I grew up in Upstate New York and going to the races was an annual tradition. It involved wearing something nice, winning and losing, and a trip to my favorite fried chicken joint. Now that I'm an out of towner, a trip to Saratoga is a longer commitment and requires lodging. Enter The Brentwood Hotel. Newly refreshed and re-opened for the 2017 race season, The Brentwood is small, boasting only 12 rooms, so booking in advance is suggested. Rooms are small, but thoughtfully decorated with big comfy beds and brass accents throughout.
The Brentwood is located a literal stone's throw from the famed Saratoga Race Course. One of my favorite parts of our stay was waking up early to watch the race horses trot to and from the track for practice; seeing these beautiful animals up close is such a treat. In the Summer, the location is reason enough to go, but the off-season shouldn't be overlooked. The fire pit is the perfect spot for roasting marshmallows and the cozy wood-paneled bar is exactly where you want to be on a chilly Winter night. In any season, you're only a 7 minute bike ride from Downtown on one of the hotel's complimentary Linus bikes. While the hotel doesn't have an on-site restaurant (you'll have to head downtown for a meal), the bar is beautiful, with great cocktails and a turntable spinning vintage records. Best of all, the service here is on-point with a welcoming and knowledgeable staff.
Of course, I'm a sucker for details and The Brentwood nails the small stuff. Thoughtful branding pops up on matchbooks and pens in the lobby bar, making for excellent souvenirs. Most importantly, rooms are affordably priced, so if you lose it all the track, you'll still have a chic place to rest your head.