Which route would you be taking?
If the Thruway, maybe Utica?
Plenty of hotels and restaurants.
Convenient to the thruway.
The Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn are both quality lodging. Stayed at both, no complaints.
Have also stayed at the Red Roof Inn (a few years ago). At the time was inexpensive, basic and decent lodging.
I drive to Ithaca fairly regularly these days, most recently the past weekend. Obviously I88 is the quicker route compared to I90/I81. There are a couple cheapo motels around Cobbleskill, and more choices in Oneonta. Any closer, likely not worth it to stop. I88 is single lane for a significant stretch at this time, so I'd allow for some margin if you have to make an appointment. I noticed you mentioned prices. Hotel rooms around Ithaca can be a somewhat outrageous on certain weekends. If you happen to be there on such a weekend, I would suggest to look at some AirBnB options.