The Otesaga, Grand Dame of Upstate New York Resorts
The Otesaga Resort Hotel has been one of the country’s premier seasonal resorts, for over a century. Selected as a member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Otesaga is reminiscent of a more genteel era when a gracious welcome was the standard. It blends perfectly with the Village of Cooperstown, New York, a culturally rich repository of Americana, where the country’s past is traced and preserved by its hometown cultural institutions — the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, The Farmers’ Museum — and by the town itself.
Over 100 Years of Gracious Hospitality
A magnificent, Federal-style structure with an imposing front portico supported by massive 30-foot columns, The Otesaga occupies 700 feet of lakefront on the southern shore of Lake Otsego, the famed “Glimmerglass” of James Fenimore Cooper’s novels.
On July 12, 1909, the local paper wrote, “No more fortunate location could have been chosen for a hotel. From its windows and broad veranda, a view as charming as the Divine Hand ever painted fills the eye, while refreshing breezes from over the gentle waters fan the brow.”
Designed by New York architect Percy Griffin, The Otesaga was considered a marvel not just for its architectural beauty, sumptuous appointments and army of staff, but also for its engineering. When it opened, much was made of its 400 windows, the refrigerator that was cooled with 30 tons of ice, the central heating that could be individually adjusted, and the telephones in each room.
Like many attractions in the tiny Village of Cooperstown, New York, The Otesaga was conceived by members of the Clark family. Heirs to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, the Clarks have been the prime benefactors of the village since the mid-nineteenth century. In this case, it was Edward Severin Clark and Stephen Carlton Clark, Sr. who had the foresight to purchase ten lakeside acres on which the Holt-Averill mansion stood. In its place, the brothers decided to build a resort that would attract “automobile tourists” motoring up from New York in their newfangled horseless carriages.
The Otesaga regularly receives the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award, for providing exceptional accommodations, excellent service and an elegant atmosphere.
Fine dining has always been a part of The Otesaga’s tradition of gracious hospitality. The first meal served in 1909 featured caviar canapes, broiled halibut with potatoes Parisiennes, Lamb Chops Monte Carlo, seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits, and desserts like coconut cake and rhubarb pie.
Today, The Otesaga, which operates on the American Plan, offers a variety of dining options. Located in the west wing, the formal Main Dining Room serves breakfast, buffet lunch and dinner. Gentlemen are required to wear jackets for evening meals, which are accompanied by piano music and candlelight. The five-course menu changes regularly. The more informal Hawkeye Bar & Grill off the Lower Lobby offers meals in an intimate, mahogany-paneled setting. Next door in the Templeton Lounge, which is directly below the Main Lobby, guests can enjoy cocktails and dancing to live music six nights a week during the season.
Sports & Recreation
As befits a world-class resort, The Otesaga offers an array of sports and recreational facilities, including a heated lakefront pool. The Hotel’s Leatherstocking Golf Course is itself a Cooperstown classic — a challenging, 18-hole course designed by Devereux Emmet in 1909 with small greens protected by bunkers. The Otesaga was voted by readers of Condé Nast Traveler one of the 50 top U.S. golf resorts, and Leatherstocking Golf Course recently was named “one of the best courses you can play” by Golfweek Magazine.
Under the direction of PGA member Dan Spooner, The Resort offers first-rate instruction and practice facilities.
A complimentary, on-site fitness center is available to all guests. Additionally, the Clark Sports Center, a state-of-the-art facility just a few minutes drive from The Hotel, is also available for a nominal fee. The Clark Sports Center offers a complete range of fitness classes, squash and racquetball courts, an Olympic pool, climbing wall, basketball, weight training and other sports activities.
Meetings & Conferences
In keeping with its name, which is derived from the Iroquois word for “A Place of Meetings”, meeting and conference planners will find The Otesaga ideal for groups as large as 350. The Hotel features 12 meeting and conference rooms of various sizes, from the 2,600-square-foot ballroom and equal-sized Main Dining Room to small breakout rooms like the 384-square-foot Pathfinder Room. The Hotel’s Meetings Director will customize arrangements for any group, drawing on the many attractions of Cooperstown to engage and entertain attendees. Golf outings, private tours of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and receptions on the beautiful terraced garden of Fenimore Art Museum are among many features that make a meeting or incentive trip to The Otesaga memorable.
The Otesaga in “America’s Most Perfect Village®”
Combining natural beauty with an unhurried pace, Cooperstown is the ideal place to re-discover our nation’s past, and The Otesaga, the ideal accommodation. For rates and reservations, call 800-348-6222 or 607-544-2502 or email Reservation1@Otesaga.com. The fax number is 607-547-9675 and the web address is Otesaga.com.