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May 24, 2018 - 4:16pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in accommodations, tourism, news, hotels, Le Roy, darien center, batavia.

After a full day of play in Genesee County, there are plenty of places to lay your head and catch some ZZZs – from boutique hotels with a unique story to tell, to the tried-and-true chain hotels that you know you can rely on. 

When you are done exploring great food, playing the slots at Batavia Downs, learning about the origin of JELL-O, or spending some time out in nature – book your stay and kick your feet up at one of our comfortable lodging properties.

Unique & Boutique

If you are looking for your overnight that’s an experience in itself, check out these three great offerings.

Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn. Though Creekside is new to Le Roy, the building it sits in has been a pillar of the community for nearly 200 years. Located along the banks of the Oatka Creek bed, this newly renovated offering has exposed wood and brick, modern charm, and stunning views overlooking the water and Main Street. They have three premier suites for guests – and downstairs is Creekside’s restaurant where diners can enjoy a beverage or order upscale fare.

River Spring Lodge. Gorgeous water views, five-course dinners every night and wine pairings to match. What more could you ask for in this beautiful, reclusive bed and breakfast? Chef David Hamer and his wife, Carolyn, are known for their world-class customer service and incredible food. Tucked away in the woods, with eight suites available to guests, this is the perfect place for a night or a weekend, vacation or staycation.

Hotel at Batavia Downs. With guest rooms and suites over looking the track and the gaming floor just steps away, staying at the hotel at Batavia Downs puts you right in the middle of it all. You don’t have to be a gamer to enjoy this destination location – the hotel offers complimentary breakfast, access to four in-house restaurants, live harness racing from July – December and $10 free play per night stay. Batavia Downs is a one-stop shop for relaxation and fun.

Tried & True

If comfort and convenience are at the top of your list and free breakfast is your savior, we’ve got you covered.

  • Days Inn. Conveniently located near Batavia Downs, Darien Lake and several golf courses, this Days Inn offers pet-friendly rooms, complementary breakfast and a $5 free play at Batavia Downs.
  • Super 8. Situated in between Darien Lake, Batavia Downs, Letchworth and Niagara Falls, this Super 8 offers free Wi-Fi and can accommodate your furry friends. It’s located right next door to Bob Evans restaurant, so you can satisfy your late-night burger craving.
  • LaQuinta. Parents – breathe easy. LaQuinta boasts a complementary breakfast and indoor heated pool where kids can burn off all their extra energy before bed. And once they’re done making waves, you can settle in for a movie from one of the hotel’s premium movie channels. Either way you look at it, LaQuinta offers fun family vibes and a good night’s sleep.
  • Red Roof Inn. The Red Roof Inn puts you just five minutes from Batavia Downs. Recently renovated, this hotel offers free Wi-Fi, free HBO, complementary hot breakfast, and access to five local dining locations within a mile of the property.
  • Best Western Crown Inn & Suites. How does a whirlpool in your room sound? Best Western has a variety of room styles and deluxe amenities to choose from when you stay – including a heated indoor pool and a spa, as well as complimentary breakfast. It’s perfect for couples or families – and even offers evening Manager’s Receptions – a perk for anyone looking to relax without leaving the comfort of their hotel.
  • Quality Inn & Suites. Not only does this hotel boast pet-friendly rooms and a full-service restaurant, it’s also attached to a water park! Hotel guests receive discounted tickets to Palm Island Indoor Water Park as well as $5 free play at Batavia Downs.
  • Econo Lodge. This is not just any Econo Lodge. This property is just minutes away from Darien Lake Amusement Park – giving you access to roller coasters and waterslides right in your backyard. It’s also located 25 minutes away from beautiful Niagara Falls – a must-see if you’re planning a family vacation to Western New York.
  • Comfort Inn. Sixty rooms grace this newly renovated Comfort Inn – including whirlpool suites and places for Fido to sleep. Stay and you’ll be treated to a deluxe breakfast buffet on the house, valet dry cleaning, and access to a seasonal outdoor pool – so you can soak up a few rays while the kids play.

Booking a good hotel can often be the hardest part of any vacation. In Genesee County, the pillows are soft, and the options are plenty. Visit https://visitgeneseeny.com/where-to-stay for more hotels, motels, boutiques and B&Bs nearby.

