Thursday, April 8, 2010

Las Vegas Trip Report – Part 2 – The Buffalo Hotel

April 1 - Buffalo Niagara Marriott

As we were flying to Vegas out of Buffalo Friday at noon, we decided to stay overnight Thursday so we wouldn’t need to wake up and leave at an ungodly hour on Friday (to account for potential border delays, etc). I did a lot of looking around to find good deals – options were either to stay at a hotel that has free parking and a free airport shuttle for guests, or to stay at a cheapie motel and park at the Buffalo Airport (in the lot that still requires you to take a shuttle). There are websites (such as that offer hotel/parking packages at pretty decent rates (with ability to choose 7 or 14 days worth of parking). This is a great deal for people who are planning on going away for at least a week. For my purposes (a 4 day trip), I couldn’t find a deal that made sense.
In looking for a hotel to stay at, I came across a posting on TripAdvisor that said the Marriott in Amherst will allow you to park for free after staying overnight, and it also has a free shuttle to the airport. Even better, this poster wrote, you can Name Your Own Price on Priceline and get it really cheap. Apparently, this hotel is the only 3 ½ star hotel in Amherst, so even though you are bidding on what appears to be an anonymous hotel, it is actually the Buffalo Niagara Marriott. I knew exactly what this hotel was because as a kid, this is where I used to stay with my family when we went to Buffalo.

So, I bid $60 and my bid was accepted. With taxes/fees, the total was about $75 USD. This is a great deal considering Marriott’s corporate site and sites like were offering the room for $180! The cheapest motel that I would be willing to stay at was $55, and airport parking would cost us $35-$40. Overall, we got a great deal!

Check-in was very smooth, and the staff were very friendly.  We had to fill out an extra form for extended parking and arranged for our shuttle.  Once we checked in, we had to make the trek to the elevators. The elevators are far from the lobby, past the banquet facilities.  The hotel was very nice. It appears that they have recently renovated the rooms, and they look great. They are very modern looking. The hotel is smoke-free, and rooms were very clean and did not smell musty like hotel rooms tend to get.

In the morning, we had room service for breakfast. A friendly staff member fed brought us our food, which was hot and fresh.  As with all room service, it cost more than a normal breakfast but it was very convenient. We grabbed the shuttle after checking out at 10:15am and less than 15 minutes later we were at the airport.  The driver helped us with our luggage and we were on our way.  When we landed back in Buffalo after our trip, there was a courtesy phone to call the hotel for the shuttle.  15 minutes later, the shuttle came and drove us right to our car!

Next time we fly from Buffalo, we'll stay here before our flight!

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