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Inn on the Lake
770 South Main St, Canandaigua, New York 14424
585-394-7800

Inn on the Lake Home Page

August 2011

Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua, New York.


Accommodations Amenities Food Bar/Lounge Service Attractions Dining Nightlife Weather Tips

Accommodations

We stayed in what is probably the nicest accommodation offered – a one-bedroom Jacuzzi suite that was lakefront. There was a kitchenette that consisted of a small refrigerator, sink, and microwave – and plenty of cabinets. There were plates and utensils but no glasses, which would have been appreciated (although when we brought back glasses of wine from the bar no one took them out of the suite).

The living area consisted of a sofa sleeper, two stuffed chairs, an ottoman, and a flat screen TV. There was no real table to eat at but there was a coffee table as well as two high stools at the counter between the kitchenette and the living area. There was a door that went out to the ample balcony, which had four Adirondack chairs and two tables. Note that the door to the outside locked (as someone on the balcony nextdoor could have gotten in) so we needed to take our key outside with us.
The bedroom had a king-size bed that was extremely comfortable with good quality sheets, a flat screen TV, and a desk and chair. Because we had the end unit, we noticed that the wireless only worked in the living area so perhaps the bedroom was too far away.

The bathroom contained one of the largest Jacuzzis we have ever had and we could both sit in it comfortably. There was a showerhead over the Jacuzzi which turned it into one of the larger showers we have had as well. The vanity was granite and somewhat low, and there was a separate water closet for the toilet. The only odd thing is that there were NO towel racks so we had to get creative on where to put wet towels. The clock in the bedroom had a nightlight and so did the hair dryer in the bathroom, which was much appreciated. The door into the bathroom and the door to the water closet opened into each other and were a little awkward. It appeared as if the suite’s décor was fairly up-to-date, it was clean, comfortable, and it was the perfect size for us. We would definitely ask for that type of accommodation if we return.

Inn Amenities

The hotel had multiple amenities: an outdoor pool (which we used quite a bit), indoor pool & spa (which we did not use), exercise facilities, and high-speed wireless Internet is included (but is not secure as no password is required). There appeared to be about 50 Adirondack chairs that were waterfront and many people would occupy them during the day with a drink in hand to contemplate the lake. The grounds were well cared for and we noted workers always seemed to be straightening up.

Inn Food

On our first night, we chose to eat at the hotel’s main dining room, which is somewhat upscale. The weather was not cooperating so we ate inside. The food was wonderful. Lori had the shrimp cocktail, which consisted of 4 huge shrimp plated nicely with cocktail sauce. Keith had fried risotto with mozzarella cheese and it was served with basil, tomato, and a vinaigrette (it was called arancini). For her dinner, Lori had 2 appetizers: lobster clams casino (a great take on a traditional appetizer) and shrimp tacos, which were stuffed with chopped shrimp, pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro. Keith had a chicken pasta dish which had him licking his lips – chicken and broccoli over penne. We had a bottle of local Fox Run Chardonnay to accompany our meal. Honestly, the food and service were excellent and we knew it would be a tough act to follow!

One afternoon we stopped at their Sand Bar which has a great setting down by the lake. It’s very casual and since we had skipped lunch we simply got an order of nachos to split along with some wine. It wasn’t gourmet but it was fine and what we were looking for and you can’t beat the setting.

One morning we had our breakfast via room service simply because we were on vacation. The order arrived during the designated time (we put the order on our door the night before) and included plentiful portions of eggs, home fries, breakfast meats, toast, juice, and they even made iced tea for us (we aren’t hot beverage drinkers in the morning).

Another morning we went to the dining room for breakfast – it was a beautiful day and we ate outside on their covered patio – quite a lovely setting. Keith had scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, and excellent wheat toast. Lori opted for the breakfast croissant – which turned out to be huge, and included scrambled eggs, cheese, and bacon, accompanied by fresh fruit. Once again our request for unsweetened iced tea was accommodated (she even left the pitcher on the table).

Generally we don’t have high expectations for hotel food but the dining room definitely hits and surpasses the mark.

Inn Bar/Lounge

Outside of the afore-mentioned Sand Bar down by the lake, the hotel also has a bar adjacent to the restaurant. It is nicely furnished with several flat screen TVs and comfortable seating. Our first night we met Tim, the bartender, who was friendly and full of helpful suggestions. We liked chatting with him so much we went back on other occasions. There is a deck off the bar with several tables and the weather was so beautiful one night we sat out there.

Inn People/Service

We don’t have anything but good things to say about the people and the service. They seem to be trained very well. We had been there one day and the weather was gorgeous and we were having such a nice time we said, wouldn’t it be nice if we could extend our stay for a day. And suddenly we thought, why not? First we checked with our pet sitter, who was available, and next we went to the front desk. She looked at the computer after hearing our request, then smiled and said, “You’re all set.” It was just that easy. We were there during the week and know if it had been a summer weekend we likely would not have been able to stay a day longer. But honestly everyone was great.

Area/Attractions

Canandaigua is one of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York – and the town of Canandaigua sits on the northern end of the lake. There is all manner of seasonal water activities. We were there during late summer. There a tons of wineries in the Finger Lakes region so if you are a wine enthusiast, that is a major attraction. We knew the weather wasn’t supposed to be nice on Sunday when we were driving to our destination so we took the opportunity to hit several wineries along the way.

