This small, family owned business centres around a 19th century farmhouse in the rural charm of the lakes’ wine country
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Food & wine | Natural world
Set on 70 acres of farmland and forests, guests are invited to walk the hotel’s grounds and tracks or simply watch the sunset from its gazebos. The 60-minute downhill hike from Upper to Lower Buttermilk is particularly rewarding with a natural swimming area at trail’s end. The hotel itself is just a ten minutes’ drive south of Ithaca, itself just under Cayuga Lake – one of the eleven fingers. This is the heartland of upstate New York’s wine region with plenty of vineyard tours to keep you occupied. For more wholesome fun, there are five state parks nearby to explore and Ithaca’s gorges, home to over 150 waterfalls.
With all this in the vicinity, it’s import to get a good night’s rest. Thankfully, rooms feature a pillow-top mattress, dual-head showers and Jacuzzi tubs so you can wash away the day’s exertion. All come with WiFi as standard. Opt for a Fireplace King Room for cosy warmth and a balcony with sunset views over the hotel’s grounds. There’s also a range of speciality accommodation including a two-story suite located in the hotel’s Yellow Barn, the round Upper Tower Room and the Morningside Wood Room, complete with a four-poster king bed and a wood burning fireplace.
The hotel features two restaurants, The Bistro and the John Thomas Steakhouse. The former, open for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch, serves Italian cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients – herbs come from the hotel’s gardens while meat, dairy products and vegetables are all locally grown. The hotel’s steakhouse, open for dinner, serves dishes from a varied menu of dry aged beef and fresh seafood, including live-stored Maine lobster. Dine on the porch or in the cosy farmhouse as meals are washed down with a full range of wines from local wineries.
To complement its surrounds, the hotel features the excellent August Moon Spa. Using organic, local ingredients, it provides a range of treatment options including facials, massages, manicures and even a course of vino-therapies, informed by the Finger Lakes wine region. However, the hotel’s real draw is its natural surrounds with idyllic waterfront and gorge walks, along with lake cruises, all nearby.
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