My wife Carol and I spent 4 wonderful days at the Benn Conger Inn in Groton, NY during Thanksgiving 2011. The owners/managers Doug Yurubi and Peter Zon were exquisite hosts. We went there because we had performed an internet search for the best Thanksgiving dinner in the Finger Lakes region. The search zeroed in on the Benn Conger Inn in Groton, NY. Benn Conger was not only a prominent citizen, but also the CEO of Smith Corona during the golden age of manual typewriters.
The Inn was Benn Conger’s home. It was built as many early 20th century homes were from a kit offered by Sears Roebuck. Benn Conger chose the Mansion Kit sold by Sears. Not only is the Inn well-built, but the innkeepers have restored and renovated with aplomb. They also have acquired several antiques that were owned by Benn Conger such as a china place setting, his top hat, and several historic pictures of Conger and the Inn.
More important is the hospitality offered by Doug and Peter who made us feel like part of the family. They also delivered first class victuals. The Thanksgiving buffet was exceptional. They had 4 sittings that day and served over 150 satisfied customers. There was turkey carved at the head of the buffet with your choice of cut: white, dark, leg, or wing. There was a mushroom noodle dish, baked acorn squash halves with butter and spices, mashed potatoes, stuffed pork loin, corn kernels with julienned red peppers, gravy, salad, rolls, and cranberry sauce. This was accompanied by your choice of beverage: adult or otherwise. It was followed by dessert (pumpkin or apple pie with whipped cream) and coffee, tea or after dinner drink.
We sat on the glassed in veranda which reminded us of another distinguished inn: The Charlotte Inn, Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. The glassed in veranda reminded us of L’Etoile which is the restaurant at the Charlotte Inn. There is one difference Peter Zon is a better chef from our stand point!
Once Thanksgiving dinner was complete the owners immediately prepared the Inn for Christmas and by Friday afternoon they had it completely decorated with 8 different Christmas trees, exterior lights, bows on the exterior pillars, reindeer, and two life-sized nutcracker soldiers. Doug and Peter devote themselves to the presentation of the experience, as well as the quality of your experience!
We had a suite in the adjacent Victorian cottage which was well appointed with an antique queen size bed, a sofa, arm chair and a unique round desk. The bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub and a bidet along with a sink and toilet. It was spacious with two ceiling fans to adjust the air flow and dimmer lights to accentuate the ambience. It also had a porch which would be lovely during the summer season! In addition, we were able to take our new dog, Major, a golden retriever. He enjoyed the room and the area for walking and running!
The Inn has a very good and affordable wine list to accompany dinners on other nights, and we witnessed the booking of two holiday parties during our stay. The region not only supports this Inn, but they may book it full time. So, my wife, Carol, and I suggest that you get your reservations ASAP.
We intend to make it a tradition to travel to the Benn Conger Inn for Thanksgiving.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Step back in time....Celebrate the spirit of a bygone era...Built by a captain of Industry.Hideaway for a notorious mobster....Our Colonial Revival mansion awaits you.Benn Conger Inn is located in the quaint town of Groton, NY, nestled on 18 acres of pure peace & tranquility. 10 guest rooms each with their own private bath & shower.Restaurant on the premises with 5 Dinning Rooms. Inclusive of a Glass Atrium. Whether it is a romantic dinner for two or group event; Benn Conger Inn is the perfect venue.Specializing in:*Indoor/Outdoor Weddings*Bridal Showers*Baby Showers*Birthday Parties*Retirement Parties*Corp. & Private Holiday Gatherings*New Year's Eve Celebrations*Holiday Buffets*Sunday Brunches*Funeral Breakfast & Luncheons*Full Service Lounge & Restaurant ... more less