Thursday, March 10, 2016

Year-old Inn Buffalo part of city’s rebirth

By Julia Waterman and Corrinne Wheatley

Bengal News West Reporters

Walking up the stone steps and through the thick wooden door of the Victorian Hewitt mansion, guests are welcomed in this grand entrance by innkeepers.
Joseph Littieri owns Inn Buffalo with his wife, Ellen
On the left is a meeting room with silk damask wall coverings and on the right is the library with 22-karat leafing with hand-painted artwork covering the walls and ceiling. The music room down the hall is dressed with jacquard tapestries.
Elsewhere, oriental rugs cover the floors in almost every room in the house. Light shines through the many stained glass windows decorating the mansion and original onyx stonework borders each of the 11 fireplaces in the house.
              Inn Buffalo, 619 Lafayette Ave.,  is celebrating its one-year anniversary, and the owners, Joseph Lettieri and his wife Ellen, couldn’t be more proud of their success so far. Although this is preservation in progress and they still have more work to do before the finished product, the feedback and support they’ve received over the past year has been more than they had ever hoped for.      
            “This first year has exceeded our expectations, we were very excited. We knew we had a special property,” said Lettieri.
They won the Small Business Administration award of 2016 and the Small Business Development Entrepreneur award from SUNY Buffalo State, which is also funded by Small Business Administration.

Inn Buffalo has been rated number one out of 22 hotels in Buffalo on the travel website TripAdvisor. There have been a few celebrities who have stayed there as well, including John Rzeznik, lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls, who mentioned the inn during an interview on WKSE Kiss 98.5.
 “I was just back in Buffalo and I was staying at a place called Inn Buffalo on Lafayette, I can not believe how our home town is just becoming this insanely amazing destination,” Rzeznik said.
The architecture and the craftsmanship of this house may be what draws you into Inn Buffalo, but it’s the hospitality, and warmth the Lettieris bring to your experience that is going to make you want to come back.
“I want our guests to get a real authentic experience, we want nothing more than to make our guests feel welcome, and taken care of,” said Lettieri, “whether that means you want to see a lot of me, or as little of me as possible. Whatever you need, we will make sure you get it.”
The hotel is filled with culture and history, which is one of the main attractions and uniqueness that you will appreciate during your stay.
“Inn Buffalo is a great historic mansion, it speaks for itself in terms of beauty,” said Brad Homer, of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “In the grand scheme of Buffalo, there are many bed and breakfasts but this is one of the best.”
Some might say that Buffalo is becoming an up and coming city, and the Lettieris want to be a part of that.
“In the future we want to continue to help Buffalo,” Lettieri said. “Be a part of its rebirth, a part of showing and telling people our story while showing off and talking about what made Buffalo great back in the turn of the century.”