Geneva On The Lake: For the ultimate in luxury

John P. Christensen
Lunch on the Terrace is a delight not to be missed.

With its pale stucco exterior, red tile roof and classical details, Geneva On The Lake would fit seamlessly on the shores of Lake Como.

There, in the famed resort region of Northern Italy it would be among equals. But here on the shores of Seneca Lake, it is truly unique. In this writer’s experience to date, its luxurious accommodation, obliging service, and classic European cuisine are without parallel in all the Finger Lakes.

It was originally constructed in 1910 as the private residence of Mrs. Samuel Nester, widow of one of the wealthiest merchants in New York at the turn of the 20th century.

Mrs. Nester and her son conceived the idea after visiting a family member engaged by the U.S. Diplomatic Service in Rome. Architects Lindberg and Albro, close colleagues of the famous Stanford White, used the Villa Lancellotti (the palace of King Charles Emmanuel

IV of Sardinia) in Frascati near Rome as their inspiration. Acquired by the Franciscans in 1949, it then served as a seminary and Capuchin monastery until 1974, from which time some religious

statutory remains in corners of the beautifully landscaped grounds.

Upon the departure of the monks, it then became housing for Vietnam War veterans, then Hobart College students, and sadly, then abandoned. In 1979 it was rescued by the vision and industry of

award winning designer, William Schickle Sr., who opened its doors as a resort in 1981.

In 1995, the Audi family, owners of the famous L.& J.G. Stickley Furniture Co., became the new owners and added their talents to the design and décor of the hotel while continuing the estimable

and tireless management of Bill Schickle Jr. Mrs.Wm. Schickle Sr. continues as the genteel hostess of the Friday wine tastings and Schickle grandchildren are among the faultlessly trained wait staff.

Schickle family art and sculpture grace the building and grounds, some copies of

which are available with other items in the hotel gift shop. It is this family atmosphere that explains the friendliness and commitment of all the staff, some who have been at Geneva On The Lake for over 20 years.

That sort of warm hospitality combined with the elegance of the surroundings is rare anywhere in the world. This atmosphere is capped by enticing meals for the guests and the public. The menus, designed by a team of chefs, vary throughout the year adapting to the freshest produce and the taste of the seasons. The breakfast offerings range fromthe light and fresh such as fruit and croissants, to the indulgent Eggs Benedict or Crêpes stuffed with Mascarpone cheese and strawberry rhubarb compote.

“Lunch on the Terrace” during the summer, with a tree-framed view of Seneca Lake across the parterre gardens, croquet lawn, and swimming pool, is a delight not to bemissed, either in the open or under the covered pergola offering shade or protection from a passing shower. My own dinner by candlelight in the Lancellotti Dining Room will be a memory I shall keep forever.

Each of the four courses, prepared in classic European tradition, surpassed any meal I have experienced this side of Paris. My particular favorite was the Crêpes Suzette with fresh strawberries (perfectly prepared at the table by Anna Schickle) was something I have not seen on a menu in this area for over 25 years.

Whether it be for an unforgettable meal, a romantic weekend, visiting guests who deserve pampering, a corporate event, or a wedding reception, lavish or intimate, Geneva On The Lake deserves the reputation they have truly earned by good taste, hard work, and an unerring hospitality.

Geneva on The Lake


1-800-3-GENEVA or


Geneva On The Lake

1001 Lochland Rd.

Geneva, New York 14456

The view from one of the suites.