The Best Hotels to Book in Rochester, New York, for Every Traveler

Relax by the pool or go hiking in the Horizon Hill Conservation Area when staying at the Woodcliff Hotel and Spa
Relax by the pool or go hiking in the Horizon Hill Conservation Area when staying at the Woodcliff Hotel and Spa | Courtesy of Woodcliff Hotel and Spa / Booking.com
Daniel Stables

History surrounds Rochester, from the Erie Canal to the home of photography pioneer George Eastman. However, in recent decades, the city has seen a renaissance, with a booming food and drink scene. Meanwhile, the countryside on the edge of the Finger Lakes, a picture of Upstate New York tranquility, is home to countless wineries. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in Rochester – from sleek downtown properties with rooftop bars to cozy B&Bs set in acres of canalside gardens.

1. Courtyard by Marriott Rochester East/Penfield, for close-to-campus comfort

Hotel

Large room with wooden beams on the ceiling, dark brown couches and dining tables at Courtyard by Marriott Rochester East:Penfield
Courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Rochester East/Penfield / Booking.com

If you’re visiting friends at either St John Fisher College or Nazareth College – both under 10 minutes away by car – this unassuming Rochester hotel is a good choice with impressively grand rooms, framed art, and soft lighting. Social spaces you can treat your friends to drinks in include a living room-style lobby and an outdoor courtyard. The Bistro serves all-day dishes including healthy Mediterranean grain bowls (although burgers can be arranged). Other highlights include the light-filled indoor pool area, hot tub, and exercise room.

2. Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown, for a botanist’s break

Chain Hotel, Hotel

Inner courtyard with a hardwood floor, a palm tree and patio chairs at Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown / Booking.com

A 13-minute walk from the Strong National Museum of Play, this corner 1920s building with a central arboretum houses warmly decorated rooms adorned with flower photographs you could stay in for weeks. Especially in those that come with in-room drinks and snacks included. Connected by skywalk to the Mayo Clinic, recovering guests can swim sedately in the pool – if you’re fit, plow up and down to earn your breakfast bacon and eggs at the industrial-chic restaurant.

3. Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Rochester-Pittsford, for beers by the fire pit

Suite Hotel

Double bed in a room with a brown patterned carpet, a brown dresser, a flat screen TV and a red chair at Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Rochester-Pittsford:Brighton
Courtesy of Country Inn and Suites by Radisson, Rochester-Pittsford/Brighton / Booking.com

Any hotel that offers complimentary coffee and cookies is a winner, as is one that can play on words – stock up on snacks at the Inn Case Market before hunkering down by the outdoor firepit. Breakfast favorites include Belgian waffles, which you can eat while your electric car charges at one of three Tesla charging stations. Kick back in rooms that favor a safe but soothing color theme with pops of red in easy chairs and cushions, while suites add a separate living room and a sleeper sofa. Everyone will love a scream at the Seabreeze Amusement Park, 13.5km (8.4miles) from the hotel. Ride the Whirlwind roller coaster for lovely views of Lake Ontario – if you can open your eyes to see it.

4. Beautiful Valley Guesthouse, for rural Americana

Hotel

Colonial-style exterior of Beautiful Valley Guesthouse
Courtesy of Beautiful Valley Guesthouse / Expedia

With a name this lovely, how could the pet-friendly Beautiful Valley Guesthouse fail to charm? This white clapboard mansion with shuttered windows is all about making you feel so cozy you won’t want to leave, lined with Americana, such as half tester beds dressed with quilted throws and wooden rocking chairs. If you can play the piano, there’s a baby grand to show off your skills. Being in downtown Scottsville means the owners can send you along to the nearby Artisan Coffeehouse for your breakfast and caffeine fix. They also sell locally-made gifts if you need to get your cat-sitter a present.

