… is breathtakingly beautiful. There is just no other way to describe it. As I sit at my desk typing, I’m looking out my window into the perennial gardens of the 1795 Acorn Inn. So many different hues of green, a light breeze and sunshine. The fountains are up and running. The netted gazebo will be up by end-of-week and the comfy outdoor furniture has been taken out of storage. The quilted hammock is out and soon the ponds will be filled with frogs. The birds are chirping and one has even built a nest outside the office door. Poor thing… it flies away every time I go in and out (which is a lot) It’s simply a wonderful time to stay.
If you are looking for something to do in the Finger Lakes, our April Touring Tips can definitely assist you. While the weather may be a little unpredictable, the accommodations and service at this luxurious Canandaigua Bed and Breakfast remain consistent.
April Touring Tips – GolfDust off your golf bags, because the links are open! Celebrate the spring weather with a visit to one of Ontario County’s local golf courses: Big Oak Golf Course, 33 Packwood Road, Geneva, 14456 Bristol Harbour, 5410 Seneca Point Road, Canandaigua, 14424 CenterPointe Country Club, 2231 Brickyard Road, Canandaigua, 14424 Parkview Fairways, 7100 Boughton Road Victor, 14564 Ravenwood Golf Club, 929 Lynaugh Road, Victor, 14564 Reservoir Creek Golf Course, 8613 State Route 21, Naples, 14512 The Pheasant Golf Links, 1475 Sandhill Road, Shortsville, NY 14548 Victor Hills Golf Club, 1450 Brace Road, Victor, 14564 Winding Creek Golf Course, 6394 Plaster Mill Road, Victor, 14566
Finger Lakes Forest TherapyBecome one with nature by participating in an outing with Finger Lakes Forest Therapy this spring. Join a Shinrin-Yoku Forest Therapy walk to engage in a full sensory experience with nature by incorporating visits to local forests as a wellness strategy. The next walk will be the Listen to Your Mother, Earth Day Walk at Harriett Hollister Spencer Park in Honeoye, on April 22 from 1-4pm. This walk will be for all ages and will be a deep dive into living more sustainably. Finger Lakes Forest Therapy, 585-412-5550.
Belhurst CastleWith hidden gems all around the property, Belhurst Castle is the perfect spot to visit in the spring. Get papmpered at Isabella Spa, or check out the two restaurants on site – which means you can plan the perfect spring getaway without even having to leave the property. Don’t forget to visit the speakeasy for a drink or two before dinner – ask to see the call buttons from Prohibition time! Belhurst Castle, 4069 West Lake Road, Geneva, 14456.
New York Wine & Culinary CenterLearn something new this spring by taking a hands-on class at the New York Wine & Culinary Center! From sushi rolling (April 14) to bread baking (April 21) and truffles (April 28) to wontons (April 29), you are sure to expand your culinary knowledge. Spaces must be reserved, so visit https://www.nywcc.com/ClassesAndHappenings/2018-04 for the full list of open offerings! New York Wine & Culinary Center, 800 South Main Street, Canandaigua, 14424.
Downtown NaplesExplore Downtown Naples for a complete spring escape! With wineries like Inspire Moore and Arbor Hill, restaurants like Roots Café and hotels like the Naples Hotel (which may or may not be haunted – you decide), it has everything you need for the perfect day or overnight trip! Check out www.naplesvalleyny.com for a full list of activities! And, don’t miss Robin’s Nest. This home store with antiques is exquisite and charming.
