The Point (Saranac Lake, NY)
Credit: Relais & Châteaux/GEOFFREY CLIFFORD

A century ago the Carnegies, Vanderbilts, and other big-name New Yorkers used to escape from city mayhem to their private Adirondack "great camps": elaborate log cabin complexes on wilderness estates that had buildings for various purposes, from providing sleeping quarters to storing sporting equipment. The Point was one such great camp, built from 1930-1933 as a home for William Avery Rockefeller (John D.'s nephew) by the genre's leading architect of the time, William Distin. In 1980 new owners transformed the four-building timber-and-stone retreat into an 11-guest room lakefront sanctuary for high-paying company, but preserved the historic (and high-end) feel. Old leather books and big-game noggins line the honey-colored spruce- and white-pine walls, and windows look through towering birch and pine woods to Upper Saranac Lake. The lodge keepers still use old-man Rockefeller's original fridge – a five-by-six-foot cooled cupboard with multiple doors. Authentic antiques from his time, including a buffet table and candelabras, grace other rooms.

The resort adjoins New York State's 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. Commandeer a canoe from the boathouse and paddle the 4,725-acre lake or, come winter, cross-country ski its frozen surface. Ideal for the anyone who likes to wear a tux and feels comfortable sharing a communal table with Manhattan intellectuals, Texas CEOs, and other gentry at twice-weekly black-tie dinners.

More information: From $1,500 a night for two, including meals and drinks; Year-round, except for April [thepointresort.com].