August 17, 2016 - 5:01pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in business, Announcements, darien center, inns, hotels, news.

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When he was a 16-year-old dishwasher at a local restaurant, the chef he worked under got too busy to handle all the orders and enlisted his help. That moment was to become a defining turning point in Dave Hamer's career in the food industry.

After he graduated high school, he continued on at the restaurant. About a year after that, he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in New Haven, Conn. – what he likes to affectionately refer to as akin to “becoming a chef at Yale.”

Not only did the institute expand to a location in New York – High Park – after stints in the states of Alaska, Florida, Tennessee and a few others, Hamer and his wife, Carolyn, returned to their home state of New York. More specifically, they returned to Wyoming County to plant their roots in a new business located at 1961 Church Road, Darien Center.

River Spring Lodge, a premier boutique hotel, nestled on 20 tranquil acres overlooking a private pond, provides luxurious guest rooms that include a three-course breakfast. The inn offers five beautifully appointed king (bed) rooms and two queen rooms that are smart, modern, comfortable and luxurious.

“As a New York native and a former resident of Wyoming County, opening a lodge here is like coming home again,” Hamer said. “My wife, Carolyn, and I are excited to be in Western New York (WNY). We love the quiet, secluded location that is only 30 miles from Buffalo and an hour from Rochester.” 

The couple owns the country estate. They are two of the most highly regarded professionals in the boutique lodging industry and have served discriminating clients from all over the world at Orvis-endorsed hospitality businesses, a company which is touted to be the “purveyor of the Distinctive Country Lifestyle,” as stated on its website

The Hamers have worked at some really nice places, such as the Monhegan Island Inn, in Monhegan, Maine. The Inn, 10 miles off the coast of Maine, sits atop a bluff looking west over Monhegan Harbor toward the Atlantic Ocean; Kennicott Glacier Lodge, Kennicott, Alaska. Built in 1987, the Kennicott Glacier Lodge is a replica of one of the historic mining buildings from the copper mining boom town days. The Timbers at Chama, in Chama, N.M., is a 400-acre ranch originally built as an executive retreat and it's constructed from century-old bridge timbers. Elk hunting is the main attraction. And Pheasant Crest Lodge, Kimball, S.D., is part of a family-owned farm and ranch, the hunting lodge is set upon one of the ranch’s highest hills.

In addition to his employment at hunting lodges, Dave has also worked at a few "high-end” country clubs in Florida and Tennessee and performs ministry work through speaking engagements and travel.

“We started looking for a place in New York about three years ago,” he said. “We lived in Attica years ago and wanted to return here. We returned last winter as the caretaker of the place while getting it ready.”

Dave said he has been “in food” all his life, describing himself as a “career culinary person.” Tutored in classical European cuisine, the chef creates food that is beautiful, generous and exceptional.

There are two dining options at River Spring Lodge. Each Friday and Saturday the Chef's Table serves a remarkable five-course dining experience, with or without chef chosen wine pairings. The Bistro at River Spring Lodge will serve a four-course, country gourmet dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Bistro serves hearty cuisine that includes walleye, beef, chicken, venison and pheasant. The menu also includes gluten free, vegan, dairy free and vegetarian options. 

The Chef’s Table not only offers a truly memorable five-course dinner, but also panoramic wooded and water views, a beautiful chandelier, a flickering fire, and lovely table linens. The sophisticated china and crystal stemware add ambiance to an authentic fine-dining experience. Chef chosen wine pairings are offered nightly. Bottles of wine can also be chosen from the River Spring Lodge cellar.

The Bistro at River Spring Lodge offers gourmet country dining at private tables in a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. Tables are limited and reservations are required.

This upscale inn is a full-service hotel and corporate retreat hidden on 20 quiet, wooded acres. It is located just 30 minutes from BUF Buffalo/Niagara International Airport and less than one hour from ROC Greater Rochester International Airport. The bedrooms are beautifully appointed, each with a private bathroom with heated ceramic floors, double vessel sinks, bathtubs and large European shower rooms. This boutique hotel -- not far from Niagara Falls, and close to Letchworth State Park -- is in an ideal location to explore the natural wonders of the county and all of WNY.

