The honest truth is: we’re cheapskates. It usually works out well when we’re traveling but every once in a while it catches up with us.
On the tail end of a long road trip through the north-east my husband and I decided to stop at Niagara Falls. After eating a mountain of “mild” (hot) wings in Buffalo at Duff’s Wings (they’re just called wings in Buffalo, not buffalo wings) we booked a non-smoking room with a king sized bed and a jetted tub across the border because we’d heard the views were better from that side. The room was a mid-range 100 bucks a night and the pictures of the room looked decent.
Livid and frustrated are the two adjectives that would describe how we felt after trying to check in to this dump. It was an uncomfortable situation haggling with the “hotel” slum lord over our pre-paid room. This place had windows knocked out, the ceiling was caving in, it looked NOTHING like the pictures. We didn’t even care if we got our money back (thanks to Hotels.com we did), there was no way in hell we were sleeping in that place. We’d been scammed and were S.O.L. Despite our planning, we were without accommodations for the night, without cell-phone service, and without internet. The thought of spending a cold night sleeping in the car crossed my mind.
The problem with the area surrounding Niagara Falls is that you have nice hotels ($300-900USD/night) and terrible hotels that are over-priced. There’s no middle ground. *Disclaimer* As someone who travels often, I’m ok with the fact that I may have to stay in an old or even dirty room every once in a while. I’m a germ-o-phobe, but I deal. What I saw in Niagara put things on a whole new level. The city itself is a complete tourist hell-hole. I mean, it’s right up there with Pigeon Forge, TN and Atlantic City in Jersey (except those might be nicer). Lots of blinking lights and buffets and lots of little friends to bring home with you in your suit case . . . (I will give you a hint they have antennas, they fly, and they have six legs). Now, hold that thought.
[It’s time for the happy ending].
As terrible as this situation seemed to be at the time, something good came out of it. We lucked into the shear splendor of a quaint little bed & breakfast in the B&B district north of the Rainbow Bridge. The Niagara Inn graciously took us in well after the owner had gone to bed for the night. The room was tastefully decorated in victorian style; it was painted a cheery yellow and decorated with nice little Dutch blue windmills and a Japanese kimono. I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping on the soft Ralph Lauren sheets (it’s the little things!). If I owned a bed and breakfast and put my heart and soul into the thing, I honestly could not have done it better myself. David woke up early to tend to our breakfast, serving a fancy fruit salad and French toast with delightful crème. Over breakfast the other guests seemed happy and impressed with the inn as well. So . . . if you decide to take a road trip to see Niagara, give David some business [Link to Niagara Inn] $77USD is a steal of a deal, I honestly would have paid twice that amount for the hospitality that I received, and that’s saying a lot because I’m a cheapskate.
A bed and breakfast is the only way to do Niagra Falls.
The Misty falls are quite a sight,& a wet one at that. h
(A tip for ya: when crossing back into the U.S., use the Peace Bridge—it’s MUCH faster than the other crossings).