One stays at the Canyon Inn to get away from "the madding crowd". It is a low-key, quiet inn with a large stone hearth in the open area where guests and visitors can sit on a rocking chair contemplating the embers, borrow a puzzle from the shelf or simply play cards, knit or chat. In the reception area, one can buy the typical sundries and pop, but what makes this place special is the local fare and wares available f.eks. cards by Kenny Bucklew, postcards with motifs from the park taken by Marc Evans, Clay City pottery stoneware, and flavored popcorn. There is a distinct emphasis on promoting what is local, nearby and the beauty of the park itself.
Outside in front are Adirondack type chairs underneath he towering trees which offer shade even on the hottest days, or you can use the Inn's guest pool conveniently located some 20 paces from the end of the west wing. My family availed ourselves of the tennis and volleyball court, too.
The dining room with its shiny wooden floors, is divided into two sections: the bird room where every table has an unhindered view of the many feeders where Indiana's birds are to be seen and the occasional squirrel skillfully manoeuvres themselves for a free meal. The other dining area is where the locally renowned buffet stands. It offers two soups daily, a salad bar and a warm/hot foods section. They offer a large, typical Hoosier Sunday breakfast buffet, too. Do not skip the opportunity to have a biscuit, or as many as your caloric conscience will allow! Portions from the a la carte menu are generous, midwestern ones. Order the fried tenderloin sandwich with the intention of eating a meal!
The Inn does not serve alcohol, and my one criticism pertaining to the food is that although the pie selection is good, the crusts are not.
The size of the rooms do vary. The baths as well, and I am personally fond of the ones with the small fully tiled shower stalls. Ask for a room with brick walls and pine accentuates; they offer a more cozy atmosphere. The decor is not modern, but modest. As the Inn was originally a sanatorium, I believe their philosophy to be that sufficient is good although I did have a choice of five pillows on one double bed. There are ice-machines, telephone and a tv (not plasma, not HD), and refrigerators can be rented.
As stated earlier, one goes to the Canyon Inn to meet friends and family while perhaps attending a reunion (one can reserve a shelter at the park for daytime picnics), to hike the trails or just to steer clear of chain hotels in that part of the state. I keep going back to stay there because the staff is efficient and polite, the rooms are modestly priced, the location is stupendous if you're looking for quiet. Rooms are easy to book online, and have experienced, as on this last stay, that special requests or messages to the management are always answered even is they cannot be met. That, in my opinion, is the first step in good service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautiful scenery, gracious staff and history blend together at Canyon Inn. Located in McCormick's Creek State Park, Indiana's first, we offer a full service dining room, modern amenities, and our front lobby consists of canyons, cliffs, and waterfalls. Located just 15 miles from Bloomington and Indiana University. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com so you can book your Canyon Inn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Canyon Hotel Spencer