DOES THE ADELPHI HOTEL MARK THE DAWNING OF A NEW “GOLDEN AGE” IN SARATOGA?

POSTED: 18 Jan 2018 | BY: KATHLEEN WILLCOX

Photo courtesy of The Adelphi Hotel

Until recently, Saratoga Springs was the Miss Havisham of Upstate New York.

It all started out so well. Founded in 1776, Saratoga soon became the gilded class’s favorite spot for getaways — it was even known as “the Queen of the Spas” for its natural springs around which vast hotels were built. And in 1863, what is now the nation’s oldest racetrack opened.

Health, horses, ornate Victorian mansions, huzzah!

Then the Depression hit.

For several decades following its swift economic descent, Saratoga tottered around like Dickens’ jilted bride, still wearing its tattered glory of decades past and insisting everything was just delightful, why do you ask?

Call it denial, or call it brilliant if extremely long-term vision, it paid off. The tourism industry never really went away and high-tech companies with deep pockets have spent the past decade moving in and embellishing/adorning the town all over again. GlobalFoundries alone has invested almost $10 billion in the county to build a research and development center, and in so doing has also helped rev the economic engine that has driven an influx of hot new restaurants and bars, a new home construction boom and the revitalization of downtown and beautiful historic mansions.

There’s one place that represents Saratoga’s fealty to its historic roots and love of the good life best: the Adelphi Hotel.  

The hotel reopened on October 1st, 2017 after an epic $24 million, five-year renovation that honors the distinct style of Victorian-era Saratoga Springs. The Adelphi Hotel originally opened in 1877 and is the last survivor of Saratoga’s so-called “Golden Age”.

Photo courtesy of The Adelphi Hotel

But if you’re picturing a creaky, dark, low-ceilinged blast from the past, you’ve got it all wrong. The Adelphi just underwent a meticulous five-year renovation, during which time every detail — from the restored Victorian divans to the cloth-covered shoe boxes guests can use for shine service — was considered, keeping the beloved 19th century gild, and updating it with a more luxurious, spacious and, yes, 21st century feel.

Photo courtesy of The Adelphi Hotel

The Adelphi Hospitality Group, led by Simon Milde, Toby Milde, Larry Roth and David Roth, teamed up with architect Dominick Ranieri and designer and architect Glen Coben of Glen & Company to mastermind the hotel’s extensive interior and structural rehab.

The neoclassical Italianate exterior resembles a tiered old-fashioned buttercream wedding cake, and, when visitors enter, they are greeted with 11-foot ceilings, a beautifully appointed communal space and a grand staircase climbing all four stories leading to 32 distinct, artful luxury suites. (One, dubbed the Owner’s Box, features two master bedrooms, two living rooms, a 400-square foot library and a 500-square-foot terrace overlooking Broadway). All of the bedrooms have hand-painted grey-metallic-blue ceilings and bathrooms with controllable infrared-heated mirrors, floors and toilets; all but one has a stand-alone iron claw-foot tub.

Photo courtesy of The Adelphi Hotel

The Adelphi also features landscaped gardens, a dazzling 2,300 square foot Grand Ballroom (weddings!), a Drawing Room (cocktail parties!) and a Library (luxe private dinners!).

Most fabulous of all, guests can score reasonable (one worries how they’ll make any money) room deals starting at $169 per night.

And locals, in addition to appreciating the eye-cake on Broadway and sleek options for private fetes, are thrilled to welcome three new restaurants connected to the hotel.

Salt & Char has become a date night destination, for its modern take on the American steakhouse experience. There are generous cuts of meat (Black Angus Filet, American Wagyu Ribeye), sumptuous sides and sauces (sour cream mashed potatoes, bone marrow bordelaise) and modern apps (burrata, braised pork belly); plus this hot spot offers seriously competitive winter deals (date nights on Wednesdays and Thursdays offer a three-course steak dinner and bottle of wine for two at $100).

Morrissey’s passes the toddler sniff test with wood-fired pizzas (Margarita, i.e. plain cheese and tomato sauce) and colorful crudos (rainbow baby carrots) while also offering more sophisticated fare; thus it has become a favorite place to gather for friends who enjoy sharing adventurous farm-to-table fare (chicken livers with lemon crème fraiche, mahogany clams with Calabrian chili, bang bang porchetta Panini with bok choy kimchi) and delicious libations (Over Under with rye, Lillet blanc and honey; Clear as Day with vodka, velvet falernum and ogreat).

Morrissey's. Photo courtesy of The Adelphi Hotel

The Blue Hen is focused on warm hospitality and refined twists on America classics, with both breakfast and dinner on tap. The Blue Hen roosts off the lobby in a stunning glass atrium overlooking gardens. When the light is streaming down, it would be tough to find a more Instagrammable breakfast than the Avocado Toast with smoked cured egg and tuna bottarga, paired with a chaser of Green Juice. It also dishes out the beloved beige breakfast classics, only better. Who knew French Toast should be made with croissants? Pretty much just The Blue Hen. Dinner is along the same lines, with Rabbit Terrine En Croute for the Julia Child crowd and Pastured Hen with Black Truffles and Pickled Ramps for the Goopsters among us.

Worried there won’t be anything to do (besides take the waters and chill) in Saratoga Springs? Think again: there’s Saratoga Spa State Park, the Race Course, Congress Park, Yaddo Gardens, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, a number of  museums (Automobile, Racing, Dance, Children’s, Military, Historical, the Tang Teaching Museum), wineries (Saratoga Winery, Swedish Hill), several breweries (Druthers, Olde Saratoga, Artisanal Brew Works) and so much more.

Even so, there’s no need to leave the Adelphi if you just want to unwind in the lap of luxury. Every room comes packed with delightful accouterments. The library is stocked with books, movies and games for people of all ages; there are delectable snacks and drinks every which way you turn; and the staff is smart, kind, knowledgeable and sassy. Just like home — except softer, prettier, comfier, shinier, yummier, and so much easier. Aaaah.

The Adelphi Hotel is located at 365 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. (518) 678-6000. www.theadelphihotel.com.

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