I only spent one night at the Giacomo (in town for an audition), but would go back to Niagara just to stay there again! The NY side of Niagara Falls seems a little low-brow for such a famous destination (I'm told the Canadian side is much nicer, and what I could see across the water backs this up). The U.S. hotel options are, for the most part, barely "meh"-worthy, and searching for hotels pre-trip was frustrating because every tempting option that popped up was on the Canadian side (U.S. citizens don't need a passport to ENTER Canada, but you DO need one to cross back to the U.S.). Fortunately, Canada doesn't get ALL the glory in Niagara.... we've still got The Giacomo.
Being a combined hotel/private apartment building, The Giacomo has a "low-key luxury" ambience: the lobby is large enough to welcome, but small enough to feel like home (vs. a public, high-traffic space). The lounge spaces are intimate - tucked around corners and scaled for conversation - and the decor is contemporary/plush (think "Pottery Barn catalog"). There's a cozy little bar/lounge off to one side, and a brighter, more cafe-style breakfast room on the other (there is no full restaurant, but the free breakfast was GREAT: eggs, meat, potatoes, fresh fruit salads, cold-cut trays, Belgian waffles, cereals, etc.)
On the top floor - which is key-card access via one of the elevators - there's another private lounge - basically a living room, with a wetbar, flatscreen TV, computer and single bathroom - for the hotel guests, with views on all sides (you can't see the falls directly, but there's a lovely view of the Niagara rapids right at your feet, with the mist rising from Horseshoe around the bend). You DO have to climb two flights of narrow concrete stairs to reach the lounge, once you're off the elevator on the 18th floor - I didn't have a problem with this, but someone might. It's a little like heading up to the attic.
As for the ROOM - gorgeous! I stayed in one of the King rooms and had a Jacuzzi tub so big and deep that I kept floating away from the edge, until I folded one of the towels and put it underneath me. Separate shower, also nice and spacious with a wide ledge for all your shower stuff (my shower didn't have the bench - think you get either the super-spa shower OR the Olympic swimming tub, not both - no complaints here). Their shampoo smelled amazing - wish I could buy a full-size bottle of it. Unusually comfy bed for a hotel, plenty of pillows, nice-sized closet and a mini-fridge with freezer-compartment, tucked discreetly into the console beneath the flatscreen. I was only in town for one night, so basically I just bathed and slept, but the room would've been fine for a longer stay. My room must have been adjoinable to the next room, as there was another, dead-bolted door next to the closet.
The only negatives (none of these bothered me much, they're just FYI's):
- would've appreciated an outlet next to the bed; anything that plugged in was behind the headboard somewhere, and I didn't feel like rooting around for it. The closest one was where the TV/fridge etc. was plugged in, so you'd have to unplug something to use it.
- There is no ice/vending for each floor - again, you're not staying at a Holiday Inn and this is one of the ways it DOESN'T feel like a hotel, for better or worse. The ice machine is down a back hallway from the lobby; you can follow the signs from there to the fitness room, down another windy hallway and stairs. It's pretty quiet and empty back there, so maybe a LITTLE creepy, if you've been watching too many Law & Order reruns.
- No ATM machine, but I was very politely directed to the Quality Inn, next door: ATM in the lobby.
- I think the shower had some sort of adjustable "spa showerhead" feature but the selector-switch was so tight that it seemed about to snap off, so I gave up. DID like that both shower and tub had a hand-shower, which was handy for rinsing all the suds and bath-salts residue down the drain.
SERVICE SHOUT-OUT: We'd originally booked two jacuzzi suites; when we checked in, we learned they were on different floors. This was only a MINOR inconvenience - I had an AM event that would tie me up past checkout, and planned to leave my things in the other room before heading out - but the minute we expressed surprise, even though we assured them it would be fine, the second room was upgraded to a jaccuzi/fireplace suite on the same floor.
UPSHOT: DEFINITELY recommend! Again, the NY side of Niagara seems a bit worse for wear: the local-favorite restaurant we tried was unimpressive (I've had that steak at Denny's for a lot less money) and the overall look of the town was "yesterday's big deal"....but the REASON it was a big deal is the Niagara Falls themselves, and those are STILL worth seeing in person. Get on the boat, get soaked, wring out your souvenir poncho, then dry off and warm up at The Giacomo....great way to see a deservedly famous site. :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Giacomo, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member(R) in Niagara Falls, NY near Maid of the Mist is a towering achievement of art deco architecture. Located in a nationally-registered historical building, this boutique hotel in Niagara Falls is within walking distance from the brink of the naturally beautiful Niagara Falls, as well as a host of other attractions The Giacomo is the premiere luxury boutique hotel in Niagara Falls. Experience the majestic wonder of Niagara Falls in the world-class setting of the Giacomo Hotel - Niagara's only upscale boutique hotel. The epitome of Art Deco Architecture, the Giacomo has been completely renovated to feature ultra-modern innovations and the highest standards of personal service to satisfy the needs of the most discriminating traveler. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Giacomo Hotel Niagara Falls