On our last full day, we took a cruise on the Canandaigua Lady, a paddlewheel boat which leaves from Steamboat Landing. Dining cruises are offered but we chose an afternoon sightseeing cruise from 2:30-4. Warning: you have to put up with some pretty hokey music and the pilot repeated several stories, but it’s worth it to go. We paid $2 extra per person to sit on the top deck and managed to get two chairs at a table in the front of the boat. Wednesday afternoon was “Wine Wednesdays” and included free tastings from Inspire Moore winery. We purchased a couple rounds of wine from the roving server as well. The pilot got a little involved in one story he was telling and missed his turn-around point so our cruise went a little longer than expected, which was fine with us.

Dining

Simply Crepes - 101 South Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 585-394-9091
Simply Crepes Web Site
We had breakfast at this cute little crepe restaurant along the main drag of Canandaigua (there are a handful of locations). The concept is great – take crepes and combine them with all sorts of different fillings that will work with any meal. We wanted to really love this place but at the end of the day it was simply OK. Keith had the Crepes Benedict – two poached eggs and Canadian bacon on crepes and covered with their smoked apple wood-bacon cream sauce. Keith felt the sauce really had very little taste. Lori had the Simply Breakfast Crepe – scrambled eggs, cheddar, and bacon in crepes. The bacon was very tasty but there was very little cheese and the whole affair was quite dry and tasteless. So – the place was charming and the concept was a great one, but we think the execution needed a little work.

Doc's Lakeside Seafood and Steakhouse – 726 South Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 585-394-3460
Doc's Web Site
We very much wanted to go somewhere we could walk from the hotel so we chose Doc’s. “Lakeside” is really a stretch since you can’t see the water from their restaurant. Our mothers always told us if you don’t have anything good to say about something, don’t say anything at all. We did not save our receipt and only a week later the only thing we can remember is the service was poor and the food was not memorable at all. Keith had a nondescript steak and Lori had shrimp and scallops with pasta and alfredo sauce that was completely bland. There are better places to go. We will not return to Doc's.

Rio Tomatlan – 5 Beeman Street, Canandaigua, NY 585-394-9380
Rio Tamatlan's Web Site
We love authentic Mexican food and unfortunately there is very little of that to be found where we live so we take every opportunity we can to sample it when we find it. We actually did a reconnaissance mission to find this place since it was on a small side street. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but when you enter there are plenty of lively colors and the main dining room has a high ceiling. Reservations are recommended but we went early on a Tuesday evening – we were greeted with a smile and seated promptly but the place filled up quickly, so we would recommend a reservation if you go later on or on a weekend. We each had a Patron margarita (smooth).

Our server informed us “we have guacamole tonight” so we assumed that was a good thing and ordered it. We got a healthy scoop of guacamole with fresh cilantro and fresh tortilla chips that were not salty. We are guacamole aficionados and this was some of the best guac we have ever tasted. Keith ordered the Queso Fundido as an appetizer. We’d had this at other Mexican restaurants and were used to a sort of cheese/andouille sausage fondue with chips. This was different – it was small tacos with stuffing. It was still good but different than what we expected. Keith had the Enchiladas Mole for his entrée – mole is a chocolate sauce and this was kicked up a notch, had chicken, and was tasty and tender. The heat built as he ate. Lori had the Vallarta al Mojo – a shrimp dish that was somewhat like scampi and accompanied by sticky rice. It was delicious but there was only one problem – the shrimp were cooked with the shells on and it is very difficult to get the shells off at that point, so it was sort of messy. It was a good experience and we would definitely recommend this place if you are a fan of authentic Mexican food.

Nolan's on the Lake – 130 Lakeshore Drive, Canandaigua, NY 585-905-0201
Nolan's Web Site
We discovered this place simply by passing it. It looked decent and had a nice outdoor covered dining area that actually did overlook the lake so we went there on our last evening. We chose to eat outside and were surprised more people weren’t doing so as it was a gorgeous evening. Our server was friendly and it was a beautiful setting – the tables were long open booths so we both sat on the same side and watched a sun glinting off the many sailboats out on the lake. We started off with a bottle of Toasted Head Chardonnay and an order of garlic bread stuffed with cheese. Keith ordered the Riesling Festival Chicken (tender chicken sautéed with broccoli and bruschetta in a Riesling-garlic-parmesan sauce). He paid a couple bucks to upgrade to a wedge salad with crumbly bleu cheese dressing. Amazingly, the “wedge” was practically the whole head of lettuce! Lori went simple and simply had the shrimp and scallop basket with fries. As mentioned before, it was a beautiful evening and our server did not rush us. Lori did something she never does and ordered dessert to be split: a delicious home-made warm sticky bun with vanilla ice cream. No one had recommended this place to us and we hadn’t uncovered it when we were doing research, but it was a good experience and we would return.

Nightlife

Honestly this is a pristine setting and most of the nightlife was probably to be found at the Sand Bar the last night we were there when a loud band was playing. Nightlife during our stay for us consisted of sitting out on the balcony, drinking wine, and listening to our iPod.

Weather

Our weather was perfect. We visited Canandaigua during the last week of August and outside of our first day – which was our travel day and we were on the very outer edge of a hurricane – we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. We enjoyed sparkling blue skies, fluffy clouds (when there were any), low humidity, and highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Stunning.

Tips/Suggestions

The Inn on the Lake is a great place and we will return. We did not make our reservation until two months before we went and were somewhat limited on what we could get. If you go – to get the accommodations you want when you want it, reserve early. You’ll be glad you did.