Friends Lake Inn - Chestertown, New York
Tucked away along a tiny lane in a gorgeous wooded area of upstate New York near Chestertown is Friends Lake Inn, a beautiful year around getaway destination with spacious rooms, swimming pool, a pond, miles of walking (and cross country skiing) trails, and access to the nearby lake.  It has everything expected in a top quality inn and anything a guest might need for a vacation stay. 

Friends Lake Inn features a delightful wine bar and lounge, excellent restaurant with gourmet menu, common room on the second floor, and downstairs holds a private dining room (perfect for intimate parties),  a wine cellar, plus a billiards room with comfortable leather seating. 

Guests will find lots of large common area rooms to enjoy their stay on  three levels of the inn.  It has an elegant, yet very relaxing atmosphere and lots of space for 34 guests. 

The inn has 17 rooms, all with views and some have Jacuzzis, steam showers, and/or private balconies.  Most of the rooms on the second and third floors face the lake; second floor rooms have screened porches with chairs - a great place to enjoy the vistas.  Three rooms face the pond and gardens behind the inn, also a lovely view.  Ours was one of these and we enjoyed a fireplace, spacious room with king bed, and private porch with rocking chairs.  It was a great place to relax while surrounded with beautiful fall foliage. 
  Two of the second floor rooms and the common room on same floor
Breakfast and dinner are included in the room rates; the inn will be glad to arrange a picnic lunch, or guests can enjoy the wine bar food and atmosphere starting at 4 pm each day and 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday.  The pub menu includes soup du jour, salads, oysters in season, specialty steak, burgers, and other delights plus endless array of desserts. 
Dinner is a exceptional experience and  has an extensive selection of soups, salads, appetizers, entrees, and desserts. (Plus a huge wine list of every sort and kind at all prices). 
We loved everything on the menu and it was hard to decide what to order.   I wish they'd can the lobster bisque and sell it - I would have taken a case or two home!  The menu changes by season, and several special courses are offered each night. 
Breakfast is served in a different room which is bright and sunny facing East and a pleasant way to start the day.  A cold buffet offers fruits, yogurts, cereals, and breakfast breads.   Guests can then order hot items such as pancakes or waffles drizzled with fruit, several types of eggs, or French toast. 
The grounds are immaculate and beautifully landscaped in keeping with the forested surroundings.  Paths and and walkways meander up to the swimming pool area, across to the pond and sauna house, down the road to a path leading to a lakeside beach a fun spot to relax.  Guests can enjoy complimentary canoes and  kayaks, and the Inn has a pontoon boat for summer rides with complimentary wine and hors d'ouevres. 
The inn is also linked to acres and miles of hiking trails (or cross country trails in the winter).  Gore Mountain for snow skiing is only 25 minutes away for downhill sports.  Many guests simply enjoyed sitting in Adirondack chairs near the inn's pretty pond soaking up the sun, enjoying the foliage color, and relaxing in a country atmosphere. 
The wine bar opens at 4 pm and is quickly filled with guests and visitors enjoying drinks and the extensive pub menu.  Several types of beer are on tap in addition to large selection of wines.  I loved sitting in the bar sipping a cold one and gazing at the lake in the distance.
Friends Lake Inn was built over 140 years ago in 1860 as a boarding house, eventually became a popular Adirondack summer retreat, but  was closed in 1969.  Sharon Taylor purchased it in 1984 and spent almost 20 years renovating, expanding, and evolving the inn into one of the top countryside destinations in the Adirondacks.  She sold it to Trudy and John Phillips who are carrying on the same excellent tradition.  We were impressed with the inn, the impeccable friendly service, outstanding staff, and our entire getaway experience. 
Since first writing this review, Friends Lake Inn has become our "second home" since we usually return in spring and fall to visit the area and stay in the inn ... or now, sometimes stay in their lovely rental house across the street.
Friend's Lake Inn ~ Murphy House
3 bedrooms, 2 dayrooms, 4 bath vacation rental
We've now stayed at Friends Lake Inn for many years - a perfect upstate New York hideaway with cozy guest rooms, a wine bar, and fabulous cuisine.  We soon started inviting our two daughters and their husbands to join us, making a fun family gathering.   Eventually, along came two grandchildren but the Inn only allows kids over 12 to stay there. 
No problem since the Inn purchased the three bedroom, four bath "Murphy House" directly across the country road - a delightful and spacious place for families with children of all ages or couples traveling together.  Our daughters, son in laws, and grandchildren stay in the house while Kenny and I usually stay in the Inn - each night we all gather at Friends Lake for a wonderful dinner (Children are allowed at dinner since the inn has several dining rooms and can seat us in a private area). 
The house sits at the top of a hill overlooking nearby Friends Lake and has a perfect view of the surrounding area from the big back porch, the dining room french doors, and several of the bedrooms.
Murphy House has everything we need for a perfect visit.  The huge, well equipped kitchen includes two sinks with disposals, a bar, dishwasher, microwave, side by side refrigerator, and lots of food storage. A breakfast nook has three chairs while the dining room can easily seat six people.
The living room is next to the dining area and has a fireplace, TV, two sofas, and coffee table.  The first floor also holds a separate room with a day bed and desk with high speed modem for those who brought their laptop along.  A laundry room with washer/dryer, and a bathroom with a shower are also on the first floor.
The second floor has two bedrooms, a day room, and two bathrooms.  The master bedroom has a king bed and private porch overlooking the lake.  A fireplace divides the bedroom and master bathroom and can be viewed from both rooms.  A delightful claw footed tub accents the bath which also has two lavs, a private water closet, shower, and big walk-in closet.  A bedroom door leads to a day bed room.
Master Bedroom with king bed
Master Bedroom fireplace
Room between master & 2nd bedroom
Master Bedroom bathroom
Second bedroom with queen bed
Second bedroom bathroom
The second bedroom has a queen bed, pine chest of drawers and also connects to the day bed room - perfect for children.  An adjoining bath has two lavs and a large shower. 
The third floor has a large bedroom with a queen bed, sitting area, and gorgeous bathroom area with a deep jacuzzi tub accented with a lovely window.
Third Floor Bedroom with sitting area,
queen bed, and Jacuzzi tub.
During warm weather, one of our favorite places to relax is the back porch which runs almost the entire width of the house.  A gas grill is handy for cooking steaks and the table for six is a great place to eat or just sit and enjoy the views.
One morning while having coffee on the porch, I caught the sunrise over the lake and zoomed in to catch the mist off the water.  Yet another reason to stay at Murphy house - great views, spacious house, upscale furnishings, and best of all, Friends Lake Restaurant and Wine Bar a few steps across the country road!
Go to Friends Lake Inn Website
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Photographs Copyrighted by Kenneth & Lynn McKamey