The best places to stay on the Erie Canal in Upstate New York offer an escape into comfort and luxury.
A National Historic Landmark, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor unfolds world-changing history, arts, culture, community and outdoor adventure for 524 miles (843.2 km) across the width of New York State.
Whether you boat, paddle, bike, hike, or drive, you’ll find accommodations for every taste and budget all along the navigable waterway between Albany and Buffalo.
Different lodging options abound, of course: Not only vacation rentals, boutique inns, and hotel chains. But also houseboats, RV parks, and campsites.
However, even the hardiest outdoor enthusiast surely enjoys a good night’s sleep in a posh pillow-top bed.
So let’s discover the best hotels, heritage properties, and unique accommodations in this National Heritage Area from East to West.
Ready? Let’s go!
Best Places to Stay on the Erie Canal
Eastern New York
Renaissance Albany Hotel
144 State Street
Albany, New York
Discover history reclaimed and hospitality renewed in Capital City.
The Renaissance Albany Hotel rises at the prime intersection of past and present.
Its location across from the mighty Capitol, completed 1899, is undeniably enviable.
The hotel further overlooks the monumental Empire State Plaza, built 1965 to 1976.
Firstly, enter the handsome and historic lobby.
The 1927 DeWitt Clinton Hotel underwent a $48.5 million restoration and renovation. In 2015, the hotel re-opened under Marriott’s luxury flag. Now it ranks among the best hotels in the Capital Region.
Then, look up and around the beamed ceiling. In vibrant detail, 12 original murals depict the Erie Canal and other local milestones.
Later, dine at Wellington’s, a top spot for power brokers and power couples.
Rich textures and dark woods set the scene for conversation and camaraderie.
Linger over innovative libations and American cuisine. While you save room for the Campfire Mason Jar dessert.
Finally, it’s time to dream sweetly in modern style.
Artistic flair and Renaissance beds distinguish the sleek guest rooms and suites.
Bathrooms feature bright lighting, walk-in showers, and quality amenities.
It’s the best area for proximity and easy access to businesses, arts and cultural institutions, and top tourist attractions are unquestionably ideal.
Thanks to Discover Albany for our stay at the premier Renaissance Albany Hotel.
Best Places to Stay on the Erie Canal
Central New York
49 Florida Avenue
Amsterdam, New York
Revel in a regal stay at the 19th-century Amsterdam Castle.
This Castle, however, rules not over the canal-laced capital of the Netherlands; rather, the Erie Canal community in the majestic Mohawk Valley.
In 1895, architect Isaac Gale Perry designed a massive armory above the Mohawk River. Perry also served as lead architect on the State Capitol in Albany.
Then a century later in 1994, the decommissioned Armory was purchased for a family residence and inn.
The renovations received the Preservation League of New York State’s 2012 Excellence in Historic Preservation Award.
In 2018, the Ghotbi family unveiled the new Amsterdam Castle.
Their extensive investment transformed the Castle into a wedding / special events venue and one of the best hotels in this revitalizing area.
Firstly, enter through doors guarded by gilded stone lions and a gleaming suit of armor.
Then, notice the local staff’s friendly approach. The service overall differs from typical hotels.
The amiable service specifically reflects owner Nigel Ghotbi’s philosophy of hospitality:
In short, treating visitors as “honored guests not customers” is the most important goal, Mr. Ghotbi told me.
Like royalty of old, dine in the Great Hall.
Armor, artwork, and heraldry imbue stately ambience. The teak ceiling towering overhead is original.
The American cuisine blends French and Mediterranean influences.
When you book the hotel, do make restaurant reservations in order to ensure the kitchen will be open.
Later, it’s time to relax. Comfortable beds and seating furnish the guest rooms and suites. Modern bathrooms are not only spacious but also well lit and equipped.
Strong free WiFi and numerous electrical outlets are particularly commendable.
