The Best Hotels in Ithaca, New York

The 12 Best Hotels in Ithaca, New York

Ithaca is located on the southern shore of the gorgeous Cayuga Lake, and it boasts three local colleges nestled in among dozens of beautiful gorges and prime wine country. All of this brings thousands of visitors to this unassuming upstate New York town every season.

Not just a college town, Ithaca boasts a growing economy with local and sustainable businesses at its center. You’ll find plenty of family-owned cafes and restaurants that have been rooted here for decades, providing a special sense of preservation and community.

Depending on when you visit, you might find the Ithaca Commons busy with wine country gastronomes, bright-eyed students and their parents doing campus tours, annual vacationers from nearby New York City, Montreal, and further, or friends and family gathering for a big event.

In sun or snow, there’s plenty to do in and around Ithaca. The milder months are great times to trek along the Cayuga Wine Trail or take a look at the prehistoric gorges scattered around town and in the neighboring Taughannock Falls State Park. 

During the fall, Ithaca’s forests take on brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow. During winter, plenty of events give the town a festive spirit – including the famous Ice and Lights Festival – while frost blankets the surroundings in a true winter wonderland ambiance.

Ithaca boasts amazing boutique hotels, lakeside resorts, and bed and breakfast getaways. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels in Ithaca to help you plan your perfect Finger Lakes vacation!

Where to Stay in Ithaca

Where to Stay in Ithaca, NY: Best Hotels

There are a few areas to stay in and around Ithaca, depending on what brings you to town. Between the lively downtown Ithaca Commons, secluded bed-and-breakfast inns on the outskirts of town, and waterfront resorts dotted around Cayuga Lake, you’re sure to find the right ambiance for your trip. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to switch it up partway through if you want to have two very different experiences in one trip!

The Ithaca Downtown Commons area is home to several large luxury hotels and a handful of smaller, independently-owned boutique stays. This is the perfect place to stay if being near plenty of restaurants, participating in local events, or visiting one (or both) of the town’s gorgeous campuses appeals to you.

Dozens of shops and restaurants line the carefully preserved commons, almost all of them locally owned and operated. We personally love special haunts like Angry Mom Records and The Cellar d’Or, both great spots to pick up unique gifts. There’s a great variety of cuisines on offer as well, from classic American diner dives to Ethiopian, Thai, and French eateries.

If you’re in the mood to distance yourself from the hustle and bustle of college-town life, you’ll find plenty of luxury inns and resorts just 10 minutes from Ithaca in all directions. These spots offer a completely different ambiance and are nestled in larger country estates, in wooded areas, or right on the lakeshore.

One thing to look out for is making sure you’re on the right side of the lake to visit your preferred state parks and wine trails, but other than that, you can’t really go wrong. The area’s biggest gastronomic draws are the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, Seneca Lake Wine Trail, and Keuka Lake Wine Trail, listed by distance.

The 12 Best Hotels in Ithaca, NY

1. Argos Inn

Where to Stay in Ithaca, New York: Argos Inn
Photo: Argos Inn

Argos Inn is beautiful and historic, and it’s easily one of the coolest boutique hotels in Ithaca. Once serving as the town’s mayoral mansion, it’s now the hippest place to stay in the heart of Ithaca. Between the vintage trims, baroque velvet couches, and Moroccan rugs, this inn has style to spare.

You’ll find two unique bars on-site. Bar Argos serves artisanal cocktails on a zinc-top bar and offers the most unique ambiance in the area. If you’re more into the classics, settle into the velvet couch in Argos Warehouse with a New York Sour.

With only 13 rooms, the Argos Inn feels cozy and intimate, and each room is decorated in a unique style, with vintage furnishings and pitch-perfect design accents. We’re torn between the bright, airy Parisian-style Glass Porch Room and the iconic Savory Suite, which features a leather-topped writing desk.

Art lovers will appreciate the decor since the Argos Inn features a carefully curated collection of 20th-century paintings by Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, among new and local finds.