Gotta Have A Beer or TwoWelcome the newly opened WeBe Brewing Company to the Finger Lakes, and have a pint or two at their new Geneva location. The 14th brewery in Ontario County not only has a tasting room complete with soups, snacks and pretzels in addition to their flagship beers on tap, but will be opening a biergarten in the back this summer. Come welcome them and enjoy a Belgian pint or cider! WeBe Brewing, 796 Pre Emption Road, Geneva, 14456. Don’t forget to visit our Package page. April is that last month to take advantage a free night on the weekend.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Online Travel Agents (OTA). What is an Online Travel Agent? Well, perhaps you’ve heard of tripadvisor.com, expedia.com, booking.com, priceline.com, kayak.com. The list goes on and it seems to be getting bigger all the time. As a consumer, I am a fan of OTA’s. I almost always book my airline through expedia.com. If I am in need of a hotel, I will peruse several of the sites mentioned above. It helps me to see what is out there and to roughly compare pricing. Of course, there are the reviews. Sometimes they are helpful. Sometimes they are not. But, I always go to the lodging’s web site and check pricing there before making any decision. Here’s why…
Online Travel Agent (OTA) BookingAs an Innkeeper working behind the scenes, I have a better understanding of pricing. I did not really understand this until I started listing the 1795 Acorn Inn on booking.com, airbnb and bedandbreakfast.com in August of 2017. Online Travel Agents charge an establishment commission to list their rates. Most of the time it’s about 15%. The hope is that lodging will keep their rates the same as what they are charging on their site. Well, sadly, that does not always happen. Some lodgings will raise their prices to cover the cost of commission on an OTA. Who wants to lose 15%? So why list? Well, as a small Bed and Breakfast, we simple can’t compete with the big OTA’s and we must list our site. I resisted but finally succumb. And I hate it. So, I want the listing on these sites, but that’s about it. I don’t put all my rooms on booking.com so you don’t see my complete availability. You also won’t see my special value packages. The simple truth is that much of the time you will get the best price on the actual lodging’s site. And, you have a direct line to the Innkeeper if needed. That’s me. To check out our best pricing, visit our Packages page.
Why Stay At A Bed And Breakfast? If you have ever asked yourself that question, then here are a few answers. There are so many options out there today. Hotels. Motels. Airbnb (which really has nothing to do with a B & B). Vacation Rental By Owner (VBRO). And I am sure countless more I do not even know about.
Why Stay At A Bed And BreakfastI am an Innkeeper. I’ve owned and operated the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast in upstate New York for over thirteen years. So, I may be just a tad biased. Having grown up in the Orient, I’ve traveled extensively and stayed in many different types of lodgings. Though, admittedly, I’ve never stayed at an Airbnb property. The basic principle of all of the above is the same… you are renting a room, probably in an area that you do not live. In the case of Airbnb or VRBO, you could be renting and entire house. But you could also rent an entire Inn and have the house to yourself so that is not all that different. With a hotel or motel, there is a staff on hand, most of the time, to assist you. Some more professional than others. And, some without a vast knowledge of the area. Perhaps students during summer vacation. With Airbnb or VBRO, you may have a phone number to call if you have an issue. There my even be someone living in the house if you are just renting out a room. But, with a Bed and Breakfast, you have an Innkeeper. More than likely, someone who owns the property, lives on the property and as someone who lives locally, is a vast resource at your disposal. Both prior to, during and after your stay. Most of the time, the Innkeeper is someone who has opened their home. Someone who is warm and inviting and happy to assist you.
Your InnkeeperYour Innkeeper is going to be the person you see at the beginning and end of your stay, no matter how short, and all the time in between. They are going to be the ones welcoming you and getting you settled. Answering your questions about where to eat and what to do in the area. They are going to advise you from a locals’ perspective and share all the secrets about the best places to go and see. Furthermore, your Innkeeper is more than likely going to fix your fantastic, gourmet breakfast. They are going to have shopped for your food, prepared it and serve it. Taking care to serve you what they would enjoy themselves. And, be very careful about any and all dietary restrictions you may have. More often than not, your innkeeper is going to be doing the laundry, cleaning your room, answering your phone calls or responding to your emails and providing special touches along the way. Why Stay At A Bed And Breakfast? Because of your Innkeeper. Worth every penny.
