Golden Arrow In Lake Placid; Green and Family-Friendly Too

by Sandra Foyt on June 17, 2013

in Accommodations

Golden Arrow - Mirror Lake ViewIf it were left up to Jenn Holderied, Golden Arrow Resort’s General Manager and second-generation proprietor, all of Lake Placid would be certified as a Green destination. As it is, the young mom and local Ice Meister has been instrumental in helping the hotel earn Audubon International’s platinum level eco-certification, the highest available honor awarded to only six properties nationwide. In April, I joined her for a tour of the resort’s green initiatives, but I came away thinking that the environmentally-conscious measures also make the Golden Arrow a great place to stay with kids.

Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort on Mirror Lake. | Lake Placid, NY

Green Is the Adirondack Lifestyle

Mirror Lake (the only actual lake in Lake Placid) is one of the cleanest lakes in New York State; home to the USA canoe/kayak team, this is where where athletes train for the Iron Man. Surrounding it are the evergreen trees of the Adirondack Park, a 6.1 million acres wilderness that is roughly the size of Vermont. For generations, local and visitors have been coming to the protected land for hiking, rockclimbing, flyfishing, birding, and countless other outdoor sports. And perched on one of the choicest bits of lakeside property is the Golden Arrow Resort, a family owned and operated hotel for over thirty years.

Jenn and Peter Holderied

Jenn and Peter Holderied

ReUse Runs In the Family

Jenn’s brother Peter took over the hotel’s construction and remodeling projects years ago, but everything they learned about conservation comes from their parents, German immigrants Winfried and Stefanie Holderied.  It was the patriarch who insisted on using discarded wood from a restaurant remodel to do the wood paneling in the lobby, and when you look around the hotel you see evidence of many other reuse remodels.

That’s why as much as they might want to jump right into green projects, it’s done thoughtfully.  For example, they had been wanting to convert to energy-efficient lighting but hesitated over the cost of new CFL light bulbs. Until one day a boy scout walked in, offering to sell them at $1/bulb. Even so, they didn’t just dump working existing lights. Instead, they replaced the lightbulbs as needed.

Even the pool was not renovated until the plumbing was over 20 years old and no longer operating efficiently. So it made sense to replace with a more energy and water efficient system, and to switch from chorine to the less harsh bromide. At the same time, the decking was replaced with flagstone from a local quarry.

Golden Arrow private white sand beach

White “Sand” Beach

Thoughtful, problem-solving conservation appears to be the hallmark of the Golden Arrow. One of the most family-friendly features of the resort is the private white sand beach, but it’s not just a beach. The sand is made of crushed limestone which helps counteract the effects of acid rain, a big problem in the Adirondack Park. Every spring, the hotel trucks in tons of it to help keep Mirror Lake clean.

Golden Arrow Haystack guestroom.jpg

Family Suites and Allergen Free Guest Rooms

In sight of the beach, where guest room doors open out onto private porches, are the most welcome of hotel initiatives–allergen free guest rooms. For those of us suffering from asthma or allergies, these are a godsend. Each room has bamboo wood floors, a high efficiency Hepa-silent air filter, dust mite covers on the bed and pillows, hypo-allergenic comforters, and chlorine filters on the showerheads. Cleaning products–all thoroughly vetted by hotel staff–contain only natural, mild ingredients. And leather furniture reduces dust buildup.

In all, the Golden Arrow counts 26 one-of-a kind suites that reflect customer requests, including several with adjoining rooms that are perfect for families. Additional welcome room amenities include microwave, refrigerator, and Keurig coffee maker.

Not Just for Kids

In addition to offering a healthy environment–where even if you don’t notice the green measures, you do notice that you feel good–the Golden Arrow does a couple more things that are particularly worthwhile for families. The Green Quiz is a sort of scavenger hunt where guests are asked to look for the frames made out of scrap wood and recycled materials. Answer the quiz by searching the environmental fun facts found on the frames, and claim a prize. It’s educational, and fun too.

Ask also about Kids Night In, a seasonal weekend evening program where children are entertained with arts & crafts, games, dinner and a movie. That could be fun for the whole family!

