The Sherwood Inn on the shores of Skanaeteles Lake, one of the larger of the 11 Finger Lakes in New York, is the Grande Dame of this upscale tourist town. Skaneateles, founded in 1830, is a village of boutique style shops, galleries and restaurants on the north end of this pristine lake that stretches for 16 miles. The Sherwood Inn, located where the village meets the water, affords a marvelous view.
The original inn, first built as a stage coach stop in 1807, was later torn down and a new inn called the Packwood House was built to replace it in 1871. That was the first of several changes that have led to the Sherwood Inn’s current status as 25 guest room inn with a fine-dining restaurant and a tavern.
The blend of history with modern tastes is incredibly well-done here. There’s a stately elegance without stuffiness. Victorian style furniture of polished wood, leather and patterned fabric are paired with paintings of equestrian, maritime and village scenes. Paintings of flowers and birds are compliments to the floral patterns of the curtains and drapes. Lamps and floral arrangements are tastefully placed to create a sense of cozy warmth.
Each guest room whether with a king bed or queen is well-appointed with the care and thoughtful design of the shared spaces, and no two rooms are alike. Wallpaper design and colors, room configuration and carpeting create a palate to fit a variety of tastes from feminine to more masculine. Most rooms have gas fireplaces and some include a sitting room. Jet tubs are a common feature. Other amenities include free WiFi and toiletries from Beekman 1802 Farm in Sharon Springs, NY. (As a bit of insider information, the duo who owns Beekman 1802 Farm won the Amazing Race in 2012. I loved this team.) Goat milk soap are one of their specialty products.
For the best views, ask for a room at the front of the hotel. Because there isn’t an elevator, and if stairs are a problem, ask for a room on the 2nd floor. The first floor is made up of meeting spaces, the restaurant and tavern, the reception area and a small gift shop.
A full-continental breakfast buffet is included in the price of the rooms. The Sherwood Inn’s version of breakfast includes an egg dish, a breakfast meat, homemade granola and an assortment of breads and pastries from Patisserie, the bakery that’s part of the Sherwood Inn property.
When I settled into my lunch of littleneck steamed clams, Caesar salad and craft beer at the Lakefront View Porch of the Sherwood Inn Dining Room, I settled into a meal of bliss. The wait staff was pleasant and accommodating and the view glorious. I wasn’t exactly Daisy in The Great Gatsby, but this was a treat.
The lunch menu is a mix of salads, soups, burgers and sandwiches for a lighter fare. Sherwood Classics include Yankee Pot Roast. The dinner menu adds in several upscale dining dishes. The Sherwood Tavern has a more casual atmosphere and has a full-bar menu.
Room rates range from $170 to $295. You can book a room here at the Sherwood Inn’s website.
Post and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein, member of Midwest Travel Journalists Association