Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College

, Saranac Lake, United States
Review this Hotel
Popular Travel Destinations

Recently Reviewed Hotels Around Saranac Lake

Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College

, Saranac Lake
3 star

Rooms: 88

100 Main St - Saranac Lake - New York - 12983 - United States Hotel Website | | 518/891-2200
175 Traveller

Reviews - Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College

Rude Staff - Old Dirty Hotel
Submitted by: California Couple in 20/07/06
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
We had a horrible experience here - rude staff, small dirty, noisy rooms. The plumbing made horrendous noises every few hours all night long. The surrounding country is beautiful and the restaurant was ok.
Tranquil Relaxing
Submitted by: Jay Sugarman in 31/05/05
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: United States
  • Traveller type: Pleasure Seeker
Everything was wonderful. The students from Paul smith College, a hotel and restaurant management school program ran a first class operation.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College

Historic Hotel of America

from amoebat
I have to agree with 'funky review' it is dead on. Additionally we have coffee in the room! It is indeed a room from way back at least the 30's. Very tiny with a beautiful fan in the room. Calls to the desk got immediate attention for housekeeping, At $119 in high season not bad

ve Ever Stayed In

from A TripAdvisor Member
First the pluses of the hotel:

1. Free Internet Access (which I’m using to write this review)

2. Beautiful surroundings

Now the minus:

1. “Historic” building (code word for old and run down). Massive brick structure looks like a cross between a college dormitory and an old hospital. General dirt and grime.

2. Inadequate air conditioning. The weather has been VERY hot, and the lobby has no air conditioning and our room has a small portable air conditioner that barely cools it.

3. Small room. We ordered what seemed to be their largest room category which was a deluxe room and it was still very small. Our tiny room in New York City was bigger than our room here.

4. Odors. Possibly due to the age of the hotel, the typical humid weather, or the fact that apparently college students are cleaning the rooms, our room had a horrible odor to it that reminds me of a smelly dorm room.

5. Noises. The plumbing in the bathroom makes a spontaneous very loud honking noise every few hours. Woke us up several times throughout the night and startling us every few hours.

6. Poor electrical wiring causing appliances to fall out of the outlets. Minor problem but still annoying.

7. Horrible service - run by well meaning but incompetent college students who are overseen by very rude AND somewhat incompetent staff. Took us 30+ minutes to check in since the younger staff couldn’t seem to figure out the computer system. When the supervisor came over to figure it out, they found out they had screwed up our confirmed room type and was extremely rude and unhelpful about it. Make sure to bring your room type confirmation with you and call to confirm your room type with several different people because apparently some staff get confused over which rooms are which types (i.e smoking vs. non, deluxe vs. standard, King vs. 2 Queens, etc.).

Overall, I would rank the hotel a 1 star at best and think it is probably the worst hotel I have ever staying in. I was expecting a older but nice 2 star hotel and I was VERY disappointed.


from Lazylightning
I stayed in the Hotel Saranac for 4 nights in mid-June. There were a total of three of us, staying on a corner of the 6th floor in two rooms with an adjoining door. Each room had a king bed, and the corner room also had a fold-out sofa.

First, I'll give you the pros.
-- Very quiet. The only noise from other rooms came through the air duct in the bathroom. The hotel is built with thick cement walls (it was originally advertized as being "fireproof") and solid, high quality doors.

--There were portable air conditioners in our rooms that did a good job of keeping the place cool. Each room also had a ceiling fan with adjustable speeds and built in lights.

--GREAT water pressure in the shower, and there was a new-looking shower-massage head also. I was sore from all of the exploring and running around we did during the trip, and every day I was excited to come back to the hotel for a soothing, hot, well-pressurized shower.

-- High speed Internet worked well in our 6th floor rooms. No passcode was needed; I just turned on my computer and was on the Internet.

--New mattresses. Sealy Dynasty Plush Series. The mattresses are pillowtop and some have featherbeds on them as well. I slept so very soundly in this hotel.

--My room didn't feel like a hotel room; it felt like a guest room in someone's house. It had a country-ish decor and a beautiful quilt on the bed. (See the picture.)

--We had ironing boards, hair dryers, and cable TV.

--Our view was beautiful. I could see several blocks of Saranac Lake from my room.

--Friendly service. The front desk staff were very personable. The woman in the gift shop greeted me every morning when I arrived for my coffee and muffin. The bartender at the hotel's Boathouse Lounge was extremely personable and chatted with us for several minutes when we slipped in for a drink right before closing time.

--In-house eats. The hotel has two eating options: There is The BoatHouse Lounge, which has a full service bar and doubles as a bistro/diner where you can get a wrap, sandwich, soup, or seafood dish. There is also A. P. Smiths, a sit-down restaurant where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. In addition, the hotel's gift shop offers fresh-baked pastries, packaged snacks, and several kinds of coffee for travelers in a hurry.

--Curved shower curtain bar made more room in the shower.

--As a 20-something, the bathroom seemed very "retro" to me! The door handles, fixtures, tile, and hardware were old (but clean and in good condition). I thought it was all pretty cool!

--Other neat old touches included... a vintage letter slot for postal mail, where letters could be inserted on any floor and drop to the mailbox in the lobby... The lobby used to be an area where carriages could drive in, and as a result the A. P. Smith Restaurant and the gift shop are glassed in storefronts, though they are now indoors... The ballroom is beautiful. Stop on floor #2 and check it out. (Hint: There are also soda machines near the elevator on that floor!)

Now, the cons.

--Regarding the lack of updates in the bathroom... this meant no counter-space for toiletries. The hotel tried to make up for it with several small shelves installed around the bathroom, but this, combined with a sink drain that had no screen, made me paranoid that something was going to fall down the drain.

