Many of us probably dreamt of being a royalty even once in our lives because of how glamorous and powerful royalties are portrayed. There’s no doubt that many of us wished to visit a castle when we’re younger too. But did you know that, in the western part of the world, there are a lot of castles that you can visit? Some even offer nice places to stay in! New York alone has a number of stunning castles that will leave you in awe.
When talking about The Empire State, many of us automatically imagine a city landscape filled with tall buildings and busy streets. Of course, the Statue of Liberty is always in the picture. It is also common for us to think about many Broadway theaters, cinemas, as well as huge electronic billboards. And because of this, it’s quite hard to imagine that there are castles that still stand tall behind this bustling state. But apparently, there still are castles hiding in parts of New York.
Geneva, New York, for instance, is famous for one castle that’s worth visiting: The Belhurst Castle. And since we’re in the middle of the week already, why not plan a trip here today? But before you drive to this place, though, let’s get a closer look at it, shall we?
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- 1 Belhurst Castle History
- 2 Inside Belhurst Castle
- 3 Belhurst Castle Nearby Attractions
Belhurst Castle History
Back in 1800s, architects Fuller and Wheeler built a three-story nine bay wide mansion as a private residence on the shores of Seneca Lake in Geneva, New York. 50 men worked on it for four years. They used limestones imported from Medina, NY, as well as other imported materials from Europe.
It has a slate gable roof, one-story solarium, and four rectangular stone chimneys. In addition to that, it features projecting porches, bays, towers with conical and pyramid roofs, eyebrow windows, as well as a porte cochere with Syrian arch.
In 1987, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it has been revamped and made as a nice vacation spot.
Inside Belhurst Castle
There are a lot of things that you can do inside Belhurst Castle which makes it a nice place to spend weekends or even special and big occasions. You can never go wrong with choosing this place. Why? Let’s explore this historic castle.
One of the things that many look forward to this place is, of course, accommodations. This private-turned-commercial castle is so big that you have a lot of options to choose from in its lodging alone.
For starters, you have three buildings to choose from: the Chambers in the Castle, Vinifera Inn, and the White Springs Manor. Each of these buildings has several rooms that you can pick.
Chambers in the Castle
For the Chambers in the Castle, you can choose from its 11 guestrooms. For the suites, you can choose between The Tower Suite and the Dwyer Suite. For the smaller rooms, you can choose between Billiard Room, Bamboo, Otis, Bronze, Clay, Collins, Butler, and Garrett. Note that each of these rooms is architecturally unique so choosing your room alone can be a bit overwhelming.
The Tower Suite is the largest room in the Chambers in the Castle. From its ceiling (which is 20-foot high, by the way) down to its flooring, you will surely feel like a royalty. It is so elegant and grand that it is popular for brides and grooms where they can prepare for their wedding (which we will talk about later on). Even the staircase that leads up to this tower is worth talking about.
The next largest is the Dwyer Suite. Named after the infamous owner, Cornelius J. “Red” Dwyer who made this his master bedroom, this suite boasts of hand-carved cherry oak trim throughout. It also has a magnificent marble fireplace with highly detailed carved miniature cherry Romanesque columns. Here, you can also get to enjoy a full lake view that will take you back in time.
As for the smaller rooms, one of the most talked-about is the Billiard Room. Don’t be fooled by its name, though, as this place isn’t a literal billiard room. Rather, it’s a lodging that’s also designed with nice interiors. It also has a high ceiling plus it boasts of a nice red limestone balcony where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the rest of the Belhurst Castle property and Seneca Lake.
As for the Bamboo Room, well, it is actually what one would expect. Its interior is mostly made of bamboos – from the bed to its knobs.
Another one of Belhurst’s smaller room is the Otis Room. This room is graced with an intricately hand-carved fireplace and other well-detailed pieces of furniture.
The Bronze Room is equally beautiful as well. Contrary to what you might imagine for its name, the Bronze Room isn’t actually designed with all bronze details and pieces of furniture. It’s just named after its beautiful Moroccan-designed bronze cast fireplace.
Another room that’s not to be mistaken for its name is the Clay Room. Here, don’t expect a lot of clay-made pieces of furniture as this room is only named after Henry Clay, the well-known former senator who helped determine the state lines. But don’t be disappointed, this room is still worth the buzz because of its beautiful Victorian-style interior.
The Collins Room, on the other hand, is named after the one who created the Belhurst Castle, Carrie Collins. This room also has a decorative bronze fireplace with mahogany carved wood surround to talk big about. It is for those who seek simple yet luxurious-feeling room.
