Located in the quiet town of Nichols, NY, this exquisite Inn is a stunning, privately owned hotel that is brimming over with charm and grandeur around every turn.
So, step into any one of their five spacious bedrooms and expect to find an enchanting selection of vintage period piece furniture that is perfectly complemented by luxurious private or semi-private bathrooms – bathrooms that retain a vibrant, vintage charm even though they are fully outfitted with a whole host of modern amenities (yes uber-awesome coffee maker, I’m looking at you).
That’s because this historic home, owned by the delightfully welcoming Marnie Streit, has been fully renovated and restored to it’s historic, former grandeur.
So, if you’re currently imagining cozy beds, plush robes, refreshingly hot showers, large walk-in bathrooms, private balconies overlooking the Susquehanna River, and an on-site farm filled with rescued animals, then you have a small idea of just how amazing this place really is.
However, a stay here is not for the faint of heart. That’s because the Fainting Goat Island Inn is largely considered by many to be one of the most haunted hotels in New York, and perhaps even one of the most haunted hotels in America.
And while I personally experienced no otherworldly happenings of any kind during my stay, many guests have reported chairs mysteriously moving around by themselves, eyes peering back at you through mirrors, unknown entities tugging at your feet, mysterious items appearing in crawlspaces, spectral figures emerging out of nowhere, hearing the sounds of phantom footsteps and voices, and so much more.
Happenings that are so frequent that in 2019, this amazing hotel was actually voted the second-best hotel in the country as part of the “best haunted hotel category” for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.
That’s why, if you’re planning a relaxed, devilishly good weekend in the Finger Lakes region of New York, then consider a stay at the wonderfully unique, Fainting Goat Island Inn.
About the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Located in the small town of Nichols, NY, at 1311 West River Road, the Fainting Goat Island Inn overlooks a serene, 17-acre island that quietly sits in the middle of the majestic, Susquehanna River.
So, if you’re in desperate need of a bit of fresh air, then feel free to explore the hotel’s ample grounds, sit atop a two-person swing beneath a nearby tree, admire the riverside view from a spacious wooden deck, say hello to the resident Pyrennes Mountain dogs, or visit some of the non-human residents at the on-site farm, including a number of adorable fainting goats and “Porkchop” the pot-bellied pig.
However, don’t let the property’s quiet location fool you into thinking that there is nothing to do here or that this hotel is difficult to find. Because the reality is that this building is just one mile east of the Tioga Downs Casino and only a short drive away from Interstate 86/17, near the border between Pennsylvania and New York.
Therefore, while you’re in the area, you can easily drive to some award-winning local wineries and breweries, go antiquing at Tioga Downs Antiques Market ( or try Early Owego Antique Center, Red Door, and Ithaca Antique Center), play a round of golf at the course in En-Joie, visit the Corning Museum of Glass, hike along the famous Gorge Trail at Watkins Glen, or admire the beauty of Buttermilk Falls.
And when you’re finally worn out from a full day of sightseeing, retreat into the quiet comfort, antique feel, and warm hospitality of the Fainting Goat Island Inn. Not only does this impressive white farmhouse come with an expansive front porch, but there’s a quaint little porch swing where you can relax and watch the animals frolic around on the adjacent farm.
Afterward, quietly read a book in the vintage-style parlor or sip on a refreshing cocktail of choice in their fabulously decorated, downstairs bar. And yes, you really will have to BYOB (bring your own booze) since they do not serve alcohol on-site.
Finally, head upstairs and spend a refreshing night in one of their five, lavishly decorated rooms. All of which are well-appointed and feature an expertly curated selection of period piece furniture, a flat-screen tv with cable, a private or semi-private bathroom and shower, plush robes, free WIFI, access to a coffee maker, complimentary coffee and pre-packaged snacks, and more.
Other hotel amenities include free on-site parking, as well as daily housekeeping (they do a bang-up job and my room was next-level spotless), air-conditioning, and in-room heating. A decadent Continental Breakfast, featuring a selection of freshly made baked goods, is also included with the price of your room, which starts at a reasonable $110 per night.
Sadly though, because I visited during the time of the pandemic (womp, womp, womp), I didn’t get to sample any of these delicious, carb-erific treats since state law now prohibits hotel owners from serving foods that aren’t pre-packaged.
Thankfully though, Marnie has thought of everything and still provides her guests with a selection of fully wrapped treats that are readily available on a table upstairs, just outside of all of the guest rooms.
