Buffalo University: Where to stay?
July 12, 2011 5:52 AM   Subscribe

Looking for good, cheap accommodation in Buffalo, NY. My partner is visiting to work at Buffalo Uni for about 7 days in late September. They've offered to organise accommodation in a Holiday Inn at $98 a night. This feels a little steep. We'd like to shop around a bit, perhaps look at alternatives other than a hotel/motel. Perhaps a student "sleep in my spare room" scheme or something. Advice much appreciated.

Any advice is appreciated, but we really would like to stick close to the University North Campus.

posted by 0bvious to Travel & Transportation around Buffalo, NY (14 answers total)
I think you could post what you're looking for on craigslist/Buffalo.
posted by vitabellosi at 6:14 AM on July 12, 2011

I've recommended it before, and I'll do it again. AirBnB. A casual search shows plenty of things under $100, although I can't speak for location or dates.
posted by kimdog at 6:18 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you want a student scheme, most students don't return from summer break until mid August.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:38 AM on July 12, 2011

For starters, not to be a jerk but it's University of Buffalo or University at Buffalo, UB for short. I know it's confusing because a lot of the other SUNY schools are Binghamton University, Stony Brook University, etc. And I haven't been a student in years so things could have changed but the name goes back to when it was a private non-state school and it was University of Buffalo. After it became part of SUNY, the name was changed to State University of New York at Buffalo, therefore University at Buffalo. As long as you mention that it's Buffalo University and not Buffalo College, you won't risk confusing people with Buffalo State College, another local SUNY school but Buffalo University sounds just a little weird.

Anyway. I would vote for a hotel rather than a sleep-in-a-spare-room bit. Again, I haven't been a student in years but historically there are more students who show up wanting student housing than there is available student housing so five students frequently are bunked up in a room meant for four, three in a room for two, etc. Because of this situation, the university has spilled over into local hotels, especially those closest to the schools. Therefore the student housing situation is a little turbulent at the beginning of the semester. Plus you have parents visiting to help their little darlings get settled.

How close to North Campus do you want to be? Will you have a car? Do you need to be able to walk around? If you look at a map, you will see that the North Campus is surrounded by highways. There are certain hotels that facilitate walking and I'm sure some hotels have shuttles to and from the campus but that's something to keep in mind. Also, with the North Campus, you should know that there isn't much around North Campus except the campus, especially if you don't have a car. The situation is slightly different on the South Campus and there are shuttles between the campuses but again, that's something to be aware of. If you've visited a college town like Ann Arbor, I recommend that you adjust your expectations (and I'm saying as someone who is from Buffalo and loves loves loves it).

My usual hotel search tricks involve sites like Priceline and Hotwire but if you need to be close to the campus, you should stick with sites like hotels.com where you get to see specifically which hotel you're looking at. I would try looking up the hotels on a website like hotels.com, then if you find one that you like, check out that hotel's specific website - sometimes the rates are lower there. Also, recently my in-laws were visiting and they simply Google-d hotels near our apartment with our address and got a really reasonable rate on a hotel in downtown Washington, DC just on Google so I'd try that too.

Good luck! My husband and I met at UB and our wedding in Buffalo was two years ago this September. It's a lovely time of year in western New York.
posted by kat518 at 6:41 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ah, September in Buffalo. The season in between summer and winter. :)

Anyway, the University Manor Inn near the South Campus is offering $85/night. It's pretty no-frills, and your partner will have to walk to the middle of the South Campus to take the shuttle bus to the North Campus, but it's likely to be one of your cheapest hotel options.

If you're going to book, book fast. Everything's going to fill up.

(Oh, and kat518 - Thanks for taking the bullet for me by correcting the OP before I did. :) )
posted by Citrus at 7:10 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've had good luck in the past bidding on Priceline with the "name your own price" option. And nthing AirBnb.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:45 AM on July 12, 2011

Well some of us in the U.B. community aren't as sensitive about the school's proper name as others in here, we're just glad you're here ... Please check out the Motel 6, if you can't find a couch to surf on. There are several in the area "Motel 6" is a national chain of cheap, generally quite clean, motels. You'll want the one at 4400 Maple Road, Amherst, NY, which is very close to campus. I just checked for a week in late September, the nightly rate is around $46 before taxes.

Enjoy your stay ...
posted by Buffaload at 7:49 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for advice so far. It is SUNY where my partner will be working, North Campus I think. Any ideas where to look up student room-shares/flat-swaps other than Craigslist?
posted by 0bvious at 8:01 AM on July 12, 2011

There's also couchsurfing. You're looking for locations like Williamsville, Amherst, East Amherst (Amherst is actually the suburb U.B. North Campus is located in). I don't know about any student-specific swaps or message boards. Try the department secretary at the school. They usually know everything.
posted by Buffaload at 8:06 AM on July 12, 2011

Much depends on where your partner will be working.

UB has three campuses. North Campus is more or less the main one, and is well out in the suburb of Amherst in a large plot of its own land. That is, the bits you work in are surrounded by a wide buffer of UB land before you get to hotels, shops, homes, whatever. Almost the only hotels that will be convenient to North Campus are those near Flint and Maple in Amherst.

Or, your partner might be working at South Campus. South Campus is the original campus, now mostly used for professional schools, at the border of Buffalo and Amherst in a more urban or at least old-suburban setting. Here, you might be able to swing what you're thinking of as there's lots of student rental housing and rental homes around south campus. There are free shuttle buses between north and south campuses and it would not be the worst thing to be working on North Campus but staying near South.

Finally, if your partner will be working for the medical school, he or she will likely be working in downtown Buffalo. Commuting to or from the medical campus isn't torture or anything, but would be mildly inconvenient.

Finally, Buffalo State College is a completely different institution located in north Buffalo near the art gallery. It has just the one campus, thankfully, so if your partner is going to be working there he or she should just look for housing in north Buffalo.

Anyway, where you'd stay depends on where your partner will be working. Do you know which school or department he or she will be working for?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:07 AM on July 12, 2011

It is SUNY where my partner will be working, North Campus I think.

Confusingly, there are two different SUNY-Buffalos. UB and Buffalo State. Thankfully, only UB has a north campus.

If it's north campus, then options are limited. I would not really look for student room shares or flat-swaps if you're unfamiliar with the area, as (1) there probably won't be anything that's walking distance to the university and (2) you're likely to end up with something 15 miles away. This problem goes away if your partner is planning to rent a car, but that's its own expense.

Honestly, if you want something substantially cheaper than the Holiday Inn (which isn't really convenient to the university), I'd just go with the Motel 6 mentioned earlier. Or some of the hotels around Flint and Maple might be marginally cheaper than the Holiday Inn -- maybe the Red Roof Inn or Comfort Inn. Any of these will be maybe a 20 minute walk to the "academic spine" as they call it. The Motel 6 a titch farther.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:17 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

There's also a Ramada on North Forest Road near the North Campus that appears convenient. There is a hostel but it's in downtown Buffalo.
posted by kat518 at 8:47 AM on July 12, 2011

In some departments (eg humanities departments which typically have less cash), you might be able to arrange something with a faculty member or grad student. To do this, I would just ask the person who is arranging the visit, either the faculty member or the department secretary, whether they think such a thing would be possible. (If she's in a "richer" discipline like business, maybe this is not so applicable.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:01 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not a local, but I'll point out that the OP is British. Here in the UK it doesn't really make a difference whether you say Oxford University or University of Oxford. Go ahead and point out that the word order does make a difference in the US, but try not to be snarky about it!

(And let's not get started on places like "California University of Pennsylvania"!)
posted by brianogilvie at 10:54 AM on July 12, 2011

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