Fingerlakes Weekend - Waterfall Resort

We spent the weekend of June 15th in New York state, in the small Fingerlakes town of Watkins Glen.  It was a quick but great weekend, and we packed in a lot of fun. 

I figured a good way to start off this small series of posts was to talk about where we stayed.  I should first mention that there really weren't any traditional chain hotels in the area, and although we're not chain snobs, I do find some comfort in knowing what I can expect with a chain.  All of the locally owned motels in the Watkins Glen area had varying degrees of awful websites and very "local" flavor so we knew it was going to be an experience in advance, which I am very glad we were prepared for.

We stayed at a place called the Fingerlakes Waterfall Resort, which we chose because it had an enormous, beautiful waterfall right on it's property.   It is very much a "motel" although we originally selected the place (in addition to the waterfall) because they had private cabins that you could rent out in addition to the motel rooms.  We had originally booked a cabin, but the owners called a few weeks prior to our arrival to tell us that the cabins "weren't ready yet."  We're fairly certain that the cabins won't be ready any time in 2012, and we're actually really glad that we didn't end up staying in one because they were in BAD shape.

The cabins and the view from our motel room door

So they had our reassigned to the motel, and from what we could tell there were about 11 rooms total in the motel.  It seemed that maybe 4 or so were actually in shape to be occupied, and of those, only two were occupied - our room and the one right above ours.  The room was fine but mostly unremarkable except for the fact that the crammed a full sized and a king sized bed into the room (which I think was fine, especially if they're trying to cater to families).

Another angle of the view from our room door

We were in one of the only lake view rooms, which I think is essential - the other rooms just look out onto the weird cabins.  Even our lake view room didn't directly open up to the part of the balcony that faced the lake, but there were tables and chairs on the front part of the deck that we had to ourselves, since we were the only people at all staying on the 2nd floor. 

And the third angle from the same position - those stairs on the left are one of two flights that we had to come down to get to our room; parking is up there above that wall of rocks

The owners were friendly enough, although a little awkward, and it definitely seemed like they were in over their heads with their attempt at renovating the place.  It needs a LOT of work to get it into good condition and I'm just not sure that they have the skills or man power or money to fund that amount of work. 

 View of the motel from the path that leads down to the lake - you can see the "stairs" in the center of the picture falling away and ending... it was that kind of path down

But even though the place felt a little run down and trashy, we were overall pleased with the experience for one reason - the waterfall.

The waterfall was exactly as advertised and it did not disappoint.  Since the only other guests in the other occupied room seemed to have no interest in doing anything on the motel property, we literally had this waterfall to ourselves the entire weekend.

DH - who absolutely loves waterfall - was in heaven.  They had a little table with some chairs set up down there, and we were free to walk in the water, up to the fall itself, or to the ledge overlooking the next part of the falls, or even hike it if we felt so inclined (which we did later in the weekend.)

Two different views of the sitting area

You can see the motel there in the background (middle center.)

We loved that there weren't any restrictions - we took a couple of drinks down with us and walked around where ever we want to.  No signs telling us to stay away from the edge, nothing prohibiting glass bothers - nothing.  Except for the chairs that were there, it was easy to pretend that we had hiked there and were just experiencing pure nature.  (I should note that there was a bridge/road that ran just over the waterfall, but somehow I didn't seem to notice it much, and it really didn't bother me or take away from the experience.)

The view of the lake from the waterfall

 Looking down over the lower falls and the houses located down there

In general we did enjoy our stay at the Waterfall Resort, but it was exclusively because of the waterfall.  If that hadn't been there I think we would have hated it.  It was not cheap enough for the condition that it was in to be worth it without the waterfall, especially considering that they didn't offer anything in terms of amenities or breakfast or anything like that. The beds were surprisingly comfortable, and I slept great both nights, so that was a plus.

If you like nature and waterfall and lakes and you don't plan to spend much time in you room then this motel "resort" would be a great place for you.  If you looking for creature comforts though, then stay far, far away. 


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