by Jackie Perrin
Overlooking the St. Lawrence River in New York’s Thousand Islands Region, in the pretty-as-a-picture- village of Clayton, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel offers deluxe accommodations for families seeking a home base for a two-nation vacation.
Opened in 2014, the 105-room, six-suite property occupies seven acres of parkland and is the first new-build full-service hotel in the region in three decades. Designated a AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel after just one year in operation, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel features spacious accommodations, upscale amenities and superior service in a setting that’s simply spectacular.
Although designed as a destination property primarily oriented towards couples, adults and conference-goers, 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel features plenty of family-friendly perks, like an indoor heated pool, an outdoor fire pit, welcoming staff, a central location and a friendly concierge who will help you plan the perfect Thousand Islands family vacation itinerary.
Our Editor Loves
- Convenient location for two-nation vacation
- Luxurious, spacious rooms with family-friendly amenities
- Indoor pool and prime waterfront setting
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
1000 Islands Harbor Hotel offers 105 deluxe guestrooms and suites, all with deluxe amenities. All rooms are especially spacious, and feature wood floors, deluxe linens, down pillows, custom-designed Serta Concierge Suite pillow top mattresses and nautically themed accessories, like waffle-weaved blankets and framed prints of local lighthouses, islands and landmarks.
Bathrooms are equipped with luxury showers, and are stocked with thoughtful amenities like makeup remover, Q-tips, cotton balls and exfoliating bars, Earth-friendly, "Green Natura" bath and beauty products and plentiful plush towels. Two luxurious bathrobes can be found in the hall closet. Note that standard rooms do not have a tub. All guestrooms are thoughtfully designed to include a separate sit-down vanity with a makeup mirror just inside the entrance -- an especially nice feature when you're traveling with teenagers.
Rooms do not contain a coffeemaker. Instead, coffee and the makings for tea and hot chocolate are served from 6 to 11 a.m. daily on each guest floor near the elevators, and in the bar area on the first floor.
Standard rooms sleep four with configuration choices of a king-sized bed with a sleeper sofa or two queen-sized beds. Queen rooms also feature a luxurious lounge chair with a generous stool. A rectangular work desk s is accessorized with two padded chairs and doubles nicely as an eating area for family members. There are plentiful outlets throughout, as well as an alarm clock with a dataport. All rooms feature Phillips high-definition flat-panel televisions. Port-a-cribs are complimentary upon request.
Rooms are further categorized by a choice of two outlooks, including Village View, (standard) or Waterview (nominal upgrade), the latter of which features spectacular views of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canada. For a little more, you can upgrade to a Waterview Balcony; These rooms are a bargain if you're traveling in the warmer weather months from May and October. Balcony rooms are equipped with two chairs and a table, and are a nice option for parents who want to relax while children drift off to sleep. Connecting rooms are available. All standard rooms feature an in-room refrigerator and free Wi-Fi.
Double Queen River View Balcony Efficiency Rooms
For families looking for a little more together time, Double Queen River View Balcony Efficiency rooms enjoy a prime outlook and expanded elbow room. Besides a balcony, these light-filled rooms feature extra windows, vaulted ceilings, a spacious dining area with a microwave, a mini-refrigerator and a wine refrigerator and family seating.
1000 Islands Harbor Hotel offers six suites in two configurations. These accommodations feature a Jacuzzi tub, separate sitting and sleeping areas, a mini-refrigerator and a microwave, and are available in two options. The Admiral Suite, which features a private bedroom with a king-sized bed and a Jacuzzi tub with impressive water views, is the most spacious.
My husband and I picked this hotel in Clayton to enjoy a relaxing anniversary weekend. The restaurant was perfect for our dinner, and our server was wonderful! We enjoyed all of the extra amenities the hotel offered, turn down service and especially the extremely helpful concierge service. My only disappointment was the fire pits were not on during my stay (maybe due to weather?). Our room was clean and comfortable and I look forward to returning some day!
by Doug A
Clayton isn't a large town, so one might wonder about local hotels and restaurants. The hotel is a great place, fairly new and with a great view of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The hotel staff is very friendly and helpful, and the restaurant does a very good job and has a solid menu. It's a very scenic area, so I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again!!
