- Address: 303 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
- Phone: 877-256-4553
- Rates: $165 to $250
The elegance comes from the building itself -- inside and out. Built in the Arts and Crafts style in the late 1800s by William Henry Miller (the man responsible for the architecture program at nearby Cornell University) the house has an abundance of rich chestnut wood panels, nooks, bannisters and bookshelves that are themselves a kind of architectural artwork. Authentic Tiffany stained-glass panels filter light throughout the inn, and a grand and gradual staircase leads up to spacious, well-appointed rooms.
The casual component comes in two parts. First, the furnishings in the double parlors are not only tasteful -- they’re actually comfortable as well. So much so that you’ll be eager to kick off your shoes and curl up on one of the comfy sofas with a book.
But what truly keeps the vibe casual at the William Henry Miller is the innkeeper herself, Lynette Scofield, who’s owned the inn since 1998. Despite being the caretaker of such an impressive house, Lynette is charmingly unpretentious, greeting you with a welcome that makes you feel like an old friend returning after a few months away. She’s a treasure trove of information about the area and an invaluable guide to Ithaca’s many fine restaurants -- several of which are just a short walk away.
All of these spacious rooms are impeccably decorated, creating the charm you expect from a bed and breakfast without any of the fusty clutter you’re likely eager to avoid. Queen- or king-sized beds and comfy reading chairs are covered in sumptuous fabrics. The often cavernous bathrooms are sparkling clean and well appointed; three have Jacuzzi tubs. All rooms feature cable TV, air conditioning, hand-ironed sheets, hair dryer, and CD player. The Library room also houses a gas-log fireplace. In the carriage house, dogs are welcome in The Garner Suite, while the Aurora room accommodates mobility-impaired visitors.
For the main course, guests are always offered the choice between a sweet or savory dish like eggs scrambled with smoked salmon and dill, or oatmeal banana pancakes with warm syrup. All of these dishes are always accompanied by a breakfast meat and fresh inn-baked breads. If you’re lucky, there will also be homemade English muffins on the morning of your stay.