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'Tis the season for a staycation

'Tis the season for a staycation

  • Updated

We love the idea of staycations for this time of year—it’s the opportunity to enjoy the place where you live from a different viewpoint, and maybe, just maybe, relax a little.

Staycations can also serve multiple purposes, whether you want a break from holiday season prep with a side of festive, a shopping-intensive weekend or a quiet, romantic New Year’s Eve without the traffic.

Notable boutique hotels dot greater Buffalo, each with a distinct personality, so we decided to explore what makes each unique. No matter the neighborhood or the number of rooms, each offers ample opportunities for an easy escape to whatever type of getaway you had in mind.

The Curtiss Hotel

If you’re looking for a solidly downtown spot, head to The Curtiss Hotel in the renovated historic landmark Harlow C. Curtiss building. The glitzy makeover is stunning enough (just check out that entryway); add the Christmas decor, including trees, lighting and swags in the public areas and lounges, and you’ll feel like you’re in a holiday-themed Las Vegas palace of your own. One of the hotel’s most appealing features is the rooftop bar with stunning views of the city, a large fire pit and heated areas as well as an indoor space to retreat and enjoy a warming beverage. With only 68 rooms, the hotel is able to provide top-notch service, and is offering a sweet-sounding deal for locals looking to escape.

The Curtiss’ staycation package for two includes a one-night stay (standard king room), dinner and enhanced continental breakfast in the hotel’s Chez Ami restaurant, unlimited use of hotel amenities include the urban hot springs and fitness center, and free valet parking. There’s the possibility of an event shuttle (it’s operational based on weather and availability), and also included is a $40 gift certificate for the Buffalo Chophouse. Stating that the package is valued at $500, the Curtiss is offering this deal for $299 while inventory lasts.

The Curtiss also hosts a New Year’s Eve party, which usually sells out. First in can choose to purchase a ticket to the event with a room included; when those are gone, it’s solely the event ticket, which is held on the rooftop complete with an open bar and fancy hors d’oeuvres included.

Hotel Henry Urban Resort and Conference Center

This award-winning and highly lauded renovation revived a Buffalo National Historic Landmark by renowned American architect H.H. (Henry Hobson) Richardson. It’s now a destination for travelers and locals seeking a unique Buffalo experience. Centrally located at the north end of the Elmwood Village area, galleries, museums, parks, shops and restaurants are literally minutes away. The interiors feature thoughtful use of the former hospital, with huge windows, great views, wide hallways, contemporary art and minimalist design. 100 Acres is the embedded restaurant and offers seasonal food with a farm-to-table spirit.

During the holidays, Hotel Henry offers a double occupancy package ($189) for a Saturday night stay in one of its 88 rooms that includes complimentary cocktails at 100 Acres—and an added excuse to shop its holiday market, held on Sundays in December (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Check in Saturday afternoon, and head out to shop Elmwood or visit the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Buffalo History Museum (the Albright-Knox is now closed for its planned two-year expansion construction). On Sunday morning, wake up to the hustle and bustle of the holiday market; just picture yourself strolling through with a complimentary mimosa in your hand.

The Mansion on Delaware

A magnificent Second Empire-style mansion reimagined as a luxury boutique hotel—complete with butler and chauffer service—is your destination if you’re looking for an intimate setting with an impeccable guest-focus. The Mansion is located between downtown and Allentown, on graceful Delaware Avenue. With 28 guest rooms and suites, the vibe combines contemporary elegance with intricate 19th-century architecture.

The hotel’s rightfully bragged-about Land Rovers are ready to whisk you around the city, like to shop Elmwood Avenue, if you so desire. Back home at the Mansion, settle into the stately yet cozy lounge that’s outfitted with a well-stocked, self-service cocktail bar and a roaring fire.

When you book your room, add on the Pamper Your Palate package—the hotel’s popular offering lets guests enjoy the culinary diversity of downtown Buffalo with a $100 credit toward your chosen restaurant. The Mansion-curated list of participants includes 100 Acres: The Kitchens at Hotel Henry, plus classics like Hutch’s, Oliver’s, Tempo, Bacchus and more.

InnBuffalo off Elmwood

A private home in the heart of Elmwood Village is the setting for a personalized experience with attentive and caring service. The Inn, run by husband-and-wife Joseph and Ellen Lettieri, is lovingly decorated for the holidays. They offer primarily weekday specials for staycationers; in acknowledgement of the party season, they include an enhanced continental breakfast as well as 24-hour refreshment station, where a hungry or tired guest may prepare themselves a late-night cocoa before hitting the hay.

The beautifully renovated home features nine guest rooms, each with a private bath. And despite its small size, it features the amenities you’d expect from a larger hotel. There’s a magical feel here, and with the decorations, which get a little more elaborate each year including a huge tree, decorated mantels and fragrant wreaths, it’s enchanting. This year, the hosts will provide a completely kitted out gift-wrapping station, so that guests returning from visiting shops and boutiques on Elmwood Avenue (half a block away) can gussy up their gifts for presentation at their convenience.

The Roycroft Inn

Here is historic beauty, a charming town and lots of holiday festivities in which to partake. East Aurora is known for its quaint sensibilities combined with a modern point of view.

The Roycroft Inn offers plenty of gorgeous architecture, history and style, though it’s slightly less luxurious than some of the other options. At the Inn, quintessential holiday decorations enhance the gorgeous wood interiors, all made by Roycroft artisans in their heyday. Dine by a roaring fire, unwind in the salon surrounded by Alex Fournier murals, settle into an original Roycroft Morris chair or spend some time reading by the glow of a handcrafted lamp. The inn will be announcing a Well-Crafted Getaway around the holidays, so stay tuned.

If shopping is part of your plan, there’s no shortage in East Aurora with boutiques, specialty stores, and, of course, Vidler’s, to entice you to find something for everyone on your list. The town throws itself into the holidays with gusto, and you can plan your getaway around some of these events: the Roycroft Campus Holiday Show, the Roycrofters at large Association’s Winter Festival (both Dec. 7-8) or the Aurora Historical Society Annual Holiday Sale. Why not take in a holiday theatrical experience, presented by the Aurora Players?

The Lofts@42

This brand-new addition to 42 North Brewing’s flagship is touting itself as the only “brewcation” opportunity in the state of New York. That’s right, book (through AirBnb) into one of four themed rooms that are located within an actual production brewery—three of which feature Juliet balconies overlooking the brewery’s beer garden—and savor all the amenities that your hosts and the town of East Aurora have to offer.

Brewery owners John and Cathy Cimperman also founded the Borderland Music and Arts Festival; one of the rooms is named after it and features guitars on the wall that guests are welcome to take down and play. The other themes—Hopland, Queen City and Prohibition—are expressed with mural-size photos and vintage-inspired decor. Working with local artisans, they creatively reused or installed architecturally interesting items like headboards and wooden moldings from a nearby foundry.

A stay in each comes stocked with canned 42 North brews in the mini-fridge for you to sample and a growler waiting to filled, all included. There’s no cable TV, just a Roku, and you won’t find an ice-maker in the hall—that’s purposeful to encourage guests to get out and explore the town, shop, visit art galleries and antique shops, ice-skate, browse the holiday market and more. Handicap-accessible and pet-friendly rooms available.

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