Hot Spots To Stay / Uncategorized

Oasis in a Sea of Touristy at Niagara Falls

In a plethora of touristy shops, attractions, and crowds, I wasn’t expecting to find such a gem of a place to stay in Niagara Falls.  I went to Canada for this one!  The falls should be on everyone’s travel bucket list – they are magnificent.  If you want to escape to a little oasis in a sea of touristy attractions, the only boutique hotel in Niagara Falls is Sterling Inn and Spa.  Each of the over-sized rooms has its own unique layout with a king size “Sterling Dream” bed, fireplace, wet bar, and separate seating area.  The rooms are huge.  Niagara Falls is known as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World” after all!  Red accents add a hint of sexiness to the dark wood and earth tones of the rooms.

Let’s talk bathroom.  In these rooms you get an extra-large bathroom with a rain-shower head steam shower and oversized jetted tub big enough for two.  I loved the small barn door window to break up the wall between the room and bathroom.

The building was a creamery for many years, including home to Bordens Dairy from 1930 to 1974.  As you enter Sterling Inn, you do so at the base of a giant 3-story concrete milk bottle paying homage to the building’s creamery past.

We arrived at the hotel with just a few minutes to freshen up before our dinner reservations.  We didn’t have to go far, just down to the basement to AG Inspired Cuisine, the restaurant’s award-winning restaurant.  We relaxed in the red bar with a glass of Tawse Spark.  The bartender recommended the sparkling wine that is a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot gris.  Tawse is one of the Niagara area vineyards.  It was a great introduction to Niagara region wines.  It has notes of pie crust, crisp green apple, and citrus.  Every great meal should start with bubbles!

Since the bartender did so well with the sparkling wine, we decided to go with his recommendation for a wine with dinner.  Only producing 400 cases a year, Five Rows Craft Wine and the Lowery Vineyard is a small boutique winery.  Our sauvignon blanc was delightfully complex with pineapple, bubble gum, grass, and gooseberry aromas then lemon, lime, and grilled pineapple on the palate.  Paired with our fabulous wine was a special tasting menu.  I’d go back to Niagara Falls just to eat at AG Restaurant!

AG is a true farm-to-table experience as the chef uses classic French cooking techniques with local ingredients.  The result is creative wine country cuisine like the AG Farm Broccoli Veouté with bourbon bacon jam and apple kohlrabi slaw or Juniper Dusted Loin of Venison with choucroute, sweet corn pudding, peach essence, and honey rainbow carrots.  Try to save some room for the sinfully delicious desserts including Epp Farms Peach Semifredo with vanilla peach coulis, peach chip and milk crumb, Deconstructed Strawberry Shortcake with crumbled shortcake, cocoa nibs, meringue, and strawberry ice, or Andrew’s Hand Made Gelato.  The “Field-to-Fork” section of the menu is seasonal and changes daily depending on what ingredients are available.  If you’re there on a Friday or Saturday evening like we were, you get the added treat of live music.

After a wonderful night’s sleep, we got to start the day with breakfast in bed.  Pretty hard not to when its complimentary and includes French press coffee, fresh orange juice, hard boiled eggs, house made granola, freshly baked croissants with locally sourced handmade preserves, and yogurt.  Take it up a notch and order mimosas for two.

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I only got to stay one night.  But, if you have time definitely indulge in a spa treatment.  Sterling Inn is not only a great place to stay to see Niagara Falls, it’s also a great base if you want to explore the wine region.  If you haven’t tried Canadian wines, you’ll be delightfully surprised!

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