If you want something simpler than The Collins Room, there is The Butler Room. Named after the hed butler back when the castle was a residence in 1889, this room features a beautiful cherry wood trim throughout the cozy sitting room and separate bedroom.
Another simple room is the Garrett. This one has a more modern design compared to other suites and rooms. And people refer to it as the dollhouse room. It may be small but it is still cozy.
If you want something unique, the Study Room is for you. Don’t worry, it’s not the literal study room. It’s still a bedroom but it gives off a study room feel with its unique interior. Another notable detail here is the original shell motif stained glass windows.
Vnifera Inn wasn’t actually a part of the original Belhurst Castle. It was just added in 2003. Here, you have 20 modern guest rooms to choose from if Georgian era-styled rooms aren’t your type. These modern rooms are categorized into five designs.
Turret Rooms – For the Turret Rooms, you can get to enjoy more space. The design in these rooms give a mixed feeling of the history of the past and the luxury of today.
Reserve Rooms – Reserve Rooms also give a mixed feeling of the past and modern luxury. In addition to that, these rooms will make you experience the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes in the comfort of your room with a king-sized bed, fireplace, and a Jacuzzi. There are also reserve rooms that have added sofa beds.
White Springs Manor
Belhurst Castle’s White Springs Manor also gives rooms for you to choose from where you can feel like one of the richest people in the early years of the castle. Once a farmland, this place offers 12 guest rooms for you to choose from.
The Lewis Suite – The Lewis Suite is White Springs Manor’s premier suite. It paneled with dark oak wood and features a beamed ceiling. It is spacious enough to fit a nice fireplace and other pieces of furniture. It also has unique leaded glass windows throughout.
The Music Room – This room isn’t filled with musical instruments, though. Even so, its interior will relax your eyes and, of course your body.
Living Room – The Living Room also gives off a nice Georgian design. But what’s even more impressive here is the original leaded glass windows that it has.
Dining Room – There’s no story about its namesake, though. But rest assured, you will not sleep in a dining room setting. Here, you can enjoy a spacious room that has large windows that will give you a nice view of the Seneca Valley and the vineyard. Another thing to love about this room is its original leaded glass bookcase that’s full of timeless classics; perfect for bookworms.
Smith Room – This room, on the other hand boasts of Georgian revivalist style. Apart from that, it has lovely antiques throughout.
West Room – Like other rooms, this one also has a nice big bed, a private bathroom, and a walk-in shower. However, compared to others, this room will give you the view of the back of the property.
Nicholas Room – The Nicholas Room’s interior is quite unique too. It gives off a refreshing feel with its blue and white interior. It has a simpler style yet it’s more relaxing.
Pond View Room – As its name suggests, this room features a nice view of the pond and gazebo on the White Springs Manor property. And like the most rooms, the Pond View Room also offers a big bed, Jacuzzi, a fireplace, and a bathroom.
Lee Room – This room also offers a spectacular view of Seneca Lake Valley. What’s even more impressive in this room are the details on the carved wooden pieces of furniture that it has.
Sheldon Room – The Sheldon room, on the other hand, speaks of an old-world elegance, especially with the Doric columns that flank its fireplace. Here, you can also get to have a stunning view of the Seneca Valley, the vineyards, and the lake in the distance.
Mandigo Room – Mandigo Room is yet another unique room you can find in the White Manor Springs. This cozy bright room has a large wood-framed windows, floral wallpaper, as well as graceful furnishings. Here, you can also view the side yard of the Manor.
Young Room – If you need a smaller room, the Young Room is for you. This one is the second smallest room. While it is small, there’s still room for plenty of comfort.
Another thing to love inside the Belhurst Castle is its dining options. For starters, the castle has two restaurants: Edgar’s Restaurant in the Castle and the Stonecutter’s Tavern.
The former offers a more formal restaurant setting. Its interiors will make you feel the Georgian era luxury. Of course, its dinner menu offers different courses of meals. And you don’t have to worry much about your budget. This is because while Edgar’s Restaurant in the Castle offers a fine dining setting, its menu will not make you break the bank. It even offers less than $30 promo where you can savor a four-course meal already.
If you want a more laid back dining experience, dining at the Stonecutter’s Tavern is a must. Here, you can enjoy a casual pub-style food. The atmosphere is family friendly too. The food here is equally good so it’s also a must-try.
