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“A Gem within A Gem” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Private Hotel + Pure Food Villa

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Private Hotel + Pure Food Villa
Ranked #1 of 17 Ithaca B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Jersey City, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A Gem within A Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

My wife and I, along with our infant son drove to Ithaca this past weekend to celebrate, among other things, our wedding anniversary. We wanted it to be special, serene, sparsely populated, and unique. With the three nights we spent at Private Hotel + Pure Food outside of Ithaca, we got all that in spades.

From the whimsical memorabilia on the walls of the Barn House documenting the creative footprints of proprietor, chef, dealer of the absurd, Michael Casper, to the quaint layouts of the lodging rooms themselves. It's a spot of paradise within the vast confines of the gorges of the Finger Lakes themselves, something not to be missed .

I won't go into detailed repetition of the very superb reviews that have come before this. What I will say is that the only thing that would have made me even second guess writing a review of Private Hotel + Pure Food is that my wife and I wanted to keep this as a special place to ourselves, private. . . and 'pure'. A true speak easy to keep as sacred as Mike keeps his sprawling property and lodge.

But that wouldn't be good for business, so I'm putting it all out there. If you're out to find some extra magic out of your excursion to Ithaca, or just trying to put down on paper the great American novel, I couldn't recommend a better place than this.

Room Tip: The Barn House is the place to be!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gene S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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316 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

What a fantastic place to stay! Attention to detail abounds. The rooms are spacious and clean and the property is truly spectacular. Michael wants all of his customers to feel welcomed and he makes certain that they do. Delicious breakfast served each morning. Take time to meet Michael he is an incredibly insightful and wordly individual. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank rositaf680
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2013

My wife and I drove up to Ithaca from NYC for the long weekend looking to unplug, disconnect and just revitalize. And boy did we pick the perfect place to do so. Welcome to Private Hotel + Pure food. Nestled in the sparsely populated town of Spencer NY (convenient drive to Ithaca), this little treasure provided the perfect backdrop for a relaxing and truly enjoyable 4 days. Michael's property is incredible. 115 acres which have everything from a Buddhist temple to a swimming pond to a picturesque gorge.
We stayed in the "Barn House" in the Pond view room. The Grand room (lobby) is decorated with the most fascinating memorabilia chronicling one of the most unique lives i have come across. Pictures of the Dalai Lama, souvenirs from famous french restaurants, a model airplane and the lighting rack from a rolling stones concert; all find their place here. The entire building is paneled with some really fancy wood, giving it a real homely feel. The log wood steps leading up to the room are a piece of art. The room, albeit on the smaller side was incredibly cozy. The curtained off wash closet, and the shower cube while initially a peculiarity became an absolute non issue. They added to the charm of the place. Lovely view of the outdoor sitting area, the pond and the sauna were icing on the cake.
Now for the experience. Michael Casper has got to be one of the most interesting folk I have ever met. Hes kind of like an Andy Warhol, meets Mick Jagger meets the Most Interesting Man in the World kinda guy. A true character, and someone who is a pleasure to know. He made our stay most comfortable and provided us with some of the best breakfast I have had in a while. Pancakes and roast ham one day, Omlettes and smoked trout on another. Truly great.
A special shout out to Priscilla, who really was a joy to have around during breakfast. A very sweet lady who made sure we were always happy, and had what we needed.
Will I be back here again....most definitely. Do I recommend this establishment.....Highly. This is really a special place.

Room Tip: "Pond View" room is a little on the smaller side, but great for a couple enjoying a getawa...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Harish P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013

Michael and his lovely staff went out of their way to make this one of our best weekend trips. The surroundings are indeed private and breath taking. Already planning our next stay!
The breakfast was amazing and kept us full through our day of adventure.

Room Tip: we stayed in the pond room which was cozy and had a lovely view
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lot45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hillsborough, NJ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2013

Our first thought upon driving onto the grounds of the Private Hotel and Pure Food and parking along side an industrial-looking garage was that our GPS delivered us to the wrong address. However, that first impression was quickly adjusted upon meeting the owner, Michael Casper, and being shown our uniquely decorated room - The Blue Room - in a very charming converted barn nestled along side a pond. Michael, whose life story could be the subject of a TV mini series, has a broad array of interests and skills that are evident throughout the hotel. Thankfully, those skills include design, construction, and cooking. Michael, a vegan, is a gregarious host, freely sharing stories about his wildly eclectic life that has included careers as a dealer in minerals and meteorites, rare coins and stamps, photography, and, thankfully, as a chef. Each morning, we woke up to outstanding, farm-fresh breakfasts of our choosing, and were treated as visiting family members. The wide-ranging conversations we had with the other hotel guests and staff, who shared our breakfast table, added yet another wonderful dimension to our stay. The hotel is about eight miles from downtown Ithaca, which has a nice array of restaurants and sites. But be sure to ask for Michael's recommendations, which he offered with the knowledge and confidence of a master chef. We highly recommend this hotel as much for the graciousness of the host and staff as for the eye-pleasing and comfortable accommodations.