There’s MoreBreakfast. Not only is it usually delicious but depending on the B & B, most often it is served family style. All guests sit together and believe it or not, talk. There is often much laughter and interesting discussion among various age groups. It’s the highlight of this Innkeeper’s day to see strangers speaking to each other about what to do or what have they done, learn a little about each other and have stimulating, interesting conversation. Of course there will always be those that are not comfortable with such interaction. And we do understand. For those, a Bed and Breakfast such as this Canandaigua lodging may not be appropriate, but you can always select our Bed and No Breakfast package and receive a reduced rate. Visit our Packages page for additional special values.
And so it begins… a serious of blogs sharing Conversations At The 1795 Acorn Inn Breakfast Table – February. For most guests staying at a Bed and Breakfast, the Breakfast is almost more important than the Bed. In case you didn’t know already, we serve breakfast at 9:00 am. Often guests will ask, “What time is breakfast served until.” Breakfast is served at 9:00 am. You are welcome to make yourself comfortable at our Tiger maple table until whenever you life. Most guests leave for the day around 10:00 or 10:30. The longest anyone has stayed is 1:00 pm. Why so long? The conversation. The food is gone in no time.
Conversations At The 1795 Acorn Inn Breakfast Table – FebruaryShortly I will blog about why guests choose a Bed and Breakfast over a hotel, airbnb, or Vacation Rental By Owner (VBRO). But, today I want to talk about the conversation we had last weekend at the breakfast table. The table was made up of a couple in their 20’s from New Jersey. A couple in their 30’s from New York. And two couples in their 50’s, one from Canada and one from Pennsylvania. Quite an age range. But it is important to note, the conversation was fluid as often it is. Sometimes, I have to sing and dance to get the table talking. Once I do, they eventually find they have things in common. Much conversation is pleasant. It centers around how they found the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast. What they did yesterday or what they plan to do today. Where they went to dinner the night before. Where they are from…
February’s TopicsWe tend to stay away from politics, but who can resist these days. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of our guests from Canada. We stay away from sex. Though your Innkeeper has a few good stories. And of course, religion is not widely discussed. But last weekend we spoke of family, good and bad. We talked about where we fell in the line of siblings. Being the perfect child in the middle. We spoke of the discipline we were raised with, how some raised their children and how those just starting plan on raising their children. It was refreshing to hear such strong parenting skills and ideas. Christine shared a story about her son’s girlfriend that had the table in stitched. Some guests are more vocal than others, but this table shared the conversation. Respectfully taking turns. Sharing tidbits from their lives with virtual strangers. This went on for two days given that many of them stayed several nights at this Finger Lakes accommodations. As an Innkeeper, this is a wonderful experience and largely why I work so hard to maintain this AAA Four Diamond lodging. One would think this doesn’t happen very often when in reality, it happens most weekend. It’s actually time to fix breakfast and enjoy more conversations at the breakfast table. If you are interested in joining us, be sure to visit our Packages Page to check out your options. We would be happy to serve you breakfast and invite you to sit at our table.
Yesterday morning at the the breakfast table, a comment was made which made me think… We’re Not Your Grandmother’s House. The comment was from a couple in their late 50’s/early60’s that was looking for a book to read. They mentioned when they visited B & B’s before, they always have books. I said in 2004, we used to have books but found that no one actually read them. Seems like, these days, guests bring their own books and more often than not have an iPad or an e-reader. And that got me thinking…
And that got me thinking… We’re Not Your Grandmother’s HouseMaybe when I first took over the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast in 2004, it may very well have been my Grandmother’s house. Built in 1810, it was full of stuff. Too many things hanging on the walls. Doilies. Full canopies on beds. Even a crocheted canopy in the Angell Room. Gingham checked swags for window coverings with matching tissue box holders. Bookshelves in every room, including six wall-to-wall shelves on the upstairs landing. And a decent collection of VHS tapes. Consequently, this Finger Lakes accommodation was all nicely decorated in a Country Colonial theme, but it felt old. And it wasn’t me. So often a Bed and Breakfast is a reflection of it’s owner.