--No fitness center, pool or whirlpool, and no continental breakfast/free eating area. This is no Best Western, that's for sure. I didn't mind paying for a good muffin and coffee (versus getting a crummy free one), but this is important to some people.

--The plumbing was pretty loud. We were on the top floor, so it wasn't too noticable to us, but I felt self-conscious that I was bothering others whenever I flushed!

--If you are the type of person who doesn't like elevators, or who likes to use the stairs for exercise, stop at floor 2, not 1. If you take the stairs all the way down, you'll end up in a staff area of the hotel, near the kitchens of the two restaurants. (And you'll get strange looks from the employees!)

--There isn't very much parking in the lot, and the street parking is only for two hours, max.

In summary, I would definitely stay at the Hotel Saranac again. Our rate was good, the rooms were comfortable and clean, and the location was convenient. What more can I ask?

Charming Hotel Saranac

from A TripAdvisor Member
I wanted a clean, comfortable, local hotel in the Adirondacks with a good restaurant in a small town. Hotel Saranac has all of that. This hotel was built in 1927 and is on a register for historic hotels. It has been lovingly restored. The rooms are small because of when it was built. The bathroom was immaculate and in excellent working order in spite of its age. The restaurant was excellent.

Small Room, Very Noisy Plumbing

from braceytraveller
Room was small, but to be expected in an older hotel. Service was above average, but do not plan to sleep later than the person in the next room. Any time water ran in the rooms on either side of us the noise was VERY loud. Breakfast was excellent and very reasonably priced, but the two nights we were there the restaurant was closed. The bar food is fair but I found drink prices a bit high. Wireless internet does NOT work on the 5th floor, so if you want to use it either specify a different floor or be prepared to go to the second floor ball room, which was very nice by the way, with a large fire place and very comfortable chairs. I was not told of this until after we had settled in our room, which we found the room to be comfortable and clean.

Tiny Room - Great Breakfast

from Jan_from_Atlanta
This historic hotel retains much of its authenticity including an old brass mail chute that runs from top to bottom, wood doors, and old fashioned vinyl roll-up shades on the windows. My room had a king size bed, which pretty much consumed the space. I thought that the decor, bathroom fixtures, etc. were all on the average side of the continuum with some missing details like a dark closet with no light. The breakfast was great and reasonalby priced and all of the staff were very pleasant and helpful. Worth a stay if the price falls more in line with modest expectations in a most pleasant small town.

Good Hotel, Great Location for Outdoor Lovers

from Robo13
This hotel is run by college students that are interested in restaurant and hotel management. The hotel is old and historic, but not currently in it's heyday. As a frequent camper and lover of the rustic Adirondack Mountains, this does not bother me. On my last visit we at at the hotel restaurant, the service was great and food was good. The rooms were old, but very clean. Location is right in the middle of town, and if you do not want to hike the mountains you can hike the town - shops, historic homes, and Lake Flour are very close by. If you do want a short hike with fantastic views, try Baker Mountain, probably 2 miles away. Every local has hiked it, so it won't be hard to find.

Wonderful stay

from A TripAdvisor Member
Great food. Great service. Great views. I'm making plans to go back.

Enjoyable stay at Hotel Saranac.

from Lesleyandy
We just retuned from a 3 day business/pleasure trip at the Hotel Saranac and had a lovely stay. All staff we encountered there were friendly and helpful.
I had a "king deluxe" room which was large with a seating area and a desk. My business colleague had a regular "double" room which was small but fine for 1 person. Both rooms were very comfortable and clean and neat with everything in good working order. The beds and pillows were comfortable. The bathrooms were somewhat tight, but were clean and functional with lots of towels, new shower heads with good water pressure, and curved shower curtain rods like in more expensive hotels.
It is an older historic building, so as others have written, the toilets and the doors to the rooms can be noisy. However, these are minor issues that did not make the stay less pleasant.
At A.P. Smith's, both the $18.95 4 course Thursday night dinner and the regular dinner we had were excellent. We are from the NYC and Albany areas and did not consider the meals to be expensive, especially considering the quality of the food. The breakfast was delicious and was so big that we were not hungry at lunchtime!
If you are looking for a quaint, neat, comfortable place with local flavor at a reasonable price, Hotel Saranac fits the bill. The great meals are a bonus!

they confuse rustic with dirty!

from K_English
The only reason I didn't rate this the worst is that the Restaurant staff was terrific.
There were cobwebs and spiders in both the bedroom and bathroom. The bath tub was disgusting it was so dirty. We informed the hotel personnel of the problems and there was no change in the 4 days that we were there. We kept hoping someone would do something and nothing. I would not recommend this to anyone. We love funky historic places but this was just dirty.

Top Local Tips for Saranac Lake

The worst place we have ever stayed Don't bother wasting your money at the Hotel Saranac. Now that it is owned by someone other than Paul Smith's College it has completely gone down hill and is not worth any money you are willing to spend.

great food at great prices A few blocks from the Hotel Saranac, on Bloomingdale Avenue just past Woodruffe, is the Belvedere Italian Restaurant. The food is excellent, plentious, and well-priced. Be sure to have a cup or a bowl of the onion soup.

Morgan's 11 go here for dinner at least once.


Other names for Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College

  • saranac hotel lake
  • Address: 100 Main St - Saranac Lake - New York - 12983 - United States
Travel Library Traveller Rating?

See All 175 reviews

"Rude Staff - Old Dirty Hotel" - California Couple

"Tranquil Relaxing" - Jay Sugarman

Review this Hotel
Candid Traveller Photos
  •  Loading Image...
  •  Loading Image...
  •  Loading Image...
  •  Loading Image...

Hotels Near Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College