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“A great choice for staying downtown.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel @ The Lafayette

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Hotel @ The Lafayette
391 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 22 Hotels in Buffalo
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Top Contributor
512 reviews 512 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 96 cities Reviews in 96 cities
235 helpful votes 235 helpful votes
“A great choice for staying downtown.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Heard a lot about it and downtown Buffalo doesn't have much in the way of really nice hotels so we tried it out and it was great. The hotel was just re-modeled and they did a nice job with it. Our suite was was extremely nice. Bed was one of the most comfortable we've slept in. No curtains which was weird so it wasn't pitch black like we need to have a great sleep. Hope they change it. Great continental breakfast in the lobby and very nice staff! Will come back to hit the bar one night when back in Buffalo.

Room Tip: Get a suite - very reasonable.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashley D, Front Office Manager at Hotel @ The Lafayette, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
We are glad you enjoyed the comforts of your suite. We are currently adding black out drapes to our third floor rooms to keep the light out when necessary. Thank you for the compliment on our staff, and we hope to see you downtown again soon!
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124 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Albany, New York
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

While I give kudos to the developer for this project and adding new life to an old gem, we stayed in what I believe the desk clerk called their "presidential suite" and I believe when we booked was the "Lafayette Suite" - way over priced for the Buffalo market and the value of the room. Lots of flash and style - not a lot of substance for a hotel stay. Spacious suite with nothing to show for it...the fireplace was some designers version of "cool" - it was a hologram! The bathroom creeped me out w/ all the windows and the no door to the shower made me freeze if I wasn't right under the water. For $300 a night on a romantic getaway - I want a fireplace and a jacuzzi tub - not just "flashy". There was no hand towel by the sink, had to go back into the shower over the tub to get a towel and had no place to hang it. The one towel hook by the shower kept falling down. The shower stall was never completed and missed in a the "punchlist" phase. The ceiling heat right over the bed is like cold air blowing on you all night. No phone by the bed. No fridge, no microwave and I didn't even get the motif of the room - Egypt meets the Jetsons? We looked high and low and never found any directory of services in the room but a Room Service Menu for the American Grill. They have several tenants and no advertisement to let you know your options while at their property. We did get room service it is was the most enjoyable part of the stay (aside from my company!) And I can't believe they have the nerve to say "it includes continental breakfast in the morning" - what sorry spread. When I arrived I was in the Front Desk area for about 5 minutes and no one was ever at the desk. Someone could have easily stolen the guest's bags being "stored" behind the desk. Glad it wasn't my bag! Please hire someone with a background in the hotel business...not designers and developers...to make this a true great Buffalo experience for visitors. Once the novelty wears off, so will the praise. Believe me I have 30 years experience in the hotel business and have stayed in some very "posh" hotels and suites - including in Buffalo...this boutique may fool basic Buffalonians but true visitors and travelers will soon be seeking out the Hampton Inn & Suites, the Embassy Suites or the Mansion on Delaware - where you truly get luxury and excellent service for a bargain cost compared to this hotel.

Room Tip: Didn't mean to check spa...it doesn't have one that I was aware of anyway.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Buffalo's answer to Toronto's Drake Hotel. Sort of.

How much you like it here I think will depend upon whether you prefer a hip, retro feel over the luxuries of an upscale hotel.

You enter the lobby and see a large wooden vintage airplane mural with round silver metal chairs and plane bucket seats. The colours scheme is grey, taupe, silver metal, masculine and 50's. Our 1-bedroom suite had whimsical touches like a ceramic dog and an oversize drug store clock. The self standing shower beside the tub was beautiful, the feather duvet luxurious and a great bed. 2 fireplaces and 2 TVs. What's not to love? It depends. By the second day, after we'd thoroughly admired and agreed it was all very cool, I missed the tradeoff of a warm, welcoming interior and the kind of luxury you'd find a nice hotel like The Mansion on Delaware.