History of the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Now, because this establishment is largely considered one of the MOST haunted hotels in the US, I think we should swan dive into a little bit of history, don’t you?
Good, I’m glad you agree. Because I find it super interesting and think that you should know exactly what you’re getting into when booking a room at the Fainting Goat Island Inn.
Now, for better or worse, the history of this hotel is not really littered with a whole lot of death, murder, and mayhem (I think I’m the only one who was a bit bummed out by this).
As a result, the ridiculous number of hauntings that have been reported here are more than a little strange. Especially since the closest thing that this building has to a dark past are rumors that the inn was involved with the Underground Railroad, a theory that owner Marnie Streit regularly disputes.
However, what we do know about The Fainting Goat Island Inn’s past is that it was a former railroad hotel that was first built in the late1800s. It was then bought, much later, by Marnie who reopened the hotel in 2017 after doing extensive renovations.
Since then, the hotel’s distinctive period piece decor and whimsical themed rooms have been equal parts terrifying and delighting guests of every variety. So much so that some of the building’s more undead patrons have never left.
Therefore, you’ll find a guestbook brimming over with rave reviews and ghoulish tales that are sure to send a cold shiver down even the bravest of guests’ spines. Something that is a fairly normal reaction once you learn that other people have reported hearing strange voices, awakening to find two women having tea in the Fainting Room, seeing a small chair move by itself in the Nubian room, hearing footsteps fall on a staircase that no longer exists, and finding a rogue doll and knife quietly waiting in a ceiling crawl space that no one has recently been to.
And when the Angora Room was finally opened to guests in the summer of 2019, the frequency of these paranormal activities only increased as guests reported seeing sheets being pulled off the bed in the middle of the night, mysterious figures sitting down on the edge of the bed, and even someone being forcefully held down.
So, whether you’re in the market for supernatural happenings or exceptional service that is perfectly paired with exquisite decor, a stay at the Fainting Goat Island Inn will NOT disappoint.
Location of the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Like I stated earlier, The Fainting Goat Island Inn is super easy to find and is literally located right off the 86/17 interstate in Nichols, NY.
So, just plug the address, 1311 West River Road, into your GPS and you should easily be able to find this large white farmhouse (trust me, there’s ample signage so you can’t miss it) in Hoopers Valley.
And while there isn’t a ton to do right down the street (there are a few local restaurants, antique shops, and a casino in the area), the hotel is still well-located along a major interstate in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
Therefore, it’s easy to take a quick 30 or 45-minute drive to places like Corning (the Corning Glass Museum is awesome), Ithaca, Watkins Glen (the hiking trails are lovely and the waterfalls are beautiful), Owego (it’s a quaint little town), Binghamton, and more.
That being said, you’ll definitely need to have a car while you’re here. And that’s totally fine since there’s free on-site, guest parking near the adjacent farm. So yeah, no need to stress about trying to find a parking spot after a long day spent exploring all that the Finger Lakes has to offer.
I also love that while the Fainting Goat Island is centrally-located, it’s still exceptionally quiet and relaxing. That’s because the property is nestled along the beautiful Susquehanna River and surrounded by large swaths of vibrant green lawns.
So, no need for a ridiculously light sleeper like me to fret about being disturbed by excess ambient noise in a beyond relaxing hotel like this.
Check-In and Check-Out at the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Luckily for you, check-in at the Fainting Goat Island Inn is exceptionally easy. Okay, yeah, I know I say that a lot, but it’s true. Because all you really have to do is go down the driveway and park your car in one of the well-marked guest spots that sit right next door to the hotel’s farm (if they’re occupied, you can also park right next to the house).
And once you’ve parked your car, just grab your stuff and enter the house through the front door. Yeah, not though the side door like me since that is a private part of the house that the owner lives in. Whoops, my bad.
Also, be sure to wipe your feet before you enter the house/hotel because well:
- It’s polite since this is a private home in addition to being a hotel.
- You might inadvertently step in dog poop since some large, friendly Pyrennes Mountain dogs also call this place home.
And yeah, that’s pretty much it. Once inside, just confirm your reservation with Marnie who will then escort you to your room, show you around the hotel, demonstrate how to lock and unlock your door (it’s a little tricky so it may take a few times to get it right), and explain the history of the hotel and its multitude of hauntings,
Plus, if you have any questions about the area, Marnie will be only too happy to give you her expert, local advice on what to do and where to go. She can also introduce you to some of the animals at the farm or give you an informal ghost tour of the hotel/.
