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The History of the Otesaga Resort Hotel

By: The Otesaga / 05 Jul 2016

Believe it or not, the crown jewel of Cooperstown, New York, our very own Otesaga Resort Hotel, hasn't always been here! At the turn of the 20th century, the site of The Otesaga was just a pristine piece of land lying dormant on the southern shores of beautiful Lake Otsego. But ever since its opening in 1909, The Otesaga Resort Hotel has been a destination people couldn't wait to see and experience.

The Clark family, who owns the hotel to this day, commissioned architect Percy Griffin to design The Otesaga. You might be interested to know that the Clark family commissioned another well- known building years ago, the infamous Dakota apartment building on Central Park West in NYC, home to many stars and celebrities over the years!

The Otesaga was a marvel from the moment it was built. At that time, the Otesaga featured "luxuries" most people didn't enjoy in their day-to-day lives, like a telephone in every guest room, central heating that could be adjusted in each room, and a refrigerator that was cooled with 30 tons of ice! People travelled from far and wide to experience and enjoy these rare amenities.

One particular addition to the Otesaga Resort that's just as popular today as it was then is the Leatherstocking Golf Course. Designed by Devereux Emmet, Leatherstocking Golf Course remains one of the finest golf courses on the East Coast and draws people from all over the country who come not only to play the course, but to take in the gorgeous surroundings.

Surprisingly enough, when the Otesaga was being built, workers found that the planned foundation would actually sit upon a bed of quicksand! To remedy this precarious situation, 500 piles had to be driven into the ground in order to lay and set the foundation. Over 100 years later, it's safe to say it was a job well done.

A special feature of the hotel when it was built, that's still a beloved feature today? The 400 windows that wrap around the Otesaga! Views of lovely Lake Otsego stunned people then, much as those views still do today. An architectural feature common today that was considered exciting in 1909? Of all things, the width of the driveway! It was uncommon in 1909 for driveways to be wide enough for two cars (or carriages) to easily pass one another.

Even in 2016, the exquisite architecture and fine craftsmanship of the building, and the beauty of the grounds, isn't lost on those of us rushing around in our technology filled world. Over the years, The Otesaga has continued to maintain its original aura of charm and gracious hospitality, while also growing and changing with the times. The Otesaga is now an AAA Four-Diamond hotel. This honor bestowed on the hotel, keeps them in fine company with only 5.7% of all of the hotels in the United States.

The Otesaga is also recognized by the prestigious Historic Hotels of America, an organization that recognizes and celebrates the finest historic hotels in the country. Only 275 hotels have been accepted into this elite group – making The Otesaga the rare blend of historical charm, while also providing guests all of the amenities and luxuries of a contemporary hotel.

The Otesaga Resort Hotel is truly something you have to experience in person. It's old world beauty and charm, its exquisite architecture and fine craftsmanship, the many modern amenities, the unmatched natural surroundings, and the friendly, warm, and welcoming staff that's ready to assist you with your every need…you can rest assured that a stay at The Otesaga Resort Hotel is an experience that you will remember for many years to come.

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