This is an excellent hotel; however, I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think that this place might have been something else or maybe it was just another brand name hotel and Best Western bought it. It might have always been a Best Western, though, but there is something "different" about it. It's not necessarily a bad "difference" either.
Anyway, one thing for sure is that you can't beat the room prices. I looked at prices in Elmira, which weren't as bad as compared to room prices in Horseheads, Corning, or Painted Post. The prices in those place are quite high. But not only were the prices high in those three places, most if not all of the hotels in those three places were booked up as well - as in no rooms available this week. I think it may be because of the race track opening at Watkins Glen, but I am not sure.
But getting back to this hotel. It was well worth the price even though it was about 35 miles from some of the tourist attractions that we wanted to visit. That distance isn't bad when most of it is along I-86.
The hotel has quite a few amenities - an indoor heated swimming pool, a complimentary, decent help yourself breakfast buffet (which had all the usual items, and the items that needed to be fresh were indeed fresh), an on-site, reasonably priced, and decent restaurant/bar that had what I would say a very limited menu, 2 elevators, and a pretty well stocked fitness center that unbelievably had 2 racquetball courts one of which doubles as a single basketball court. My sons and I took advantage of the racquetball court. The fitness center has a name - Express Fitness that seems to have non-hotel guests using. There is also a tuxedo rental business which seemed a bit odd - Rockwells. And there were several meeting/banquet rooms.
The hotel grounds are nicely maintained. That is, of course, except for the unused delapitated outdoor basketball court that was overgrown with weeds and small trees. It doesn't look like it had been used in over 15 years, maybe longer. Oh, but there is ample parking.
Check-in was fast and easy and all the front desk personnel were friendly and each greeted us every time we past the front desk.
And since the hotel is pet friendly we brought our 2 dogs. At only $10/pet/day, it was the cheapest pet fee that I have ever encountered. Upon entering the hotel with our dogs, the front desk person offered many treats for our 4 legged friends. That was a nice touch.
The room itself is not the largest that we have stayed in, but it was adequate. The double beds seemed to be too old and are in need of being replaced. Queen sized beds would be a positive addition. The refrigerator came in handy, but it was noisy, and there was also a microwave. The flat screen TV was pretty good, too. We brought our own pillows as we usually do, but theirs were ok. And the a/c worked just great and wasn't too noisy.
The bathroom was a good size, too, however either the exhaust fan was either not working or there wasn't one, we could not tell. The water pressure in the shower was perfect and the water came out hot when I needed it to be hot.
We also ate in the restaurant the 1st night, and I must say that even though the bartender doubled as the waitress, she did an excellent job. Upon check-in we received a 10% discount coupon for the restaurant for each day of our stay. Even though the menu didn’t have a lot of choices, the items that we chose were quite delicious. And it looked like the bar patrons were enjoying themselves too.
The hallways were quiet the 1st 3 nights as there weren't many people staying at the hotel. The last night, however, was a little different with people singing Happy Birthday just after midnight. Thankfully the hotel enforces an 11pm quiet time, so that proved to be sufficient.
The last amenity that I'd like to mention is the indoor heated pool. It is a decent sized pool, and there is a separate jacuzzi. We only used the pool one night as the other evenings seemed to be too crowded. The one odd thing about the pool was its location. To get to it, you had the take the elevator to the basement, walk through part of the fitness center, and then walk up a flight of stairs. This might be a bit of a problem for the handicapped person. You also had to check in at the fitness desk before using the pool.
Check out was fast and friendly which was no surprise. After talking with the front desk clerks upon check-out, we learned that the hotel is used for multiple gatherings – weddings, proms, etc. Maybe that was the “difference” that I spoke about earlier. All in all, we were very satisfied with this hotel and we would stay in the hotel if we were to be in the area again. less
Stephen B, General Manager at Best Western Grand Victorian Inn, responded to this review
Dear Joe D,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your most recent stay with us. It sounds like you were able to enjoy a lot of the amenities (Full Fitness Center that has an indoor heated pool, racquetball courts and more, Lounge/Restaurant, and Complimentary Breakfast) that our hotel has to offer. You are right about our location. We are right off route 17/I-86 at exit 61. Which puts us 40 minutes south of Ithaca, NY, the heart of the NYS Finger Lakes Wine Region, and the home of Cornell University and Ithaca College. Likewise, we are just 40 minutes from Binghamton, NY and the home of SUNY Binghamton and 40 minutes from the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY and Watkins Glen and Elmira, NY are just a short 40 minutes drive away. We are also just one exit from Tioga Downs Casino. We hope you will stay with us the next time you are in the area.
Stephen Berwald, GM