Inside the Hotel Saranac

The Hotel Saranac in Saranac Lake re-opened in January after being closed for renovations for the past several years.

Built in 1927, Hotel Saranac had fallen into disrepair under the previous owners, the Arora family, and out of favor of both locals and visitors. The family bought the hotel from Paul Smith’s College in 2007. Roedel Companies of New Hampshire purchased it for $1.4 million in December 2013. The company spent $35 million on the renovations and a two-story parking garage.

“One of the goals was to take it back to 1927 and what it looked like then,” Hotel Saranac general manager Michael Salyers said.

This is evident throughout the building. One the first level, the arcade was restored from Academy Street to Main Street (where Bishop used to ride his bike). Upstairs in the Great Hall, the ceiling beams were replaced and hand painted to include illustrations of outdoor activities traditionally common in Saranac Lake. The same illustrations, which were replicated from the original beams, can be found as artwork in guest rooms, on the kids’ menus, and items in the gift shop. The guest rooms are the way they were in the 1920s except with modern amenities.

The hotel is part of the Hilton chain as part of its Curio Collection, which means it gets advantages of being in the chain but is allowed to maintain it’s own individual identity. It’s also part of the Historical Hotels of America program, which includes 300 other hotels. Salyers said both programs have their own loyal clientele, which will help attract visitors.

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau lauded the finished job. “I am so impressed. It far surpasses my greatest expectations, as far as finish décor and level or service,” he said. “It is a phenomenal place.”

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