A Wine Country Stay at Watkins Glen Harbor
The Hotel: *Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
Where: Watkins Glen, The Finger Lakes Region, NY
The *Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel is at one end of the town of Watkins Glen. You can walk to any of the restaurants and shops in town. It’s also right at the bottom of Seneca Lake with a marina behind it, where we had a short walk around the docks, which were still empty in early spring. It’s a short drive to the raceway, nearby hiking and wineries that line the lake.
Sitting out on the hotel’s back patio, looking out over the lake with a glass of (very good) local dry Riesling, I felt as though I was on a wine country vacation and visiting someplace more exotic than upstate New York.
The Harbor Hotel doesn’t immediately jumps out as a family hotel. The room décor is a little fussy and the lobby has breakable things. But because of the race track, popular hiking spots nearby and its ideal setting for weddings the hotel is used to greeting a wide range of guests. We saw other families staying and there was no point where I felt uncomfortable with a 6YO along.
There was a large group (most likely a wedding) off to one side when were out on the patio. Tiny Traveler ran around while drank our wine and no one seemed to notice or care.
The room at this Finger Lakes hotel had a great lake view, and a cozy country inn feel. It was fine for three people but could have felt tight with a second child or with teens. The rooms have refrigerators and free wi-fi. We had a walk-in shower and no bathtub, which was fine, since we were only there for one night. But if you have kids who only take baths and you’re staying for a few days I’d inquire about a room with bathtub.
The tavern room connected to the patio was busy and had a friendly vibe. It also had a good selection of local beer and wine on hand; nice touch in a region that emphasizes that. The patio had a fire ring. We didn’t eat in the restaurant. The indoor pool is a little small, but the morning we swam in it we were the only ones there so it was fine. There is a small Jacuzzi, too. There is free parking (the parking lot sits between the hotel and the lake, which is unfortunate) and a fee for rollaway beds.
The Bottom Line:
A larger family could only stay if it had budget for multiple rooms or one of two suites. But we enjoyed the Harbor Hotel’s style and location and would aim to stay here again if we were going back to Watkins Glen.
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*We were guests of the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce during our stay. We did not agree to any particular coverage of the hotel and our opinions are always our own.
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