This Boutique Hotel in New York’s Finger Lakes Region Is a Hidden Gem

Lake House on Canandaigua
Credit: Joe Thomas

For those opting for a lake getaway this summer, bump the Lake House on Canandaigua to the top of your list. About 40 minutes away from Rochester by car, travelers will find Central New York’s best-kept secret: a sprawling, serene fixture on Canandaigua Lake. Originally named by the Seneca tribe, Canandaigua roughly translates to “the chosen place,” and, upon arrival, it becomes immediately evident why.

Lake House on Canandaigua
Credit: Joe Thomas

The Lake House on Canandaigua boasts 124 charming guest rooms and suites, spread among different cottages around the property. Designed by Post Company (formerly known as Studio Tack) in collaboration with design collective and developer The Brooklyn Home Company, every space was designed with Canandaigua Lake at the forefront––a color palette of clean whites, natural woods and navy, gray, and gold tones were selected to best reflect the lake view setting. Hand-carved bed frames and wardrobes, marble countertops, and wooden porches add to the timeless charm, while amenities such as Waterworks rain showers and soft, woven linens provide modern comforts.

The main house and lobby area are styled with paneled walls and paneled floor-to-ceiling windows with beckoning views of Canandaigua Lake. The Library is tucked right off of the main area, which evokes an innate feeling of timeless tradition: books like the deep navy painted walls, perfectly-worn leather sofas are scattered throughout the room, and the communal wooden table is topped with various board games.

Lake House on Canandaigua
Credit: Joe Thomas

Just a little ways down the carpeted hallway leading away from the lobby stands Rose Tavern, a New American restaurant serving rustic, seasonal fare inspired by the bounty and beauty of the Finger Lakes region. Centered around a wood-fired hearth, the kitchen utilizes traditional cooking techniques to prepare locally-sourced fare that pairs seamlessly with an extensive wine list that highlights the region’s variety.

After a long day on the lake, spend the evening at Sand Bar, the ideal casual hangout spot. Initially opened in 1994, during renovations, the original character that made it local legend were preserved, while the menu underwent a massive facelift; now, craft cocktails, a wide array of beers and wines, and bar staples like fish and chips are given a fresh twist.

Lake House on Canandaigua
Credit: Chris Churchill

There is no shortage of activities and amenities, all of which are sure to please any and all guests. A new collaboration Veuve Clicquot brings champagne and oyster happy hours overlooking Canandaigua Lake. Yoga and meditation classes are offered almost daily, and lakefront spin classes take place on Saturday mornings. Private drivers are available for excursions to hiking trails or wineries, and a heated outdoor pool and hot tub are open year-round. A boardwalk lines the lakefront, providing a path for leisurely strolls, and Tokyo Bikes are available all over the property to explore the grounds and beyond. To set the tone for a romantic evening, book the two-hour sunset cruise and be sure to bring a bottle of wine along.

Lake House on Canandaigua
Credit: Chris Churchill

For the ultimate relaxation experience, book a treatment at Willowbrook Spa, designed by Cate Mills Studio to connect to all the elements of nature that make the hotel so captivating. Change into a plush robe, lounge on one of the buttery leather sofas and sip a glass of complimentary regional wine before (or after) heading to either of the two lakeside barrel saunas or receiving a skincare or bodycare enhancement treatment.

Lake House on Canandaigua is truly a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of New York State.


  • Location: Canandaigua, New York

  • Rating: Four-star
  • The Vibe: The neutral and earthy color palette and rustic-yet-chic decorum provide the perfect back drop for a coastal grandma meets lake house living vibe.
  • Food + Drink: The property boasts two different restaurant concepts: Rose Tavern, a New American restaurant with a focus on locality and seasonality, and Sand Bar, a neighborhood mainstay since 1994 whose lasting charm was preserved during renovations.
  • Amenities: Pet-friendly accommodations; Lakefront; Outdoor swimming pool; Fitness classes; Spa; Complimentary bikes
  • Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: Being engulfed in nature and the serenity of the lake is a nice change of pace from our usual bustling metropolitan surroundings.
  • 5 Nearby Attractions: Canandaigua City Pier; Kershaw Park; Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park; Finger Lakes Wine Center; Canandaigua Lake; Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack
  • Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? For travelers with cars, take a short drive to Naples, NY, where award-winning Monica’s Pies serves up fresh grape pie daily. It’s a local favorite.
  • Rooms: A total of 125 guest rooms and suites can be found throughout different cottages around the property, each of which offer views of Lake Canandaigua or the city of Canandaigua.
  • Pricing: Rooms start at $390/night.
  • Closest Airport: Greater Rochester International Airport

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