Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion located in Canandaigua, New York opened April 28, 2018 for the season.
Old Man Winter was very reluctant to loose his grip this spring. Even the first day of the Spring Wildflower & Orchid Show saw a snow covered ground before sunrise. As such, spring flowers were still sleeping and did not make their appearance for the show. Even some of the earliest spring flowers like bloodroot, which is usually past blooming by the time the Orchid Show starts, had yet to make its appearance. As a result, guests visiting for the show were told that the garden still had its “winter face” on.
But that face will soon change. Opening Weekend is expected to be quite a show of spring color as the plants try to make up for being weeks behind schedule. This is good news for visitors as the park is going to wake up in a great explosion of color and new growth. Visit Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion soon to see our always unique and never repeated garden show that each and every visit offers!
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Check out May Touring Tips for Canandaigua and the western Finger Lakes. You don’t want to miss a thing. May is a great month to visit. The weather is still cool. The crowds are still at home. And, the perennials are in full bloom. Take advantage of our Free Weeknight Package in May and June. Stay two weeknights and the third one is on us. Two full days to explore. You will need them.
May Touring Tips
What better place to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than at Rio Tomatlan? Celebrate the right way with a band, DJ andthe famous margaritas and tacos! You’re not celebrating right if you’re not at Rio! Sign up for a class at Quiote, Rio’s new educational space upstairs, while you’re there too. Rio Tomatlan, 106 Bemis Street, Canandaigua, 14424.
And they’re off to the races! The 2018 racing season has begun at Finger Lakes Gaming & Race Track! Between races check out the gaming floor with over 1,500 gaming machines. Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, 5857 NY- 96, Farmington, 14425.
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Once again, the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast in Canandaigua, New York has received the AAA Four Diamond Award. The 1795 Acorn Inn is the only Bed and Breakfast in New York State to have received the AAA Four Diamond Award for 22 consecutive years. According to AAA, “Four Diamond establishments are upscale in all areas. Accommodations are progressively more refined and stylish. The physical attributes reflect an obvious enhanced level of quality throughout. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail.”
AAA Four Diamond Award
Each AAA Four Diamond property has something unique to offer. AAA’s professionally-trained inspectors use strict guidelines to conduct unannounced hotel evaluations. Diamond levels are assigned based on their findings. When a property changes hands or when a new property seeks to be evaluated, AAA sends a “secret sleeper” for the evaluation. AAA inspectors evaluate 59,000 properties annually. Out of those, less than is percent of hotels achieve the coveted Four Diamond Status.
The staff at the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast works diligently to maintain not only AAA Four Diamond Award standards, but our own as well. First of all, it is our goal to provide our guests with an luxurious, enjoyable, memorable experience. Additionally, we are meticulous about cleanliness. Also, we serve a beautifully prepared and tasteful full breakfast. And provide unmatched customer service. Our warmth and hospitality shine through. We love what we do and it shows.
Most noteworthy, our pride. We all take great pride in what we do. At the end of the day, it makes all the difference in the world. And, what girl doesn’t like diamonds?
Packages and Specials
Don’t forget to check out our Packages and Specials. You may just find a great value to go along with a great stay.
If you are looking for something to do in the Finger Lakes, our April Touring Tips can definitely assist you. While the weather may be a little unpredictable, the accommodations and service at this luxurious Canandaigua Bed and Breakfast remain consistent.
