Downton Abbey goes to the Adirondacks

love-opera-victoria-bakerBy the 1900’s John D. Rockefeller had made so much money with Standard Oil he no longer knew what to do with it.

He gave much of it to charity but still the millions continued to pour in. The family prospered and indulged in a luxurious lifestyle that made characters like Downton Abbey’s Lord and Lady Grantham seem, well…underprivileged.

Camp Wonundra was commissioned in the late 1930’s by William Avery Rockefeller on Saranac Lake in Upstate N.Y.. It was the epitome of the glamorous Adirondack Summer Camp: the kind made fashionable by the great turn of the century robber barons.

Active days in the great outdoors: fishing in the lake, boating and the like were followed by glamorous evenings replete with black-tie, cigars and white-glove service. Such “Great Camps” as they were known became private enclaves for the crème de la crème of American Society. They still communicate to us an air of Old World nobility transporting us back to a time when people dressed for dinner….a world that seems lost.

Today, Camp Wonundra has transformed itself into an exclusive 11-room Relais & Chateaux retreat called “The Point” where the Rockefeller spirit lives on. Dining, drinks and outlandish requests worthy of any demanding robber baron are all included in the price of a night’s stay.

Their extraordinary chef will create divine meals based upon your food preferences and should you wish to order anything, and I mean anything, feel free to request it at any time of day or night because, as the staff at The Point make clear “This is your house, you are the Rockefellers when you come to The Point!”

The staff are like Rockefeller’s own house staff hosting you in his house while he’s away.

The dinners are black-tie and served Camp Style: this means you will be seated with other guests as if at a dinner party. Exceptional food, unlimited drink, white-glove service, roaring fireplaces, rustic decor and a convivial atmosphere all contrive to make The Point a place where memories are made.

The Point represents a way of life virtually extinct, gone are the days when Rockefellers and Astors dressed for dinner, when butlers and ladies maids were necessities, when this Downton Abbey in the Adirondacks was the private home of a privileged few. Or maybe it didn’t disappear after all? Guests at this Relais & Chateaux still indulge in the property just as those Captains of industry once did. Afternoon tea is still served on silver trays aboard the elegant 1929 hacker-craft replica and guests still roam freely in this vast nature wonderland. It’s still a place for people “in the know” and now that I know, you can know too.


Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]

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