Oakcliff Bed and Breakfast

78 Church Hill Road , Halfmoon, NY 12188 USA (Show map)
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Outstanding Waterfront Property On the National Historic Registry since 1998, Oakcliff, in the breathtakingly beautiful Saratoga County, is the gateway to the Adirondacks, and likely the best business decision you'll ever make when it comes to out-of-town accommodations. Tired of the souless hotels and cafeteria style breakfasts? We get it; we once lived it too. You'll find plenty of soul here at Oakcliff. For starters, Estate at Oakcliff is set up on a cliff, overlooking the breathtaking, historic Erie Canal waterway. Oakcliff is said to have among "the best views on the Erie Canal" with "a spectacular view of the Mohawk River" Oakcliff boasts a B & B like no other in the Saratoga County region. Cozy up with a book in the famous library where General Grant would converse with T. G. Younglove, first Speaker of the Assembly and guest of the home's previous owner; let the intellectual energy of the Great Library feed your soul. And speaking of intellectual energy: Oakcliff has a business center comparable to any 5-star hotel. Four presidents in total have stayed at Oakcliff: Presidents Grant, Hayes, Arthur, and Garfield - all former guests of the 2nd estate owner, banker/financier Truman G. Younglove. Oakcliff was originally owned and built circa1835 by Saratoga County Judge Duncan Mac Martin. Period antiques fill every single room in the house from classical Empire and Chippendale to fine French Marquetry and Parquetry, adding old depth and beauty.



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  • Guest room4.6
  • Service4.8
  • Value4.7
  • Cleanliness4.9
  • Onsite Dining4.7

Great place to stay!

5 on August 30, 2017

We stayed at Oakcliff while visiting Saratoga. Very unique, peaceful place to stay and John is a great host.

Autumn on the Mohawk

4.0 on October 08, 2016

This was a stay to celebrate a wedding anniversary. When you pull in the driveway you can picture the horse-drawn carriages pulling up to the front. Innkeeper was welcoming and flexible as to what you wanted for breakfast. The environment was clean and fresh smelling. The decor and the ambience was exquisite and we imagine how festive it must be at the holidays. Perfectly appointed, and the innkeeper has good taste.

Great stay!!

4.8 on October 07, 2016

The Oak Cliffs is a historic, beautifully furnished home. The breakfast was one of the best we have had the good fortune to eat. What really sets the Oak Cliffs apart is the owner/proprietor, John. He was welcoming, well informed and keen to facilitate a gathering of the people staying in his house. We enjoyed a great conversation among well informed and international traveled couples, facilitated by a few bottles of wine from John's kitchen.

Nice, quiet place to stay, but...

4.2 on July 29, 2016

We were greated very hospitably. Beautiful historical home with period furniture. Well apppointed. River close by but the stairs are not maintained to go down. Proceed at your own risk. Shared bath, which was fine as we were the only guests that evening. The challenge was we felt we really couldn't use the room to it's fullest as we were told we couldn't put anything on the tables as they are original finishes. Felt more like a staged room not to be used much. Breakfast sounded like it would have been tasty but had scheduled breakfst with family. We would recommend Oakcliff just know it is shared bath and extra care with use of the furniture.

Innkeeper Response
I am disappointed with your review and would like to address each point. The path to the river is a woodsy rural path with one long flight of pressure treated stairs. They are certainly well maintained. Each bedroom including yours has a private bath. You picked the President Grant Room with a private external bath. You also had the choice of picking the Mohawk Room with an in-room bath which was available but declined. All the furnishings in the house are museum quality period furniture with a shellac based finish. The fabrics on the chairs are either expensive fine silk or mohair tailored by expert craftsmen of the period. I inform all guests that there are coasters in the room and if they have glasses or bottles they need to use a coaster as to not damage the finish on the furniture. This is called common sense and respect. How is using a coaster not using a room to it's fullest? I also ask that suitcases or bags not be place on the furniture. Dirty bags on light colored french silk does cause staining. I encourage guest to used the furniture and enjoy being in a setting that is generally not made available to the general public but can only be viewed in a museum setting. I am also puzzled by you're rating of 3 for onsite dinning since you choose not to partake in breakfast. In summary, I have spent a lifetime collecting, studying and conserving the furnishings for the inn. I am surprised that one would pick a place like Oakclliff Bed and Breakfast to stay and then complain about preserving the surroundings for future guests and generations to enjoy. Next time, a simple hotel might be a better choice for your lifestyle. Best, John

- John Szemansco (innkeeper)

A fantastic historic home

4.6 on July 06, 2016

We throughly enjoyed our stay. John was a wonderful host. He as perfectly appointeed the home with period furniture. It truly feels like steping back time.

