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“A very attractive base to explore Ithaca and the Finger Lakes”

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La Tourelle Hotel, Bistro, Spa
Ranked #3 of 22 Hotels in Ithaca
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 August 2014

After much consideration of properties from which to base our exploration of the Finger Lakes, we chose La Tourelle and are glad we did.

As many travelers have discovered to their grief, picking a hotel on the basis of web sites and Internet reviews can be an iffy process. The first thing we noticed upon arrival at this hostelry was that La Tourelle’s photo representations of its facilities and rooms were somewhat less attractive than the reality, a welcome relief from the use of fish-eye lens to make tiny rooms look large.
Our deluxe fireplace king room was delightfully roomy with a small, but large-enough-for-two balcony, luxurious bedding, a large bathroom with twin sinks, high-end shampoos/lotions, really good air conditioning and fast Internet. The staff was quite welcoming, offering an afternoon wine tasting. While the Finger Lakes in summer are not inexpensive and bookings were high, the accommodations were – considering their price and plushness – a good value.
La Tourelle’s location – at the top of a hill overlooking the lake – was good, near enough Ithica’s restaurants and convenient for day tips to Seneca Falls, Geneva and Watkins Glen.
The only, well, odd thing about our stay was a 10:15 call on our first of our three mornings from housekeeping inquiring as to whether or not we wanted out room cleaned that day. We’re not early risers and since our stay included two subsequent nights the 11 am checkout time didn't apply, so we rather sleepily said, ‘Yes, we want our room cleaned.’ ‘Then call us when you leave so we can come in,” the housekeeper demanded. Granted, this approach is preferable to the New York City model of vacuuming and talking loudly outside late-rising guests rooms until the premises are vacated for cleaning, but golly, not everyone on vacation wants to hit the ground running at 7 am for a breakfast and brisk hike.
Still, a very good property with on the whole excellent staff.

Room Tip: All the rooms we say were quite nice.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Cameron_At_Large
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 August 2014

We were asked by friends to meet them in the Ithaca area to tour New York wine country. Our search for an interesting place to stay led us to La Tourelle, and we're so glad it did! La Tourelle is a wonderful European-style boutique hotel and spa, set on lovely grounds on the outskirts of Ithaca. Entering the inn leads to a welcoming foyer with hand painted terra cotta floor files, comfy leather sofas, a large stone fireplace, and bookcases on one side, and an honor bar and wine tasting area on the other. We quickly checked into our rooms -- one Queen room and one regular King room. Walking to our rooms, we were intrigued by the eclectic mixture of art in the hallway, from what appeared to be African tribal masks on some doorways to prints from French artists of several periods. Our rooms were both decorated in soothing shades of cream and aqua, with gleaming wood floors and Spanish-style furniture -- in one room, dark wood pieces painted with primitive animal figures, in the other whitewashed oak or pine. Each room had a large well appointed bathroom with dual spa-style showerheads, and was immaculately clean. We went from there to the Bistro restaurant on the property that serves breakfast, lunch and brunch on some days. I ordered a tuna salad plate, and was absolutely amazed by the chef's lovely preparation of such a humble dish, which included a bed of baby mixed greens drizzled with a delicate mustard vinaigrette, and a delicious tuna salad infused with fresh herbs grown on the property, as well as fragrant lavender and spicy Nasturtium blossoms. Our server was a delightful young man named Paolo. He made us feel welcome and attended graciously and professionally to our every need. (We later found out that Paolo also leads small groups of people on culinary tours of Italy -- something to consider for our "bucket list".) After spending the afternoon chatting on one of the lovely gazebos on the property, we joined other guests at the 5:00 wine tasting hosted by La Tourelle's owner and general Manager, Scott Wiggins. Scott welcomed us and explained each of the wine selections. The hour was over much too quickly, but we were anxious to try the highly-rated John Thomas Steakhouse which is situated at the edge of the hotel property so we moved on to dinner there. While pricey, the food was truly exceptional and worth every penny. Think "Morton's Steak House" in a warm colonial setting. That evening we all slept well in comfortable beds under snowy duvet comforters. Breakfast in the Bistro the next morning was as wonderful as our lunch the preceding day, with selections ranging from classic breakfasts with eggs and bacon, to omelettes prepared to order, French toast, and stuffed pancakes. (We once again enjoyed Paolo's attentive and professional service -- thank you, Paolo!). I forgot to mention that the Bistro dining room is a lovely small space with large linen-covered tables, comfy upholstered chairs, and an amazing stained glass coffered ceiling! And if you prefer, you can eat outside on a small terrace at an umbrella table overlooking the beautiful grounds. All in all, La Tourelle is a wonderful, relaxing and soothing place to stay. After spending most of my long career traveling professionally, there aren't many places that I truly enjoy or would look forward to visiting again, but La Tourelle is one of the few. Don't be put off by small details of first impressions -- the grounds are not "manicured" and the exterior of the inn is a bit weathered, but somehow that all comes together with the overall ambience to make your stay that much more relaxed and gracious. We are so glad we found La Tourelle and encourage you to consider it if you're in the Ithaca area. (And did I mention that the rates are very reasonable for the level of accommodation experience? That's just frosting on the cake!)