April Touring Tips – Golf
Dust off your golf bags, because the links are open! Celebrate the spring weather with a visit to one of Ontario County’s local golf courses:
Big Oak Golf Course, 33 Packwood Road, Geneva, 14456
Bristol Harbour, 5410 Seneca Point Road, Canandaigua, 14424
CenterPointe Country Club, 2231 Brickyard Road, Canandaigua, 14424
Parkview Fairways, 7100 Boughton Road Victor, 14564
Ravenwood Golf Club, 929 Lynaugh Road, Victor, 14564
Reservoir Creek Golf Course, 8613 State Route 21, Naples, 14512
The Pheasant Golf Links, 1475 Sandhill Road, Shortsville, NY 14548
Victor Hills Golf Club, 1450 Brace Road, Victor, 14564
Winding Creek Golf Course, 6394 Plaster Mill Road, Victor, 14566
Finger Lakes Forest Therapy
Become one with nature by participating in an outing with Finger Lakes Forest Therapy this spring. Join a Shinrin-Yoku Forest Therapy walk to engage in a full sensory experience with nature by incorporating visits to local forests as a wellness strategy. The next walk will be the Listen to Your Mother, Earth Day Walk at Harriett Hollister Spencer Park in Honeoye, on April 22 from 1-4pm. This walk will be for all ages and will be a deep dive into living more sustainably. Finger Lakes Forest Therapy, 585-412-5550.
With hidden gems all around the property, Belhurst Castle is the perfect spot to visit in the spring. Get papmpered at Isabella Spa, or check out the two restaurants on site – which means you can plan the perfect spring getaway without even having to leave the property. Don’t forget to visit the speakeasy for a drink or two before dinner – ask to see the call buttons from Prohibition time! Belhurst Castle, 4069 West Lake Road, Geneva, 14456.
New York Wine & Culinary Center
Learn something new this spring by taking a hands-on class at the New York Wine & Culinary Center! From sushi rolling (April 14) to bread baking (April 21) and truffles (April 28) to wontons (April 29), you are sure to expand your culinary knowledge. Spaces must be reserved, so visit https://www.nywcc.com/ClassesAndHappenings/2018-04 for the full list of open offerings! New York Wine & Culinary Center, 800 South Main Street, Canandaigua, 14424.
Explore Downtown Naples for a complete spring escape! With wineries like Inspire Moore and Arbor Hill, restaurants like Roots Café and hotels like the Naples Hotel (which may or may not be haunted – you decide), it has everything you need for the perfect day or overnight trip! Check out www.naplesvalleyny.com for a full list of activities! And, don’t miss Robin’s Nest. This home store with antiques is exquisite and charming.
Gotta Have A Beer or Two
Welcome the newly opened WeBe Brewing Company to the Finger Lakes, and have a pint or two at their new Geneva location. The 14th brewery in Ontario County not only has a tasting room complete with soups, snacks and pretzels in addition to their flagship beers on tap, but will be opening a biergarten in the back this summer. Come welcome them and enjoy a Belgian pint or cider! WeBe Brewing, 796 Pre Emption Road, Geneva, 14456.
Don’t forget to visit our Package page. April is that last month to take advantage a free night on the weekend.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Online Travel Agents (OTA). What is an Online Travel Agent? Well, perhaps you’ve heard of tripadvisor.com, expedia.com, booking.com, priceline.com, kayak.com. The list goes on and it seems to be getting bigger all the time. As a consumer, I am a fan of OTA’s. I almost always book my airline through expedia.com. If I am in need of a hotel, I will peruse several of the sites mentioned above. It helps me to see what is out there and to roughly compare pricing. Of course, there are the reviews. Sometimes they are helpful. Sometimes they are not. But, I always go to the lodging’s web site and check pricing there before making any decision. Here’s why…
Online Travel Agent (OTA) Booking
As an Innkeeper working behind the scenes, I have a better understanding of pricing. I did not really understand this until I started listing the 1795 Acorn Inn on booking.com, airbnb and bedandbreakfast.com in August of 2017. Online Travel Agents charge an establishment commission to list their rates. Most of the time it’s about 15%. The hope is that lodging will keep their rates the same as what they are charging on their site. Well, sadly, that does not always happen. Some lodgings will raise their prices to cover the cost of commission on an OTA. Who wants to lose 15%? So why list? Well, as a small Bed and Breakfast, we simple can’t compete with the big OTA’s and we must list our site. I resisted but finally succumb. And I hate it.
