Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Vintage Whinery at Niagara Falls.

Mural in the entryway

This is a long overdue post but one that has to be written, because I cannot wait to go back.
Over the past few years, I have heard mixed reviews about Airbnb, both from travelers and property owners. However, a good friend had wonderful luck finding a place during a trip to Paris and so we decided to give it a try for our summer trip to Niagara Falls.

As soon as we found The Vintage Whinery on the Airbnb site, we fell in love. And the price was incredible.

The only way to truly do The Vintage Whinery justice is by sharing some of the many pictures I took during my stay there. The house is a two story, with the owners Sheila and Rachel living upstairs with their canine companions while you enjoy the two bedroomed apartment downstairs. Sadly, Rachel was out of town during our stay but Sheila was the most perfect hostess you could ever wish for and her breakfasts made even a non-breakfast person like me jump out of bed in the morning: oatmeal with nuts and berries, fresh waffles, bacon, baked goods, the works!

Both Sheila and Rachel are artists and so the entire apartment is decorated in a fabulous turn of the century Parisian style. Put it this way - we loved it so much, we were all walking around photographing everything before we unpacked.

My parents stayed in the children's room, decked out beautifully with all sorts of nostalgic childhood goodies, and yes, that is a giant giraffe in a pram in the corner.
Nic and I had the opulent Opera Room, just across the hall, complete with rich fabrics and a bed so comfortable, I could have stayed there all days.

Handmade artwork and Art Deco prints covered the walls. I felt as if I were living in one of the Alfonse Mucha prints that had adorned my college dorm wall, although I lacked the glamorous gowns!

Collage in the Opera Bedroom

With a fully equipped kitchen, and a comfortable living room, the four nights we spent here were a delightful break from the standard hotel room experience.

Now I know that not all Airbnb properties are like this.
We had originally searched for one in New York, only to find many that were little more than an airbed on a spare room floor, at an exorbitant rate.

Living room at The Vintage Whinery

But if you take your time to browse the listings, you can find some truly wonderful places. Incidentally, The Vintage Whinery would make an ideal location for a writing retreat so I may well have to head back for just such a vacation some time.

So which would you prefer when you go to Niagara Falls - a bland room in one of the usual chain hotels, maybe a bit run down, and a scramble for the breakfast buffet? Or a little taste of creative heaven with privacy, comfort, relaxation, and a gracious host who offers breakfasts to die for?

I will be using Airbnb again this holiday season when we visit San Francisco with some friends, and if you happen to visit The Vintage Whinery, be sure to say hi to Sheila.