By Liz Witbeck
The Inn at Saratoga recently completed a restoration project, opening up a space called the Side Room, a gathering point for guests and the public alike.
The room was the original lobby of the hotel when the building was erected in 1843. It eventually was used as a formal dining room.
“The room was under utilized,” said Liz Israel, general manager of the hotel. Her family has been involved with historic preservation in Saratoga Springs for several decades.
Israel and her team envisioned the room as a space where guests could come, relax and talk.
The carpeting in the room was taken out, revealing a thick cement foundation. Beneath that, there was hardwood flooring, which was restored. One of the stark elements in the room are the windows, which are pocket doors that can be opened up in the summer.
There are many old-fashioned design elements in the room: a fireplace, bookcases, tufted couches and armchairs, a Steinway piano, dining tables and chairs, oil paintings. A guest may have the feeling they are in the library or salon of somebody's home, being transported back to the Victorian era.
"This room is meant to be used as a gathering space. It has an open invitation," said Israel.
The restaurant at the Inn at Saratoga updated its menu to go along with the restoration. There is a cheese and charcuterie board. There is also a "gentleman's tea," which offers tea along with bite-sized portions of items such as brisket sliders, scones and more.
The tavern also offers a variety of different drink choices.
Guests can sip a glass of whisky while sitting by the fireplace. Or enjoy a game of mahjongg with friends. Or curl up and read a book.
The Side Room is open to both guests and the general public.
The hotel offers happy hour in the tavern from 4-7 p.m. daily. There is live music four nights a week, Wednesday through Saturday.
The Inn at Saratoga is located at 231 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Guests can make reservations through the website at www.theinnatsaratoga.com. For more information, contact 583-1890.