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“Very welcoming, beautiful, and great attention to detail”
Review of Ellwanger Estate

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Ellwanger Estate
Ranked #2 of 9 Rochester B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Rochester, New York
1 review
“Very welcoming, beautiful, and great attention to detail”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

The estate is indeed very elegant, and my girlfriend and I felt very welcomed and cared for. Rosemary is an excellent host, and made sure our stay was a great one. I would highly recommend the Ellwanger to anyone who desires a quiet retreat, whether you are visiting town, or are even a resident of Rochester. A hidden gem!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank errantepiphany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Forest Hills, New York, United States
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

If you're traveling to Rochester NY anytime soon, want to break the bland chain-hotel room norm, and can use a little more luxury and history in your life, you're going to want to be reserving a room here ASAP. I stumbled upon Ellwanger when searching for B&Bs in the area online. While visiting some Rochester-based friends with my fiance (we're from NYC), we were looking for at least 1 romantic night to ourselves while away from home. Having received the best reviews of any B&B in the immediate Rochester area, and also being the most visually pleasing (in terms of room design & grounds), my fiance and I decided this was the one to book. The website indicated that a minimum 2-night stay was required, but after a quick pleasant call to Rosemary (the innkeeper), we were ensured that a one-night stay would be fine. Driving to the property from the airport, we went through some semi-questionable areas in Downtown and weren't really sure what to expect. However, a quick trip over the Genesee river brought us to an amazing block of old luxurious houses and plenty of green space - Mount Hope Ave. We later learned that these were the old estates of nursery owners from the early 1900s (what put Rochester on the map), and that the Ellwanger was actually one of these old restored properties! (I wish there was a little more about the history on their website, but Rosemary is very willing to tell you all you need to know about the property if you ask.) Pulling into the gravel driveway off the avenue (easily missed if you're not looking carefully, which I absolutely don't mind... the less people that can find me on vacation, the better) we were amazed by the beautiful gardens to our right and the old rustic barn house directly in front of us. Only 5 parking spaces were available to take... only one of which was taken. A nice quiet visit was surely upon us. After entering through the quaint front porch, we found ourselves in a small hallway with several doors. A quick ring of the bell revealed Rosemary (the innkeeper... remember?). She was just as nice and lovely as she was on the phone. Handing us our room's skeleton key, she opened a door to the right revealing an amazing great room. She then gave us the grand tour. Equipt with historic decorations and artwork, some original to the house, the woodwork and intricate architecture of the room was awesome and was flawlessly restored. No detail was overlooked. This main floor offered no shortage of extremely comfortable couches and arm chairs for some quiet reading & relaxing, a smaller library with a TV (for those of you who just can't give it up), and the elegant dining room with a perfect view of the beautiful backyard. The back porch, accessible through the great room, overlooked the local Landmark Society maintained gardens - original to the house and the Ellwanger family. Heading upstairs, a large pipe organ installation appeared on the mid-floor landing. Rosemary informed us it still functioned, and was installed in the house by the Ellwangers for their son to play. The history in this house is just astounding. Walking onto the second floor, equipped with motion-sensor lighting (as they are part of the NY State Green Hotel movement), we winded down the beautifully decorated hallway to our room - The Travelers Rest. A quick turn of our skeleton key opened the door to true old-age luxury with nice modern touches. My description can't do it justice; you need to visit their website and view the room for yourself. It was extremely spacious with plenty of closet space and room to spread out. Bath robes and slippers were provided, along with an iPod adapter, an air purifier, and a heater. Note: there are no TVs in any of the rooms... but to be completely honest, it took us over an hour to even realize it. Just being in the room was enough for us. After a comfortable night's rest, we joined the other couple staying at the property for breakfast. Rosemary the innkeeper turns into Rosemary the chef and offers fresh-cut fruits (locally grown), yogurts, homemade whole wheat croissants, pear butter made from pears picked in the Landmark gardens right outside, and a chefs-choice main course. After breakfast, we enjoyed a nice relaxing morning on the porch, overlooking the gardens and enjoying the weather, before our departure.
Now... if I can write this much after a one-night's stay, imagine what your experience will be like. Hope you enjoy, and tell Rosemary I said hello!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jesse H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
2 reviews
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Ellwanger Estates was the ideal setting for hostessing our daugher-in-law's baby shower. The estate is elegant and at the same time so cozy and intimate: the venue itself became a major party participant, with delights and whimsy at every turn. Twenty of us aged 20-80 luxuriated in the welcoming attention of innkeeper Rosemary Janofsky and the graceful ambiance of the grounds and house. Melissa felt honored, pampered and delighted in a truly unique setting. This event was such a success we already have "plans" for other family-friend gatherings at this marvelous Inn.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank bodhibee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

