Searching for a family-friendly vacation spot that was relatively midway between our home in NYC and my sister's home in Montreal, I stumbled upon Greek Peak Mountain Resort in upstate New York, near Cortland. After scoping out their indoor water park and outdoor adventure center online, I knew it would be amazing! I reached out and they were kind enough to provide our accommodation and activities free of charge in exchange for this review, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased!
To get the best feel of Greek Peak, be sure to watch our full YouTube video which features highlights from the hotel and our time there, including the moment my sister's family arrived and totally surprised my son who had no idea they would be coming down to meet us! It was such a beautiful tear-filled moment!!!
The drive wasn't bad, it was about 3.5 hours from Brooklyn. You actually drive through the Poconos, which is the more typical mountainous region New Yorkers escape to, but it was worth the extra time on the road to explore a new area! It was a bit further trek from Montreal, I think it took them about 4.5 hours. Knowing we'd booked the huge Cedar River Suite (with 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a living room and full kitchen), we stopped at Walmart to stock up on breakfast, lunch, and snack supplies to save money and sanity. As a family with 3 young children, we find eating out to not be so much of a luxury anymore as it is a very stressful experience most of the time, so being able to have a relaxing breakfast and lunch in the room really makes it an enjoyable home-away-from-home experience in my opinion!! Now cooking dinner is another thing altogether, that's a hard pass for me on vacations, so we always dine out (covered further down in the review).
Hope Lake Lodge is beautiful. A modern rustic lodge vibe, very clean and new feeling or at least very well maintained. Our suite slept 10 with an independent bedroom and bathroom on each side of the living room / kitchen room, so each of our families had our own space that we could escape to for a quieter bedtime routine or getting ready for the pool. But our kids could sneak out into the living room to play in the morning while the parents slept. All without leaving the suite! That was pretty sweet, wink wink! Not only did we have a fully equipped kitchen with fridge, microwave, stove/oven, and dishwasher, but it also came stocked with not-your-average-minibar! We're talking a huge basket of candy, sodas in the fridge, and check out the Greek Peak wine, champaign, and vodka bottle in the picture below! Of course, anything opened is added to your bill, but we couldn't help but pop open a bottle of wine, which was perfection, and at just $25, totally fairly priced!
The lobby was gorgeous! They were actually preparing for a wedding in the lobby when we arrived, that's how stunning it is! They do a lot of weddings at Greek Peak, I'm sure you can imagine, whether indoors or outdoors or even on the top of a mountain, they have people tying the knot all over! Speaking of mountaintops, that's where we headed first!! The Adventure Center is across the street from Hope Lake Lodge (they recommended driving but you could definitely walk) and features lots of seasonal and year-round activities. We hit it at an odd time because summer activities (zip line, eurobungee, high ropes course, bounce house, and slide) were closed and snow tubing winter activity wasn't open yet. Zipline is year round. As is the Mountain Coaster, which is the one we decided to try.
Kids must be a minimum of 3 years old AND 38" tall to ride. Kids between 38-54" must ride with an adult. So, had we gone just my family of 5 we would only have been able to send one parent and child at a time which would have kinda stunk. Luckily, with my sister's family, their son was old enough to go by himself which left us with one adult per child, hooray!! And the Mountain Coaster guys, is FUN FUN FUN and scary but mostly FUN!!! It's a little go cart looking thing, on rails, and you ride it to the top of the mountain and then it releases you and you end up going about 30 miles per hour down the mountain, twists and turns, crazy fast and absolutely thrilling. Don't miss this part of our video guys!!! My son filmed one time forward so you can get the feeling that you are riding along, and my niece filmed another time to show our screaming faces LOL! It is cold though, so bundle up!!!
After screaming our lungs out on the Mountain Coaster, we headed back to the hotel for dinner at Acorn Lodge. The menu and list of specials had some really great options, including Elk burger and kielbasa & pierogi! Kids menu with crayons and coloring as well, which is always welcome!
After a great night's sleep (it was really quiet and the beds were cozy), we woke up refreshed and ready for a full day at Cascades Indoor Waterpark, which was just down the hall from our suite!! Unless you buy a special package, these passes are not included in your stay. And people not staying at the resort can buy day passes as well. Kids under 24 months are free and rates vary but they have some great specials, for example Tuesdays are BOGO!
The waterpark is kept at 84 degrees year round, so it was nice and warm (not quite as warm once wet but better than most other indoor water parks we've been to!). The wave pool was probably my favorite attraction, I haven't been to one in over a decade and it was the first time for my kids. Emi loved jumping in the waves, and Kenzo and Mia loved riding the waves in the water tubes. The water slides were also really great, they had 4 big ones but my girls were too short for those and could only go on the little ones in the baby and toddler areas. My son was not tall enough to ride alone but could ride the double one, which was great fun to do together!
They also had a little pool with basketball hoops in it, an indoor/outdoor jacuzzi but you had to be 6 years old to go in that. And they had a heated pool that you could access from inside. I tried it. Once. The trick is not to do it with wet hair or face, and keep the rest of your body below the water. Then you'll survive. Ha! Seriously though, my kids couldn't get enough of it! It was kind of surreal, being in the pool and seeing the ski slopes and your breath in the air. Brrrr!!!
There was a fast food type of cafe in the pool area, but your wristbands are good all day so we chose to dry off and have lunch back in our room, and we went back for more fun after lunch. Our final activity at the hotel before heading home was a quick trip to the Bear Foot Den, which is their children's center. They have drop-off babysitting by appointment (for a fee), but during their open hours anyone can stop by to play. They had a toy house and kitchen, dolls, and toys for little ones. Board games, Wii, and movies for older kids or teens. Really something for everyone, and a great space for families to come spend some time together!
I can't get over what a good time we had at Greek Peak. It was so great to see my sister's family and let the kids have cousin time, and even greater to be able to do it all at such a wonderful resort! Making unforgettable memories with family, that is what vacation is all about, and Greek Peak is where to do it!!! Whether you go for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in winter, or go in summer to hike and lay out on their lake's white sandy beach, you will have an amazing time!! To read more about Greek Peak or book your next vacation, head to greekpeak.net!
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)