A fully equipped conference room is available for meetings and conferences. A variety of beverage package options are available for private events. A lobby with a baby grand piano and comfortable leather furniture provides the perfect place to host a wine tasting or cocktail reception or to mingle with other guests, read a book or to just relax while enjoying a glass of wine before dinner.

While the Hamers' goal at the lodge is for it to become a premiere destination for couples and corporate gatherings, the couple is also involved in ministerial work.

“From time to time we’d like to host meetings and leadership training and spend time in fellowship with pastors and their spouses. But our primary business is creating a destination for couple to escape to, and companies to see us as a corporate retreat.”

Not only is the setting central to larger cities, it’s far enough away to be an “escape” from the daily grind, but close enough to be affordable.

“We will be expanding in March by building state-of-the-art conference and corporate rooms that will be fully equipped to be able to accommodate daytime business meetings and the like for those who can do without extended travel. Our lodge complements the other retreats in the area and we look forward to working together with others.

“The friendliness of the people in the county, not just the business folks, has been wonderful. When working on establishing the business, the county folks were nothing but helpful, friendly, warm... I kind of forgotten how friendly the people in Western New York are.”

And in keeping with the hometown feel, the company’s motto is: We’re everything exceptional.

At a recent ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the facility, Wyoming County Chamber President Scott Gardner said, “We are thrilled to welcome River Spring Lodge and Dave and Carolyn Hamer to Wyoming County. They’ve made a tremendous investment in the property and offer a premier location for guests and corporate retreats. River Spring Lodge is a beautiful facility offering unique amenities and high quality accommodations.”

To reserve your place at The Chef’s Table or a table at The Bistro at River Spring Lodge go online at www.riverspringlodge.com or call (585) 708-4212. Local guests are always welcome for dinner when seats are available. Be sure to take advantage of the Grand Opening room discounts before they expire.

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February 16, 2011 - 12:13am
posted by Brittany Baker in batavia, Planning Board, Holiday Inn Express, hotels.

Local hotel owners are united in their opposition to the proposed four-story Holiday Inn Express that could become their new neighbor.

One by one, the owners gave their reasons why to the Town of Batavia Planning Board Tuesday night. They cited serious traffic concerns and opposed a building that would tower over others. They claimed another hotel would negatively impact their businesses and, ultimately, the local job market.

The proposed "franchise hotel" would have, according to architect Mark Tiedemann, of MWT Architecture, "...80 rooms with a small meeting room space along with a dining space/breakfast area and an indoor pool."

Developer Michael Patel was not present. He also owns the Hampton Inn in Batavia and is an investor in Chase Hotel Group.

"He doesn't live in our community -- he's not from the area," said a hotel owner.

More than one owner complained that the Hampton Inn continually undercuts the prices of its competitors, starting a "price war."  

Rashi Dev, owner of the Comfort Inn in Batavia, said her hotel will be the most negatively affected if the Holiday Inn Express is erected at four stories high next to her two-story building.

Hotel owners agreed that demand for their services has dwindled in this troubled economy. Some have had to lay off a number of employees and they admitted working long shifts as their own front-desk attendants, even having to clean rooms.

"We're already overpopulated," said Vibhu Joshi, owner of Days Inn and Super 8. He explained that the number of hotels at exit 48 proves to be the highest concentration off the thruway from Syracuse to Pennsylvania.

 "Currently, all the hotels here are struggling in a bad economy and this will hurt even more... the county and the state because the demand will not increase. The supply would be increasing."

The proposed project touts the creation of 19 jobs, but hotel owners questioned whether they are full or part time, and whether or not they will be seasonal. They also pointed out that Patel is known to "share" employees from facility to facility and said that the "new" jobs would most likely be given to those already employed at the Hampton Inn.

Dev informed the planning board of a few parking lot troubles she already encounters with her close proximity to the Hampton Inn, and asked that traffic and parking be looked into further. It was pointed out later by Tom Warth, of Hiscock and Barclay -- hired to represent the existing hotels, that the traffic studies should be conducted during the peak hotel season in the summertime.

Planning Board Chair Kathleen Jasinski tried to assure the concerned business owners that, "This is all so preliminary and it's the first the planning board is hearing of it tonight... If we need to have another public hearing on the matter, we will."

After listening to the genuine concerns and issues of the hotel owners and even a few hotel employees, Jasinski seemed certain that another public hearing will be scheduled at a later date.

