Inns of Aurora | Home Away From Home
“Steeped in history, restored to luxury in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes”
Imagine being away from home and still feeling like you’re at home? And having the luxury of doing so? The Inns of Aurora is capable of doing just that to you and much more. The Inns of Aurora, located in Aurora, New York, consists of Aurora Inn, E.B. Morgan House, Rowland House, and Wallcourt Hall, each standing with its unique style and usage of colors, patterns and art. Three of the four inn’s rear opens up to a massive lawn that fronts an edge of the Finger Lakes, providing the perfect vista and backdrop for any occasion at any time of the day – enjoying breakfast or a cup of coffee on the back porch, reading a book in the sun, strolling along the water’s edge after a meal, or winding down the day and taking in the beautiful sunset accompanied with a glass of wine. Each location is so deeply rooted, historically and interpersonally; homes interconnected with one another and other community highlights to provide the strongest and closest neighborhood to home at heart and everyone in it.
“Whether you prefer the understated elegance of the Aurora Inn, the bold colors and modern art of E.B. Morgan House, the easy, eclectic style of Rowland House, or the contemporary design of Wallcourt Hall, the Inns of Aurora offer an unparalleled experience of the beautiful, historic Finger Lakes.”
Rowland House offers ten eclectically different and surprising guestrooms, each with unique and vibrant color schemes, and most of which provide stunning views of the Cayuga Lake. One-of-a-kind contemporary art can be located in rooms throughout the inn, where some rooms were actually designed after the artwork is selected from the owner and founder Pleasant Rowland’s personal collection. The guestrooms all begin with the paintings and colors of the rooms are even selected based on the art to provide a strong connection between the visuals: the abstract and the actual. One room, guestroom 2, faces the ginkgo tree rooted directly in front of the inn. As a tree that is usually deeply rooted and resistant to wind and snow, it provides a symbol of home and security, visually and symbolically.
Rowland House provides an elegant and homey dining room, where you can schedule the Executive Chef Patrick Higgins to come in and prepare an open kitchen dinner for you and your family. Even though you are indoors, it will feel as if you are dining underneath the stars. The lighting above the dining table is designed in structured grids and gives the space a modern touch when paired with the warm classical feeling vibrating from the wood tones of the room. What else could possibly best accompany all this other than the delicious creations by Chef Patrick? An arugula salad served with squash hummus and lavash crackers on the side and topped with pumpkin seed dukkah, and brown butter vinaigrette. A black bass placed over beet farrotto, parmigiana and beer purée cooked with onions and garlic has just the right flavors in every bite. The menu is surely subject to change according to the season and availability of products. But do only expect the freshest and best dishes when you leave it up to the chef.
Almost everything is within walking distance. A five-minute walk will bring you from Rowland House to Aurora Inn, where you can visually experience and breathe in the elegance and simplicity in every little detail this inn showcases, from its Federal style classically shown through its exterior to the interior filled with extraordinary art, paintings and rugs, all of which have been perfectly and carefully curated. The Aurora Inn Dining Room is the property’s main restaurant, but one of the best options for any meal of the day.
Becoming a well-rounded neighborhood, besides the Inns of Aurora, Aurora provides many community essentials and important aspects that tie everything and everyone together. Right next to the Aurora Inn is The Village Market, the “has-it-all” deli-market combination that provides locals and visitors with the option of grabbing things on the go or groceries for the daily. Then there’s the brand-new demonstration kitchen with Chef de cuisine Eric Lamphere, where he will be offering cooking classes open to locals and travelers. It will be structured less like an actual class and more of an interactive session, starting from the toasting of champagne to learning the home-cooked styles behind the scenes of a professional chef, while enjoying it all over glasses of wine. Classes are changed based on season and the variety of classes can range from cooking risotto to a cast iron class to braising poultry, to pasta making, pastry making, and even to sushi rolling. Best addition to the neighborhood to gather people from home to learn but also to enjoy.
“Play a game or solve a puzzle in the activities center… quiet your mind with a yoga class in the Loft, schedule a rejuvenating massage, or … Whichever you choose, the Schoolhouse is the hub of all there is to do in Aurora.”
Located not too far away is the new creative space, The Schoolhouse, located in the same building which houses the activities center & demonstration classroom, yoga at The Loft, and the fitness center. Restorative yoga at The Loft with the Director of Serenity, Laura Coburn, becomes the next getaway from home; time necessary to relax and also be able to tap into the most innate and comfortable layer of yourself. The activities center is not just only a place of gathering but also a place that truly welcomes conversation, creative ideas, learning and exploration, serving the same purpose as like how schoolhouses used to be.
It all continues to grow from here – tea-blending sessions to guided tours, wine tastings to different excursions and off-site adventures.
“There’s always something to do in Aurora.”
Head over to Heart & Hands Wine Company for a casual morning wine tasting or to sweeten it up, go on over to Bright Leaf for a wine tasting paired with a series of chocolate tastings. Check out a pair of Hunter boots for your next adventure, a trip to the Taughannock Falls or a family day activity gathering at the Deacon Garlic Farm for some garlic planting. Or make a stop at the Ithaca Farmers Market, which will definitely open up your eyes, bags and wallets to the freshest and most natural products of the area.
The Ginkgo tree truly symbolizes the idea of home, something that needs to be deeply fixed and supported in order for it to grow and develop its leaves and cones. The Inns of Aurora has expansive and intensive history embedded in Aurora, making it historically important and now extremely relevant for its growth as a town, a neighborhood, a home. Its long erratic branches are what the ginkgoes grow on, very much like how Aurora and this neighborhood of their work together to grow and produce the seeds to an amazing lifestyle filled with pleasurable experiences for everyone. It has grown above and beyond, wide and far, to become the new home away from home destination. It has already become the home to a lot of people and will continue to do so for many more to come.