Room Tip: The Blue Room has an adjoining room to make a junior suite, if desired.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Drewsive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michael C, Owner at Private Hotel + Pure Food Villa, responded to this review, September 3, 2013
After 66 "Excellent" reviews since opening our doors 1 1/2 years ago, on September 1, 2013 we received our very first "Very Good" rating and I was perplexed to say the least. I was already engaged in an email exchange with this particular guest as he had contacted me after returning home with several questions about his numismatic holdings (coin collection). When I asked him why the lower than "Excellent" rating, his response was:

"While we didn't check the other ratings in advance, we did discuss our own rating before submitting our review, which we felt was very positive. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay and believe that a "very good" rating is both fair and accurate. In our eyes, "excellent" is reserved for an experience that is flawless in all aspects. We've rarely had such an experience, but when we did, it set the bar pretty high. Our room was very charming, but we found it difficult, for instance, to take a shower in the tub, and would have liked to have had a few toiletries. Sorry to disappoint. We thought "very good" was, in fact, a very good rating!"

This guest was absolutely correct, Private Hotel + Pure Food, Ithaca was judged using trial by fire. We were compared against the finest Inns and Hotels the world over and survived with a "Very Good" rating.

I am therefore honored with this gentleman's review, as the last time I can remember an establishment providing the kind of experience he is referring to was in 1997 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. I was with my wife Cathi, sons Ariel and Gideon. We had taken a two bedroom corner suite just short of the penthouse, perhaps it was the 37th floor. We had a butler assigned to the room... That experience was a "Legendary Guest Experience", known as the "Gold Standard" within the hospitality arena. "Private Hotel + Pure Food" an "Oasis in the Woods" constantly strives to maintain that "Gold Standard"!

Thank you, Michael Casper, CEO
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2013

My wife and I went up for a weekend stay in early August and are very happy we picked this property. We wanted to be reasonably close to Ithaca, but stay somewhere that was unique and felt a bit rural. Well this place was exactly that. The property itself is enormous and beautiful - we had a great time exploring and trying not to scare away the deer (unsuccessful). The actual rooms were huge, and its clear that Michael put a lot of effort into making the place top of the line. The bathrooms and the mattress were noticeably fancy. All of the random items and decorative touches in the main rooms really added to the charm of the place. Lastly, Michael was a great host. My wife and I both really enjoyed talking to him during breakfast. We'll definitely be back.

Room Tip: Stayed in Gables room. Recommended.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SPatel01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

Michael Casper has created a slice of heaven on earth. If you are interested in peace, calm, serenity, luxury, beauty, silence, delicious food, great conversation, and incredible service, this is the place for you. Namaste!

Room Tip: I stayed in the Zebra room and it was awesome; super comfortable.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KarenBrunett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Private Hotel + Pure Food Villa

Property: Private Hotel + Pure Food Villa
Address: 429 Bostwick Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850-9352
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > Finger Lakes > Ithaca
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Ithaca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Michael Casper, an entrepreneurial hotelier and restaurateur, recently opened Private Hotel and Pure Food. This unique, small boutique hotel, with chef's private kitchen, is tucked away in the countryside just outside downtown Ithaca. Fusing post, beam, pole, log and contemporary architecture, the newly opened hotel has received rave reviews for its sensitive and sophisticated style. The common areas are comfortable and homey, accented by Michael’s sense of whimsy. A chef in his own right, Michael creates and prepares a unique menu comprised of organic and vegan ingredients that are primarily locally grown and harvested. An ecclectic combination of rustic and refined, sophisticated and casual, modern yet remote, Private Hotel and Pure Food appeals to the discerning individual who desires high end appointments, the finest in bedding and linen, and the world’s freshest and healthiest food ... all provided in a serene, tranquil environment. ... more   less 

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