The Argos Inn

While visiting the city of Ithaca my husband and I booked a stay at the Argos Inn. At the entrance, we walked by purple hydrangeas and slate stone steps, up to a three-sided wooden arched entry. This historical Victorian home of three-stories, has been renovated, modernized and painted all in white with a red door. The property was built in 1831 and has housed Ithaca presidents, many businesses, and because of its restorations, received the Historic Ithaca’s Preservation Award in 2014. So we were eager to see and stay in this boutique hotel.

We had arrived after 10:00 p.m., so we were given instructions to go to the side door and find a box with keys to the building’s outer door and our room key. We were in number 102, the Blue Peacock Room with brown and turquoise wall paper displaying the bird. It was one of their smaller rooms, but adequate with a queen size bed. A sink was in the room with amenities and the toilet and shower were in a separate small wet room. There wasn’t a lot of space to lay out our toiletries, but the two west-facing windows had deep ledges which allowed for personal items. A large trunk was at the bottom of the bed for one of our suitcases, while the second suitcase had to go on the floor. The room did have a long desk and two turquoise velvet vintage chairs. The desk was big enough to set up laptops with one person sitting in front and the other at the end. I liked the two lights on either side of the bed, which could extend out and swing for reading with their attractive flared glass globes. Also, the picture of a naked woman in green above the bed was lovely. The shower had a long metal drain in the floor, which was modern and worked well, and the rain shower fixture had very hot water.

Once we were settled, I walked the front rooms to check them out. The floors were of hardwood and by the front door was a greeting counter. Behind the desk was a narrow wall, where one could see beyond, a warm and inviting lounge with red walls. There were several seating areas with vintage French velvet wing chairs and couches, Moroccan lamps, and small round, dark wooden tables. Two walls had shelves with books and knick-knacks, and some prints of Dali and Miró paintings. There was also a zinc-topped bar and the shelves behind it looked like they offered just about anything one could think of to drink, with a menu of craft cocktails. In a side room, in a sort of conservatory with tall glass windows and doors, was one very long table for seating large parties.

The next night, after being a busy tourist, I longed for a quiet place to sit and enjoy the house’s outside ambiance. Even though it had rained earlier in the day, the evening was pleasant. At the very back of the property was a vined arbor over a large seating area for warm weather, with festive hanging chandelier lights and more Moroccan lanterns. As I was looking it over, a woman came out to adjust a curtain to the space. She asked where I was from, and after I told her California, she said she had thought of moving to Los Angeles. I tried to dissuade her, saying that it was far nicer in Ithaca, but she was still interested. Then she went back inside and I walked around the house to explore the front of the property. Off to one side were a couple of trees and under them a wrought iron bench. With no one around I had a seat and relaxed, enjoying the look and feel of this beautiful old home. We were very glad we had come to see this lovely Inn.