The Upstate New York property, scheduled to open later this year, aims to offer a distinctive product in a recreational area.
CANANDAIGUA, New York—The Hotel Canandaigua, part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection, is expected to attract a mix of leisure and business guests, as well as events and meetings that the Finger Lakes region “has never been able to host previously” when it opens later this year, GM Todd Plouffe said.
In this recreational hub in west-central New York State, there are 11 Finger Lakes ranging from 4 to 38 miles long—with none more than 3.5 miles wide. The area is home to more than 100 wineries, dozens of waterfalls, museums, art galleries, a thriving food scene and impressive outdoor recreational activities.
When the Hotel Canandaigua opens, it will sit on the north end of Lake Canandaigua, which local boosters call the “Lake Tahoe” of the East Coast. It will house 109 rooms, including 18 suites, newly introduced lakefront access and food-and-beverage offerings that honor the Finger Lakes harvest and culture, including the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail.
Plouffe, a hospitality veteran who most recently served as GM of Marriott Syracuse Downtown, said the property will stand out in the market as a full-service Hilton product with a worldwide rewards program. In addition, it offers 14,000 square feet of function space, the largest offering in the area, and 44 residential condos.
The hotel is owned by local businessmen Robert Murphy and Dave Genecco, who decided to go with Tapestry “due to the flexibility of the brand as far as freedom of design, décor and programming, while still having the leverage of the Hilton engine behind it,” Plouffe said.
The property is on what had been the site of a steamboat landing, including a banquet hall and a restaurant. Prior to that, it was part of the Roseland Amusement Park. Construction originally started in 2014 and was paused until 2019. Plouffe said that while opening is set for late fall, the COVID-19 crisis could cause delays.
The design of the rooms, public space and landscaping is inspired by local natural elements, Plouffe said. He described the look as “contemporary lake décor,” reflective of its surroundings in being relaxed and comfortable but modern. Design firm HVS Design is incorporating artwork that evokes all four seasons.
The market will be diverse, attractive to leisure travelers for its “immersive high value and quintessential lakeside escapes,” he said. The large function space will attract groups, weddings and events that are seeking “a naturally infused, lakeside function.” Peak season will be May through October when the lake is active. During the off-season, guests will have access to ski mountains, historical sites and many year-round wineries.
Food and beverage will be a centerpiece of the property, in a wine district “that is deeply rooted in the farm-to-table way of life,” Plouffe said. Outlets will include the lakeside Cove Restaurant + Bar and an outdoor tiki bar called The Crow’s Nest that overlooks the lake. The restaurant will serve contemporary American cuisine that focuses on “bright, clean and approachable” seasonal menus. It will feature a large, four-sided bar serving small plates and drinks.
The property has 10,000 square feet of indoor space, including a 5,536 square-foot grand ballroom (the largest in the region), a 1,775 square-foot junior ballroom, two meeting rooms, executive board room and private dining room.
The condos are located on the fourth and fifth floors of the building. According to Plouffe, residential real estate on the lake is highly sought-after, and it offered an opportunity to capitalize on the prime real estate on which the hotel is located.
Waterfront activities will range from kayaking and canoeing to shoreline fitness classes (there will be a 1,200 square-foot fitness facility) and access to the “Canandaigua Lady,” a 19th-century steamboat replica that offers regular cruises.
Plouffe said he has been involved in all developmental aspects of the property, from formulating the hotel’s mission and design, to setting revenue goals. He is overseeing the project from concept to opening, with the assistance of Katie Patnode, director of sales and marketing, who is developing group sales strategies, overseeing the events team, and managing operations and catering protocol for event space.
Hotel Canandaigua is being managed by Hay Creek Hotels, which specializes in the development and management of independent full-service hotels, inns and resorts in the 35- to 225-room range, mainly in New England.