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Located in western New York, The Butler House Bed & Breakfast is situated just off the Niagara River in the Park Place Historic District, which can be found in Niagara Falls City. The establishment itself dates back over 100 years ago when it was first constructed circa 1910. Currently, the property offers four guestrooms, each of which includes its own private bathroom and either a king- or queen-sized bed. Other amenities that are available over the course of patrons' stays are bathrobes, complimentary Wi-Fi, a flat-panel television, and air conditioning, to name a few. Breakfast is also provided to all guests, which consists of a sweet and salty dish. For those who take interest in the nearby attractions, Dan and Jamie, the owners of the bed and breakfast, suggest that visitors tour the Niagara Gorge Trails, the various local wineries, and the prominently known New York landmark, Niagara Falls.
The Butler House Bed & Breakfast is located east of the Niagara River in the western region of Niagara Falls, New York. A total of four guestrooms are available for reservation on the second floor of the three-story building. Dan and Jamie Craig, the two owners of the business, currently reside on the third floor, while the first floor contains several common areas for patrons to use, such as the parlor room and the front porch. To describe the building's interior, Dan and Jamie explain that the bed and breakfast is a "custom-built American foursquare home," and they consider the building to be "transitional" due to the number of renovations that they made since becoming the owners. Apart from the common areas on the first floor, some of the units offer access to additional areas where people can lounge, such as the Regatta Room, which comes with entry to a sun porch. Inside one of the common areas that is closest to the front of the house, a baby grand piano is there for guests to play if they please.
Breakfast is included with everyone's stay and is typically served at 8:30 a.m. in the dining room. Dan usually cooks the meal, while Jamie generally assumes the role of the server. The breakfast provided consists of a "sweet" and "salty" item, as mentioned by the owners. Pancakes, french toast, waffles, and cinnamon buns are entrées that one can expect for the sweet dish, and the salty items may involve eggs benedict, egg casserole, egg muffin, or potato hash. One of the most popular and unique dishes that is served at The Butler House Bed & Breakfast is the Taiwanese Scallion Pancakes that Jamie cooks, which is one of Dan's personal favorites. Beyond this, Dan says that the parlor room is supplied with "coffee, tea, and water 24/7." About one week prior to each patron's stay, the owners try to contact them to ask about any dietary restrictions in an effort to further accommodate their visitors; however, guests should be aware that the owners may not be able to accommodate the vegan diet.
According to Dan, one of the most unique details of the bed and breakfast is that "you can hear the falls at night from the property." This is supposedly due to the fact that the American Falls and International Peace Bridge that leads to Canada are about a one-mile walk from The Butler House Bed & Breakfast. Dan emphasizes that Niagara Falls itself receives 12 to 13 million tourists annually, as the landmark is a fairly prominent attraction that can be found in the establishment's vicinity. The Niagara Falls landmark is located in Niagara Falls State Park, two blocks away from the property. Dan explains that out of the 400+ national parks in the United States, Niagara Falls is "one of the biggest attractions."
The owners comment, “There are not many bed and breakfasts in the United States that are located within walking distance to a National Park,” which they believe makes The Butler House Bed & Breakfast unique. The Butler House Bed & Breakfast is also in close proximity to the Niagara Gorge Trails, which are routes for walking and biking that tend to pique the interest of tourists who enjoy being outdoors. Dan remarks that over 50 birds that are native to the area inhabit the land that encompasses the Gorge Trails. The trails lead walkers and bikers along the Niagara River to Fort Niagara, a historically significant location that formerly served as a military site. Moreover, numerous wineries are established throughout Niagara Falls, many of which offer wine tours.
Dan and Jamie both recommend the previously listed attractions to their guests, as well as a few restaurants that can be found near the bed and breakfast. The Skylon Tower is one such dining option that the owners direct visitors to, as the restaurant takes people 755 feet above the falls via elevator ride—where guests can enjoy their meal in a rotating dining room. Another restaurant that Dan and Jamie recommend is Casa Antica, which specializes in Italian cuisine. Dan mentions that this particular dining option is "a good date-night place." Lastly, the owners of The Butler House Bed & Breakfast suggest visiting Steak Stone & Sushi, an Asian restaurant that features a selection of Japanese items.
