Mirror Lake Inn and Resort

The Mirror Lake Inn and Resort has wonderful Adirondack charm and is set on the edge of one of the prettiest lakes in Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. The inn first opened in 1924 and is rich in Olympic history. Both the 1932 and 1980 winter Olympics were held at Lake Placid. On display in the lobby you will even find the bronze medal won by Andrew Weibrecht, son of the Inn’s owner, from the 2010 Winter Olympics. This hotel has expanded over the years and is now comprised several buildings. Depending upon where your room is located, you may have to walk quite a distance to main inn or restaurants. Keep this in mind when booking your room.

We stayed in the Terrace building which overlooked the outdoor pool and  lake.  We had a “mixing bowl” – 1 king room that connected to a room with two queens. Our rooms were appointed with Adirondack-style furnishing including oak mission-style beds, 2 large dressers, and a pullout sofa in the king room. With all of the fish print textiles and duck photos on the walls it felt like something right out of an Orvis catalog.  I found all of this made the room dark despite having many lamps in the room. There is also a small, empty refrigerator and bar sink in the room. This is great if you need to bring stuff for the kids.

Upon check-in, each of our kids each received a scavenger hunt backpack.  We did the hunt Saturday morning after breakfast, finding little treasures all over the property. We found it to be a useful way to acquaint ourselves with the hotel.

The Spa

Lucky me, I got to indulge in a spa treatment the first morning while my kids were still sleeping.  I snuck away to this oasis on the bottom floor of the main inn to experience the signature massage.  I have been around the block a few times when it comes to spa treatments but never have I had a massage like this!  Your therapist starts you off in a “dry float soft pack system”. Translation ease yourself into a warm water cocoon that envelops your whole body making it impossible to ever think about leaving. While you are in there she massages your head. If you haven’t fallen asleep you then finish the treatment with a customized full body massage on a traditional table.  This was the ultimate in pampering!

The Water Activities

In front of the Terrace Building there is a very nice, heated outdoor pool with an attached 1-foot deep kids pool.  The surrounding deck area is fenced in with a childproof lock. There is plenty of shade, however most of it seemed like it was at the deep end. Located in the Main Inn you will find the indoor pool facility. This serene area includes a 60’ pool with a waterfall, a sauna and a whirlpool. At this pool there is a very large, extended first step that is only 1 & ½ feet deep. This is perfect for smaller children to hang out on.


We enjoyed a full day at the lake. There are no motorized boats on this lake making it peaceful and quiet. Families will find a small a sandy beach, a grassy area with shade, and several lounge chairs. I appreciated that the main dock it is clearly marked with how deep the water is. This is a good thing because after the first rope demarcation the lake drops off severely and gets quite deep. It is 12 feet at the end of the dock.

There is plenty at the lake to keep your family busy. We took out the four-person paddleboat to test our teamwork skills. It was nice to paddle close to shore and see town of Lake Placid. Back at the boathouse there are also kayaks and canoes available for guests to use. There are plenty of towels and the resort provides all sizes of life preservers. Snacks and drinks are available for purchase, including bottled water.  We were disappointed not to find large water coolers as it was quite warm and kids could become easily dehydrated. Nearby there is also a separate fishing dock.  You will need to bring your own poles and bait. The water is crystal clear and we could see just by looking in that there is plenty to catch.

Little things our kids loved about the resort:

  • You can get as many free postcards as you want from the front desk and they will and send them out for you free of charge (great dinner time activity).
  • Their famous chocolate chip cookies are everywhere! Just my daughter’s kind of place! You will find them at front desk 24/7, they are served after dinner at the view and you will even get a to-go bag upon check out.
  • Afternoon Tea is served daily in the Main Inn from 3:30 – 4:30. This is a special grown-up ritual they enjoyed participating in.

Technophiles take note: In order to maintain tranquility, there is a “no cell phone policy” throughout the resort. Signs everywhere will tell you so.  If you must keep your phone with you they request your phone be on vibrate at all times.  I suggest taking it seriously, I didn’t see anyone talking or texting the entire time I was there and fear it is likely frowned upon. Additionally Wi-Fi is fee based even in the public areas.

The Restaurants

The View is the most formal restaurant at the resort, like the kinds that asks for “neat, casual attire” in the dining room.  To accommodate families with smaller kids they do offer an Early Dinning program which begins at 5:30 sharp. You will receive one free child’s meal with each adult meal purchased. There are also some rules they would like families with small children to follow so you should know ahead of time that they will likely “seat families with children in and area less apt to disturb others” in case your children become “fussy” or fidgety.” They also request that children who are eating in The View to “stay seated for their safety and the safety of others.” Our own children are 9 & 12 so we did not dine early, nor were we seated in a special seating area.

The kid’s menu offers Pizza, Grilled Cheese, N.Y. Strip Steak, Chicken Tenders and Spaghetti.  Each meal includes applesauce, as an appetizer, and a dish of ice cream and their famous chocolate chip cookie for dessert.  I found the prices for the Children’s menu to be extremely expensive. Perhaps that is a good reason to make sure you take advantage of the 5:30pm “Kids Eat Free” seating option.

The ambience in the View is definitely white glove service.  So if you kids aren’t up for it, then you might choose the Cottage or the Taste Bistro instead.

The Cottage – On Saturday we ate lunch at the Cottage. It was very crowded and unfortunately we were unable to sit outside on the porch and take advantage of the stunning views. They don’t take reservations so be prepared to wait if you’d like the table of your choice.

This casual restaurant serves pub fare using the same menu for both lunch and dinner. We sampled the spinach and artichoke dip  and the Cucumber Basil Egg Salad.  Both were only ok. The kid’s menu consists of PB & J, Cheese Nachos, Kraft Mac & Cheese, a Tuna Salad Sandwich, Cheese Quesadilla and Hot Dogs. My daughter had the cheese nachos, which were nothing more than some tortilla chips with cheese melted over them. My son wanted just plain pasta for lunch. They were unable to accommodate this request. It appears that some of the food in the kitchen is pre-cooked because even though there is pasta to be found on the menu, in both the kid’s Mac & Cheese and the Bowtie Pasta Salad, they couldn’t boil any pasta for him. Overall, I was unimpressed with the quality of the food served at the Cottage. Perhaps you come here more for the view than the food.

Taste Bistro and Bar –  This relaxed setting was perfect for families and our server Art was great. We liked dinning on the wrap around porch with glass windows that give you an incredible view of the lake at sunset. The kids’ menu is the same as The View but adults can find more causal fare here like burgers and sandwiches. After dinner we moved from the porch into the bar area to listen to the live music. We played a round of cards and finished out our evening there.  The Bistro is connected to the lobby and lounge area. You can find classic board games to borrow like Candyland, Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly, Life and more.

I would recommend this hotel to any family looking for a mountain retreat vacation. The Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa is definitely a great place to get away from it all. The setting is spectacular. The staff is warm and friendly. Although there are plenty of things to do on property throughout the year, the Inn’s close proximity to the town of Lake Placid and nearby Whiteface Mountain makes it easy to partake in many other outdoor activities.

Disclosure: This review is based on a complimentary visit to the Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa. I received no other compensation besides the hotel stay, some meals at The View and the Spa Treatment. The business owner did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view. All of the opinions I expressed are my own.

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