The Evolution of Bed and BreakfastsYears, actually decades ago, women stayed at home to raise a family. As a result, when the kids got older and went off to college, they found themselves with not much to do. Hence, in an effort to keep busy at something they were good at and consequently earn a few extra bucks, they started renting out rooms on a short-term basis. Providing breakfast was easy and eventually Bed and Breakfasts came about. Eventually, it soon became something older couples could do together to supplement their income and make use of their large home. Often it was decorated with wallpaper and years of memories. It was warm and welcoming and a cozy option to staying in a chain hotel. At some point, not too long ago, it became a livelihood for some and businesses were born. Papers were filed with local entities. Income was reported. Taxes paid. Inspections passed. Standards maintained. And marketing plans put in place.
Continuing EvolutionOver the past 14 years, I have watched this business and, how it’s marketed, change drastically. It used to be that 100% of reservations were taken over the phone. Prior to the internet, if you wanted to stay in a B & B, you bought a book or looked at one in the library. Often times you got a description of a Bed and Breakfast and a line drawing on which to base your decision on. Now, with the vast real estate of a website, guests have beautiful photos and complete details about your accommodations, information on things to do in the area and even a way to make a reservation without speaking to a soul. Additionally, it’s all about search engine rankings on Google and tripadvisor reviews. Guests have airbnb, Vacation Rental by Owner (VBRO), expedia, booking.com, trivago, hotels.com, kayak and more from which to check pricing and availability. As a result, it’s becoming extremely complicated and once again the business is changing. More on this in a subsequent blog. Check out great values on our Packages page of our web site.
February activities in the Finger Lakes are bountiful. Just check out what there is to do and check out the 1795 Acorn Inn Packages page for great values at this Canandaigua accommodation. Not only are we conveniently located to many of the activities below, but you will be comforted in luxury, warmth and hospitality.
February Activities In The Finger LakesOn Saturday, February 10 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., visit Naples and experience Vintage Vines & Valentines, an old‐world celebration of love and friendship in the historic Finger Lakes Naples Valley. The event features wine tastings, food sampling, s’more making, horse and wagon rides, and all sorts of special things. The Naples Hotel, 111 South Main Street, Naples, 14512. For more details and directions visit www.facebook.com/VintageVinesValentines.
February Activities In The Finger Lakes (cont.)What better time than the winter to perfect that recipe you’ve always wanted to try?! Come on down to the New York Wine and Culinary Center and join one of the many different cooking class offerings – no matter your taste! Eating more your thing? The Upstairs Bistro is the place for you – and maybe even a glass of local wine or two! The New York Wine & Culinary Center is located just ten minutes from the Inn. You may not have made the cut for the 2018 National team, but that doesn’t mean your Olympics dreams are gone! Head over to Ganondagan State Historic Site on Saturday, February 24 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for the Native American Winter Games & Sports. Experience the heritage of the Seneca people while you try your hand at the traditional Haudenosaunee sport of snowsnake, or perhaps you’d rather race a snow boat! There will also be snowshoeing, dog sledding demonstrations, storytelling, traditional arts and traditional foods. The event is free, but a $10 donation per family is suggested. Ganondagan State Historic Site, 7000 County Road 41, Victor, 14564.
