When driving from New York City to Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains, it’s hard not to be struck by how green everything is compared to the urban jungle of Manhattan. And now, this corner of the Adirondacks is promoting another kind of greenness in its quest to earn the title of America’s most environmentally friendly travel destination. This Earth Day and week, I’m exploring this fascinating region, as well as the components of an eco-conscious vacation. It’s not just about hanging up your towels if you don’t want them washed; it’s a whole state of mind. Feel free to follow my #OnTheRoad adventure on Instagram at @GadlingTravel.[Photo Credit: Jessica Marati]
Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, NY
The Check In to Check Out Package at New York’s Lake Placid Lodge requires you leave your smartphones/iPads/laptops and other electronic devices in the safe hands of the front desk staff and feel the bliss of being truly “off-the-grid.” Spend two nights in a room or cabin, where the on-demand, in-room entertainment is the fireplace, the view of the lake, and each other’s company. Complimentary boating, yoga, hiking and fishing are included with your stay, as well as a choice of current New York Times Bestseller books to enjoy by the lake. Lastly, without the interruption of beeps and chirps, learn new cooking skills with Chef Nathan in the Lodge’s incredible Teaching Kitchen. Rates begin at $550/night.
The Reefs, Bermuda
Pink sand beaches, scenic harbors, and an intimate luxury resort. As if that wasn’t the perfect setting for letting go, add in unlimited spa treatments. The award-winning La Serena spa offers unlimited treatments with a three-day package including treatments for two, scheduled wellness and yoga classes, ocean view accommodations, breakfast, light spa lunch and three-course dinner for two each night and champagne upon arrival. Rates start at $1,670 per night.
L’Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, AZ
Located in in Sedona’s famous Red Rock Country, along a tranquil creek under acres of shaded trees, L’Auberge de Sedona is a scenically pleasing relaxing retreat. Guests have the option of waking up to an outdoor yoga class at sunrise or taking in a breathtaking red-rock hike with a local hiking expert. For the ultimate way to unwind, guests can relax in their private outdoor hot tub and cedar showers with open roofs and scenic views or enjoy massages in their cabanas while listening to the sounds of Oak Creek. In the evenings, guests may choose to cozy up by their fireplaces or enjoy a creekside dinner followed by after-dinner drinks at the fire pits of the new wine bar. Other available outdoor activities include stargazing, horseback riding and more. Rates begin at $360/night.
Hotel Monaco, Chicago
A true urban oasis, this lavish two-room suite features the comforts of a two-person soaking tub, plush furniture and bedding, in-room massage rollers, sound machines, sleep masks and towel warmers. The Suite also boasts picturesque window seats, also known as “meditation stations,” which are complemented by views of the Chicago River. Guests can also unplug and unwind by opting for the “black out” option and forfeiting all methods of electronic communication at check-in. If that’s not enough, the hotel also offers in-room spa services. Suite rooms begin at $359 per night.
Fairmont Kenauk, Quebec, Canada
Fairmont Kenauk is the ideal spot for relaxing and star-gazing, as it’s set on 65,000 acres of protected wilderness in Quebec, is solar-powered, and totally off the grid. Guests use walkie-talkies in lieu of phones, as there’s no cell service or landlines. One- to six-bedroom cabins are equipped with propane lights, refrigerator, stove, furnace and hot shower. Rates begin at $209 per night.
Earlier this week a ski lift broke down at Lake Placid’s Whiteface Mountain, stranding skiers and snowboarders high above the slopes and prompting staff to evacuate 76 visitors from the malfunctioning machine. This news comes hot on the heels of the collapse of a chairlift at Maine’s Sugarloaf Resort just a day earlier, but fortunately this time out no one was hurt.
The 30+ year old chairlift is 4100 feet in length and can deliver 800 passengers to the top of the mountian each hour of operation. This particular lift also happens to provide access to the resort’s most popular and challenging runs and is generally quite crowded with skiers and snowboarders. On Wednesday, the lift malfunctioned at approximately 11 AM and the last passenger was lowered to the ground, using a rope and pulley system about an hour and 45 minutes later.
The news of two chairlift malfunctions in one week prompted the New York Department of Labor to issue a statement reassuring skiers that the lifts are indeed safe. In fact, the state says that it conducts more than 450 inspections each and every year in an effort to ensure safety on the slopes, but acknowledges that break downs do occur from time to time.
While obviously we all know that machines can break and malfunctions do happen, nothing can ruin a holiday ski trip like being stuck on a lift for a couple of hours, dangling in the cold wind while you wait for a rescue. Especially if it is the only day you have on the slopes. Hopefully the folks involved in both the Sugarloaf and Whiteface incidences were able to still enjoy a little winter fun.
[Photo credit: Petersent via WikiMedia]