My weekend trip to Rochester New York was so lovely because of the hospitality and historic elegance at the Ellwanger Estate B&B that it merited several return visits. Always warmly greeted by Rosemary, I have enjoyed the rooms (three different ones so far) which have always been spotlessly clean and complete with all the amenities a traveller could wish for.
The gourmet breakfasts, the large porch which faces the Landmark gardens and its location close to the center of town are all great reasons to use the Ellwanger as a base for any nearby trip.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank AnyaOCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2013

I was attending an admitted students orientation with my son, at the University of Rochester and called the Ellwanger Estate to see if they had an opening for one night while my son stayed with a friend. Rosemary, kindly agreed even though it was on short notice, has a two night minimum and she had scheduled plans. I chose the Inn because it was one of two B&B's closest to the University of Rochester, about 1.5 miles. It is located in a neighborhood of other large beautiful older homes, near Mt. Hope Cemetery. It is not too hard to find. The house sits behind an old stone wall and the gardens are the front yard. (Since it was early Spring, the gardens were not in bloom yet). The driveway can be easily passed because the B&B sign is not very visible from the street, It is located on a busy street so there is traffic behind you and it is hard to drive slowly while looking for the house and driveway. The driveway is a narrow gravel path which leads to Carriage house and main house. The parking can be tricky if there is another function or a lot of guests. There was a shower going on when I arrived and there were limited spaces to park. There were also cars parked along the driveway which made it impossible for two cars to pass if you were leaving or arriving.
The house is a beautiful Victorian farmhouse with a lot of character. I entered through a side enclosed patio that smelled wonderful. Rosemary greeted me but was in a hurry due to her scheduled plans. A quick tour of the house was given along with the keys. She recommended some restaurants before she left. The Baby shower guests remained, the big open living area made for the perfect setting for a small function. However, the noise does radiate up to the second level where the bedrooms are located. My room, the Serene Retreat, was nicely decorated with all the comforts of a B&B. The ceilings are high so the rooms tend to be on the cooler side. Rosemary provides a small space heater and heating blanket for that purpose. Those did come in handy the night I was there because the temperatures outside dipped to 35 degrees. The Romanesque bathroom had a very interesting mural textured wall. All the amenities were supplied with lovely soft towels and designer bath products. The tub had a hand held shower which was not really conducive to obtaining a shower but more like a bath. If you like stand up showers, I would not stay in this room. The linens and pillows were very soft but the bed was more on the firmer side.
The Inn provides all comforts and character that you would expect, including a fresh, homemade full breakfast made by Rosemary which is served on fine china and glassware, in the lovely dining room. One thing I did notice at night, after I came back from dinner, was that the lighting in the staircase area is lacking. The lights are motion censor lighting, good for conserving energy but makes it difficult to see while walking up the steps and in the hallway, especially if you are not familiar with the layout of the Inn.
There are no TV's in the rooms but Rosemary provides a downstairs sitting room with a TV. There is Internet access throughout the Inn and many books to choose from if you are a reader.
I would return to the Inn to try another room. Rosemary is redecorating one of the suites. Also, I would like to see the gardens in bloom. Kudos to Rosemary, the Inn keeper, for maintaining a lovely Inn. My stay at the Ellwanger was peaceful and in just the right location while in Rochester.