On the plus side: Drinks downstairs at the beautiful art deco bar were great. Unique custom drinks worth trying: (Rye, rum and maple; gin and tonic with grapefruit; and an alcoholic beet drink... Really. Don't ask.) We skipped the Pan American Grill & Brewery downstairs after deciding the look of the place may be the best thing about it--imagine a more authentic Ruby Tuesday. The restaurant is basically one big open room and it was insanely noisy. We left. Good call as the best restaurant in Buffalo in my books hands down, is Trattoria Amora, 5 minutes away by cab, book early to get a seat, and stroll beautiful Elmwood Ave. while you wait. Amaaaaaazing food and I don't even particularly like italian food. You have to go there.

Last tips: Go downstairs to the bakery Butterfields before you leave the hotel and buy the most beautifully decorated cupcakes and cookies to take home. Many people liked the florist and gift shops, which are worth a look.

And when you book, get the guy, not the girl. (I hate when I have to be the one to ask if the rate the woman gave me was the best rate--and it wasn't! An additional CAA/AAA discount reduced the rate--but why do I have to be the one to ask? Why give a customer a higher rate when you have a lower one for the same room? Duh. She was also no help when I asked about attractions. The guy was as helpful as she was not.)

The hotel is in downtown Buffalo, not the best location--safe but deserted. But a short drive to the action.

If you like the sound of staying in a beautiful old hotel that has been renovated into retro cool, you'll probably really like it here. But it is pretty distinctive so it may not be for everyone. To echo an earlier comment, the halls were wide, open, grey and retro--and felt like you were in a scene out of the movie The Shining. That about sums it up. I enjoyed the visit, but been there, done that and would likely book at a warmer, cozier place next time. But worth a night just to gawk and admire.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashley D, Front Office Manager at Hotel @ The Lafayette, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Thank you for your kind review. We enjoyed reading about your experience here, and are glad you enjoyed some of the trademark decor in our suites. We agree with you, the drinks at Mike A’s lounge and Butterwood's Desserts are a must if you’re here. We are continuing our efforts to maintain uniform procedures and decision making at the front desk so everyone receives the same great response from all our staff, rather than just the gentleman you spoke with. Stop by again soon!
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012 via mobile

I stay at the hotel frequently and have visited it's wonderful restaurants many times. Each experience has been consistent...wonderful! The hotel itself is magnificent maintaining it's original charm with a touch of elegant modern character. The rooms are beautiful. A good friend of mine said..."I could just go on vacation here in this room!". The individuals at the hotel are accomodating and welcoming adding to the great experience. There are three restaurants that offer each it's own experience and a variety of food culture. You have your choice of a sophisticated and worldly steakhouse, Michael A's, that offers you food combinations and presentations you would never think of that are delightful. You could venture downstairs to Butterwoods where the room opens up to elegance with an alluring ambiance as it used to exist as the old speak easy. The restaurant has a beautiful bar, savory and sweet menu and my favorite, a display of their well known and loved deserts ready for you to select. On the flip side, if you were looking just to be low key, grab a bite of Buffalo's favorite foods such as a juicy burger, wings, pizza and flatbreads, you can cozy up to a delicious house brew and food selection at the Pan American Grill. Bottom line, the Hotel Lafayette is a world of it's own that must be experienced!

Andrea E.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ashley D, Front Office Manager at Hotel @ The Lafayette, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
The Hotel @ The Lafayette would like to thank you for such an amazing review. We are glad to see that you enjoy our hotel as well as the three restaurants we have here. We look forward to your future stays here with us!
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binghamton, ny
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

We recently stayed at the Hotel at the Lafayette and were more than pleasantly surprised! Booked through Hotwire, which can be hit or miss. Not really knowing anything about the hotel, we did not know what to expect. There is no pull-off for check-in but cars seemed to be fine pulling to the curb to check-in and unload. We used the valet parking option which was reasonable and convenient. Since it was a hotwire booking, we originally had a standard room. I asked the very friendly woman at the desk about upgrading to a suite with a sitting area. She was incredibly gracious and said she would try but didn't know how to charge the difference. She inquired of the manager and he upgraded us for free. A great start to our Thanksgiving weekend. The room itself was beautiful, comfortable. Art deco without being cold. (How can it be cold with a gas fireplace in the sitting area?) The bed was super comfortable and the room was so quiet and dark, I could have slept for hours. The hotel itself was extraordinary. The restoration was done so artfully and tastefully. The restaurants and bars inside were incredible. From the PanAmerican grill, to Butterwoods, and Michael A's (which we didn't eat at but will next time), it was like a little resort. What we really loved though was the customer service. Everyone was so nice, so accommodating and there was this ever-present feeling that everyone who worked there was so very proud of the Lafayette. Thank goodness someone rescued this beautiful building. We will definitely stay again!

