room category and season, per room daily rates run from $110 to $470. The rate for the presidential suite is $725 year-round.

For additional information or reservations, call (518) 523-2544, e-mail [email protected], or visit the inn's Web site at www.mirrorlakeinn.com.

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