Room Tip: Serene Retreat overlooks the gardens but does not have a stand up shower. The other suites have sta...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank JAMAClevelandArea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

We booked for 2 nights and liked it so much we stayed an extra day. The Serene Retreat is a comfortable room with plenty of space and a decorator's touch. The cozy comfy bed was appreciated after a full day of sightseeing adventures. The private bathroom has a Venetian theme with wonderfully artistic finishes. Very clean and all the amenities you could ever need.

The house is really something special. So many details! What a grand place! Gorgeous woodwork on the doors and trim. Solid hardware.

Rosemary is an excellent host and made us feel right at home. Her suggestions for restaurants and shopping were right on! Breakfast each morning was delicious, and nutritious. Every day was something different, creative and satisfying. The table was set with lovely cutlery and beautiful linens and the food was served on china.

Outstanding hospitality, wonderful accommodations and great location. This place is a treasure. It is the perfect home base for adventures to the George Eastman House and the Art Gallery.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Do not look any further for a Bed and Breakfast in Rochester. The Ellwanger Estate is a beautifully maintained home, a "hidden gem" nestled in the Highland Park area.
The home and rooms reflect the hospitality Rosemary, the InnKeeper, provides to each guest. The Estate is clean, inviting and establishes a feeling of home from the moment you arrive. Rosemary thoughtfully toured my family through her estate and our suite of rooms; every detail to ensure our comfort was pointed out.
It was my family's first time in Rochester; Rosemary was quick to provide many excellent selections for dining (even with menus on hand!!)
Our rooms catered to our every need. They were spacious, luxurious and very well maintained.
The breakfasts were fresh, delicious and very filling. As another reviewer pointed out, try the homemade butter/jelly/jam- really GOOD!
The Ellwanger Estate made every effort to ensure my family's trip to Rochester was memorable, relaxing and the highest level of customer satisfaction possible. Thank you Rosemary! It was our privilege to experience the Ellwanger Estate. 5 stars!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Aisling44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ellwanger Estate

Property: Ellwanger Estate
Address: 625 Mount Hope Ave, Rochester, NY 14620-2730
Location: United States > New York > Finger Lakes > Rochester
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Rochester
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ellwanger Estate 3.5*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic Ellwanger Estate is located in the Mount Hope Cultural District of Rochester, New York. Home to world-renowned Horticulturist George Ellwanger and family for 115 years, the bed & breakfast has been recently restored. Four rooms with magnificent views of the lush gardens and courtyards, owned and maintained by the Landmark Society of Western New York. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Mount Hope and Highland Park Preservation area, along with the elegant ambience of the Ellwanger Estate. There are also many nearby attractions, including the Susan B. Anthony House, Strong National Museum of Play, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester Museum of Science, Strasenburgh Planetarium, and much more. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to assist you with planning visits to these attractions and making reservations at the many fine dining establishments in the area. And Now Get Ready to Charge Your Batteries At The Ellwanger Estate B&B. The Ellwanger Estate Bed and Breakfast teams with Tesla Motors to become the area's first lodging host to offer a Tesla Destination Charger for overnight guests. Tesla Destination Charging is now offered as a new amenity for overnight guests. This installation makes The Ellwanger Estate a new hot spot on the national electric vehicle map. We are a very green B&B, devoted to energy efficiency, conservation, reuse, recycling and a hypoallergenic guest environment. Tesla's focus on pure electric technology seems a perfect fit. We offer a full complimentary charge to our Tesla overnight guests. Just enter "TESLA" under special accommodations, when you reserve your room online to let us know you would like to plug-in. This is an added amenity for our Tesla and Electric Vehicle guests, but you must let us know in advance to reserve parking for your charge. The Ellwanger Estate B&B is proud to offer just one more example of all our exceptional amenities, making this the ideal home-away for both leisure and business travelers. ... more   less 
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