Room Tip: I would recommend rooms on the second floor and wouldn't think twice about paying the extra mone...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashley D, Front Office Manager at Hotel @ The Lafayette, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
It is so wonderful to hear how appreciative and complimentary you are towards everything the Lafayette has to offer. From the rooms, restaurants, restoration and the staff, these compliments make our hard work worth it. We are glad we were able to make your Thanksgiving stay with us memorable, and look forward to having you again for any occasion.
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Buffalo, NY
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

This was our second time staying at the Hotel Lafayette, and this time we stayed in a one-bedroom suite on the third floor. The room was much more simple in decor compared to the second floor suite we stayed in last time; very apartment-like feel, but not unpleasant. The kitchenette was really a respectable kitchen! A delight at first glance, but we quickly noted there were no plates, glasses, cutlery, etc. We needed to specifically ask for the items (we knew we were getting a kitchen, so we had bought some "staples" for the evening). They were delivered, but with a dishwasher in the room, they could easily stock them. It would make the area considerably more functional.
Noise can be an issue; we noted this on both visits. The wedding guests (there seems to be no end to brides and grooms here!) tend to get a bit rowdy by 11pm, and the noise can last a bit. Not a horrible bother, with the bar so delightful to help when one can't sleep. The lobby is busy by Buffalo standards, but spend an evening at Dream Hotel in Manhattan and learn what busy is. If you want quiet stay in a bed and breakfast, I suppose.
A previous reviewer noted a need for off-duty police presence; I have no reason to think that would be necessary. Perhaps a hotel in Cheektowaga would better suit them. I found this classy spot downtown to be more than safe.
Finally, the staff - very friendly and willing to go the extra mile. The lobby bar is a delight, and the mixologist is a master. I'll review Michael A's separately...I'll just say one word here: Exquisite.
Don't miss an opportunity to enjoy this hotel. With a bit of spit and polish and perhaps some foresight the third floor suites can be as nice as those on the second.

Room Tip: Second floor better decor. Third floor great for extended stays and families.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashley D, Front Office Manager at Hotel @ The Lafayette, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
Thank you for your compliments as well as your suggestions. We have noticed the same trend as you picked up on, and are continually working on our third floor rooms. We recently have added cookware to the kitchens, as well as supplying dishware. The rooms are currently undergoing minor renovations to add more color, including curtains, paint, and artwork to the walls. This should all be completed by the end of January. Thank you on the compliments to the staff they are always delighted to hear what a great job they are doing. We look forward to your next visit with us!
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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

This is a classic old hotel with a modem boutique update. Bedroom was a little cramped but fine. More what you'd expect in Manhattan and there was a weird loud machine noise coming from outside so had to keep window closed. Sheets were great and it had an overall very nice aesthetic. Great central location as well.

Room Tip: Avoid standard rooms on second floor esp. 216
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashley D, Front Office Manager at Hotel @ The Lafayette, responded to this review, December 27, 2012
I am so glad to hear you enjoyed your stay with us, and that you enjoyed the decor of our rooms. I am happy to let you know that our one and two bedroom suites tend to offer more room for roaming, as they have a full kitchen and living room area. I hope to have you back with us again and have another enjoyable experience. I sorry about the noise you experienced during your stay and hope to have an inconvience like that rectified before your next stay. If you could provide any more information to help us in this effort please do not hesitate to contact me.
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Additional Information about Hotel @ The Lafayette

Address: 391 Washington Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
Location: United States > New York > Buffalo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 22 Hotels in Buffalo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel @ The Lafayette is a historical landmark built by America’s first professional female architect, Louise Blanchard Bethune in 1904, and has been painstakingly restored to its original beauty in 2012. It boasts thirty-four boutique guest rooms, three mouthwatering restaurants, and five breathtaking ballrooms. ... more   less 
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