Sleep and Eat in Style: Bed and Breakfasts in the Finger Lakes

Whether you’re coming to the Finger Lakes Region for a visit or are a resident looking for a mini vacation in your backyard, a bed and breakfast is a fabulous choice. You’ll get personal attention, a unique lodging experience, and a hearty breakfast included in your room fee.

While you certainly don’t have to mingle while you stay at a B-and-B, connecting with other travelers or the owners can be a wonderful source of information about the most interesting local attractions and the best places to eat.

My husband and I have stayed at many area bed and breakfasts, and these are some of our favorites. To find more, check out the Finger Lakes Bed & Breakfast Association’s website at www.flbba.org.

Alice’s Dowry
2789 Route 26, Cincinnatus
www.alicesdowry.com

This old-fashioned painted lady is a gem with beautiful gardens, in-room fireplaces and a delicious breakfast. Located just east of Cortland, the house sits in a sleepy little village tucked into the hills.

The name of the place refers to the first owner: Alice. Her father gave her the house as a wedding present in 1876, and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Victorian theme continues into the front parlor, common room and guest bedrooms.

The house has three guest rooms, each with a private bath. The South Room, where we stayed, has an additional bedroom that can be used to transform the room into a suite. Rates range from $85 to $150.

Because it is located right in the village, you can walk to dinner, or if you arrange it ahead of time, enjoy your evening meal specially made by the owners right at the B-and-B.

A hot, gourmet breakfast is served in the sunroom, with windows facing the gardens. Small tables offer each couple a bit of privacy. Our breakfast included an outstanding orange soufflé and fresh black raspberries in addition to eggs and more.

The gardens behind the house are superb and offer guests the opportunity to linger outdoors. Take advantage of them as you enjoy your restful stay.
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Dane Emerson House
1642 West Danby Road, Newfield
www.daneemersonhouse.com

This former private residence was converted to a bed and breakfast just over three years ago. It is impeccably clean and artfully decorated. Its convenient location is just off Routes 34 and 96 south of Ithaca, but because it is situated well below the highway above, it is completely quiet despite its proximity to the road.

The house is situated amid 50 acres of gardens, trails, and woods, which cocoon the property. While you enjoy a cocktail on the back deck you may spot wildlife such as deer, foxes and even bobcats. The property also features a large barn (the largest in Tompkins County) available for weddings and events.

We stayed in the Manor Room, which had a king-sized Irish bed, two-person jacuzzi tub and antique furnishings. Room rates range from $179 to $189.

Snacks and beverages are always available in the dining room, and a hot breakfast is served in the morning. We were treated to organic chicken sausage, fresh muffins, and a Southwest frittata – all perfectly cooked.
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Greenwoods Bed and Breakfast Inn
8136 Quayle Road, Honeoye
www.greenwoodsinn.com

If you’ve ever fantasized about staying in an Adirondack-style lodge, then you need to go to Greenwoods. The knotty pine walls, exposed beams, blazing fireplace and cozy furnishings give visitors a sense of rugged warmth.

The five rooms each have private baths and queen-size beds. Wrap up in the fluffy robes and slippers that await you in the room. We stayed in Augusta’s Room which offered a day bed in addition to the queen. Room rates range from $129 to $159.

A jacuzzi, located in a sunken garden behind the inn, can be reserved for private use. Hot and cold beverages are available in the common room. After a soak in the jacuzzi, enjoy a cup of tea and a magazine beside the fireplace.

During the day you can walk the hills that surround the property, or settle into the loft where there’s always a puzzle to work on and books to read.

A hot breakfast is served in the dining room, which has separate tables for each couple. When we stayed, the baked grapefruit at breakfast was a delightful end to our stay.
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Log Country Inn
Corner of South Danby Road and La Rue Road, Ithaca
www.logtv.com/inn/

A secluded, comfortable, ethnic-flavored getaway in the woods is what you’ll find at Log Country Inn, just south of Ithaca. There are several buildings on the property, and you might find yourself the sole occupant of one of them, giving you lots of privacy.

We stayed in the Russian Jacuzzi Suite, which was really more like a two-bedroom apartment. It had its own private kitchen, dining area, living room, two bedrooms and a full bath with two-person jacuzzi tub. The water comes from Spencer Sulphur Springs, which is said to have healing properties.

The other rooms are also decorated with ethnic themes; Polish, Japanese, African, Native American, Tibetan and Samarkand influences round out the Old World feel. Rooms range from $75 to $275 per night.

Outside there are plenty of sitting areas and trails to walk. The property is nestled within the woods, which gives visitors a cozy sense of seclusion.

In the morning, a hot breakfast is served in the main house and usually includes cheese blintzes or Russian pancakes. A vegetarian breakfast is available upon request.
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Sweet Briar
5126 Geneseo-Mt. Morris Road, Geneseo
www.sweet-briar.net

This historic mansion overlooks the rolling hills of the Genesee Valley area. As you enter the house, the grand staircase and great room evoke images of Tara. The grounds include gardens and an infinity pool, which gives the illusion that water is flowing out of the pool and down into the hills below.

With its massive columns, the mansion is a stately backdrop for weddings, but it is also sublime for a vacation for two. There are three rooms, each with a private bath. We stayed in the Sunset suite, which had a gas fireplace, canopy bed, sitting area and view of the valley. Rooms are $250 each, and additional rooms are available for less when a shared bathroom is used.

One wing of the house is home to Radiance Spa, and guests who utilize the spa receive a 10-percent discount on their rooms. Services include massage, nail treatments, hydrotherapy, wraps, waxing and facials. The spa’s Lotus Room houses a unique copper tub that fits two, and a soak in it is definitely worth the splurge.

A continental breakfast is served in the morning, and we ate ours in the library. The porches offer guests additional places to linger, which is what you’ll want to do when you come to Sweet Briar.
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Vagabond Inn
3300 Sliter Hill Road, Naples
www.thevagabondinn.com

In the hills above Naples is a contemporary-styled bed and breakfast with rooms to fit any price range. Outside is an in-ground pool, lounge chairs and pergola where visitors can relax on a warm day. Because there are only five rooms, even at full occupancy you’ll likely enjoy the pool by yourself.

The rooms range from the simple (at $125 per night) to the elaborate ($275). The higher-end rooms feature two-person tubs, spacious quarters and their own sitting areas. We stayed in the Fox and Hound room (mid-priced at $175) and had our own private hot tub just outside our door.

A hot breakfast is served in the morning, and the open kitchen allows you to watch the cook, and mingle with other guests.

Touring the wine trails is an excellent outing during the day, and at Vagabond, you can do it in style. Call the owner ahead of time to arrange a private wine tour in a Cadillac Escalade ESV. You’ll feel pampered all day and all night.


by Kari Anderson Pink