The rise of Airbnb has led to a revolution of non-conventional bookings for accommodations around the world. In the Buffalo metro, there are more than three hundred Airbnb options for places to lay one’s traveling head. These accommodations offer a range of amenities, from spectacular views to walkable neighborhoods, proximity to restaurants and other attractions, as well as a chance to step inside some of Buffalo’s historic homes. According to their Airbnb.com, Buffalo listings have “An average of 4.8 out of 5 stars.” That’s excellent news for travelers focusing on becoming temporary Buffalonians.
Words and pictures by Nancy J. Parisi
The Griffon: Perfect for groups of friends
Originally known as The Wattles Mansion, this stunning 6,000 s.f. house on Richmond Avenue is now called The Griffon by owners Tom and Alice Eoannou in recognition of the hand-carved griffon (half lion, half eagle) that appears at the base of the home’s grand wooden staircase. With seven bedrooms, and five and a half baths, the Griffon sleeps up to 16 guests. Every square foot of it is incredible, with some fun flourishes like a first-floor poolroom featuring a table with royal blue felt, a second-floor sitting room with leather furniture, and an elegant bridal suite with a clawfoot tub.
Lofts at 42North: Perfect for beer lovers
There’s a hint of hops in the air throughout these impeccably designed and decorated units adjacent to 42 North Brewery Company in the lovely village of East Aurora. Hostess Catherine loves to show off the bottling area of the brewery, visible from a second-floor overlook (the complimentary laundry is nearby). Each room is outfitted with a growler that can be filled with any type of beer available in their taproom, and in-room refrigerators have samples of 42 North beers. A number of excellent restaurants along East Aurora’s Main Street are minutes away, as is Vidler’s five-and-dime and The Roycroft Campus.
North Tonawanda Lofts: Perfect for visiting the Falls
Conveniently located between Buffalo and Niagara Falls, the lofts attract guests from all over who are heading to the Falls, but appreciate being near the restaurants and attractions of Buffalo. SuperHost Tim offers four options in the quiet and urban Remington Lofts building. Guests have access to a rooftop patio in the summer, where the mist from Niagara Falls is visible and the bike and walking paths on either side of the Erie Canal are just a few steps away. Indoor parking, access to the building’s gym, and convenient laundry facilities are other amenities.
Light-Filled West Side Apartment: Perfect for solo travelers
Hostess Christine has accented the rooms in this quiet, charming apartment with pops of red and colorful pillows inviting relaxation. She’s designed the space to be washed in light and there are skylights throughout, one of which opens over a desk in the living room. The apartment is perfect for a single guest or a couple. There’s also a well-outfitted kitchen for travelers who like to cook their own meals. But it’s just as tempting, given the convenient location, to skip the stove and head straight to Elmwood Avenue to visit one of the nearby coffee shops and restaurants.
Larkinville Loft: Perfect for festival fans
This perfect nest on Emslie Street – named Larkinville Loft by host Dan – is in the heart of all the fun happenings and restaurants, breweries and bars found throughout the emerging Larkinville neighborhood. This uniquely-shaped private space has parking right outside the door, along with a Jacuzzi tub, fully-equipped kitchen, and a washer and dryer. Dan thoughtfully provides guests with umbrellas, an iron, and lots of tourism information. On the living room wall he invites guests to put a pin on the world map marking where they’re from: people have come from far and wide to become temporary residents of Larkinville.
Luxury on the Lake: Perfect for family reunions
The Luxury Lakefront Home known as “Cloudbreak” is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Located on a winding road off Old Lake Shore Road with spectacular views of Lake Erie and Eighteen-Mile Creek, it’s hard to believe you’re only 20 minutes from downtown Buffalo. A basket of fruit and wine welcomes guests as well as a binder teeming with menus, maps, and notes on cultural attractions. The floor-to-ceiling windows facing the lake show off the small pond on the property and the lovely seating area featuring a grill and outdoor fireplace. With five bedrooms, the house can sleep up to a dozen guests.