Belhurst Castle also has its own winery and brewery. Here, you can buy wines and craft beers to take home with you. The best part of it is that Belhurst’s estate winery and brewery also offer tasting tours that come at affordable prices: the Classic Wine Tasting, Craft Beer Tasting, Craft Beer Snack Flight, Wine and Cheese Flight, and Wine and Chocolate Flight.
For the Classic Wine Tasting, you can already enjoy five wines from their tasting menu for $5. And if you purchase a bottle of wine, you can even get a $2 refund.
Meanwhile, for the Craft Beer Tasting, you can already enjoy three craft beers from their tasting menu for only $6. And with the purchase of a growler, you can receive a $1 refund.
If you want to go on a beer tasting with snacks, all you have to do is prepare a $12 budget. In this flight, you can chug three craft beers and gobble two unique snack items.
Of course, drinking wine won’t be complete without cheese. If you’re one of those who love the wine and cheese combination, all you have to do is allot $10 on your budget for this flight. Here, you can enjoy five wines aired with five cheeses.
For those who have a sweet tooth, you can go for the Wine and Chocolate Flight. For $10, you can already taste four wines paired with four chocolates from Rochester, NY’s Laughing Gull Chocolates.
However, good things come to an end too as wine and craft beer tastings aren’t available all day. While the castle’s winery and brewery are open from 10 AM to 8 PM, the wine and beer tastings are only until 7:30 PM. But the good news is, you can just wait until the next day or the next as winery and brewery are open daily.
4Relax and Get Ready
And if you crave for more relaxation, don’t worry, Belhurst Castle got your back with its own spa. Here, you can get full relaxation with the spa treatments they offer. Enjoy massages, body treatments, and even facial treatments. You will not just get to relax your body but you can also get flawless skin after your stay at the castle.
The castle also has its own salon. Aside from pampering yourself, Belhurst Castle also offers services to help you prepare for special occasions like weddings. Get your hair fixed, put your make up on, and get your nails done here for that extra glam on your special day.
Belhurst Castle’s look is undeniable stunning. From its exteriors to its rooms, you will definitely see impressive designs. Hence, this place isn’t only popular among guests who want to relax and/or bond time with their loved ones. This place is also popular for special and big celebrations. One of the many special events that it is known for are weddings.
The idea of tying the knot on a castle with picturesque views is just so romantic and grand. It definitely contributes a lot to making special events like weddings even more memorable. Hence, a lot of couples choose this as their wedding venue. We mean, who won’t? Here, you and your guests will already have a nice place to stay in, the views are stunning, the wedding venue is gorgeous, the restaurants’ food is all mouthwatering, and you even have a salon who will help you get ready for your big day. And because of these, if you’re tying the knot soon, we highly recommend this place.
There’s indeed already a lot of things to do in Belhurst Castle. But if you’re staying a bit longer in Geneva and want to explore the nearby areas, check these other attractions that are near the castle.
Belhurst Castle Nearby Attractions
Ravines Wine Cellars
If you want more wines, don’t forget to head to ravines Wine Cellars. Here, you can also get to taste award-winning fine wines. The best part of it is that they serve good food here too. Go wine tasting with your friends and enjoy the good food. This place is not to be missed as well when you’re in Geneva.
Smith Opera House
Also known as the Smith Center for the Arts, this place is where to go when you want to go on a movie date. But aside from good films to watch, the Smith Opera House also has live performances to offer. They’re all a must see, especially if you’re into such kind of art.
Seneca Lake State Park
When you’re in Belhurst Castle, one of the best views that you can get to see is Seneca Lake. But don’t just look at it from your windows, go and experience it. Here, you have plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy with your friends and/or family. From swimming to even skiing (depending on the season), this place sure is full of fun.
Three Brothers Wineries and Estates
Just across Seneca Lake, you can visit the Three Brothers Wineries and Estates. Here, as its name suggests, you can get to enjoy fine wines too. The Three Brothers Wineries and estates also serve some good food – from French fries to pizzas, it’s a nice place to stop by, whether you’re looking to taste some wine or you just want some snacks. Yes, there are actually a lot of wineries in Geneva. And if you’re a wine lover, it’s definitely worth the visit.
Geneva Historical Society
Of course, when you’re in an unfamiliar place, it would be best to get to know it better to fully understand and enjoy its culture and past. And what better way to get to know a place than hear the stories of its past? In Geneva, you can do that at the Geneva Historical Society. This place is full of exhibits that will surely help you understand and get to know Geneva better.
New York isn’t always about its tall buildings, busy streets, and the Statue of Liberty. There’s still a lot to see here. Belhurst Castle alone in Geneva, new York, offers a lot of things already as well as the attractions near it.