If this 9-room inn feels like you’re staying in someone’s home, it’s because you are. Ellen and Joseph Lettieri and their daughter also live at InnBuffalo, welcoming guests to the former Hewitt Mansion built in 1898. This charming B&B-boutique hotel hybrid is as intimate and individual as the Elmwood Village neighborhood itself.
Street cred: It’s all about location
Elmwood Village is in central Buffalo, just south of Delaware Park, about one mile from downtown. It has a reputation for being one of the city’s more cosmopolitan areas, filled with popular indie shops, cafés, bars and restaurants. The inn is on a tree-lined street dotted with mansions, most of them residential. The acclaimed Albright-Knox Art Gallery is a 20-minute walk north, while Niagara Falls is a 30-minute drive.
Who hangs here: Is this hotel for you?
With only 9 rooms, you get to know everyone fairly quickly. Guests are fans of small hotels who like the comradery B&Bs generally create. The inn is also great for those who like their hotel rooms to look like they belong in a museum — people for whom “antique” is maybe a verb.
The straight goods: What’s in the room?
“I sell sleep,” Joe revealed while sitting on the front porch one morning over coffee. As such, beds are extremely comfortable, surrounded by antique furniture. New and bright subway-tiled, en-suite bathrooms have heated marble flooring. Rooms also come equipped with Keurig coffeemakers and complimentary wi-fi.
Bragging rights: What else has it got?
The inn is a “preservation in progress” with many original elements intact. Common areas are filled with period furnishings, including leaded glass-paneled bookcases, coffered ceilings, silk damask wallcoverings, varnished secretaries and a billiards table in the basement. This is a boon for restoration students attending Buffalo State nearby who get to practice on the parts of the mansion requiring attention.
Good eats: Cocktails and cuisine
Breakfast is king here, with scones and bread baked fresh daily, fruity pancakes and made-to-order egg dishes. The signature spinach scramble is highly recommended.
A few of our favorite things: What stood out?
The innkeeper himself stands out a mile — the epitome of hospitality, genuine, full of stories and quick with a welcoming handshake.
Parting shot: If we could change one thing
This is an old house, so you could expect nothing more, but you can hear everyone in the hallway. Bring earplugs.
Standard rooms from US$200. A hot and cold breakfast is included.
Doug was a guest of the hotel during his stay. The hotel had no editorial input for this review.