Holiday 2019 Hotel ReVUE

Mirror Lake Inn

Lake Placid, New York

When autumn comes around, I never miss an opportunity to head Upstate. This year, I set my sights on Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, NY. The history of this four-star hotel dates all the way back to 1924, when its original estate attracted upper class clientele from all over the New York metropolitan area. Needless to say, I was quickly pulled in by the property’s rich history as I was the colorful foliage.

Owned by the Wikoff family for almost an entire century, Mirror Lake Inn fuses that cozy, at-home feel with all the luxuries of a sophisticated stay—in a completely unpretentious way. Just like its storied past, guests come from all surrounding areas—families, couples, even solo travelers looking for some peace and clarity like myself. For me, it was a four to five-hour drive from my Monmouth County home. But once I arrived, I instantly felt disconnected, and that’s a good thing.


Built right on Mirror Lake, the hotel boasts waterside views from every guestroom (and restaurant) on property. The area is ideal for all four seasons: private beaches and boats in the summer, 15-minute drives to the slopes in the winter. I, of course, opted for a quintessential fall hike. I didn’t feel trapped at Mirror Lake Inn. What I mean is typically speaking, many top Upstate and New England getaways often leave you with not much else to do off property. Here, a lively downtown scene is just a short walk away and their on-property restaurant, The View, is the only four-star dining option in Lake Placid.

All in all, Mirror Lake Inn exudes sophistication in a unique at-home sort of way. On one hand you might find yourself ending high tea in the late afternoon, but the fragrance of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies and Adirondack flapjacks are never far from your senses. And I, for one, can’t wait to return.  —Brian Kovener, Co-Founder

Joy Hotel

Florence, Italy

hotelDuring a recent solo journey from the rolling hills of Tuscany all the way up to the canals of Venice, I made a half-day stop in Florence to catch the train up north. Due to the brief nature of my stay, I needed a hotel close to the station that was practical and fast. For me, that wasm Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station (and a few quick steps from the bus). Joy Hotel, located just a block or two from Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station (and a few quick steps from the bus).

The hotel, though seemingly crammed into its location on Via degli Orti Oricellari, served as the perfect launch pad for riding Trenitalia. Its design is reminiscent of home: particularly evoking modern-matte finishes like you see with a lot of posh Brooklyn/Manhattan properties. And its library/bar (yes, they’re both in the same room) was ideal for some morning reading and coffee just after their breakfast hours. 

Fast, cost-effective, and ironically chic, Joy Hotel features tight rooms but a warm, hip staff with a great knowledge of the city (all of whom speak English). A quick stay here will not be anything like staying at The Ritz-Carlton. But if you’re in search of a quick one-night stay before exploring the rest of Italia, the property makes for an easy transition—especially if you’re planning to travel by railway. —Michael Scivoli, Editor

Main image from Mirror Lake Inn