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The Otesaga Resort Hotel
© The Otesaga Cooperstown

The best upstate New York resorts

Head to these upstate New York resorts for a relaxing escape and some glorious nature-based R&R

Written by
Marion Bernstein
George Blew
Chiara Wilkinson
Ed Cunningham
Lola Christina Alao

Sometimes, just sometimes, living in the city that never sleeps can get a little too much. And you know where does sleep? Upstate. NY State is full of absolutely loads of wonderful resorts fit for relaxing in once the city has gotten too much. 

Luckily, upstaters do much more than just snooze. Upstate New York resorts are packed with wonderful activities, from paddleboarding, fishing, and golf, all the way through to wineries, hiking trails, and picturesque apple picking farms. Plenty of stuff that you just don't really get in the concrete jungle. 

There are so many different things to do, all around upstate, that it can be difficult to know how best to spend your time. And once you've had a taste of the chillaxation on offer, you'll surely be back. These are some of our favourite upstate New York resorts, handpicked by our team of experts. We're sure we'll see you soon. 

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Best upstate New York resorts

This bliss resort and spa was originally created by the 18th century entrepreneur and visionary Gideon Putnam. You'll find everythign you could ever need here. It houses the luxurious Roosevelt Baths & Spa, with natural mineral water captured from the city’s famous underground springs. But that's not all. Don't forget to maje usre of the other spa services, including massages, facials, scrubs, body wraps and salon styling. There is also a restaurant on site, where you can have breakfast lunch and dinner. And in the summer months, take advantage of the opportunity for al fresco dining, on the restaurant’s patio. 

Chautauqua’s Athenaeum Hotel offers a truly one-of-a-kind experience that willl reset both your body and mind. Established in 1881, the grand hotel sits prominently on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution—the historic adult education center and summer resort made famous for its ecumenical teachings on art, music, dance, theater and writing. During the summer season, hotel guests can enjoy a Chautauqua Institution gate pass, which grants access to a selection of on-site events offered daily. There's opera, there's themed lectures, there's yoga, and yes, there's Shakespeare. 


The suites at this Saratoga Springs hotel aren't just great because they're so super-duper-trendy. Oh no. On offer here is a level of luxury that is simply so far beyond most resorts. From modest studio rooms to deluxe two-floor penthouse suites, everything at Pavilian Grand is spacious and offers high-end features like stainless-steel kitchen appliances and king-size beds. At the very top end of the range, the penthouses even include outdoor furniture-filled private rooftop gardens. It's also got supremely fast internet speed, making it ideal for remote working. It's like a home away from home. Or we wish. Our homes can barely dream of being this luxurious. Image © Peter/Flickr

Just a three-and-a-half-hour drive from New York City, you’ll find the majestic Otesaga Resort Hotel—a luxurious lakeside inn reminiscent of a bygone era of elegance and atmospheric charm. The resort itself offers a plethora of upscale amenities including spa treatments, award-winning golf courses, first-class dining and a one-of-a-kind fire bar where you can sip on a soothing autumn peartini as you soak in breathtaking views of Lake Otsego. And when you’re ready to explore more, you won’t have to travel far—the iconic National Baseball Hall of Fame, Fenimore Art Museum and Ommegang Brewery are just a few miles away.


It’s no surprise this 266-room Victorian beaut tops our list. Founded by Albert Smiley in 1869, the national historic landmark sits on a pristine mountain lake surrounded by lush forests and scenic hiking trails. Make the most of your R&R by paddleboarding and rock climbing by day and indulging in exquisite farm-to-table feasts by night. And when in doubt, always agree to the warm stone massage.

The Point is the epitome of rustic elegance. Well-known for being the Rockefeller family’s Great Camp during the Gilded Age, this Adirondacks resort boasts finely crafted native timber log mansions replete with grand stone fireplaces, original hand-built fixtures and ornate antiques, all along the mirrored edge of Saranac Lake. Outdoor activities include everything from sailing and bass fishing to fiddlehead fern and morel gathering, all set in the backdrop of luscious tall evergreen trees that look like a fairytale all year round.


This resort and casino includes a sprawling complex of modern yet elegant accommodations nestled in the heart of Central New York. Here, you’ll find lodging to fit any preference of style—you can stay in the lodge, hotel, tower or inn. But trust us, you won’t want to spend too much time ordering room service while watching free HBO—the resort houses a casino, spa, golf dome and boxing venue alongside multiple restaurants, lounges and bars. There's so much entertainment, you'll be spoiled for choice.

Image © Darryl Kenyon/Flickr

Situated on the southern end of Lake George’s Green Island, the Sagamore offers 72 acres of rest and relaxation, upstate style. There are endless activites here, from fishing and boating to wakeboarding and tubing. And once you've had your adventurous fun, why not wind down in the spa with one of their day packages? Sagamore also offers a 10,000-square-foot pool deck equipped with chaise lounges, al fresco fare and cooling libations.


There are few things cooler than staying the night in a nineteenth-century castle, which is one of the reasons why Belhurst is so sought-after. There are only 14 rooms to choose from, each of which has a different decorative personality, so book up as soon as you can. Its stunning location on the northwestern shore of Seneca Lake is another draw, along with the canopied beds, cast bronze fireplaces and nearby Belhurst Winery where you can sample award-winning Rieslings and ice wines. Of course, there's also a selection of signature spa treatments so you can leaving feeling as nice as your surroundings. 

Image © Visit Finger Lakes/Flickr

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