ALOFT Review, Buffalo, New York

As Australians we had heard so much about the North American post Thanksgiving tradition called ‘Black Friday’. Given the USA’s vast choice of options compared to Canada when it comes to consumerism, it is customary that many Torontonians go across the border to Buffalo, the closest big American city to go shopping for things they can’t get in Canada.

We were offered the chance to go across to Buffalo with our landlady and her boyfriend on a road trip. So that mild November night we packed up and drove the quick two hours over the border.

Given that we were going to be spending it in America, we envisioned they would do this Black Friday thing big, loud and bold. We were expecting hoards of people at 2am, a few punch outs, ripped hair, wigs on the ground, and all around mayhem. What we arrived to instead was a rather more subdued morning.

Maybe the internet has killed Black Friday, or maybe it is the fact that they now start it on Thursday night. Either way, the mood at Walden Galleria was not a party or a riot. It was, quite frankly, lacklustre.

With the waning dollar, there were no bargains to be had, particularly in Buffalo. So the shopping part of the trip was a bust.

The Walmart, with an array of brands and choices, flavours (just look at the Oreo and Lay Chips aisle) and food chemicals was more exciting.

The hotel that we stayed in on the other hand, made up for the disappointing deals and shopping.

You see, Buffalo is full of outdated Quality Inn suites type places. Whilst there is nothing wrong with these, it needs something, hip, modern and IKEA esque. And now they have it. It is called Aloft.

We booked this hotel on Hotwire, not knowing which one we were getting, and we were excited with the prospect of the boutique modern accommodation they gave us.

The minute you walk in the brand spanking new hotel, you feel like you could be in some downtown portion of Korea or Sweden, not across from Buffalo airport in the middle of nowhere, really.

There is an orange bean bag, modern shutters and a retro telephone in the modern and fresh rooms.

Here are the other highlights (and small lowlights) of this six floor hotel:


  • Close to the Airport
  • Full service bar and restaurant
  • Computer with internet access in the lobby
  • Food and amenities gift shop in the lobby
  • Complimentery tea, coffee and newspapers in the lobby
  • Pool table in the lobby
  • Pool and sauna
  • Full service gym
  • Nice backyard patio
  • Rooms are modern
  • Shower is nice
  • Nice Bliss toiletries provided
  • Staff maintained a pleasant demeanour even in light of our groggy complaints about asking for two double beds, as opposed to one king beds. Which brings us to our next point…
  • Beds are super comfortable


  • Not close to immediate restaurants or shops (unless you count a very depressing McDonalds)
  • Only suitable for passengers with cars or those who need to be near the airport

So unless you absolutely must go to Buffalo, or if you do decided to try again next year for Black Friday, consider booking at Aloft.

For more information, click here.

This is NOT a sponsored post, yet. We wish it were!


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