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Red Coach Inn - Niagara Falls, NY


The Red Coach Inn Review – Niagara Falls, New York


by Courtney Caldwell

The Red Coach Inn is a unique historical site in Niagara Falls, New York, with a fascinating history…

When The Red Coach Inn of Niagara Falls, New York first opened its doors for business in 1923, Niagara Falls had finally gained a hostelry befitting its rank as the honeymoon capital of the world. Situated near the center of town overlooking the spectacular upper rapids, the Inn was an imposing structure, three and a half stories high and built in the architectural style of the old English Tudor period. The owners, William Schoelkopf and Charles Peabody, spared no expense or effort in recreating the atmosphere and style of the Old Bell Inn in Finedon, England. History says the Old Bell "was granted a license during the reign of the Saxon King Harold and Queen Editha who often rested there when stag hunting."

The Red Coach Inn’s history doesn't end there. Schoeldopf also built the Inn to cater to the grain mill and chemical plant industries that were prevalent in the area back in the early 20th century. Later on, it became the site of the Kaltenbach Hotel, which ultimately burned to the ground. It was then rebuilt into an apartment complex. In 1986, Tom Reese bought the property and restored it to its original grandeur turning the apartments back into rental suites. Each room is more like a large apartment than a hotel suite and each so unique that it’s impossible to share just one. In fact, some suites are 1200 square feet with two baths, a fireplace and full kitchen.

In 22 years of reviewing hotels and bed and breakfast inns, never have I come across anything as unique and unusual as The Red Coach Inn. In the true fashion of its original purpose each room has its own name, which represents a town or county in England. That said, although there are too many rooms to mention, 16 suites and 16 rooms to be exact, a list of ten suites is included at the end of this article. There, you’ll enjoy the full flavor of how incredibly distinctive each suite is.

My daughter and I stayed at the Red Coach Inn only one night on our trek from Michigan to Rhode Island in a 26’ U-Haul truck. Even with a truck that long there was plenty of room behind the Inn to park, which is well-lit and gated, and specifically designated for Red Coach Inn guests.

The Red Coach Inn overlooks
the Niagara rapids
Red Coach Inn Overlooks Niagara Falls Radids

The Inn is centrally located in Niagara Falls overlooking a park that skirts an area of the upper and very wild rapids that lead to the actual falls. Our room overlooked this spectacular view making it difficult to pull our very road weary bodies away from the window to watch its power, and what we couldn’t see we could hear. The roar of the dangerous and powerful rapids was strangely calming even knowing if one were swept away that their body would never be found.

There is plenty to do in Niagara Falls from visiting casino’s to shopping to just gazing upon the falls as billions of gallons of water rush over the edge. Did you know that the Falls have eroded over six miles of land in the last 12,000 years? They originally started in what is now known as the town of Lewistown. Today, the Falls rage on in the town of Niagara, which is why the name was changed to Niagara Falls.

It also has become the honeymoon capital of the world and it’s easy to see why. If you’re there for your honeymoon enjoying an amorous evening of knoodling and think you hear fireworks, it’s them, not you! At 10pm every night, an enormous and mesmerizing display of fireworks explodes over the Falls, which can be seen from just about everywhere in the local area and in Canada, which borders the horseshoe shaped Falls. Perhaps your honeymoon ‘kick off’ should be timed with the fireworks for a mutually climatic evening.

The Red Coach Inn also offers outdoor patio dining overlooking the rapids during the spring and summer months, and an old world charm restaurant on the inside called The Grille, which offers exceptional ambiance from a very large, real wood burning fireplace. Overall, the hotel and dining area provide a very European feel.

The Inn has three stories with honest to goodness creaky old stairs, which add more mystery to its history. Each landing greets guests with a historical painting of a time gone by with overviews of England, the war of 1812 and those who fought to liberate Niagara from the British.

The Grille Room features a painting of General Marquis de La Fayette over a large fireplace
Red Coach Inn Grille Room

In fact, above the fireplace in the Grill Room, there is an enormous mural of General Marquis de La Fayette's famous Red Coach, from which the Inn was named, by Buffalo artist A. Rafael Beck. The scene depicts the greeting of La Fayette at the Eagle Tavern, which was located across the street in the early nineteenth century.

In 1777, Lafayette purchased a ship in France, and with a crew of adventurers set sail for America to fight in the revolution against the British. Lafayette joined the ranks as a major general, assigned to the staff of George Washington. He served with distinction, leading American forces to several victories, with the help and support of the indigenous Native Americans, who lived on and loved their land. On a return visit to France in 1779, Lafayette persuaded the French government to send aid to the Americans. After the British surrender at Yorktown, Lafayette returned to Paris. He had become a hero in the new United States of America. [BIO & SOURCE]

For those of you who are history buffs, especially of the War of 1812, you will love The Red Coach Inn and surrounding area, and for those of you who are not, you may very well become one after a visit to this historic inn. [Human History of Niagara Falls]

Once there, it’s not an easy place to leave. In fact, one gentleman has lived at The Red Coach Inn for 30 years and on the occasional evening finds his way downstairs to The Grille to entertain guests with his piano playing. Something tells me that Mr. Andres will be there long after he passes filling the stairwells and suites with his spirit and magical music.

