You Get What You Pay For at The Fran Cove Motel in Lake George, New York - And That's Not a Bad Thing!

Last weekend the youngest daughter and I took a trip up to Lake George, New York - a place that I had often thought about visiting but hadn't had the opportunity to until it dawned on me that after dropping the oldest daughter off in Bennington, Vermont to visit a college friend for the weekend, it wouldn't take too long to make the drive up to Lake George.

With that plan in mind, I started scouring the Internet in search of a decent, moderately-priced place to use as a base of operations for the weekend.  Using both Lake and as well as my usual go-to-websites for lodging (Priceline, HotWire, and TripAdvisor), I read more reviews and looked at more websites (a lot of which could use some serious updating) before finally choosing the Fran Cove Motel as my motel of choice. With 15 'excellent' and four 'very good' reviews on TripAdvisor and room prices that started at $52 a night, it sounded like exactly what the budget traveler ordered.

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The Fran Cove Motel touts itself as "one of the best values in the Lake George area" and has been a family run business since 1963.  Current innkeepers Tim & Linda (Famosi) Kissane, continue the Famosi Family Tradition of personal attention and Old World hospitality that has been the hallmark of the Fran Cove Motel since its inception and I must say that they were both very friendly at check-in with Linda offering some very helpful suggestions for the weekend.

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Tim jokingly asked if it was "Connecticut Weekend" at Lake George as apparently everyone that he had checked in that day were, like myself, from the Nutmeg State.  I'm not sure if folks were there for the Adirondack Balloon Festival which was celebrating it's 40th annual festival or whether they were simply there for a nice relaxed, off-season visit to the lake but either way it was a pretty day to be in the area.

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The room that I chose for the weekend was a double-queen for $60 though I probably could have gone with the double-double for $52 and saved myself the eight bucks but these days, $60 is quite reasonable for accommodations and I figured why not enjoy the larger bed?  I was handed the key to Room 23 (idiot that I am, I forgot to take a photo of what an actual hotel room key looks like being that most places give you key cards these days) and moved the car over to a spot in front of the building located next to the Office building pictured above.

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The outside of the Fran Cove Motel is very clean and quite pretty with its flower boxes adorning the rails and plastic patio chairs out front for those who'd like to sit outside for a bit and enjoy the fresh air.

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As for our room itself, it was your basic budget motel room with quilted bedspreads, a couple of chairs and a table, a dresser, older TV, and telephone.  This is definitely not the kind of establishment where you're going to find triple-sheeting but everything was clean even if it was a bit threadbare.  The hole in the top sheet of my bed that I found later on that night was more amusing than annoying but I think it might be time to turn that sheet into rags and replace it.

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The bathroom was a decent size with a nice window that opened so that if you steamed the room up while taking a nice long, hot shower (note:  the water pressure was most excellent!), you could open the window and air things out a bit.  My only complaint would be that the towels were somewhat akin to flexible sandpaper and quite scratchy. Granted, they served their purpose and got the job done as far as being able to dry off but they could definitely benefit from a bit of fabric softener.

The view from our room looked across the parking area to the playground and swimming pool (which was closed for the season as it was after Labor Day) and more rooms on the other side.  Everything was very neat and well-kept up and I imagined that many a family enjoyed both the pool and playground during the busy summer seasons at Lake George.

For some reason, it looked like the parking lot was sprinkled with beach sand - though I have absolutely no idea why!

Next to our building was a lawn area with picnic tables and barbecue grills where families could cook up a nice summer supper while enjoying the outdoors.  All of the motel rooms have small refrigerators so it would be easy to buy the things you needed at a local grocery and save some money on eating dinner out at a restaurant. There is also a "community microwave" located near the ice machine and soda vending machine nearby should you wish to nuke something rather than grill it.

All in all, the complex was quite nicely arranged and put together and was quite peaceful.  That may be a different story when there are lots of families with rambunctious children staying as the walls were rather thin and once the room above us was occupied, it was quite easy to hear loud conversations while listening to the pitter-patter of feet overhead but it wasn't so bad that it was a major hindrance or anything.

My only real complaint - if one has to have one - is that the WiFi was more or less useless as it was the slowest connection ever.  As someone who uses a lot of websites in travel planning, that made it less than convenient and in retrospect I probably should have brought along my BroadBand2Go device but I wasn't planning on being on the computer that much anyway so I could live with it.  Youngest daughter found it inconvenient to not be able to keep up with her friends who live in the computer but as I didn't take her with me so that she could be on the Internet the whole time, maybe having a connection slower than dial-up wasn't a bad thing.  It's just something to keep in mind should you really need to use your computer while staying at the Fran Cove Motel.

The motel is located a bit north of Lake George Village and ideal if you want to be close enough to attractions but far enough out of town that you aren't dealing with the constant ebb and flow of the other tourists - of which there are plenty!  Oh, and just a word of warning, when looking at the various lodging options available in the area, you might get the idea that some of them are located in the woods away from the road but they aren't - they just look that way.  Most places near Lake George Village are either right by the road or practically on top of each other.  Even though the Fran Cove Motel is located directly on Route 9, traffic noise was no problem at all and the other lodgings around it were far enough away that you wouldn't get confused as to which property you're staying at!

Overall, I would have to say that it was a nice stay at what is most definitely a budget motel and you get what you pay for - a comfortable enough bed in a clean room with the bare essentials.  If you need a hairdryer be sure to bring your own, you aren't going to find an iron and ironing board so don't look for one of those either, and there's no free continental breakfast however, there is free hot coffee available in the Office in the morning and the motel is the last stop on the Lake George Trolley route so you can park your car and leave the driving to someone else should you so choose. Trolleys show up about every half-hour or so.

The Fran Cove Motel's website is one of the better ones for smaller accommodations in the area but you can't book a room on-line, that requires a call to motel itself at 518-668-2161.  You can also email them via their contact form and ask what they have available for your travel dates and someone will get back to you fairly quickly so that you can then call and finalize your arrangements.

If you're going to Lake George and are looking for clean, quiet, basic accommodations that aren't going to break the bank, I highly recommend the Fran Cove Motel.  After all, you're going to be out and about enjoying everything that the area has to offer so why spend all of your money on a place you're merely going to sleep and shower in?


  1. Any clean port in a storm! This hotel sure beats the tar out of my honeymoon suite, for sure! Of course, back then, we were too poor to pay attention. srsly.

  2. This motel sounds and looks a lot like the one we always stay at in Niagara Falls, it's a budget motel and nothing fancy but it's clean and comfy:-) You know how busy Steve and I like to be when visiting so hardly any time is spent in the motel anyway, except to sleep. No use spending a fortune on a place to stay when you're hardly in it, right???!! I think the towels are the same in all those budget motels...thin and scratchy! lol I usually pack one of my own:-) xoxo


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