Dan and Jamie Craig, the owners of The Butler House Bed & Breakfast, intend to create an atmosphere where people "check in as a guest and leave as a friend." As they strive to emulate such an atmosphere, the owners try to greet people at the door and help them "feel comfortable in the house." The majority of face-to-face contact that the owners have with visitors is during breakfast each morning. This particular time of day is also Dan and Jamie's favorite part of being bed and breakfast hosts as they enjoy "learning about guests' stories and getting to know them." To keep in touch with their patrons, Dan and Jamie give them their contact info, should they have any questions before or during their stay.
The Butler House Bed & Breakfast is open year-round. Concerning the busiest season of operation, the owners explain that June through August is often considered to be the "golden months" for businesses in general, though they believe that the busiest season for their bed and breakfast is any time between spring and fall, more specifically throughout the months of October and November. This is seemingly due to the "fall colors" that are displayed over the course of these months, as observed by Dan and Jamie. The owners notice that many of the reviews left by former patrons highlight the property's location. One guest emphasized this aspect, saying, "The location was within walking distance of all of the activities we wanted to do around the falls." Other reviews have described Dan and Jamie's attitudes to be "kind and helpful," and a few previous visitors also remarked that the owners did a "great job renovating the house."
Couples who stay at The Butler House Bed & Breakfast for romantic celebrations such as honeymoons, for example, constitute the majority of demographics of those who stay at the establishment. Dan and Jamie note that their property has been featured on CBS, The Price Is Right seven times. This exposure on television has led to people taking interest in the property and has prompted them to visit the bed and breakfast's website to learn more.
Due to the fact that The Butler House Bed & Breakfast primarily caters to couples, it is classified as an adults-only bed and breakfast. However, the owners allow one exception to this guideline: If a family reserves all four rooms or the entire house, then younger children are permitted to stay at the property. Furthermore, pets are prohibited from accompanying patrons as well. Quiet hours begin every night at 10:00 p.m. and last until 8:00 a.m., though Dan and Jamie mention that they rarely have to enforce this guideline, as visitors tend to keep noise to a minimum at night. Another policy that is implemented at the bed and breakfast is that smoking is not allowed on the premises.
A few events are hosted in the local area that encompasses The Butler House Bed & Breakfast, with one of the most notable being Porch Fest. As the name implies, the event is hosted annually on the porches of the homes in the historic district of Niagara Falls. Bands play on these porches, which frequently draws people who are visiting the tourism area of the town that is in fairly close proximity to the bed and breakfast.
The Butler House Bed & Breakfast building was first constructed circa 1910, with the initial intent to function as a place of residence for George W. Chormann, the sales manager of the Carborundum Company. Chester R. Phelps was the architectural designer of the craftsman-style foursquare home, and he also created the designs for several other buildings in Niagara Falls and Lockport. It wasn't until the year 2004 that the building was converted by the Yoder family into a bed and breakfast. The family converted three closets on the second floor into bathrooms, and they reassembled the third floor into living quarters.
Merle and Halina Smouse—the two previous owners of the establishment who occupied the building prior to the current hosts—maintained ownership over the property for nearly six years. Dan and Jamie Craig, the present owners, were led to the lodging industry when they both had the desire to "do something different" with their lives. Dan had been working for Intel and Micron for roughly 30 years before owning the bed and breakfast. Dan and Jamie started to research more about the bed and breakfast industry and they traveled to various sites, looking for a potential business. Eventually, they decided to purchase The Butler House Bed & Breakfast since Dan has friends and family living in the area nearby. Jamie expresses that she is content with this locality, as she remarks that she "wanted the experience of living in a destination location" within walking distance of attractions.
Over the course of Dan and Jamie's ownership, the two have done numerous renovations to the bed and breakfast, with the goal in mind to "highlight the craftsmanship and charm of the house with more modern décor and amenities." The owners explain, "We wanted to make it more contemporary." The renovations entailed the entire third floor's restoration, as well as tearing out the former carpets, among other updates. Before the home underwent these renovations, Dan and Jamie say that it was more "traditional" in its appearance. Regarding the owners' future plans, they are hoping to grow vegetables on the grounds to utilize as breakfast ingredients.
Bed and Breakfast
Dan & Jamie Craig
Merle and Halina Smouse