Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center
What We Love
- Frederick Law Olmstead–designed grounds
- An architectural museum and art space on the lower floor
- Sustainably sourced eats at the hotel restaurant, 100 Kitchens
- A pair of copper-topped, 180-foot towers that adorn the main building
What To Know
- The hotel’s South Lawn is open to the public
- The property is one of two teaching hotels in New York State, affiliated with Cornell University
- Some of the suites here contain bathtubs and seating areas
- Buffalo State College is located right across the street
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Sprawling brick-and-red-sandstone landmark building turned boutique hotel, on the site of an abandoned sanatorium
If this former 19th-century insane asylum seems astonishingly regal, it’s because the head physician, far ahead of his time, once insisted that light and ventilation went hand-in-hand with a patient’s healing process. Tasked with preserving this Gothic castle, Deborah Berke, the dean of the Yale School of Architecture, opted to keep the expansive spaces—including 200-foot corridors and a chapel-turned-banquet room—intact. Berke’s especially noteworthy upgrades include a bravely reimagined entryway, a glass vestibule with symmetrical stairs that lead to the lobby, and 88 guest rooms (each combines two former patient quarters) which retained the original 18-foot ceilings but are now decked out with textural art and cashmere throws. Build in some extra time to get to the bar and restaurant, though be warned—the endless, chandelier-strung hallways mean you’ll most likely take an unintentional detour or two. But do go for the biodynamic wine list and hyper-local fare. Much of the produce, such as the roasted mushrooms that flank your polenta and the hazelnuts in your pesto, comes from a nearby farm.
In the Area
With neighbors that include the Albright-Knox Art Gallery (a neoclassical building that was featured as part of Buffalo’s 1905 Pan American Expo) and the Burchfield Penney Art Center (dedicated to talent from Western New York), the hotel’s Rockwell Road location puts guests in the thick of Queen City’s creative revival. The area is also known for its natural beauty, thanks to a dazzling mix of parks and lakes which can be accessed through the property’s onsite bike trail; the pedaling path also leads to nearby Elmwood Village, filled with coffeehouses, pubs, and independently-owned boutiques. If you don’t want to stray too far, the urban resort’s nine-acre green space is ideal for kite flying and picnicking during the summer months.
How to Get There
Every person, from the front desk to the servers at the restaurant went beyond our expectations. The rooms were clean and unusual - well thought out. The food was excellent. Walking around the hotel is a must, as much has been retained, such as the original walls and floors. Also, there is much artwork all over the property.
Booked here for a regional workshop. Conference staff was very helpful, the European breakfast with the grilled toast was a group favorite. The conference room itself was adequate, but the temperature was difficult to control. The hotel itself was an interesting place for stay with a lot of history and quirky rooms.
Our overnight stay was disappointing. First off, although the website states that this is a full service hotel, it is not. The restaurant was not open on Sunday evening and I don't believe they have room service. Second, our accessible room was ridiculously small. You know the room is small when the greatest dimension is the height of the room (an admittedly impressive 15 feet, which is attributable to the original design of the building back in the late 1800's). There was no room for a desk and the entire decor was reminiscent more of a Holiday Inn Express than a luxury hotel. The building, however, is an architectural gem. I would definitely return for an event but would not elect to stay at the hotel again.