Thursday, March 5, 2009

☞ SLEEP: Harlem Flophouse

The difficult thing about hotels in expensive cities is that one pays a premium for pretty mediocre accommodations. Location is
really what you are getting and not much else. Boutique hotels usually are much better, but the average cost can be $500 US per night.
What's a discerning traveler to do? A best-kept secret in New York City is that there are many bed and breakfast throughout the city that are about a third of the cost of the average hotel. The range in aesthetics can go from disturbing to chic, so one must really take a look at the photos on their website. Another factor is that many are in smaller buildings, so you might find a shared bathroom on each floor.
The Harlem Flophouse is a small, artist-owned brownstone of which 4 rooms are for lease -- a "speak-easy" inn, as it were. Most of the ornate woodwork, fireplaces and plaster are intact and restored so one does get a sense of the period in which the house was built. There are two shared bathrooms with clawfoot tubs between the four rooms. European guests seem to like this place since they get this sort of old vintage feel. Express train three blocks away at 125th street, so any location in Manhattan is about 15 minutes away. Link to website at sidebar.
242 West 123rd Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 7th avenue. Tel: +1-212-662-0678

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