The reception room overlooks the city and rapids
Red Coach Inn Reception Ballroom

I am quite impressed with The Red Coach Inn. And with the Falls having the distinct honor of being the honeymoon capital of the world, it almost makes me want to get married. Notice I said 'almost.' Speaking of which, there is a beautiful ballroom on the second floor that overlooks the rapids and the town of Niagara. The ballroom is ideal for small wedding receptions or parties, even business functions, with a view that couldn’t be any more perfect for a celebration of just about any kind.

In fact, if your relationship needs a little spicing up, a few days in Niagara will no doubt put the lust back into your love life.

For guests who are challenged by stairs, request a first floor suite as there are no elevators at The Red Coach Inn. However, if you call shortly before arriving a bellman will meet you at your car and carry your luggage to your room. For those who don’t mind the climb, each landing offers plenty of rich history beautifully displayed for your reading and viewing pleasure. One can’t help but become enveloped in the artful depiction of our heritage.

In 2008, I took my grandsons on a 1600 mile magical mystery tour (road trip), which was sponsored by GMC and OnStar. Niagara Falls was one of our many stops. Although we didn’t stay at The Red Coach Inn during that trip we found plenty of exciting and interesting things to do for kids as well. [READ]

The room rates at The Red Coach Inn are amazingly reasonable considering all that’s included and the location on which this prime property resides. Rooms range from $79 - $299 off season and during the week. Suites range from $250 - $400 per night. Those with AAA or AARP memberships receive a 10% discount so don’t forget to mention that when reserving. Also keep in mind that not all suites face the rapids so be sure to request one that does when making your reservation.

Long story short (I know, it's too late) you simply need to see it to believe it. That said, below is a list of just ten of their 32 suites. Enjoy!

The Niagara Two Bedroom Two Bathroom Suite, with one king and one queen size pillowtop bed, is located on the second floor above the flower garden, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a thrilling view of the thundering Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, one private full bathroom with a Jacuzzi jetted tub and another private full bathroom with a shower, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The recently renovated Cambridge Two Bedroom Suite, with two queen size pillowtop beds, is located on the second floor above the restaurant patio, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a marvelous view of the spectacular Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, two private full bathrooms with Jacuzzi jetted tubs, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The Stratford Two Bedroom Suite, with two queen size pillowtop beds, is located on the second floor above the koi pond and garden, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a sensational view of the spectacular Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, two private full bathrooms with Jacuzzi jetted tubs, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The recently renovated Victoria Two Bedroom Suite, with two queen size pillowtop beds, is located on the third floor above the restaurant patio, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed and a remarkable view of the thundering Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, two private full bathrooms with Jacuzzi jetted tubs, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The Cornwall Two Bedroom Suite, with two queen size pillowtop beds, is located on the third floor above the rose garden, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a fabulous view of the thundering Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, private full bathroom with a Jacuzzi jetted tub, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The Coventry Two Bedroom Suite, with two queen size pillowtop beds, is located on the first floor above the rose garden, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a view of the spectacular Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, private full bathroom with a Jacuzzi jetted tub, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay.[Photos]

The Canterbury One Bedroom Suite, with a king size pillowtop bed, is located on the second floor above the restaurant patio, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a breathtaking view of the spectacular Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, private full bathroom with a Jacuzzi jetted tub, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The Oxford One Bedroom Suite, with a king size pillowtop bed, is located on the third floor above the restaurant patio, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed and a magnificent view of the spectacular Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, private full bathroom with a Jacuzzi jetted tub, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The Highland One Bedroom Suite, with a queen size pillowtop bed, is located on the third floor above the flower garden, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a dramatic view of the spectacular Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, private full bathroom with a Jacuzzi jetted tub, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]

The Windsor One Bedroom Suite, with a queen size pillowtop bed, is located on the first floor above the flower garden, just 500 yards from the brink of Niagara Falls. The living room has a sofa bed, gas fireplace and a view of the spectacular Upper Rapids and Goat Island Park. Amenities include a full kitchen with appliances and utensils, air conditioning, private full bathroom with a Jacuzzi jetted tub, telephone with voicemail and long distance, Bose stereo, cable television, wireless internet access, plush terrycloth robes, hair dryer and Gilchrist & Soames amenities from England. Sparkling wine, cheese and fruit will await your arrival. Enjoy breakfast and the local newspaper in our restaurant each morning from 7:30 to 11:00, also included with your stay. [Photos]


The Red Coach Inn Niagara Falls Historic Boutique Hotel - More info and reservations.

Location of Red Coach Inn via Satellite in relation to rapids.

A very special thanks to U-Haul for providing the 26’ truck for our trek from Michigan to RI. For such a large vehicle it was very easy to handle. The large side view mirrors made it easy to back up and park. It handled beautifully and used much less gas that we had estimated. Of course, that’s also based on how one drives. We stayed within the speed limits and enjoyed every mile of the road trip from beginning to end. Sometimes it's not about the destination but rather the journey and the company you keep.

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