The hotel features an indoor heated pool - - a rarity in this area, which makes it especially appealing to families. A hot tub is nearby. The pool depth is about 4 feet and hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. No lifeguard is on duty - children under 16 must be accompanied by parent or guardian and at least two adults must be present whenever the facility is in use. Towels are provided on the pool deck. Complimentary lockers are available.
Boat and Animal Watching
Kids will love taking in the river view from the outdoor patio or from your guestroom balcony. For maximum enjoyment, bring a pair of binoculars ---great for spotting passing freighters, tour boats and pleasure craft, as well as honing in on wildlife, interesting landmarks and occupied small islands.
Riverwalk to local attractions
From the rear of the hotel, you can access the "Clayton Riverwalk," a stroller-friendly paved path which connects area shops, restaurants and parks. Within a couple of blocks of the hotel, behind St. Mary's Catholic Church at the intersection of Mary Street and Park Circle, the newly rebuilt, extensive Wooden Castle Playground offers hours of active fun for village visitors and residents. The playground is designed for children ages 5 to 12. A separate tot lot is for little ones ages 2 to 5. Nearby, there are tables for game play and picnicking.
Also within walking distance are the Antique Boat Museum, which offers an area for children, free skiff outings with admission, summer sailing lessons, and family-friendly speedboat tours and The Thousand Islands Art Center on John Street, which offers pottery and woodworking classes for kids and summer morning children's art camps.
Bike & Kayak Rental
The hotel offers an adventure package with Boomerang Bike & Kayak Rental on Wellesley Island. The package includes half or full-day kayak rentals from the outfitter--a not to miss family excursion. Closer to the property, Clayton Island Tours is a family-friendly outfit that offers narrated glass bottom boat lighthouse tours, pontoon castle tours, sunset cruises and nature sightseeing excursions.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this upscale venue is a favorite among locals entertaining visiting friends or business associates, or celebrating special occasions.
Families will find kid-friendly favorites at every meal. Choices for the morning meal include a Harbor Parfait, featuring yogurt layered with fresh berries, fruit-topped pancakes and Belgian waffles, and a traditional breakfast spread with eggs, hash browns, toast and a choice of meat. Specialty omelets and Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast are favorite adult indulgences. For traditionalists, cereal, oatmeal, fresh-baked pastries and fresh fruit are also available. Juice is available by the glass or by the carafe.
Children's meals are especially reasonably priced for a resort hotel, and include a beverage and French fries. Menu choices include burgers, a hot dog, homemade mac and cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich, pasta with red sauce or chicken tenders. The chef will happily accommodate requests for special items, such as plain, buttered pasta.
For adults, lunch options are similarly wallet-friendly and include fresh salads, burgers, tacos, haddock and Panini. Dinner features expanded fine-dining options and upscale prices. Seafood and steak dishes are top-notch, as are non-meat entrÃ©e options such as Curried Barley and Eggplant Rollatini. If you're a wine drinker, you'll be pleased to find a nice variety of options from New York's Finger Lakes and Thousand Islands regions.
The Riverside Patio
Open seasonally, this outdoor spot overlooks the St. Lawrence River and features multiple seating options, including cozy fire pit groupings. Watch freighters, tour boats and pleasure craft pass as you enjoy a snack or a leisurely meal or enjoy a late night coffee warm-up. Guests may order from the Pub, Seaway Grille or Children's (for kids) menus. Full bar services are also available.
1000 Islands Bar
For a snack or casual meal, 1000 Islands Bar offers a convenient onsite option. Kid-friendly menu choices include burgers and chicken fingers. Enjoy half-price select appetizers from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday.
Room service is available 24 hours, with an extensive daytime menu and a limited after-hours menu.
Room service breakfast hours are 6:30 to 11:00 a.m. Monday to Friday and until 11:15 a.m. on weekends. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner is served from 5 to 9 p.m. daily.