So, I want the listing on these sites, but that’s about it. I don’t put all my rooms on booking.com so you don’t see my complete availability. You also won’t see my special value packages.
The simple truth is that much of the time you will get the best price on the actual lodging’s site. And, you have a direct line to the Innkeeper if needed. That’s me.
To check out our best pricing, visit our Packages page.
Why Stay At A Bed And Breakfast? If you have ever asked yourself that question, then here are a few answers. There are so many options out there today. Hotels. Motels. Airbnb (which really has nothing to do with a B & B). Vacation Rental By Owner (VBRO). And I am sure countless more I do not even know about.
Why Stay At A Bed And Breakfast
I am an Innkeeper. I’ve owned and operated the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast in upstate New York for over thirteen years. So, I may be just a tad biased. Having grown up in the Orient, I’ve traveled extensively and stayed in many different types of lodgings. Though, admittedly, I’ve never stayed at an Airbnb property.
The basic principle of all of the above is the same… you are renting a room, probably in an area that you do not live. In the case of Airbnb or VRBO, you could be renting and entire house. But you could also rent an entire Inn and have the house to yourself so that is not all that different.
With a hotel or motel, there is a staff on hand, most of the time, to assist you. Some more professional than others. And, some without a vast knowledge of the area. Perhaps students during summer vacation. With Airbnb or VBRO, you may have a phone number to call if you have an issue. There my even be someone living in the house if you are just renting out a room.
But, with a Bed and Breakfast, you have an Innkeeper. More than likely, someone who owns the property, lives on the property and as someone who lives locally, is a vast resource at your disposal. Both prior to, during and after your stay. Most of the time, the Innkeeper is someone who has opened their home. Someone who is warm and inviting and happy to assist you.
Your Innkeeper is going to be the person you see at the beginning and end of your stay, no matter how short, and all the time in between. They are going to be the ones welcoming you and getting you settled. Answering your questions about where to eat and what to do in the area. They are going to advise you from a locals’ perspective and share all the secrets about the best places to go and see.
Furthermore, your Innkeeper is more than likely going to fix your fantastic, gourmet breakfast. They are going to have shopped for your food, prepared it and serve it. Taking care to serve you what they would enjoy themselves. And, be very careful about any and all dietary restrictions you may have.
More often than not, your innkeeper is going to be doing the laundry, cleaning your room, answering your phone calls or responding to your emails and providing special touches along the way. Why Stay At A Bed And Breakfast? Because of your Innkeeper. Worth every penny.
Breakfast. Not only is it usually delicious but depending on the B & B, most often it is served family style. All guests sit together and believe it or not, talk. There is often much laughter and interesting discussion among various age groups. It’s the highlight of this Innkeeper’s day to see strangers speaking to each other about what to do or what have they done, learn a little about each other and have stimulating, interesting conversation. Of course there will always be those that are not comfortable with such interaction. And we do understand. For those, a Bed and Breakfast such as this Canandaigua lodging may not be appropriate, but you can always select our Bed and No Breakfast package and receive a reduced rate.
Visit our Packages page for additional special values.
And so it begins… a serious of blogs sharing Conversations At The 1795 Acorn Inn Breakfast Table – February. For most guests staying at a Bed and Breakfast, the Breakfast is almost more important than the Bed. In case you didn’t know already, we serve breakfast at 9:00 am. Often guests will ask, “What time is breakfast served until.” Breakfast is served at 9:00 am. You are welcome to make yourself comfortable at our Tiger maple table until whenever you life. Most guests leave for the day around 10:00 or 10:30. The longest anyone has stayed is 1:00 pm. Why so long? The conversation. The food is gone in no time.