In return, all they ask is that you try and keep things quiet after 10:00 pm since they live there and sound carries in a historic home like this. Other than that though, just leave your key inside your room when you check out and that’s pretty much it.
Yup, told ya it was easy.
Also, just as an FYI, check-in starts at 4:00 pm and check-out ends at 11:00 am the next day, However, if you do need to make special arrangements, just give them a call and I’m sure they’d be delighted to accommodate you.
That being said though, this is still a hotel that doubles as a private home. A place that is run by two people who both have other jobs. Therefore, there is no twenty-four-hour front desk service available and you will need to be respectful of the people who live here during your comings and goings (especially if you’re out late at night).
My Room at the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Okay, real talk?
Not only are all five rooms here individually decorated with beautiful, vintage-style decor, but they are incredibly spacious, feature large semi-private or private bathrooms with showers, and include snazzy modern amenities like plush robes, coffee makers (with free coffee for you to use), flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges stocked with complimentary water, and more. There is even a quaint parlor and a communal bar-area downstairs where you can go, have a drink (if you bring your own), and make some new friends (ghostly or otherwise).
And although all of the bedrooms here have a vibrant historic feel to them, they are still fully outfitted with a plethora of modern amenities that are sure to make your stay the most comfortable one possible.
However, because I personally spent two nights in the Fainting Roon, I’m going to talk about that room in greater detail. Which you’ll love since this room is banana level amazing.
I mean, not only it is Grand Canyon level big, but it features an uber-comfy queen-size bed (with a super cute comforter that has a goat emblazoned on it), a private outdoor balcony with tables and chairs that overlook the river, beautiful white oak floors, chic lace curtains, a vintage record player, vibrant purple walls, spacious wooden cabinets, and more.
There’s also ample lighting inside the room, as well as a spacious bathroom that includes a stand-up shower, complimentary toiletries, cozy towels, a plush white robe. a large sink and mirror, a mini-fridge with water, and an in-room coffee maker with complimentary coffee.
Seriously, what more could you ask for? Especially at the beyond reasonable price of just $110 a night.
I know I was incredibly happy with my accommodations and got a wonderful night’s sleep atop a spacious bed that was filled with a ton of pillows, ample blankets, and a comfy mattress. There was also plenty of storage space, so I could quickly and easily put away all my clothes while I was here.
The one downside? Noise does carry and you can 100% hear everything that’s going on in the room next door. But honestly, that’s to be expected in an older building like this. I also couldn’t close my curtains all the way, which would have been a non-issue if I wasn’t such a light sleeper who was awoken by any trace of excess ambient light in my room.
Other than though, this room and my stay was just about as perfect as perfect could be.
I was also a bit bummed that I couldn’t taste the complimentary continental breakfast that is typically included with rooms here since I’ve heard wonderful things about the food. But, that’s really no one’s fault. See, because of the pandemic, hotels are no longer allowed to serve freshly baked goods to their guests. Instead, they are forced to provide pre-packaged foods, which Marnie has conveniently placed on a table just outside the guest rooms upstairs. And trust me, they’re really good snacks and not lame ones that no one actually wants to eat.
That’s why, if you get the midnight munchies, not to worry because she’s got you covered.
And although there aren’t a TON of dining options in the area, you should definitely be able to find a decent place to eat breakfast. I mean, I’m vegan and I was still able to find a cozy little vegan cafe that was a mere fifteen minutes away from the hotel. So yeah, if I can find a place selling delicious vegan breakfast burritos, then I’m sure you’ll have zero problems finding a delightful local diner that serves decadent eggs bennie (my fave before I went vegan).
Other Rooms at the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Although I personally only stayed in the Fainting Room, I got to marvel at the fabulous interior decor of the hotel’s other four rooms, which generally cost $110 per night.
I genuinely loved walking through the hotel and checking out each of the rooms because they are all completely different and have a totally unique style of decor. However, what really unifies the overall design of this hotel is the fact that all of the rooms have a wonderful historic feel to them. Beautiful design elements and period pieces that are well complemented by a plethora of ultra-modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, free WIFI (And the good kind . Not the kind that drops you every five minutes), airconditioning, spacious bathrooms with stand-up showers, coffee makers, spacious beds, flat-screen TVs, and more.
That’s why you’ll definitely have everything you need (and then some) for an exceptionally fabulous stay that will leave you refreshed and ready to conquer the world in your profession of choice.