A limited cold after-hours menu is available from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. and features hummus with vegetable and crackers, a classic turkey sandwich, a caprese salad, house fried garlic tortilla chips with salsas or a North Country Charcuterierie Board. There is a 22 percent gratuity/service charge for room service orders.
Ice and beverage vending machines are located on each floor. Vending options currently include Pepsi products.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is complimentary.
The hotel offers a regular schedule of special events geared towards adults -- including a Valentine's Day Fire and Ice Festival with ice bar sculptures, wine and cheese sampling and entertainment, New Year's celebrations and wellness getaways. Family-oriented events include, Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, Mother's Day Brunch and "Breakfast with Santa."
Check-in time is 4 p.m. and check out time is 11 a.m. Guests who arrive early may relax on the patio or use the indoor pool and locker facilities.
1000 Island Harbor Hotel's friendly concierge will help you select the most kid-friendly boat tours, activities, excursions and area dining for a family getaway. Stop at the desk in the main lobby for assistance.
Complimentary coffee and hot beverage service is available on each floor by the elevators, and at the bar on the first floor, from 6 to 11 a.m. daily. Options include hot chocolate and Tazo teas.
Optional complimentary turndown service, with chocolates, is provided nightly.
The hotel fitness center is perhaps the most upscale and extensive we have seen in a property of this size, and the water view is spectacular! Guests may choose from core equipment, free weights or a Vectra weight center. A range of Life Fitness cardio equipment includes Club-grade entertainment-enhanced treadmills, elliptical cross-trainers and bicycles. Fitness Center hours are 6 a.m. to 10 pm daily and adult supervision is required for guests under age 18.
Wi-Fi service is complimentary throughout the hotel and on the patio for overnight guests and visitors.
Adjacent to the outdoor patio, a private sun deck contains chairs for lounging. A grassy expanse nearby is a great spot for little ones to let off steam.
The Art of Smart Timing
Summer is prime time for a family vacation to the hotel and the Thousand Islands region. During this time, attractions and restaurants, many of which operate seasonally, are in full swing, and families can enjoy take in the major sights and experiences. If you're able to get away between Memorial Day and July 1, this time is an ideal opportunity to ditch the crowds while enjoying balmy weather. To enjoy reduced rates, consider a winter getaway.
For travelers planning to arrive by air, Syracuse Hancock International Airport is a 90-minute drive, and offers more than 50 daily domestic and international flights on six major carriers. Closer to Clayton, Watertown International Airport (ART) is a 40-minute drive and offers daily flights to Philadelphia International Airport via American Airlines, with connections beyond. Alternatively, a 90-minute drive over the Canadian border is Ottawa/MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW.) In order to cross the border via the 1000 Islands International Bridge, drivers and passengers must have a valid passport, passport card, enhanced driver's license or NEXUS frequent-traveler card.
Clayton Riverwalk and Downtown
The hotel is within easy walking distance of many attractions and restaurants, making it a nice "park and stay" getaway for families. From the rear of the hotel, you can access the "Clayton Riverwalk," a stroller-friendly paved path which connects area shops, restaurants and parks. If you want to visit area state parks (Wellesley Island is a great local one), you'll need to drive.
Transient Boat Dock
A brand new transient boat dock is located on the property waterfront and is operated by the Town of Clayton (315-686-6010.) Visitors may dock for a fee, which includes water, electric, Wi-Fi, as well as access to laundry facilities and showers. In town, short-term docking is available for a donation at Rotary Park Dock on Riverside Drive.
Guests enjoy free parking in the hotel lot.
For Mom and Dad
If you're visiting with relatives or friends who can watch the kids for a while, consider taking a wine tasting boat cruise with Coyote Moon Vineyards. Scenic two-hour cruises through the 1000 Islands depart from Thursday to Saturday nights in summer. The cost includes a bottle of wine, River Rat cheese and crackers. Call 315-686-4030. Alternatively, order hot cocoa on the patio and cozy up by the fire pit while you take in spectacular nighttime scenery.