Thanks to Montgomery County Tourism for our stay as “honored guests” at the Amsterdam Castle.
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Utica
102 Lafayette Street
Utica, New York
Iconic has an address in the Getaway Region’s urban heart, Utica.
Find the iconic Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Utica just off the New York State Thruway. It’s near the Erie Canal and Union Station, within walking distance to downtown attractions.
Since 1912, Hotel Utica has been the destination in Central New York. Presidents, First Ladies, show biz stars, sports teams, aviators, and industrialists stayed here.
Today, the hotel is once again the place to be. Thanks to Hilton’s multi-million-dollar restoration and renovations completed in 2017, it’s regained its crown as queen of the best hotels in downtown.
Firstly, enter the grand lobby. Sparkling crystal chandeliers and soaring marble columns dazzle and delight.
Then, gaze up to the Mezzanine. Imagine Judy Garland singing here to adoring throngs below.
Work out in the Fitness Center. Or instead book one of 6 “Five Feet to Fitness” suites:
The Gym Rax workout corner includes interactive monitor with TRX, Watt bike spin classes, yoga mats, equipment, and weights.
Meet, greet, and celebrate in 8,000+ square feet (743 m2) of meeting and event space. Natural light floods the ballroom and 6 meeting rooms.
Moreover, combine event spaces for max “wow factor.” For example, pair the Mezzanine for reception with the Crystal Ballroom for dinner.
Dine at Utica’s hot spot for guests and locals alike: Iconic by Chesterfield.
Sip craft cocktails at the lovely long bar. Savor New American cuisine in the swank dining room.
Finally, sink into sweet dreams.
Guest rooms have signature beds, contemporary décor, and expansive bathrooms.
Suites also include a living room, whirlpool tub, and walk-in shower.
Thanks to Oneida County Tourism for our delight stay at Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Utica.
Additionally, thanks to Hotel General Manager Lee Arthur for the in-depth site inspection.
Best Places to Stay on the Erie Canal
Finger Lakes and Western New York
Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel and Spa
41 North Main Street
Pittsford, New York
Find your bliss in the Erie Canal’s “sweet spot,” Pittsford.
This charming 19th-century village is both close to, and meanwhile so far from, Rochester’s big-city bustle.
The chic 21st-century Del Monte Renaissance Rochester Lodge and Spa nestles at the canal’s edge. It’s among the best hotels in metropolitan Rochester.
Firstly, enter the elegant lobby.
Then, notice the undulating concrete waves of the front desk.
These concrete waves set a subtle theme to the property. Because the hotel’s name and decor evoke Northern California’s Monterey coastline.
Embrace your “ahh” in the Spa at the Del Monte with a full treatment slate.
(On a later trip, we plan to experience and review the spa.)
Enjoy canal views over a marvelous meal at award-winning Erie Grill.
This airy restaurant dishes up resort-casual chic and modern American cuisine.
Lastly, it’s time to slumber sweetly.
Guest rooms and suites provide Renaissance beds and thoughtful amenities.
Bathrooms feature bright lighting and walk-in showers.
Thanks to Visit Rochester for our especially serene stay at the Del Monte Lodge Renaissance Rochester Hotel & Spa.
Check current hotel rates, HERE.
Yes, you can, in fact, have it all along the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in Upstate New York.
During the day, enjoy the wide array of world-class outdoor adventures such as: Boating, paddling, bicycling, hiking, and fishing.
But perhaps you prefer to experience history, arts, culture, and community when you travel. If that’s the case, then countless opportunities await you from Albany to Buffalo.
Furthermore, you can do a little (or a lot of) shopping in boutiques and antique stores all along the way.
Regardless, there’s no need to rough it at night. Instead, the best places to stay on the Erie Canal offer an escape into comfort at the best hotels, heritage properties, and unique accommodations.
Because the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor does indeed deliver the best of both worlds.
GET: Your exclusive curated guide to the Erie Canal’s best artisanal coffee.
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