2. The Statler Hotel at Cornell University

Unique Ithaca Hotels: The Statler Hotel at Cornell University
Photo: The Statler Hotel at Cornell University

If you’re in town to visit the Cornell campus, there’s really no better place to check out than the Statler Hotel. Aside from its very convenient location right in the heart of the university, the Statler Hotel is an incubator for talent from Cornell’s renowned Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hospitality.

You can expect outstanding and attentive service from check-in to checkout. Rooms are appointed to a standard fitting for an Ivy League school, with lush bedding, tufted headboards, and a classic color palette. You can’t go wrong with any suite, but the more spacious rooms are on floors five and above.

Outside the window, you’ll find lovely views of historic buildings across campus, including the McGraw Tower and Barton and Ives Hall, along with rolling green hills that reach out into the distance.

Don’t miss the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, go on a campus tour, or do some hiking in the 220-acre Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary. Downtown Ithaca is just a short drive away, too.

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3. La Tourelle Hotel & Spa

Unique Hotels in Ithaca, New York: La Tourelle Hotel & Spa
Photo: La Tourelle Hotel & Spa

A short distance from town, you can find the idyllic La Tourelle Hotel, one of the best Ithaca hotels. Situated on a 70-acre property, this would be the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a weekend spa getaway or a home base to explore the many wineries and gorges in and around Ithaca.

La Tourelle combines the elegance of a French chateau with the warm touch of a family-owned hotel. With only 54 suites, you won’t find the grounds overcrowded. Between the many gardens, gazebos, and ponds, you’ll be sure to find a spot to enjoy some afternoon tea. Then, hop back inside for a hot stone massage or a visit to the sauna.

Each room features distinct perks, from views of the courtyard and gardens to hand-painted tiling or mirrored ceilings. You can’t go wrong! 

We personally love the wood-burning fireplace King Room, especially since there’s a private patio to sip coffee on. For those big weekend trips, you can try the double king room or even one of the special suites, which can sleep up to six.

4. New Park Venue and Suites

Ithaca Boutique Hotels: New Park Venue and Suites
Photo: New Park Venue and Suites

One of the most unique hotels in Ithaca, New Park is both a fantastic venue for events and a great place to book a truly special weekend or holiday trip, whether you’re with a group or just traveling as a pair. These cottages and suites are luxurious without being too much, contemporary yet classic, and totally unique in the area.

For a full country-style experience, you have to look at the Finger Lakes Cottage accommodation, which is perfect if you’re traveling with a furry friend. There are two separate bedrooms, stained-glass windows, and beautiful details like an elephant mosaic and a tiled map of the region in the shower.’

Between the cobblestone fireplace and detailing and the roomiest garden tub, the Park Suite is ultra-romantic. This is the perfect stay for a special occasion.

New Park is only a 10-minute drive outside of Ithaca, striking the perfect balance between nature and urban life, and many of the region’s wineries are even closer.

5. William Henry Miller Inn

Boutique Hotels in Ithaca, New York: William Henry Miller Inn
Photo: William Henry Miller Inn

This classic bed-and-breakfast inn was designed by, well, William Henry Miller, Cornell’s first architect and the mind behind many of the most iconic buildings on and off campus. 

Staying at the William Henry Miller Inn will let you settle into a living piece of Ithaca’s history. If you’re looking for the best Ithaca hotels, this place is a top contender.

Originally built in 1880, this was formerly a private residence until 1999. You’ll find it utterly cozy and full of period charm. We personally love the style of the Library Room, which has floor-to-ceiling shelving, a reading area, and a gas fireplace. For extra privacy, The Retreat room is super spacious, bright, and tucked away.

Of course, the breakfast at this historic inn is special. You’ll get a hot breakfast with a homemade entree, your choice of meat, plus sides of fresh fruit and baked goods. For dessert, aside from classics like cookies and brownies, the inn also serves tarts, gourmet cupcakes, and artisanal cakes, all of which you can enjoy in the gorgeous dining room or one of several sitting areas.

