InnBuffalo is set in a magnificent 19th-century mansion that has been meticulously restored by owners Joe and Ellen Lettieri. The nine-suite boutique hotel is the former home of local industrialist and inventor H. H. Hewitt.
The house teems with remarkable carved wood detailing, gold leaf ceilings, tapestries, murals, hand painted artwork and stained glass, making it a fascinating space for those with even a passing interest in history and architecture. Much of the home is free for guests to explore and Joe is eager to give tours of the common areas and introduce visitors to the building’s heritage.
Despite the grandeur of the setting, the Lettieris have created an atmosphere that’s warm, welcoming and unstuffy. It’s a sociable environment, where most guests like to catch-up with one another and share sightseeing stories at the breakfast table each morning and over a glass of wine on the hotel’s breezy front porch in the evening.
While we can’t know for sure what it would have been like to stay in the home of an early 20th-century aristocrat, guest rooms here feel like a pretty close approximation. Like the common areas, guest rooms are grand yet cozy and packed with distinctive historic details.
As you might expect, every room at InnBuffalo is different, with each offering unique features ranging from a marble fireplace to original stenciling or crosshatched windows. The Lettieris have balanced the rooms period details with modern features that include WiFi, flat-screen smart TVs and Keurig coffee makers. Bathrooms have heated flooring and lovely Acca Kappa bath products.
We stayed in the Hewitt suite, which includes original cherry wood finishes, tiling accented with 24-carat gold and a Victorian needle-spray shower. Joe Lettieri joked that this old-fashioned shower was once believed to be too powerful for women’s delicate skin; but kidding aside, the shower jets pack a serious punch. There’s also a deep, clawfoot bathtub if you prefer a less intense wash.
The Lettieris host all guests like old friends, which means there are usually a couple bottles of wine set out in the dining room by late afternoon. Guests can help themselves, with most grabbing a glass to enjoy out on the porch after a day of sightseeing.
The handsome billiard room on the lower floor of the house is a true, old-school man-cave, complete with a pool table and a stocked bar cart – both of which are free for guests to enjoy.
Room rates also cover free breakfast in the dining room each morning, which includes light options like homemade scones, greek yogurt and granola, along with made-to-order hot items like eggs, bacon and buttery toast.
InnBuffalo is located in Elmwood Village, a pretty, walkable neighbourhood located north of downtown Buffalo. The neighbourhood’s main strip is lined with independently-owned shops, coffeehouses and restaurants, while the side streets are bordered by picturesque Queen Anne-style residences.
It’s about a 20 minute walk to the impressive Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which features works by artists like Monet, Picasso and Warhol. The waterfront and downtown Buffalo are around a 15 minute drive away.
Rooms start from $179.00 per night.
619 Lafayette Ave, Buffalo, NY, USA, 716-867-7777, innbuffalo.com