Returning to the Finger Lakes brought me back in time to my first visit twenty years prior, when B&B’s were largely the order of the day and while the wine route was most definitely a draw, it wasn’t as heavily publicized like it is today. No one has ever needed to tout all the wow moments you can have in upstate New York since I grew up in the Adirondacks — there’s no shortage of breathtaking views, challenging hikes, serene lakes, great fishing spots, antiquing and quaint small towns.
Like the Adirondacks, the Finger Lakes is fortunate to have resorts and hotels on many of their well renowned and not so well known lakes in the region. The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel on Lake Seneca is one of those lodging gems, boasting incredible views of the harbor from any of the front-facing rooms. The lake itself is different than our Mirror Lake and Lake Placid experiences last summer, from temperature and altitude to size and scenery. Dusk and dawn are the best places to take walks along the rocks or have a cuppa Joe or glass of wine facing the changing skies.
This stylish wine-country hotel is in right in the town of Watkins Glen, and on the southern tip of Seneca Lake, 7 miles from Watkins Glen International racetrack. Contemporary rooms and suites have free WiFi, flat-screen TVs and seating areas and many include patios or balconies and lake views and some suites have Jacuzzis. We had a lake view with a patio on the top floor and I spent at least a half an hour on the balcony each day taking in the glorious views below me and of the lake beyond.
The hotel itself is a Four-Diamond AAA rated award winning hotel which has all the amenities you’d want for either a romantic getaway or that semi-luxe family stay. There’s an indoor pool, jacuzzi and fitness center, which makes it a great option for families during those colder months as well.
They have a professional concierge on-site as well as a restaurant and bar. You can dine inside or in warmer months, sit on the patio of the Blue Pointe Grille or Cold Water Bar which faces the harbor and has a spectacular view of Seneca Lake.
Adirondack chairs are scattered around the front lawn area, which are a huge plus during the day and later in the evening for gathering with friends, family or simply grabbing a sun downer with your significant other. We love the fact that there’s a fire pit in this sitting area as well, which means you can breathe in that Finger Lakes air even if it’s a bit chilly outside.
There are complimentary coffee stations on each floor, 24-hour room service and an event space, which can be used for business functions or special occasions such as weddings and anniversaries.
I’d describe the decor of the rooms as “happy” and “bright,” but in New England motif, with plenty of blues and greens that go well with the nautical outside views. There are seating areas as well even if you don’t go for a suite. Our room had a small but incredibly useful kitchenette area with a fridge, which was great for storing left overs from our dinner beforehand and keeping our bottled water cold.
The hotel is close to Seneca, Cayuga and Keuka Wine Trails and only a few minutes from historic Watkins Glen Franklin Street, and shopping. Also worth noting are some of the Summer and Fall Area Events including:
Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
6 N Franklin Street
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
We were hosted by the hotel but all opinions expressed are entirely our own.