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6. Enfield Manor and Suites

Best Ithaca Hotels: Enfield Manor and Suites
Photo: Enfield Manor and Suites

The cozy Enfield Manor offers a lot of nature and privacy just 7 miles out of Ithaca. You can stay in one of the manor’s suites, a charming cottage on the grounds, or even rent out the entire property for an event or special occasion.

The manor is lovely, but we’d be remiss not to mention the gorgeous gardens and outdoor patio areas. Eat your hot breakfast out by the pond! Come sunset, you might settle in by the fire pit and look out across the valley toward town or just enjoy the stars.

We love that the house is powered with 92 solar panels, which helps with both the heating and air conditioning. The Harriet Tubman Suite is ultra-spacious and filled with classic oak furnishings. The writing nook is the perfect place to plan your Finger Lakes wine tours, and you can look out over the valley right from your king-size bed.

7. Gothic Eves Inn and Spa

Cool Hotels in Ithaca, New York: Gothic Eves Inn and Spa
Photo: Gothic Eves Inn and Spa

Located near the famous Taughannock Falls, The Inn at Gothic Eves is the perfect place to stay if you want classic B&B charm along with modern luxuries. Expect grand cathedral walls, ornate gas fireplaces, and private outdoor jacuzzi tubs, among many other first-class amenities.

Every booking includes a two-course gourmet breakfast made with fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. An equally special perk of this stay is the on-site spa, where you might indulge in a romantic couple’s massage, a full body scrub, or a Shirodhara scalp treatment. Linger in the sauna before heading back to your room or out into the Finger Lakes region.

With only six guest suites in the Main House and two in the Potter House above the spa, you’ll find privacy and serenity at Gothic Eves. The Seneca Suite in Potter House is perfect for a spa getaway, featuring private parking, gorgeous art deco styling, and plenty of natural light.

8. Inn at Taughannock Falls

Cool Ithaca Hotels: Inn at Taughannock Falls
Photo: Inn at Taughannock Falls

The Victorian-era Inn at Taughannock Falls offers lakeside luxury in the most scenic part of the Finger Lakes, right outside Ithaca. With four differently-styled buildings on the property, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in terms of views, amenities, and aesthetics.

The luxurious accommodations and vintage furniture in the Victorian Inn house will transport you back in time, but we also love the modern touches like heated floors, complimentary EV charging stations, and marble bathrooms.

For a view of the water, a private balcony, and a deep spa tub, you’ve got to check out the Edgewood Lakeview rooms. These rooms balance modern and classic perfectly. Now, if you want to nestle in the woods, go no further than Parkview House. Wake up to birdsong and sleep to the sound of water rushing through the gorges just steps away.

In the spring and summer, you can experience fine dining right on the lake at the inn’s restaurant, which features premium regional wines. The bar is open year-round and features the same glorious waterfront views. The Black Diamond Express Food Truck is the perfect place to stop for a quick breakfast before heading off for the gorges.

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9. Hotel Ithaca

Where to Stay in Ithaca, New York: Hotel Ithaca
Photo: Hotel Ithaca

Hotel Ithaca is an independent hotel in the heart of the Ithaca Commons, and it’s one of the best hotels in Ithaca if you want to be in the heart of the action. 

It was recently renovated and now features an indoor heated pool and a fully equipped gym, plus upgraded rooms! Grab a bite to eat at the pub just downstairs before heading off to see the gorges. Breakfast is served until 11 am, which is especially nice for the late risers among us.

Each spacious room contains quality features like hardwood flooring, down bedding, and tall windows. We especially love the Keurig coffee makers in each kitchen, perfect for a quick cup to go. The King Executive Suite is our personal pick for the floor-to-ceiling windows, jacuzzi tub, and separate bedroom and living area.

