I spent a lot of time in my teenage and early 20’s in Alex Bay, NY, in the 1000 Islands. My family started camping there and quickly upgraded to a cottage within walking distance to the “downtown” area (aka bars).
I have fond memories of bringing all my friends to the cottage in the bay. I think nearly every friend I have from that time period has an embarrassing (and probably alcohol-induced) story from a trip up there.
I hadn’t been back in 13 years, until now. Since we were already in WNY for my 39th (!!!) birthday, I decided I wanted to head up to Alex Bay for my birthday. Since the cottage is now the lovely home of some locals, I booked the Riveredge Resort for the two nights we were there.
Since we had a cottage, I never stayed at the Riveredge, but it was definitely the nicest hotel in the area. Thirteen years later it’s probably still the nicest, but the bar is really low.
It’s definitely outdated, with the exception of the lounge. The rooms need some refreshing and overall it was a pleasant stay. We booked the panoramic king with a view of Boldt Castle. The room was pretty small but it had the basic necessities and the bed was pretty comfortable. It had that annoying wall unit AC that most lower end hotels have and I hate them. It gets hot before it kicks on, cranks out a bunch of cold air, then shuts off until it gets hot again. Plus it was super loud. The temperature fluctuation and loud noises made sleep basically impossible. The balcony with a view of the castle was nice, but there was just a wrought iron fence separating each balcony from the neighbor, and it was super awkward to be outside when other people were outside.
My father and stepmom came as well, and since they decided last minute to join us, they got a jacuzzi king suite. It was a much bigger room and had a giant tub. The balcony basically had no view, but at least there was an outdoor space.
Since we went Labor Day to Wednesday, a lot of the local places were closed. We ended up eating most meals at the hotel. Overall, the food was better than I expected. We ate in the lounge the first night. My father can’t go to a restaurant that has a giant pretzel on the menu and not order it, so we started with that and it was awful.
I ordered the clam chowder and wings for my meal. The clam chowder was pretty good, but nothing spectacular. The wings were the special (6 for $6) and they were surprisingly good! The outside was crispy yet saucy, and the inside was juicy and not dry at all. As a Buffalonian, I think I’m a pretty good judge of wings and these were way better than expected. If I could get these in St Pete I would be very happy. The only complaint was that the four of us ordered four orders of wings and only one came out correctly.
We had breakfast and dinner in the main dining room, and I somehow forgot to take any pictures. Breakfast was really good; I had the breakfast sandwich with a sausage patty and it was so tasty. Everyone else had eggs benedict, an omelett, and french toast, and everyone was satisfied with their choices.
Dinner was average, but the desserts were super good. I had a lavender cheesecake and I loved it so much that I immediately looked up a recipe for it.
Since it was my birthday, we ordered an expensive bottle of champagne, and it was clearly not stored correctly. It had the taste and consistency of sherry. It took me until the 39th year of my life to send back a bottle at a restaurant.
I’m glad I went back to Alex Bay, but I don’t think I’ll go back anytime soon, if ever again. Some things, like Alex Bay and Southernmost Beach Resort, are better left in memory than present.