Newly opened this past August on Canada Street running through the heart of Lake George Village, Courtyard Lake George represents a community effort to expand this iconic seasonal lakefront retreat into a year round destination.

Each year during summer, thousands of visitors stream into this village of 900 full-time residents only to vanish from October through March. 1950s era motels still dominate and are lovingly patronized across generations of summer vacationers but for years, village officials and residents sought to expand their season to year round. They decided that a new destination hotel would be the most effective catalyst if it was built right in the epicenter of village life to attract a more diverse crowd of conference and wedding guests as well as off season tourists.


Before architectural renderings could even be drafted, a team of village officials and investors in conjunction with village supporters needed to pass a zoning amendment allowing buildings taller than two stories to be built on the west side of Canada Street. There was predictable opposition to the larger scale design and potential environmental impact considering local protectiveness of its pristine 32-mile-long namesake lake. But Robert M. Blais, mayor of Lake George for nearly 45 years, convinced existing motel owners and residents that attracting more sustained tourism would ultimately provide more benefits than detractions.


A threeway collaboration of the Kenny family, management company Urgo Hotels & Resorts, and the Marriott brand got shovels in the ground building a 6 story, 119 room, $26 million hotel worthy of courtyardlobbylivingroom.jpg?width=427their objective. The resulting Courtyard Lake George abandons all notions of a typical suburban Courtyard that's frequently synonymous with an uninspiring exterior surrounded by broad expanses of asphalt parking and few cultural attractions within miles in any direction.

Courtyard Lake George is integrated into the architectural fabric of the surrounding village fronting the sidewalk outfitted with classic Adirondack flairs like balcony railings constructed from wood branches, massive exposed timber support pillars, and thick field stone walls.


Rustic Adirondack adornments like tree stumps as side tables, vintage sketches, photos and memorabilia like a reprinted 1791 letter from Thomas Jefferson to his daughter extolling Lake George's beauty continue throughout the lobby living room evoking a classic lodge rather than the Marriott brand. This welcoming space also artfully combines modern elements into the design with a sleek gas fireplace, large flat panel TVs on the walls, plenty of comfy nooks to socialize over a drink and a game of chess using one of their sets.


Literally every guest room features noteworthy views with odd numbered rooms facing the beauty of Prospect Mountain in the distance while even numbered rooms have Lake George views and walkout balconies outfitted with outdoor furnishings perfect for enjoying your morning cup of coffee and breakfast sandwich freshly made in the Bistro Cafe downstairs. You'll most certainly experience the steamboat Minne Ha Ha passing by in the distance as an onboard steam powered organ plays renditions of old time tunes.


As a guest, the fun begins in their spacious indoor pool & fitness center, along with the Lobby Bar serving classic cocktails and local brews on tap and the Bistro menu at your finger tips. Walk out the front door and you have in-town activities that define Lake George's character all a short walk away. Despite being surrounded by 6 million acre Adirondack Park, this kitchy village bears a closer resemblance to Coney Island than a quiet Upstate lake community. You have your pick of Dr. Morbid’s Haunted House, House of Frankenstein Wax Museum, t-shirt & ice cream shops, and an arcade complete with bumper cars. Outdoor activities include exploring Fort William Henry overlooking Million Dollar Beach and the steamship cruise docks.


A sit down restaurant is planned to open in the coming months at Courtyard Lake George along with two 5,000 square foot ballrooms incorporating natural lighting and lake views to inspire plenty of memorable conferences and magical weddings. In the meantime, a rooftop terrace with a bar accommodating 100 people is already open awaiting your next gathering.

Photos: Courtyard Marriott Lake George & Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by participating in a partially sponsored visit.

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