And there is still more…Head over to Warfield’s in Clifton Springs for a cozy country dinner! With a seasonal menu of American and Asian fusion dishes, you are sure to find the perfect dish to go along with one of their cognacs, scotches or cordials. When you finish dinner, its Main Street location is perfect to experience the small‐town charm. This lovely restaurant is one of your Innkeeper’s favorites in the area and only a 20 minute drive from the Inn. Nothing beats hitting the slopes on a beautiful Finger Lakes Day! Drive over to Bristol Mountain with slopes and trails for all ages and abilities! Feel the need for speed? Head over to the Black Diamond Rocket trail. Feeling like taking it slow and enjoying the winter day? Drive to the top of the mountain to experience Bristol’s Nordic Center. Rentals are available for both downhill and cross‐country ski trails. Don’t forget to check out our Ski & Stay Package. Discounted overnight Canandaigua accommodations and discounted all-day lift tickets. Let’s not forget… a full, hot, gourmet breakfast. And only five minutes away. Bring out your inner artist with a trip to Casa Larga in Fairport, for a Sip & Paint class! Bring your friends for a night of wine glass painting, and if you arrive early you will receive a complimentary drink. The set of wine glasses, paints, paintbrushes and aprons are all included in the $35 ticket price. Casa Larga Vineyards, 2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, NY 14450. (585) 223‐4210.
Fourteen Inches of Snow in the Bristol Hills and New York’s Finger Lakes fell this past weekend. Just what we needed for perfect downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and other outdoor winter thrills like zip lining. Yes, zip lining.
Ski & StayCheck out our Ski & Stay package available in the Angell and Wilder Rooms. Stay in comfort and warmth. Enjoy a full hot breakfast. And receive two all-day lift passes to Bristol Mountain. Located just a few miles south of the 1795 Acorn Inn, Bristol Mountain has all anyone needs to enjoy themselves outdoors. Not only to they offer downhill skiing and snowboarding on beginner to double black diamond level runs, they also offer zip lining during the winter. And, we don’t need fourteen inches of snow to fall for great ski conditions. The mountain continues to make snow as long as we are below freezing.
Fourteen Inches Of Snow Not Your ThingPerhaps we can find you something else to do. How about wine tasting? Wineries are open year-round. Hazlitt’s Red Cat Cellars in Naples at the south end of Canandaigua Lake is offering a Wine and Paint night on January 21st from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. With a vinyl record as your canvas and a glass of wine in hand, instructor Aimee Bergvall will teach you how to paint your own portrait of a fluffy penguin. Ontario Malls Antiques, located just north of Canandaigua, has over 1,000 dealers. If you are searching for anything specific, you may just find it there. Or, just stroll leisurely through the displays with complimentary animal crackers and coffee. You may just find an unexpected treasure or two. I know I always do. No matter what your pursuit, come visit upstate New York this winter and stay at the 1795 Acorn Inn. We’ll fix you breakfast.
The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is located on State Route 54 in Hammondsport, NY, about an hour’s drive from the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast. The Museum showcases a priceless collection relating to early aviation and local history and is dedicated to the memory of pioneer aviator and Hammondsport’s favorite son, Glenn H. Curtiss. Glenn Curtiss began his career as a bicycle builder and then, motorcycles. In 1907 he became the “fastest man on earth” when he reached a speed of 136.4 mph on his V-8 powered motorcycle. But, on July 4, 1908, Glenn Curtiss gained notoriety of a different kind. Most notably when he flew his his flying machine, the June Bug, over 500 feet to win the Scientific America Trophy. This was the first, pre-announced, public flight in America.
Beyond the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum of Flying…That was just one of many stops yesterday on my outing with long-time guests and friends Mary Ann and Lee Buckner. Notably, Mary Ann and Lee have their own tourism-related business in Louisville, Kentucky… Travel The Trail. Lee, an Executive Bourbon Steward, and Mary Ann will design a custom tour of the bourbon trail and fill you in on all things bourbon. Most recently, they brought me lemon bourbon pepper and I can’t wait to try it. Continue reading “Glenn H. Curtiss Museum… Airplanes and more”
Our latest tripadvisor.com review… It truly doesn’t get much better than this as far as reviews go. Thanks Helen and Neil. Always my pleasure to have you stay and I look forward to seeing you again next year. To all guests that have stayed, every review helps us. Whether on google, tripadvisor.com, facebook or any other review site you are comfortable with. We greatly appreciate your business and you.