So, if you’d like to spend the night in any one of The Fainting Goat Island Inn’s other fabulous rooms, you can choose from one of the following:
Alpine Room – Starting at $110 per night, the enchanting Alpine Room accommodates up to two people, features a luxurious king-sized bed, overlooks the Susquehanna River, and features stunning, pine floors from the 1850s. Spacious and potentially haunted, a stay here also gives you access to an additional room, via an adjoining bathroom, and is perfect for a family or a larger group of people. Although, booking that room (AKA the Toggenburg Room) will cost you an additional $80 per night.
Angora Room -Starting at $110 per night, this room can accommodate up to two people and is outfitted with a plush, queen-size bed. It also overlooks the adjacent garden, is furnished with an ultra-rare bedroom set from the 1830s and features its very own private bathroom.
Nubian Room -Starting at $110 per night, the Nubian Room is a cozy place to spend that night and features a spacious private bathroom just down the hall. It also accommodates up to two people and includes a double bed, as well as various antique furnishings from an 1850s stagecoach inn.
Amenities at the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Truth be told, there aren’t a ton of other amenities on offer here besides the five well-priced, luxurious rooms that overlook the picturesque river below. And that’s fine since most people are here for a relaxing stay and to see if they can experience a haunt or two in one of the most haunted hotels in New York.
So, in addition to a fantastic stay in one of the Inn’s well-appointed suites, booking a room at the Fainting Goat Island Inn also includes housekeeping services, access to complimentary pre-packaged snacks just outside your room, private or semi-private bathrooms, free on-site parking, views of the stunning Susquehanna River, visits to the adjacent farm (not gonna lie, the fainting goats here are uber-adorbz), use of the surrounding lawns and gardens, and a complimentary, informal ghost tour of the building.
A lovely Continental breakfast filled with decadent, freshly made baked goods is also typically included with the price of your stay. However, because of recent events and the looming global pandemic, Marnie is not currently allowed to serve anything that isn’t pre-packed. However, I’m sure this delightful breakfast service will resume once the world slowly goes back to normal.
Service at the Fainting Goat Island Inn
Look, as a digital nomad, I’ve stayed in a TON of different hotels in A LOT of different places. Heck, I’d even go so far as to say that I basically live in hotels when I’m not in New York.
And let me be the first to say that The Fainting Goat Island Inn truly is something special. See, because this is a privately owned Inn that is run by Marnie herself, she really goes out of her way to accommodate guests and to make them feel right at home.
Not only is she exceptionally friendly and eager to share her expert knowledge about the area, but she will happily show you around the hotel, give you a detailed history of the building (and its multitude of hauntings), and will graciously introduce to your room while demonstrating exactly how to use all of the hotel’s premier facilities. And if you’re interested, she will even conduct an informal tour of the farm next door and introduce you to all of the rescued animals that live there, including porkchop the pot-bellied pig.
That’s why this hotel definitely gets a ten out of ten when it comes to service. I mean, any question I had and any issue that arose was quickly, swiftly, and easily dealt with – and all with genuine warmth and happiness since you can tell that Marnie absolutely loves what she does.
So, if you’re looking for a place where you’ll feel right at home and like you’re just another part of the family (un-dead or otherwise), then The Fainting Goat Island Inn is the perfect hotel for you.
Would I Recommend The Fainting Goat Island Inn?
Welp, you’ve now read this extensive review of The Fainting Goat Island Inn and know just about everything I have to say about this amazing place.
However, one question still remains unanswered. And I’m sure you’re more than a little curious to know if I’d actually recommend The Fainting Goat Island Inn to some planning a trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York.
And the short answer for all you inquisitive souls out there is heck, yeah I would!
Sure, there’s no twenty-four front desk and yes, the hotel lies a bit of the well-beaten path. But, in the end, I loved how relaxing my stay was and really enjoyed my panoramic views of the Susquehanna River below. The hotel was also insanely easy to find (which makes sense since it lies just off the interstate), showcased a stunning array of antique decor, provided exceptional service, and had the unique added benefit of being haunted.
So, if you’re looking for a unique stay in a reasonably priced room that is super-comfortable but still has uber-historic feels, then The Fainting Goat Island Inn is the perfect hotel for you.
Plus, I mean, hello, this hotel is incredibly well-located and Marnie is the very definition of supreme hospitality. So seriously, what more could you ask for? And the correct answer is not a whole hell of a lot.