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“Remodeling in Progress!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of City Lights Inn

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City Lights Inn
Ranked #7 of 17 Ithaca B&B and Inns
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Remodeling in Progress!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2014

My son and I booked two rooms at the Inn this past week to house hunt for next year while he will be attending law school in Ithaca. Although the website did state that breakfast was served only on weekends, I was a bit taken aback to arrive to a farmhouse being completely remodeled. One of the two owner brothers did call me while i was in NYC to ask what time I would be arriving as they had a commitment that evening so when I arrived, no one was there and I went into the main house (ie marked office) to try and locate my room (ie my son was out looking at properties and we did not meet up until later that evening). The kitchen was pretty disorderly and the little bit of the house I saw was in complete disarray. When I phoned my son he explained to my relief that our rooms were located in the carriage house and I had an adjoining room to his, separated by a shared kitchen. This cottage had been renovated and the bathroom was quite nice with new, modern fixtures and nice fluffy towels! Also, it appeared to have been recently painted a bright orange red color with contrasting large, gray slate tiles in the shower. The bedroom had a pretty comfy bed (nothing super upscale but comfy enough) with newer bed linens. The carpet was a bit worn (or at least it seemed to me--it was of the indoor-outdoor variety) and seemed a bit damp but a heater was going in the room so the temperature was quite warm. The room had a variety of area-related brochures on the wine country, the Finger Lakes, etc, but as we were there to locate a house or condo for next year's living in Ithaca, we did not take advantage of the sights those brochures mentioned. FYI, the owners did leave coffee and cream for us which was appreciated. All in all, my impression is that for those looking for a true bed and breakfast Inn experience, with a cosy living room, reading room, dining room, etc. they should look elsewhere for now-- for those interested in a cottage only as a comfy and well priced option in the Ithaca area, I recommend with the caveats mentioned here. I will definitely check them out again when I visit next year to see how the remodeling project turns out. And,although the owner was very kind to call about my arrival time, I never actually met he or his brother during our several day visit. Will be very interested to see how this Inn stacks up once the work is completed!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank apadenska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CityLightsInn, Owner at City Lights Inn, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thanks for taking the time to write such an honest and detailed review. It will certainly help us for the future. We are in the process of doing cosmetic renovations to certain areas of the house. We apologize you saw the results of this in our kitchen. At the time, it was acting as a holding area for many of the discarded items. The kitchen is usually locked during the week as we only serve breakfast on the weekends. As we do with all our guests, we did call to verify your safe travel and and get an ETA. Although we did have a commitment that evening, our B&B is the first priority. We offered to be there when you arrived. My offer was declined because you were arriving with your son and had a room adjacent to his. Our commitment to coach the JV lacrosse team in town is a great way to give back to the community. During the week we are often away from the B&B so we can earn supplemental income during the off-season. We were hoping to meet you at check-out and were surprised to see you just left. Hopefully next year we can meet in person. We bought a very neglected piece of property and are trying our very best to make it as hospitable as possible. All our rooms have private entrances and they are more secluded than a typical B&B. If you are looking for a common living room or reading room we cannot provide that. We do provide clean, cozy rooms that are affordable and relaxing.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    2
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See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Falls Church, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

My wife and I have been making the trek to Ithaca to visit our son at college for the past three years and have had our fill of Homewood Suites and the Hampton Inn. This year, we decided to check out the B&Bs in Ithaca. We stayed at the City Lights Inn and could not have had a better start. We stated in the Petite Suite, which really had the feel of a country inn, bed was new and comfortable, sitting room was also very nice. The room was clean and our room had a beautiful view of Ithaca. You feel like you are in the country but are so close (2 minutes drive) to downtown Ithaca, Cornell, and Ithaca College. The owners are two brothers born and raised in Ithaca who recently bought the place and have done a fabulous job making it look very appealing. They also cook the best breakfast you could ask for (and breakfast is a key barometer for me!). Homemade blueberry pancakes, fresh fruit salad, muffins, juice and coffee. It was a great feast in a beautiful country kitchen. All in all, they were great hosts. And it was very reasonably priced compared to some of the other B&Bs in the area. We were very happy with our stay and will be back soon. If you are looking for a really charming place to stay (with a great breakfast!), you will be very happy staying here. And I am not sure when the previous poster stayed at City Lights, but we stayed there in February and it was clean, bright, did not have any mustiness, and was very charming. Mark and Tricia Paoletta

Room Tip: We stayed in the Petite Suite, which had its own entrance and was on the second floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falmouth, MA
Level Contributor
500 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 257 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2014

We made reservations here right before the new owners took over. It clearly was not kept up well by the previous owner and needs some considerable restoration work. Although I found it charming and quaint, my wife hated the place because of the mustiness, darkness, and fact that a number of things in our room needed some repair. I would happily stay here again, at this point she would not. The twin brothers who own the place are friendly and clearly are trying very hard to make a go of it.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mikeb1Falmouth_MA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2013

I found City Lights through TripAdvisor and booked before the new owners took over. Learning that men were running a B&B, I was quite curious as to what we would find. I was extremely impressed with how clean our room was (not that men can't clean) and the living plants that made it feel like my home away from home. Breakfast was amazing (weekends only) and the "boys" take turns preparing breakfast and answering questions of the guests. My son will be attending Cornell University in a few years and I plan to make City Lights my home away from home every time we travel to Ithaca!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kwalsh13286
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds UK
Level Contributor
62 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013 via mobile

We found this gem via the local tourist information office. We stayed in the delightful 'Petite Suite' which was a one bedroomed self contained suite with a living room and kitchen area. It was quirkily decorated and had fresh flowers to welcome us. The setting is beautiful with great views and large grounds to explore. Collin and Aaron couldn't do enough to help us and gave us great recommendations for eating and exploring the area. We wish them both every success in this venture.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LeedsUKDilys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
77 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2013

This B&B is now under the new ownership of Collin and Aaron Shore. The B&B is a 5 minute drive from downtown Ithaca, up on a hill overlooking the town, which sparkles at night. The property was once a dairy and chicken farm and is now peaceful and flower filled---really lovely. Our room, 2 West, was a suite, with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room, all nicely appointed, spotlessly clean and very quiet and comfortable. I was able to see most of the other rooms and suites and all were equally clean and attractive. But by far the B&B's best assets were the hosts, the former Lacrosse-star twins, Collin and Aaron, who each cooked us delicious breakfasts and provided us with excellent information and maps about local hikes and attractions. I would adopt Collin and Aaron if they weren't full grown and entirely competent. I look forward to returning here some day, and encourage any reader to stay here, too.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travelbug155
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2013

Feels like a stop in to the old homestead.(Grew up in a house of 8..so there was always something interesting going on!) Colleen is so accommodating...from "come in when you can make it"...(usually late in the evening after a long drive from out of state)...to the welcoming breakfast with steaming coffee and tea ready upon wake up. The breakfast is truly a big part of "the experience" and the clincher on making it our #1 stop when in Ithaca! A great spot to take a deep breath and stop to "smell the roses"

Room Tip: each one has it's charms...depends on # of people in party
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DL R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about City Lights Inn

Property: City Lights Inn
Address: 1319 Mecklenburg Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850-9394 (Formerly The Inn @ City Lights)
Region: United States > New York > Finger Lakes > Ithaca
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Ithaca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
County chic Greek Revival farm house, private suites, beautiful gardens, hiking, x-country ski, running trail on site, Cable, Wireless, AC, full breakfast on weekends, enjoy the panoramic view of the "city lights". ... more   less 

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