The newest hotel in Ithaca’s downtown landscape is the Canopy by Hilton, a new set of nationwide luxury lifestyle rooms with a focus on the active parts of the cities they inhabit. This new hotel is the 11th of its kind to open worldwide.
Ithaca was considered a finalist for one of these new hotels because it aligns with the overall walkability mission of the city by facilitating walkable access to the rest of downtown, an emphasis for virtually any project hoping to get downtown approval.
Other focuses of the new hotels are to source food locally. The new hotels have numerous regional partnerships with local companies to provide services for the hotel. Unlike some other hotels downtown, Canopy is pet-friendly, with each guest receiving a Bark Box upon check-in. General Manager Joseph Galeotalanza said business at Canopy’s cafe has gone well since the hotel opened on Oct. 9.
“We have the Strand Cafe, which we named after the Strand Theatre, which we’re built on the site of the original Strand Theatre here in Ithaca,” Galeotalanza said. “And our Strand Cafe has been really successful with our local [partnerships]. We do craft cocktails, we make all of our juices in-house and we do evening casings for our hotel guests. They can come in and we can make them a special drink and they can get a taste of what we serve at our bar to help drive our guests to be in our business.”
Employees are local experts with a great deal of knowledge about the area. The main entrance is located towards State St. and there have been some complaints of guests getting lost trying to find the entrance, though it does protect guests from some of the noisier parts of downtown as well.
One of the features that Galeotalanza says guests are sure to enjoy are the bikes the hotel has on site, which patrons can use to traverse downtown or even travel beyond the city. People can explore the neighborhood quicker and this keeps people from having to get a Lime Bike or worry about leaving them in designated areas. One obvious worry is that downtown Ithaca is already saturated with hotels, but he’s confident the Canopy will be able to carve out a niche with the numerous assets it has to offer anyone looking to visit Ithaca, as well as the tools to explore the city with ease. Plus how well it fits into the overarching Ithaca ethos of environmentalism and sustainability.
“We have an open-concept lobby,” Galeotalanza said. “Our restaurant really sets us apart from our competition. We offer high-end amenities in our rooms. In our premium rooms, you get bathrobes and slipper-style socks. We don’t offer bottled water. Every one of our rooms has a glass milk bottle in it and every floor is stationed with a hydration station so we’re really focused on keeping it green. We have tankless water heaters so we don’t store any unnecessary water on site. We have energy star roof units for HVUC. It’s really important that, being a major part of our neighborhood, we aren’t making a major impact. But sometimes hotels forget the kind of impact they can make and we’ve condensed and minimized ours.”