Elmwood King: Perfect for romantic getaways
The Elmwood King with Master Suite is a comfortable, handsome Airbnb. Standout details of the three-bedroom apartment located on a tree-lined block in the Elmwood Village include original artwork in each room, a dramatic king bedroom and a semi-industrial kitchen. Artwork is tagged with prices and is for sale. “I have a little Zagat-type guide made by me with listings of all my favorite things to do so people will explore Elmwood Village, host Domenic says. “I love to send guests to Black Sheep, The Dapper Goose, Marble and Rye, and Dobutsu.”
Steps from Downtown: Perfect for nightlife lovers
Perched at the edge of Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood this one-bedroom apartment that can sleep up to four guests is a short walk to Allen Street, Chippewa Street, and Elmwood Avenue. Host Kenneth calls the decorating style “mid-century eclectic” and says couples who want to enjoy nearby nightlife are his most frequent guests. A chalkboard in the kitchen, labeled “Eat Your Way through Buffalo,” lists recommended restaurants for pizza, wings, beer, and breakfast. Guests also receive a promo code to hop on a bike and experience Buffalo Bike Tours, an easy way to experience all the city has to offer.
The Livingston: Perfect for families
Located on Livingston Street near Colonial Circle on the city’s West Side, The Livingston apartment is lovely, homey, and walking distance to some of the city’s best coffee houses. Hostesses Ashlyn and Cara and their two kids live upstairs and provide a family-ready Airbnb that’s tricked out with strollers, car seats, toys, highchair, and a portable crib. The Livingston sleeps four guests and the bedrooms are decorated with vintage Buffalo postcards, artwork, and a map of New York State over the sofa.
Elmwood Village Mansion: Perfect for family gatherings
This mansion, built in 1901 by a captain of industry, is impeccably decorated. The sprawling house, dubbed “Once in A Lifetime” on the Airbnb site, features a cozy library, a kitchen with top-notch appliances, a living room with adjacent pool table, a dining room with a table for eight, an incredible patio and in-ground pool and spa. The house has five bedrooms that can sleep up to fourteen guests. Host Barry says the popular property appeals to visiting families and ex-pats.
Persons Apartment: Perfect for couples
The Persons Apartment, a former commercial space that once housed a bank and a post office, has been transformed into a lovely, airy apartment featuring work by local artists. The unit is decorated with vintage Fisher Price (headquartered nearby) toys standing guard atop the kitchen cabinets. An antique children’s wagon, repurposed as a coffee table in the living room, has a collection of Fisher Price Little People figurines underneath glass. The bathroom, and its reclaimed golden movie theater ceiling, is another outstanding feature.
South BuffaLove: Perfect for kayakers
Hostess Ashley lives next door to this classic Buffalo double with its two Airbnbs full of hardwood detailing and old-home style. The upper’s dining room is decorated with a grid of her photographs of nearby architectural and industrial sights. The apartment sleeps up to five. Ashley likes to steer her guests toward places to launch a kayak, mentioning that the South BuffaLove Airbnb is conveniently located near launches at Thomas F. Higgins Natural Habitat Park and Mutual Riverfront Park in the nearby Old First Ward.
The Sharpie Apartment: Perfect for urban explorers
The Sharpie Apartment is the brainchild of host Andrea who has created whimsical line drawings in each of its rooms – a wall of frames runs up the stairs to the second-floor apartment, lightbulbs and an umbrella float above twin beds, and an antique bedframe over a queen-sized bed flanked by linear bedside tables. Her drawings of potted cacti line a wall near the well-appointed kitchen. The Sharpie Apartment accommodates up to six travelers; add the lower apartment for larger groups. In addition to its cool artwork, the Sharpie Apartment is just located around the corner from the Essex Street Pub, one of Buffalo’s great corner taverns and the Left Bank, one of the city’s top-ranked restaurants.