Anniversary Stay

3.4 on June 06, 2016

Friendly and great service Beautiful location

Old-style Hospitality on the Erie Canal

5 on May 23, 2016

We had a wonderful stay at Oakcliff Bed and Breakfast. The view was stunning, the room delightful, breakfast both generous and delicious. Most of all, though, our host was tremendously helpful, going out of his way to assist us in every way possible. Thank you so much!

Perfect stay

5 on March 17, 2016

This was the perfect B&B for a weekend romantic getaway for us. The period furnishings were exquisite in this mansion turned B&B and we could tell they had been chosen with care. We were surrounded by luxury during our entire stay. Our host was very accommodating (even serving us a glass of wine in front of the fireplace before we turned in) and cooked us a quite delicious breakfast (included with the accommodation's price). We look forward to staying here again.

Our first BnB

5 on February 20, 2016

Saying this place was perfect doesn't do it any justice, if you really want to experience an awesome and romantic get away this is the place to be. Equipped with a cozy fire to snuggle up to and enjoy a drink and a decadently served breakfast made when you are ready! This place is the dream location and the sunrise of the backyard is breathtaking to wake up too especially with your special someone. The service was great and no complaints whatsoever. Will return and have recommended to friends. :D

Delightful and elegant

5 on February 14, 2016

Delightful and elegant mansion decorated with very good taste. The owners, John and Susan, were extremely accommodating. Would definitely stay here again; a hidden gem!

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Rooms & Rates

President Grant Room

Our largest most luxurious room with a Full/Queen size feather bed and Italian Seferra sheets. Decorated with period empire antiques and Salamander fabrics. A magnificent PRIVATE external marble bath with a jet tub large walk-in shower and a waterfront view makes this room outstanding.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Double

Nightly Rate: $149 - $279

Mohawk Room

With a waterfront view, this period federal room has a full/queen Sheraton four poster bed, decorated with Laura Ashley fabrics and a hand tied fishnet canopy. This Room has a private Victorian bath attached to the room for the ultimate privacy.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Double

Nightly Rate: $149 - $279

Saratoga Room

This double room suite with a period 1830's Schoharie feather painted bed is dressed with Italian Sferra sheets and a feather bed with down pillows. A private marble full victorian bath is on the first floor.

  • Maximum Capacity: 2
  • Bathroom Private Bath
  • Beds 1 Double

Nightly Rate: $129 - $259

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Location Type

This property has been designated as having the best view on the Erie Canal., Airport, Countryside, Secluded, Waterview


Albany, NY (ALB-Albany County) 6 miles

Directions to property:

Only 3 minutes off Exit 8 of I87 (north way) and 15 minutes from Saratoga Springs.

Area Attractions

Amusement Park, Antique Shopping, Art Galleries, Casino, Concert venue, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Lake, Live Music, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Night life, Museums, Outlet Stores, Performing Theater, Picnic area, Religious Services, River, Ski area, Sports venue, University, Winery

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Inn Details

Establishment type

Historic Inn, Boutique Hotel, Mansion

On-site amenities

Amenities Basket, Coffee/Tea facilities, Copier, Desk, Fax Machine, Fireplace, Fridge, Ironing Board, Library, Parking, Piano, Telephone , Water Front Access

Room amenities

Air conditioning, Alarm clock, Bath robes, Hairdryer, Hot tub/whirlpool tub, TV, Videos, Wi-Fi

On-site activities

Bicycles, Bird watching, Boating, Fishing, Easy access to the Mohawk River, bike paths, museums, Casino, and Saratoga Race Track, Sight-seeing

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  • Check In:: 3PM
  • Check Out:: 11AM
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: No Smoking is prohibited on the estate.
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Alcohol Provided No
  • Suitable For Children: No
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No
  • Disabled Access No

Terms and Conditions

  • Accepted payments AMEX, VISA, Discover, Mastercard, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: A minimum of one nights deposit is required. All room rates are based on double occupancy, or two adults. NY State taxes are additional. Visa,MasterCard, American Express as well as Paypal are accepted.
  • Cancellations: Deposit and Cancellation Conditions: Deposit of one night’s room and tax is charged at time of making reservation. Cancellation up to 2 weeks before occupancy is eligible for a refund. Cancellation within 2 weeks of occupancy will be eligible for a refund only if the room is resold. All refunds will be charged a $25.00 processing fee. Occupancy is 3:00pm on scheduled day of arrival. Racing Season, Fall Foliage Season (Sept. and Oct., and Holidays: One night’s stay requires full payment. More than one night’s stay, requires a 50% deposit. By June 15 (for racing season), all balances for all reservations are required to be paid in full. Cancellation will be eligible for a refund only if the room is resold. All refunds will be charged a $25.00 processing fee.
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John Szemansco

Languages spoken


Resident Pets

About the innkeepers

I enjoy meeting people and sharing the restoration of this in that has evolved over the past 30 years.

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  • Time Served: 6:30-9:00
  • Serving Location: Dining Room

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian Gluten Free

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