5. Hyatt Regency Rochester, for a restful city hotel

Hotel

Rooftop deck with patio chairs and city views at Hyatt Regency Rochester
Courtesy of Hyatt Regency Rochester / Booking.com

Within a stone’s throw of the Genesee River, this is one of the most popular hotels in Rochester, a 15-minute walk from the National Museum of Play. If you’re not one for walking, don’t worry, as complimentary shuttle services ferry guests within a 3-mile (5km) radius. Wooden floors and big, bouncy beds tick boxes in large rooms, while public spaces go all out, fire pits you can sip a New York sour by, an indoor pool with rooftop views, and a terrace for flicking through that guidebook while you catch some rays. When it comes to food, there are plenty of spaces to eat and drink including an All-American steakhouse.

6. Hotel on Monroe, for sociable spaces

Hotel

Two double beds in a room with a hardwood floor at Hotel on Monroe
Courtesy of Hotel on Monroe / Expedia

This city center spot is a breeze to get to whether you’re arriving by train or plane, with Rochester Station a 7-minute drive and Greater Rochester Intl. Airport, only 11. Don’t question the math, as single rooms sleep two and doubles sleep four, with wood effect flooring, beds, and storage. Whether you’re here to check in on a friend at St John Fisher College or visit the famed suffragette Susan B Anthony’s house, you can chat about your day with fellow travelers in the cafe over locally roasted coffee, or move on to local craft beer.

7. The Strathallan Rochester Hotel and Spa, for classic style

Hotel

Elegant dining room with a long table, a traditional-looking carpet and a chandelier at The Strathallan Rochester Hotel and Spa
Courtesy of The Strathallan Rochester Hotel and Spa / Booking.com

Part of Hilton’s DoubleTree portfolio, the Strathallan is a friendly place with classically stylish rooms. Choose a suite for sweeping city views, or visit the rooftop bar Hattie’s to enjoy an expertly crafted cocktail overlooking the Genesee River. The hotel’s central location makes it perfect for exploring downtown – don’t miss the Memorial Art Gallery and Rochester Museum & Science Center.

8. Inn on Broadway, for sumptuous steaks

Hotel

Elegant room with double, red walls, a plush armchair, a white fireplace, an antique-looking writing desk and a patterned carpet at Inn on Broadway
Courtesy of Inn on Broadway / Booking.com

Each of the Inn on Broadway’s 25 rooms is uniquely decorated, but they all share a timeless elegance that manifests in details such as dark wood four-poster beds, freestanding soaking tubs, and red marble bathrooms. The star of the show, though, is the on-site restaurant, Tournedos, which ranks among Rochester’s finest steakhouses and is the only one in Upstate New York to age its beef in-house – try the wagyu rib with lobster tail.

9. Woodcliff Hotel and Spa, for a design-inspired room

Spa Hotel, Luxury

Modern room with two double beds, a light grey carpet, a flat screen TV and simple furnishings at Woodcliff Hotel and Spa
Courtesy of Woodcliff Hotel and Spa / Booking.com

Embodying the upscale feel, peacefulness and natural beauty associated with Upstate New York, Woodcliff Hotel and Spa sits beside the forests and hiking trails of the Horizon Hill Conservation Area. Whatever your aesthetic style, you’ll find a room to suit your taste here – pick between suites with art deco, Asian, NYC loft, or Victorian design elements. Meanwhile, the on-site restaurant, Horizons, is a similarly cosmopolitan affair, offering dishes such as kimchi udon noodles, pulled-pork poutine, and Spanish cod.

10. The Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel and Spa, for proximity to the Erie Canal

Hotel

Two double beds against a patterned accent wall, quirky furnishings, a writing desk and a flat screen TV at The Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel and Spa
Courtesy of The Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel and Spa / Booking.com

History echoes throughout the pleasant town of Pittsford – settled in 1789 and set around the Erie Canal. Atmospheric murals of the canal adorn the walls of the contemporary guest rooms in this lodge-like hotel, while you can explore it up close on the Erie Canal Heritage Trail. This path is steps away from the door and takes in pieces of history such as the Sam Patch Tour Boat, a replica of those that plied the canal in the 1800s.

Jo Fernandez contributed additional reporting to this article.

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