The planning board agreed to serve as lead agency on the project and to go through the SEQR process beginning March 15 -- after the applicant provides a traffic study. Jasinski said she couldn't comment on whether the study would be considered adequate if it turns out it wasn't conducted during peak hotel season.

Besides parking and traffic, height was a big concern.

Tiedemann said the building's height shouldn't negatively affect those around it because westbound Thruway traffic can't see the buildings behind the Route 98 bridge anyway. And eastbound traffic would see it behind the others from the opposite direction.

Jasinski warned that, "Unfortunately, we deal with only the land use. We just determine whether or not the project is the right use for the land and that area. We are not involved in the economics -- they have already gone through that with the GCEDC and they've gotten their tax incentives and it's all worked out."

When Warth pointed out that, "Actually, they don't (have it all worked out) because they are waiting on the planning board."

Jasinski replied, "Well they are going to wait a little bit because we have a lot to do."

Although a 40-foot height variance was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals, the project was incorrectly categorized as one not requiring a SEQR review. In fact, the zoning board cannot grant a variance until a SEQR is completed, so its decision is invalid.

"I don't see any reason to allow another hotel but just in case it turns out they have the right to be there, I would like to see that you don't give the varience for additional height," Joshi charged the planning board. "

"Show the reason - if there is supply and the need is there for a higher building, so be it... but why grant the unfair advantage when everyone else is at the same height? They are the ones getting tax benefits, they will lower all the rates to take the business from us and put us in jeopardy and they sell the bulding and run."

February 13, 2011 - 5:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in restaurants, Darien, Minty Wellness, hotels.

Linda Tyczka never expected Minty Wellness to receive the kind of praise it has from meat eaters in Genesee County and beyond.

Among locals, "they're probably our biggest client base," Tyczka said.

Why wouldn't meat eaters embrace the gourmet restaurant inside the upscale hotel and spa in Darien Center?

Well, there's no meat served at Minty Wellness. It's an entirely vegan and raw food establishment.

Since opening last May, more and more local residents have been discovering Minty Wellness and telling their friends about the food.

"There are so many local people coming," Tyczka said. "We have a group reservation from a local bank. None of them are vegan. They just heard it’s a nice place and the food is good. We’ve taken the vegan menu past granola and beans. We try to do a little gourmet and it’s working well.”

The story of Minty Wellness begins more than three years ago at a raw food seminar in Maine. There, Tyczka met Mary Minihane, who makes her home in Ireland. The two women struck up a friendship and Mary suggested opening a vegan and raw food resort.

Her initial idea was to open it in Costa Rica, but after the women travelled there they couldn't find a suitable location, so Minihane started looking in California and Arizona.  Then she sent Tyczka information on property in the Poconos.

At that point, Tyczka said, "Hey, what about my place."

Tyczka and her husband David own 100 wooded acres in Darien. Minihane researched the market, liked its proximity to Buffalo, Rochester and Toronto, and agreed to back the construction of the facility.

The entire hotel, spa and restaurant are brand-new from the ground up. The eight hotel rooms are each unique, though the entire decor of the hotel is sleek contemporary with a touch of retro modern. The spare, uncluttered environment inside is immediately relaxing, which Tyczka said was the goal all along.

"I'm all about environment," Tyczka said. "It doesn't matter where I go, I want to be in a nice environment. We didn't just want to have a vegan hotel and just plain rooms. We wanted that experience to carry up into the rooms so people would be like, 'I can't wait to get to my room.'"

Some of what the spa offers includes Swedish massage, hot stone massage, soothing soak, Vichy massage and colon hydrotherapy. Laura Koepp is also on staff to offer Naturopathic therapy.

For those looking for an overnight or longer retreat, besides relaxing in the hotel, there are four golf courses within 15 minutes, plus nearby Darien Lake, as well as the wood areas for hikes or snowshoeing.

Overnight stays include a vegan breakfast.

As for the lunch and dinner menu, it features such delectable-sounding dishes Cajun Mayo Avocado, Linguini Alfredo, Tomato Dill Nori Roll and a vegan taco dubbed the "best taco ever."

"It's awesome to be acknowledged by the locals," Tyczka said. "It's one thing to pull people from Rochester, Buffalo and Toronto, but to be recognized by local people is just a really gratifying thing."

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