Green Quiz

A Green Future

While many folks try to be environmentally conscious for the children who will inherit this earth, the Holderieds are setting a wonderful example at the Golden Arrow. And there’s good reason to hope that this model will be replicated. Speaking of plans for a Green Tourism Council for NY State, Jenn says, “The mind set is there, leadership is there, major components are there, now we just need the organization of it.”

Learn more about the Golden Arrow’s Green Programs here.

Find It!

Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort
2559 Main Street
Lake Placid, New York 12946
(518) 523-3353

Visit Lake Placid

Planning to visit Lake Placid with kids? Check out our Adirondacks Guide for a full listing of our family travel tips and reviews. Looking for more ideas, with or without kids? Check out the turnkey guide at Lake Placid–Gateway to the Adirondacks on our sister publication, Getaway Mavens.

A great big thank you to Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort for arranging tours and providing meals and accommodations for this media visit.

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email:, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

Cat of Sunshine and Siestas June 18, 2013 at 2:15 am

Kudos to the Holdereids for taking green living seriously. My sister once trained in Lake Placid and talks about how beautiful and clean everything is – it sure looks it!
Cat of Sunshine and Siestas recently posted..Shooting My First Wedding: Andrea y CarlosMy Profile

Jennifer June 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

Wow. I love hearing about this, and I bet I’d love staying at this resort, too. So often we see “greenwashing,” when a hotel calls itself eco-friendly or green just because it has a linen re-use program. This one really earns its certification.

Not to mention that it’s not, like, a YURT or something, it’s still wonderful and family-friendly. Thanks!
Jennifer recently posted..Oregon Coast for Kids: Seaside and Cannon BeachMy Profile

wanderingeducators June 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm

This looks like such an amazing place. I’d love to visit!
wanderingeducators recently posted..Songs and Tunes of Cape BretonMy Profile

Margo June 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

An informative write-up plus nice photos!
I have only spent time in this area during the winter time, so you have successfully peaked my interest for fall or summer travel there!

Larissa June 19, 2013 at 11:40 am

Wonderful that “green” doesn’t have to mean “rustic, i.e. uncomfortable”. Looks like a gorgeous place!
Larissa recently posted..The Basilica Cistern: A cool oasis under the streets of IstanbulMy Profile

Micki June 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Oh, that hotel room looks so inviting! I’d stay there in a minute. The Kids’ Night In would be a huge hit with my little ones as well.
Micki recently posted..7 Things To Do in Bugibba, MaltaMy Profile

Dale June 20, 2013 at 3:28 am

This looks like a fantastic place to say, but if I’m honest what makes me want to visit and enjoy it is not just the area, but more the attitude the hotel has towards recycling, re-use and being environmentally conscious.

I’ll be sure to look it up when we make our way to the States.

Gabi (The Nomadic Family) June 22, 2013 at 1:25 am

wow. love it. not only is it super nice but all that environmental caring and creativity is unreal. lovely surroundings too. wow. definitely on my to do list now. 🙂 gabi
Gabi (The Nomadic Family) recently posted..Fantasy VacationMy Profile

Bethaney - Flashpacker Family June 22, 2013 at 1:46 am

Loving this trend towards environmentally friendly accommodation. The hostel we just stayed at in Sydney was very green… first time I’ve seen in-room recycling bins.
Bethaney – Flashpacker Family recently posted..Sydney Harbour YHA @YHA_AustraliaMy Profile

Marina K. Villatoro June 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I lived upstate NY for years, studied at a SONY university and have to confess, we never did any part of the adorinacks or visited lake PLacid. My parents have and are always telling me to go go go.

I just keep on moving further south 🙂
Marina K. Villatoro recently posted..Mojitos – The True Cuba DrinkMy Profile

Roberta June 25, 2013 at 8:53 am

Lake Placid is beautiful. The next time I go up I’m definitely going to look for the Golden Arrow. So many wonderful things to do in the area – including simply relaxing and breathing the air and peace. Note to out of town visitors to NYC: Take a respite from the city and see another part of NY State! Lake Placid can be reached by a lovely half day Amtrak ride through some fabulous scenery.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: