Big Tree Inn: Upscale History in Upstate NY College Town

The Big Tree Inn is like an elegant commander of the picturesque downtown of Geneseo, New York. Geneseo, a college town with specialty shops and eateries along its main street has retained its historic ambiance while blending in a hip attitude.

One of the dining rooms at The Big Tree Inn

With its blend of history and touch of hip, The Big Tree Inn is one of Geneseo’s go-to places for a night out of fine dining and libations.

The restaurant’s and tavern’s offerings are a local food and drink shout out. Local beer and wines are main features, for example. The hand-crafted burgers are made from beef from Seven Bridges Farms that specializes in all natural products.

Unfortunately, I arrived after the restaurant and tavern had closed, and because neither are open on Sunday, I missed out on a dining experience.

The free continental breakfast, which consisted of a robust selection of bagels, breads, juice and coffee was served in the tavern, and was a wonderful spot to start the morning. Plus, the lodging on its own was splendid and well worth the trip.

Built originally as a banker’s residence in 1833, The Big Tree Inn, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a stately, upscale place to stay. There are eight guest rooms–each different from the other. My friend and I stayed in the MacVitte Suite.


The MacVitte Suite named after a prominent Geneseo college president

Named after former Geneseo President Robert W. MacVitte who is credited with expanding the then teachers college into its current State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo status, the suite is appointed in all that is befitting to its namesake.

blankAntique furniture from the king size bed to the writing desk and wardrobe are polished wood elegance. Armchairs and the details like the white bedspread of delicate stitching and period lamps create an atmosphere of importance. As soon as we settled in, we turned on the gas fireplace that created a cheery welcoming glow. The embroidered “Do Not Disturb” sign was a lovely and clever touch that I haven’t seen before.

Although the furnishings say “historic” the luxurious bedding, high definition flat screen TV, free wi-fi, and the bathroom say 21st century. The ceramic tiles, plaid wallpaper, a glass encased walk in shower, thick, plush towels are lovely. The provided bathrobes add to the luxurious feel.

The One Tree Inn and the town of Geneseo would make for a wonderful weekend getaway. With only eight guest rooms,and hang out spots in the sitting room downstairs, the feel here is private and intimate. The staff is friendly and knows the area well.


Also, the inn’s location close to the Finger Lakes, wineries and the Letchworth State Park put it in the midst of much to do. Unfortunately, I only had one night but did get in a bit of shopping in before I left town.

The One Tree Inn is definitely a draw to return for more exploring. The room rates run between $140 to $165 depending on the style of room. Those with a fireplace and/or a Jacuzzi tub are at the higher end. Before I left, I was given a peek at the other rooms. All are gorgeous. Make reservations through the hotel website, Travelocity or Expedia.

Post and photos, courtesy of Jamie Rhein

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