It had been two years, two weeks and three days since I had left the country during COVID… but who’s counting? Needless to say, when my sister, Kassandra, asked if I was interested in travelling with her to a boutique property on The Finger Lakes in upstate New York, The Lake House on Canandaigua, I practically tackled her for the opportunity.
We’re both based west of Toronto in Oakville so the drive for us was just under three hours including a border crossing at the Queenston Lewiston bridge. Getting there was a cinch and pulling onto Main Street of Canandaigua (right before the property) made for the most scenic drive. Local boutiques, restaurants and of course, stunning lake views are your first encounter before pulling into the property’s parking lot.
The Hotel & Grounds
Newly furnished, the property sits on Lake Canandaigua and truly is a sight for sore eyes. Picket fences, shiplap, striped awnings and other coastal nods literally had my jaw drop as we were greeted in the hotel lobby. It’s as if someone opened up the Serena & Lily catalogue and brought the pages to life.
The check-in desk was flanked with hanging keys for each room and a local boutique that featured merchandise, local goods and more from vendors. My favourite touch was the sparkling glass of rose from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery each new guest is greeted with.
We were situated in the main cabin with a lake view room. The room was spacious, bright and the oversized patio with two Muskoka chairs was the perfect touch. I must say however, the bathroom decor was what won me over. From the shiplap to unlacquered brass hardware and farmhouse vanity, I felt like a lunatic snapping pictures of every nook and cranny for our own home build project. The thoughtful effort that went into the decor of this property was unmatched for me!
Food & Beverage
We had a chance to dine at The Rose Taven, one of two on-site restaurants – and were equally impressed with both dinner and brunch. I highly recommend the Butter Lettuce, Roasted Oysters and Sfoglini Rigatoni. Meanwhile, the St. Tropez Snowbird cocktail is a MUST for any meal of the day. We also spent some leisurely time in the library with a latte and snack – this was the most perfect setting on a cold, snowy day to snuggle up inside.
I was impressed to find couples, families and large groups all equally occupied on-site thanks to the amenities. An oversized pool, hot tub, skating rink and trails offered a slew of activities during the winter season. Each morning, an agenda of items is shared in the lobby and throughout the property so guests can get involved. In the summer, boat slips, jet skis and bicycles for rent are sure to keep families busy for hours on end. Poor Adam was likely tired of all the messages I kept sending him through our stay of how I was desperate to return for our anniversary in August.
The hotel is also close to Rochester, NY which for my Canadian readers, is home to Target, Trader Joe’s, Hobby Lobby, Ulta, a mall and other fabulous American retail stores we’ve been deprived of for the last few years!
The property was so kind to extend a sauna experience for Kass and I during our stay. The sunroom in the spa was already a calm and serene setting that had us wind down after a busy few days of capturing content. The sauna ritual was the most stunning sauna experience in an outdoor setting equipped with tonics and tropicals to heighten the experience. Unwinding with a panoramic view of the lake was one of the best experiences.
It’s no surprise this boutique hotel was rated #30 in the top hotels of the world. As mentioned, I’ve already pleaded and begged Adam to return in the summer so he can also experience this amazing property for himself. The Lake House on Canandaigua is a must see!
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