Buffalo’s Best Airbnbs

Stay like a local
in the buf

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

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.

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.

Room at the Lofts at 42North AirBNB

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.

Room at the Larkinville Loft AirBNB

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.

Room at the Steps from Downtown AirBNB

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.

Room at the The Livingston AirBNB

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.

Room at the Persons Apartment AirBNB

The Bank, one of the country’s most unusual boutique hotels, can be found on the lower level. the former Bank of East Aurora. Nestled on buzzing Main Street with its assortment of restaurants, local businesses, and bars, The Bank is also home to an events space on its upper floors. Since 2020 husband and wife team Todd Stine and Catherine Lundie have been hosting guests in five rooms named for famed bank robbers: The Bonnie & Clyde RoomThe Dillinger RoomThe Pretty Boy Floyd RoomThe Frank “Jelly” Nash Room, and The Slick Willy Sutton Room. Each room features period furnishings, and queen beds made up with luxury linens. There are two other rooms, on the upper floor – The Boardroom, decorated with Art Deco chic, and a bridal suite for on-site weddings. Common spaces for Airbnb guests are decorated with period pieces and a shuffleboard table, and plenty of vintage likenesses of the bank robbers. The bank theme is carried throughout the building, with pennies embedded into some of the floors, the night deposit box repurposed as a wedding card drop box, and the walk-in vault a space where brides and grooms may emerge through the armored door for a dramatic entrance.

Hostess Suzanne oversees a magical Airbnb in the heart of Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood. Dubbed West Side Artistic Dream, this Airbnb is teeming with original artwork, plants, and jaunty decorative flourishes. This is an entire house adjacent to a lush courtyard ready for relaxation in Adirondack chairs. Behind the Airbnb is a smaller carriage house that the owner rents as well. The main, two-story house features three bedrooms that can sleep six guests; one of its bedrooms features in-room art-making space with a huge window and worktable. A sauna, a romantic in-room tub in another of the bedrooms, and a great kitchen and dining room round out the spectacularly homey spaces. The cozy living room has a soaring, two-story ceiling with a wood-burning fireplace, built-in bookshelves with dozens of titles to check out, and lots of original artwork on the walls. This Airbnb is a perfect springboard for urban exploration, close to Buffalo’s waterfront, great local shops, and a myriad of restaurants and bars.

A miniature lighthouse and lifesaver greet guests at the front door of this Airbnb. Located on Grand Island and approximately fifteen minutes from both downtown Buffalo and Niagara Falls, the Niagara River Inn has a theme: water! water! water! Host Glenn has recently renovated the home featuring four bedrooms that can sleep up to ten guests. There are incredible views of Niagara River, an in-ground heated swimming pool, and a Jacuzzi. Indoors, the octagonal great room is all wood and has a cozy cabin vibe — the kitchen, dining area, and living room flow together. Glenn displays his collections of stringed international instruments, collectible food packaging (like famed Flutie Flakes, named for 1990s Buffalo Bills quarterback Doug Flutie), old maps and nautical artifacts.

Co-super-hosting artists Jes and Brian have a roomy and peaceful bedroom they’ve dubbed “The Magical Room of Inspiration.” Located in Buffalo’s Valley neighborhood in a former nineteenth-century church and its rectory, the Airbnb is within a short walk/cycle/drive to nearby Larkinville, the Old First Ward neighborhood, a bevy of breweries, the waterfront, and many excellent local restaurants. Guests in the ground floor room in the former rectory have access to the kitchen shared with tenants of Elk Tree Gardens, the Lego laundry room, a couple of shared bathrooms (including the gorgeous tiled full bath with its unique tuba sink), and outdoor garden space. Jes is the onsite point person and is happy to give tours of the communal areas and sanctuary, now an event space filled with Jes’s whimsical art. Guests are encouraged to make their own art at the in-room desk, stocked with ample art supplies. Visitors’ artwork is hung for all to admire.

The Bills Mafia House, a rentable, two-bedroom home is as close to Buffalo Bills games at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park as is fanly/humanly possible. Host Shane gets rave reviews for the place, and his hospitality – he’s always on hand to ensure game day success. Bills Mafia House is equal parts lodging and museum with dozens of Bills artifacts, memorabilia, framed jerseys on the walls, and helmets in showcases. Shane reports that soon the house will have the addition of another floor to create more bedrooms, and display space for his massive Bills collection. Items on display include hand-stitched tissue box covers made by Shane’s grandmother: his mom made the living room curtains made with Bills material. Onsite grills and ample acreage for pre-gaming is part of Bills Mafia House’s charm. Guests may have up to 25 fellow members of Bills Mafia in the house, and in the yard.

Harmony House is a meticulously restored brick Victorian house on Buffalo’s West Side, steps from iconic Kleinhans Music Hall, as well as Allentown restaurants and bars. This massive house gleams with period furnishings, five luxurious bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and a daily a scratch-made three course breakfast served in the elegant dining room. Over the entryway is a local craftsmen-commissioned window of stained-glass birds, one for each of the suites named for local birds. There are two sitting rooms on the first floor, along with host Holly’s small gift shop where she sells antiques, homemade jarred food items, and handmade jewelry. The outstanding lower level features a full bar and game room. 

This gorgeous Airbnb is an entire two-story home steps from Crag Burn Golf Club. The shingled house with five bedrooms is part of the historic Knox Estate and features a sun porch, fire pit, gas grill, and a well-appointed kitchen, family room, and dining room – all in a semi-wooded setting. According to super host Chris, most guests who stay at this Airbnb have ties to Buffalo, are history buffs or are attending a wedding at Crag Burn. Chris also mentions that the house was used as a setting for HBO Max show “Selena + Chef” (season 4, episode 7) with chef Matty Matheson from the hit series “The Bear.”