Take a quiet retreat away from the center of town at the Springwater Bed & Breakfast (from $120), a family-owned-and-operated inn that serves as a welcome alternative to the city’s rather seedy-looking motels. This new construction opened in 2010 with five spacious, individually decorated rooms featuring conveniences like towel warmers in the large marble and tile bathrooms and private porches on the second floor.
Experience a bygone era at the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa (from $185), the city’s sole remaining historic hotel now that the iconic Adelphi is indefinitely closed for renovation. Open for more than 70 years, the Georgian-style property’s rooms have been given a contemporary facelift in recent years, but you can still experience “taking the waters” at the adjacent Roosevelt Baths & Spa, where you soak in naturally effervescent mineral water ($30 for 40 minutes) in the WPA-era bathhouse.
Surround yourself with genteel style at the Saratoga Arms (from $239), an impeccably restored, 1870 Second Empire brick mansion filled with toile wallpaper, vintage equestrian art, family antiques, winding staircases, and other period details including a beautiful wraparound porch. Located on the city’s main drag, it combines the personal touches of a B&B with the high standards and non-invasiveness of a boutique hotel, making it a better option than the characterless chain properties you’ll find nearby.