Room Tip: King fireplace rooms have balconies overlooking the lovely grounds, but all rooms are lovely.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank airventure_visitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2014

We had a room in the main building with a lovely view. The staff were attentive and helpful. Our only quibble was the breakfast room is a bit small so you become aware of others waiting for tables.
Great wine tasting in the late afternoon of local produce. Getting to Ithaca itself certainly needs transport. Nice town with an alternative feel to it.

Room Tip: Main hotel
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank judiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

There are many pros and cons. Let's start with the positives: The location is fairly convenient (15 minutes) to Cornell and down the street from Ithaca College. There is a steak house next door that appears to have an upscale menu and is super convenient if you don't feel like driving to dinner. The rate was decent given it was move-in weekend. Another positive is they serve wine between the hour of 5-6 pm (free!!!).

Now, there are many opportunities for improvement here: It is outdated: rugs are old, bathroom is from the 70's and the TV is an old tube (not a flat screen). The Bistro where they served breakfast had one waitress for the entire restaurant (yes, did I mention it was move-in weekend) and one chef (again move-in weekend). The breakfast itself was average at best and they apparently don't believe in boiling their water before serving tea. Any respectable tea drinker will tell you that serving lukewarm water with a tea bag is a crime.

Given all this, I would not recommend this place. However it was better than, say, at Motel 6.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
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Thank caroline1600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

The best thing about La Tourelle is it's stunning grounds which the owners have landscaped beautifully, with summer-houses, ponds and plants. Perfect for a peaceful afternoon or even half an hour to chat or read.
The reception area is a lovely space, with sofas, games, and a bar with local wines. These are hospitably shared in the evening. The space does seem to have a confusing identity, with signed photos of stars adorning two walls and Masai warrior and African artefacts adorning the others!
The room we stayed in was huge, light and airy, but as other reviewers have mentioned, in desperate need of a makeover. Beds weren't very comfortable, bathroom was functionable but dated, and the overall decor was very dated.
The fitness room was also in need of some TLC. As the hotel is advertised as a resort and spa you would expect a high emphasis on overall health, not just a couple of treatments.
Other than the welcome tea and coffee, we didn't eat at La Tourelle. The breakfast was comparable in price to other places for the main dishes, though you had to pay extra for fruit, cereal etc, which many others include. The restaurant for evening meals is a steak house which was very expensive, and the choice of non-steak dishes was very limited. The hotel is about three miles out of town, so it meant a drive to get other food.
I think it depends what you are looking for as to whether this is the right hotel for you. If you want a hideaway for a quiet couple of days, with easy access to some of the gorges and falls, it's perfect. If you are using it as a base to explore further, then it probably isn't the right place.
I've rated it three as I think it offers a much lower quality of facilities for the price than other hotels who charge the same.

Stayed: August 2014
Thank Alison W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2014

La Tourelle was one of the most pleasant hotel experiences that we have had. Our room was charming and clean. The staff was informative and helpful. We had a problem with our car and they directed us to a great auto shop and offered to pick us up. The steam room, sauna and exercise room were awesome and the breakfast was delicious and affordable. We loved the complimentary wine hour at 5pm and felt great relaxing on the property. We honestly can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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2  Thank janinesays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2014

Loved our spacious room on the first floor with two king beds. So nicely decorated and comfortable. Service was good and the small lobby bar was convenient. Restaurant next door was pricey but the scallops special was delicious. Loved the spa also. Would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: The room on the first floor with the two king beds was spacious and very comfortable.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Tripping999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Tourelle Hotel, Bistro, Spa

Address: 1150 Danby Rd, Route 96B, Ithaca, NY 14850-9406
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > Finger Lakes > Ithaca
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ithaca
#6 Family Hotel in Ithaca
#8 Business Hotel in Ithaca
Price Range: £102 - £227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — La Tourelle Hotel, Bistro, Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you're looking for a getaway that offers deluxe accommodations; fabulous food; great wine; a destination spa and adventure experiences all nestled in the gorgeous New York Finger Lakes wine region, you've found it! La Tourelle's 54 deluxe rooms have dreamy pillow-top mattresses to ensure a restful night's sleep. You'll need that sleep if you plan on touring the wine trails; visiting the museums; taking a hike in any of five state parks, or participating in the numerous adventure excursions available in "gorges" Ithaca. After experiencing all that Finger Lakes wine country has to offer, you'll really appreciate getting pampered at August Moon Spa. We offer all the services you expect from a destination spa, plus we have two Tranquility Rooms where you can relax and enjoy cuisine from our "farm-to-table" menu at The Bistro. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Tourelle Hotel Ithaca
La Tourelle Resort And Spa

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