Overall Impression: Based upon the entire experience for our one night stay at the property, my wife and I would recommend the Mansion and we would stay here again the next time we visit Buffalo. I am a native Western New Yorker (we visit the Buffalo and Greater Niagara Region several times a year) and the Mansion is one of two hotels that we consider when selecting Buffalo accommodations. The Mansion has the right ideas and approach for a luxury boutique hotel, but based upon our experience we feel that improvements can be made in order to provide a better overall experience. Please continuing reading for more details on our stay.
The Hotel: We tend to stay in 4 & 5 star hotels that are historic, traditionally decorated (late 19th or early 20th century), and are located in the city center/urban core. The Mansion is a renovated 19th century property that is well located within the city of Buffalo (providing easy access to the entire city). Checking in was straight forward and upon arrival (at 1:15 AM) we were provided with a complimentary welcome drink (there is a well-stocked honor bar in the main lounge). The hotel serves a continental breakfast in the morning but we did not have an opportunity to try it (we never received our wake up call – so by the time we woke up and got ready we missed the breakfast). Standard checkout time is a bit early (11:00 AM) but we were granted a later checkout (noon) upon request. We left our luggage with the hotel staff after checkout (we had an event in Buffalo that lasted until early evening) and the hotel was kind enough to look after it for us. The hotel offered a free shuttle service (up to 3 miles in any direction) although we didn’t need the service during our stay.
The Room: We reserved a Classic Queen room – which we believed was the lowest class of rooms offered at the Mansion. Our particular room was on the second floor, had several sets of windows (great for light), and faced the hotel parking lot. The room had some nice amenities - everything in the room was personalized (welcome letter, stationary, etc.), there were complimentary toiletries in the bathroom, and there was a plate of chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us on the desk (very nice touch) upon arrival. The room itself was small and had a fairly tiny (but comfortable) queen bed (which squeaked every time we moved). The entire room needed a good dusting, but it was in a very quiet part of the hotel. The room had both heat and air conditioning (although the HVAC system automatically switched on and off every 5 minutes throughout the night making it difficult to sleep). There was a television located in the armoire, but it was dated (it was not a flat panel/flat screen). The room did not have a mini-bar (but there is the honor bar in the lounge) nor did it have an iron/ironing board (but we were promptly given an iron & ironing board upon request). The bathroom was big (especially considering the room type that we reserved) but it was outdated (our guess is that it was circa late 80’s or mid 90’s).
The Staff: In a word – Fantastic! Everyone on the staff seemed pleasant and helpful. This was especially true for the front desk staff.
Arriving: We arrived in Buffalo via Buffalo-Niagara International airport (BUF) from Washington, DC. Finding baggage claim was easy. We decided to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel (NFTA buses also service the airport). Taking the taxi was an easy experience – simply exit the main terminal and turn right. The taxi stand (Airport Taxi Service – www.BuffaloAirportTaxi.com) was at the end of the terminal. The 9 mile trip from the airport to the hotel was quick (15 minutes) but relatively expensive (Brussels and Helsinki are the only cities that we have visited that have higher Taxi rates).
Departing: We departed the hotel by car (relatives picked us up).
Tips: Several tips for your stay. The Mansion offers the AAA discount. Visit the Anchor Bar (http://www.anchorbar.com/original.php) for original Buffalo Wings. Enjoy your morning coffee just down the road at Spot Coffee (http://www.spotcoffee.com/). Have a drink at the Pearl Street Grill (http://pearlstreetgrill.com/index.html). Enjoy a meal by the water at Templeton Landing (http://www.templetonlanding.com/templetonlanding/). Take a boat ride out onto the lake (http://www.moondancecat.com/). Finally, make the 30 minute drive to Niagara Falls!