Conversations At The 1795 Acorn Inn Breakfast Table – February
Shortly I will blog about why guests choose a Bed and Breakfast over a hotel, airbnb, or Vacation Rental By Owner (VBRO). But, today I want to talk about the conversation we had last weekend at the breakfast table. The table was made up of a couple in their 20’s from New Jersey. A couple in their 30’s from New York. And two couples in their 50’s, one from Canada and one from Pennsylvania. Quite an age range. But it is important to note, the conversation was fluid as often it is. Sometimes, I have to sing and dance to get the table talking. Once I do, they eventually find they have things in common. Much conversation is pleasant. It centers around how they found the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast. What they did yesterday or what they plan to do today. Where they went to dinner the night before. Where they are from…
We tend to stay away from politics, but who can resist these days. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of our guests from Canada. We stay away from sex. Though your Innkeeper has a few good stories. And of course, religion is not widely discussed. But last weekend we spoke of family, good and bad. We talked about where we fell in the line of siblings. Being the perfect child in the middle. We spoke of the discipline we were raised with, how some raised their children and how those just starting plan on raising their children. It was refreshing to hear such strong parenting skills and ideas. Christine shared a story about her son’s girlfriend that had the table in stitched.
Some guests are more vocal than others, but this table shared the conversation. Respectfully taking turns. Sharing tidbits from their lives with virtual strangers. This went on for two days given that many of them stayed several nights at this Finger Lakes accommodations. As an Innkeeper, this is a wonderful experience and largely why I work so hard to maintain this AAA Four Diamond lodging. One would think this doesn’t happen very often when in reality, it happens most weekend. It’s actually time to fix breakfast and enjoy more conversations at the breakfast table.
If you are interested in joining us, be sure to visit our Packages Page to check out your options. We would be happy to serve you breakfast and invite you to sit at our table.
Yesterday morning at the the breakfast table, a comment was made which made me think… We’re Not Your Grandmother’s House. The comment was from a couple in their late 50’s/early60’s that was looking for a book to read. They mentioned when they visited B & B’s before, they always have books. I said in 2004, we used to have books but found that no one actually read them. Seems like, these days, guests bring their own books and more often than not have an iPad or an e-reader. And that got me thinking…
And that got me thinking… We’re Not Your Grandmother’s House
Maybe when I first took over the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast in 2004, it may very well have been my Grandmother’s house. Built in 1810, it was full of stuff. Too many things hanging on the walls. Doilies. Full canopies on beds. Even a crocheted canopy in the Angell Room. Gingham checked swags for window coverings with matching tissue box holders. Bookshelves in every room, including six wall-to-wall shelves on the upstairs landing. And a decent collection of VHS tapes. Consequently, this Finger Lakes accommodation was all nicely decorated in a Country Colonial theme, but it felt old. And it wasn’t me. So often a Bed and Breakfast is a reflection of it’s owner.
The Evolution of Bed and Breakfasts
Years, actually decades ago, women stayed at home to raise a family. As a result, when the kids got older and went off to college, they found themselves with not much to do. Hence, in an effort to keep busy at something they were good at and consequently earn a few extra bucks, they started renting out rooms on a short-term basis. Providing breakfast was easy and eventually Bed and Breakfasts came about.
Eventually, it soon became something older couples could do together to supplement their income and make use of their large home. Often it was decorated with wallpaper and years of memories. It was warm and welcoming and a cozy option to staying in a chain hotel. At some point, not too long ago, it became a livelihood for some and businesses were born. Papers were filed with local entities. Income was reported. Taxes paid. Inspections passed. Standards maintained. And marketing plans put in place.
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February activities in the Finger Lakes are bountiful. Just check out what there is to do and check out the 1795 Acorn Inn Packages page for great values at this Canandaigua accommodation. Not only are we conveniently located to many of the activities below, but you will be comforted in luxury, warmth and hospitality.
February Activities In The Finger Lakes
On Saturday, February 10 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., visit Naples and experience Vintage Vines & Valentines, an old‐world celebration of love and friendship in the historic Finger Lakes Naples Valley. The event features wine tastings, food sampling, s’more making, horse and wagon rides, and all sorts of special things. The Naples Hotel, 111 South Main Street, Naples, 14512. For more details and directions visit www.facebook.com/VintageVinesValentines.
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