I went on the media tour of The Adelphi Hotel when it first reopened last fall. I wasn’t living in Saratoga Springs yet, and didn’t remember the historic building before it was a giant heap of tarps and construction equipment. I knew Saratoga was a luxury destination, what with all the spas and famous people who attended Saratoga Race Course, but it wasn’t until I stepped into the bathroom of the hotel’s Travers Suite that I realized just how luxe Saratoga really was. There I was, in the most beautiful bathroom I’d ever seen, in the most beautiful building I’d ever been in, looking at a heated towel rack. I needed it. I had to have it.
Since marveling at that Adelphi bathroom (it also had heated floors and mirrors to prevent fogging, not to mention a shower that could fit most of The Rockettes), I’ve been treated to much more of the opulence Saratoga has to offer: the to-die-for filet mignon at Salt & Char, sabering a bottle of Veuve Clicquot at the Saratoga Senior Center’s annual Music & Mingling event, a day in the Executive Box at the track and seeing multimillion-dollar Bugattis at the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival. And I’m only just getting started. Here’s a guide to some of the most luxurious, lavish and lust-worthy amenities in and around Saratoga.
It’s only right that I should kick things off where my luxury Saratoga journey began: The Adelphi Hotel. The historic hotel recently got a miraculous facelift (hey, after 140 years, it was time) and officially reopened on October 1, 2017. Now, besides its otherworldly bathrooms, it boasts 32 luxury rooms and suites, a giant terrace overlooking Broadway, a grand ballroom for events, a public garden (in season) and three high-end restaurants: The Blue Hen, Morrissey’s at The Adelphi Hotel and Salt & Char.
I’ve never actually stayed at The Sagamore Resort, but I’ve boated by, walked through and dined there enough to know it’s the real deal. From its perch on Green Island in Bolton Landing, the grand white hotel faces south down Lake George, with plenty of indoor and outdoor dining (eight bars and restaurants), lounging (poolside and lakeside) and playing (tennis, golf, croquet) opportunities for couples and families alike. There are many options for accommodations, but if you’re going all in, opt for Wapanak Castle, a 2000-square-foot, 6-bedroom, 4-bathroom home located right on the lake.
Speaking of castles, The Inn at Erlowest (see above), a Queen Anne-style stone castle that was formerly a private residence, is another premier lodging location overlooking Lake George. It was built by Mr. Edward Morse Shepard in 1898 as part of Millionaires’ Row, and now houses ten luxury guest suites, including the crown jewel, the Montcalm Suite, which has a jacuzzi, fireplace and private balcony (I’m sold). A farm-fresh breakfast is included with your stay, and the dining room, with its à la carte and lighter fare menus, is also open for dinner.
My favorite restaurant in Saratoga (though it’s nearly impossible to choose just one) is R&R Kitchen and Bar. So it kills me that I haven’t yet made it to UPstairs at 43 Phila, the even finer dining option above R&R that’s also headed by the über-talented Chef Brian Bowden. The diverse menu includes delicacies such as Jumbo Lump Crab & Risotto, Dry Aged Center Cut Prime Strip Steak and Yellowfin Tuna (which I tried as a special at R&R, and let me say: O-M-G). Be sure to visit during the summer months, though, as it’s closed in the off-season except for private dinner parties and events.
It’s next to impossible to capture that mom-and-pop feel while also serving up a luxury this-could-be-Italy culinary experience. But Danny and Patti Petrosino do it beautifully at Osteria Danny, their small, always-packed restaurant on Henry Street. With Chef Danny Petrosino holding down the kitchen (my personal fave is Shrimp The Way My Father Liked) and his rock-n-roll wife, Patti, manning the front-of-house (greeting even first-timers like old friends), Osteria Danny is a gift from food heaven.
Walking by 15 Church at dusk on a mid-summer Saturday night gives you that feeling that you’re missing out on something remarkable. The dimly lit interior exudes romance, and the buzz of voices coming from The Patio truly makes you want to be in there drinking a Blood Orange Margarita and snacking on one of Chef Michael Mastrantuono’s Tuna Tartare Tacos instead of out here walking down Church Street.
I’m generally pretty athletic, but I honestly can’t hit a golf ball: I’ve tried. No matter. I’m considering taking up golf just so I can play a round at Saratoga National. The course, just past the Northway overpass on Union Avenue, is absolutely gorgeous, and even more so when viewed from the expansive patio of Prime, Saratoga National’s resident fine-dining restaurant (and perch of Executive Chef Jason Saunders), which overlooks all 18 holes.
Saratoga’s more exclusive sporting option is the Saratoga Golf & Polo Club, a family-oriented, member-owned private club founded in 1896. The club’s amenities include its original Victorian-era nine-hole golf course; lawn, clay and hardcourt tennis facilities; the 1914 Club house; and a full-service pool and cabana with a wading pool.
If you’re looking to get away from the links—and Earth entirely, for that matter—request a romantic private flight for two with Adirondack Balloon Flights. (You’ll have to wait until spring, though—the ballooning season runs April through October.) The one-hour ride covers about ten miles, with views of the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George, the Saratoga region and Vermont’s Green Mountains.
Complexions Spa For Beauty And Wellness does it all. As Saratoga’s go-to luxury spa for anything from a mani-pedi to skincare enhancements, Complexions specializes in rejuvenating the body, strengthening the spirit and eliminating daily stresses. Just thinking about its suite of therapeutic body treatments, herbal baths and aromatherapy massages makes me say “Ahh…”
Need a med spa, stat? Hop over to one of Mary Martin & Company’s three locations throughout Saratoga. The day spa specializes in anti-aging procedures, including laser treatments, skin-tightening and light therapy. And it’s the only spa in Saratoga that has the amazing Polychromatic Light Therapy System (POLY), which provides proven light treatment for a variety of conditions, including anti-aging.
Classical Concepts Salon Spa is one of only two Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spas in the city of Saratoga (Fresh & Co. Salon—also a must-visit—is the other), so you know your experience is going to be top-notch. Classical Concepts offers full hair and nail care, facials, waxing, massage and body treatments from its convenient spot right on Broadway in Downtown Saratoga.