La Tourelle Resort & Spa for a Slice of France in the Finger Lakes

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Imagine a slice of France in the in the heart of upstate New York’s Finger Lakes. Quaint, classically French and oh so authentic, meet the upscale La Tourelle Resort & Spa. Nestled in the middle of wine country, this boutique property is set on 70 acres only 1.6 miles from Ithaca College, 3.3 miles from Cornell University and 3.4 miles from Downtown Ithaca.

La Tourelle’s 52 deluxe rooms and suites have dreamy pillow-top mattresses — the beds were so comfortable we didn’t want to get up in the morning. After a day of touring wine trails, visiting local museums, hiking in any of the five state parks, or exploring the nearby “gorges”, you’ll be so beat that you’ll quickly want to melt into that ever so comfy mattress.

They have a variety of different room types, from traditional queen rooms to king sized rooms and what they refer to as unique rooms for those special occasions. They have two oversized corner rooms designed for busy executive travel or leisure getaways. Each room is a little different, from the St. Tropez room with the elegant brass bed to the Paris room with an antique carved wooden four-poster bed where we stayed.

Each room has a seating area with coffee table, gas fireplace and flat screen TV and bathrooms have a jetted-bathtub. Below, a few shots of the Paris room.

Standard features include complimentary WiFi, cable TV, optional DVD player, clock radio, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, and bath robes. Another special feature of this unique property are the traditional bookcases inside the rooms, gas fireplaces and the stunning views from your private balcony.

The views from our balcony….it was oh so lush and green when we were there in mid-August.



Oh yeah and did I mention the peanut butter brittle, August Moon lotions and the root beer from Ithaca Soda Company, among other fun little items in every room?

Many of the rooms are also pet-friendly. Another unique room is the Morningside Wood Burning Fireplace King Room, which is a one-of-a-kind room with a four-poster king bed and pillow-top mattress. The exotic furnishings and decor, including carved Mexican wood, are reminiscent of faraway places. The wood burning fireplace enhances the coziness of this special room, and the private balcony provides a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy views of the orchard and lawns.

Standard features of all rooms include complimentary WiFi, cable TV, optional DVD player, clock radio, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, and a bath/shower with double head showers.

One of the most unique stays here is their two-story Yellow Barn Suite, which we would have loved to stay in — hopefully a future trip with a l’il more planning. It is located in their historic yellow barn just steps away from the main hotel. It features three bedrooms, two with king beds and one with a queen bed, and all with pillow-top mattresses, TVs with DVD players and clock radio.

The three story atrium living room includes comfortable seating for ten, gas fireplace, private bar, TV projection system, dining table for eight, small kitchenette with microwave, toaster, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator and china, silver and glassware, stereo system with DVD player and iPod/laptop plug-in. There are two full bathrooms downstairs and one half-bathroom upstairs. The Yellow Barn Suite has a small sitting area in the foyer before entering the suite, and a private outdoor seating area outside the suite to enjoy your morning coffee on a beautiful day. It would make a great luxury family travel getaway, and is perfect for girlfriend getaways, honeymooners and bridal parties.

There are other quirky features to the hotel as well, including a very creative greeter at the entrance. They have complimentary wine tasting every evening as well and there’s always a coffee and tea station set up in the beautifully adorned lobby area.

While we didn’t dine at The Bistro, it’s available for guests for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. At The Bistro, you can experience “farm-to-table” regional cuisine that led by Executive Chef Angelina Tagliavento. Also available is the John Thomas Steakhouse, which serves dinner nightly — think prime dry-aged beef, live Maine lobsters, fresh poultry and seafood as well as an extensive wine list.

Also highly worth pointing out is their on-site August Moon Spa, which offers all the services you’d expect from a destination spa, plus two Tranquility Rooms where you can relax and enjoy any of the offerings from The Bistro. August Moon is decadently wonderful and worth trying out even if you aren’t staying at the resort.

Below is a shot taken of one of the two tranquility rooms, the other one is a little cozier with a fireplace in the middle of two lounge chairs. There are tea and water stations in both relaxation rooms where you can breathe it all in before or after your treatment. Even if you don’t have a treatment, you can enjoy their on the premises sauna and steam rooms.

Consider their spa more of a sanctuary which will sweep you away from the stress and worries of the world. They offer an attentive blend of traditional Eastern therapies with Western knowledge. A haven for the senses, the spa is a fusion where East meets West.

Many people may not realize the variety of natural resources that come from the Finger Lakes region. Ithaca was created by glaciers winding their way through the Finger Lakes and the waters from the gorges and waterfalls offer flawless resources for the August Moon Spa. Their spa products utilize organic and local ingredients, including top-grade maple, and vino-therapy from the local wineries.

I love the fact that not only do they offer traditional facials and massage treatments, but they have a variety of unique ancient meets modern treatments, including a maple walnut sugar scrub that uses local maple sugar to gently exfoliates any blockages in the epidermis, followed by a sweet orange deep moisturizing application. There’s also something they refer to as a Wide Awake Coffee Scrub, which combines coffee grounds with organic cane sugar and sesame oil, which is very detoxifying. It is followed by a Cypress & Eucalyptus deep moisturizing application.

Their Finger Lakes Riesling and Sea Salt Scrub has a coarse grain consistency for rough and tough skin that needs that extra level of exfoliation and it is followed by a Pure Lavender deep moisturizing application. The ever so fun and detoxifying Antioxidant Wine Trail Wrap repairs and restores aging skin with the antioxidant properties of powdered regional grape seeds, followed by a lavender grape seed oil moisturizing application.

There’s also the toning Moore Mud Wrap which promotes collagen synthesis in the muscles that plumps and tightens the skin, followed by a Japanese-mint, deep moisturizing application.  Another detoxifying treatment is their Algea Wrap which allows your body to absorb essential minerals deep into its core, followed by a stimulating lemongrass & ginger moisturizing application.

My favorite part of my experience at the spa was spending time in the tranquility room and their Zen Hot Stone Massage, which is a full body massage that uses heated basalt stones to calm and release deep set physical tension.

Their facials are top notch too, from an Enzyme Therapy Facial, a non-chemical, fruit based enzyme treatment that clarifies, brightens and softens the skin and a Pigmentation Therapy Facial to improve your complexion using Lactic or Alpha-Beta solutions to the best anti-aging one which I tried, the Oxygen Therapy Facial, which targets fine lines and wrinkles and aids in boosting your skin’s natural collagen synthesis. I noticed a smoother skin texture afterwards and 24-48 hours later, I found that my pores were smaller and my forehead was tighter with less creasing. Bravo!!


La Tourelle Resort & Spa

1150 Danby Road

Ithaca, NY 14850

(607) 273-2734



We were hosted by the resort and spa but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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