Getting here is easy with shuttle service to and from Tompkins Regional Airport, and you’ll find plenty of dining options, hiking trails, and local shops just outside the Ithaca Commons. Campus visitors will appreciate the shuttles to nearby Ithaca College and Cornell University campuses, too.

10. Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons

Unique Ithaca Hotels: Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons
Photo: Ithaca Marriott Downtown on the Commons

The Ithaca Marriott Downtown is located right off the Ithaca Commons plaza, so there’s really no location more central than this one. You’ll be right by the creek and the busiest section of downtown, making this a great stay if you plan to spend a lot of time in town.

With plenty of options for double rooms and additional beds, this is a great place to stay for families, especially as we get into college tour season. You’ll find renovated rooms, plush bedding, and reliable service here, plus a flat-screen TV for winding down in the evenings.

Cars are optional in Ithaca since the Ithaca Marriott operates a complimentary shuttle, dining and attractions are all within walking distance, and buses and taxis are easy to flag down for traveling to either campus in town.

We’d recommend checking out Simeons American Bistro right across the street for classic brunch and great cocktails. Just down the road is The Watershed, ideal for post-dinner drinks – with a great selection of sober cocktails, to boot.

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11. Tentrr Signature Rhodes End Retreat

Best Hotels in Ithaca, New York: Tentrr Signature Rhodes End Retreat
Photo: Tentrr Signature Rhodes End Retreat

This is by far one of the most unique hotels in Ithaca. This beautiful private campsite, featuring a full, plush bed and stunning woods just outside, is perfect for outdoor retreats in Ithaca’s gorgeous summer and fall seasons.

You’ll find all the campsite amenities, including a barbecue, cooler, fire pit, and plenty of outdoor seating. The tent comes with a heater and everything else you need for a comfortable stay. Getting to the site requires a brief but intense hike, or you can hitch a ride on the back of your host’s ATV. Either way, expect a memorable experience from the get-go.

Imagine waking up to the sunlight coming through the trees, whipping up a cup of coffee, and enjoying the sunrise in your hammock – whether you’ve never camped before or you’re a seasoned trekker, this retreat strikes a perfect balance between glamping and rugged nature.

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12. Canopy by Hilton Ithaca Downtown

Ithaca Boutique Hotels: Canopy by Hilton Ithaca Downtown
Photo: Canopy by Hilton Ithaca Downtown

The Canopy by Hilton in Ithaca Downtown offers modern amenities and a great location in the heart of downtown. The rooms overlook Ithaca Commons, and you’ll find plenty to do steps away. Perfect for a no-muss, no-fuss stay, we love the connecting rooms, digital key, and 24/7 fitness center.

Rooms come with Nespresso coffee machines, a full desk, flat-screen TVs, and warm wood features. We appreciate the contemporary styling and plush bedding, plus upgraded features like the granite countertops and black-out curtains for the days you want to sleep just a little longer.

If you’re looking for more space to stretch out in, the King Studio Suite is perfect. This 410-square-foot room features floor-to-ceiling windows, a roomy bathroom, and a separate sitting area. It’s perfect for a longer stay or business travel, and the thoughtful touch of warm socks and a plush robe will help a lot during Ithaca’s colder months.

That completes our list of the 12 best Ithaca hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Ithaca? Comment below so we can add them to the list!

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About the Author:

  • Valerie Wheatley

    Val grew up in Portland, Oregon but moved to Oahu on a whim back in 2013. She sold her house and all of her belongings and bought a one-way ticket. Since then she’s taken two around-the-world trips and has visited 60-ish countries while living out of a duffel bag.

    Val started documenting the Wandering Wheatleys travels back in 2013 as a way to update friends and family about her whereabouts and to relay humorous daily interactions. The only readers were her mom and her mother-in-law but that didn’t stop her!

    These days you’ll find Val dreaming up future trips, creating new travel content, managing a team of amazing travel enthusiasts, and chasing around her two adorable but naughty kids.

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