The Harlem Flophouse

Address: 242 West 123rd Street, New York City, New York, 10027, United States | Hotel
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This hotel, located in the Uptown area of New York City, is near New York Movie Tours, Harlem, Apollo Theater, and Studio Museum of Harlem.
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          Historical Traveler Reviews The Harlem Flophouse New York City

          A Perfect Weekend


          My fiance and I spent a lovely, wonderful, cozy weekend at the Harlem Flophouse. I'm not necessarily used to staying in shared-bathroom accomodations, but with so few rooms sharing the two bathrooms it was a non-issue. Staying at the Harlem Flophouse means seeing a different, distinctive part of NYC - it reminded me why I love the city so much and how much I miss living there! Granted, it's not a luxury hotel, but I would definitely choose to stay there again.

          Great Stay!


          My husband and I stayed at the Harlem Flophouse for 5 nights for our honeymoon. We both wanted to avoid the typical hotel stay - i.e. the Comfort Inn, Mariot, Sheraton... generic hotel feel.

          I found the Flophouse online while browsing for Bed and Breakfasts in New York City and fell in love with the pictures and descriptions on the website. We were not disappointed in all when we got there! Our room was beautiful and large, overlooking a little garden. Instead of any feeling of the city, we woke up to birds chirping and watching a very fat squirrel climbing the tree in the backyard. Everything was lovely! It felt like being at a friends house.... and no television! That is a real vacation!!!

          The owner, Rene was wonderfully nice and helpful. When we first arrived he gave us a quick tour and information on all the local attractions, as well as a map of the area. He was very very nice and even shipped back a coat we left behind!

          As animal lovers, we adored the two house cats... as soon as they could hear our feet moving about and knew we were up, they were at our door for snuggles! Caliope and Thelonius were also wonderful hosts - we were so glad to have them visit with us everyday.

          When we come back to New York in the future, we will definately plan to stay at the Flophouse. Thank you so much Rene for making our memories of our honeymoon so wonderful! Snoodles to the cats!

          Anna and Jason

          Wonderful Stay


          The Flop House was a great place to spend 3 warm spring days in New York. The room was large, bright and quiet with a hand made quilt lying on top. The bed and pillows were comfortable and the neighborhood is up and coming. Felt very comfortable and it was a great place to launch each day. Central Park was approx. a 15-20 minute walk and the 125th subway stop was 5 minutes away. Would definitely return.



          Stayed three nights in the Harlem Flophouse. Wonderfully decorated in a relaxed bohemian style. The proprietor, Rene Calvo, is laid back and charming. If you can't survive without sleek hotel service and obseqious flunkeys this is not the place for you - wait until the Harlem Marriot opens. But if you value a truly unique and personal experience then this is a very rare chance to enjoy just that. It's like borrowing a room from an eccentric but very stylish friend. Charming, comfortable, welcoming, personal. An absolute one-off. And 2 blocks from the Lenox Lounge. As good as it gets.

          Discreet & characterful - just right!


          A lovely alternative to bland, dreary tourist accommodation in NYC. This Harlem brownstone has been (?is being) evocatively restored with polished wooden floors, wood and plaster mouldings and an eclectic selection of vintage furniture. Although the Flophouse is lived in by its owner, I felt free to come and go as I pleased - a very relaxed venue for a relaxing stay off the tourist track.

          New Yorks' best kept secret...


          This is a beautiful guest house, especially if you are fond of anything with a classic but homely Victorian feel. At $100 a night it is also an absolute bargain, and is conveniently located five minutes from a mainline subway station for getting to central and downtown Manhattan just a few stops away.

          After an exausting day of sightseeing in the bitter cold, it was a treat to return to the warmth and ambience of the Flophouse, with it's open fire, original wooden features, and quiet jazz gently drifting through the hallways. The owner is pleasant, helpful and unobtrusive. There are also two very friendly cats who reside here. I would definately come here again, and will recommend to all my friends and family if they ever visit New York.

          If you come to visit, though, do remember to make a note of the street number as the small, brass sign bearing its' name is not clearly visible from the street. We walked the length of 123rd Street as I failed to note door number.

          Civilised and Reasonably-Priced


          I have stayed at the Harlem Flophouse several times during the past few years (and plan to stay there again soon). Without exception these visits have been pleasant occasions. The place has no pretentions. It is not meant to be an hotel: it is the owner's home, in which he rents you a clean and comfortable room and offers other human amenities. Of course wood is not artificial fibre and plaster walls are not plastic tiles: gratefully one can avoid the stale air and the stench of industrial cleansers masked with scent that, along with obsequious staff who offer no real service, are the hallmarks of more "upmarket" and "modern" places.

          I have always been welcomed in a most friendly way by the owner, have been offered a hot drink at whatever time of arrival and have found in my room a radio, interesting books on the history of the area, and a few items quite in keeping with the restored building. I have seen this restoration being done, over time, with care and affection. It is work the owner can be proud of.

          Great place, great value!


          This is probably the best deal in Manhattan. It's about $100 a night for two people. It's a beautiful old house, which the owner is in the process of renovating. He's done all the bathrooms, and they're beautifully hand tiled. He has put in tin ceilings in most of the house. The rooms are quirky and have wood floors, the beds are comfortable and the bedding is clean. The breakfast, if you care to order it, is delicious.

          If you don't want to be in Harlem, if you don't want to share a bathroom, or if you need a cookie cutter room that looks the same in every city in the country, don't stay here. If you can't live without a TV, just stay home. When we were there, there was wireless internet access coming from somewhere.

          If you'd like to see what these beautiful old brownstones looked like originally, you don't want to spend a lot of money, and you are self sufficient, stay here, it's a once in a lifetime experience.

          It is three blocks from the A,B,C, and D subways, near lots of good restaurants and shops, the Apollo Theater and plenty of Gospel Churches that allow visitors on Sunday (dress appropriately!).

          I would not recommend it to people who cannot walk up stairs. (Two of the rooms are on the third floor) or are allergic to cats (Calliope and Felonious) are friendly and hilarious). Also, this is in Harlem, so be prepared for a multi-cultural, multi-racial neighborhood-if that scares you, perhaps you should avoid New York altogether.

          Charming refuge


          I loved the Harlem Flophouse. It is a beautiful funky old house with spacious rooms. There was a lot of interesting knick knacks that gave the place a unique and comfortable feeling. The bathroom had a big old cast iron tub. The place is small so when nobody was around we grabbed our chance and soaked in it for an hour.

          The owner was more than friendly and gave us some great tips on local attractions. It reminded me of the kind of small privately owned places that you would find in Paris or Barcelona.

          If you want someplace quiet, unique and with a lot of charm I would highly reccomend it.

          Last Resort


          The Harlem Flophouse is one of those places in NYC that I would recommend only if you could not find anywhere else to stay. Having grown up in NYC I did not have reservations about staying in Harlem however, staying at the Flophouse is another story.

          I had read a review about the Flophouse in a bed and breakfast magazine. I should have taken the vague review as a hint that perhaps it was not the place to stay. However, I imagined that anyone who is renting out space as well as living in a home would ensure that it was inhabitable. The bathroom in the Flophouse left a lot to be desired as far as cleanliness was concerned and the room we slept in was pretty bare. The owner was not friendly at all. I would think that if you are in the service industry and rely on word of mouth and these reviews for your livelihood you would greet your guests with a smile and a 'how are you?' That was not the case.

          Hotels in NYC are very expensive and I thought that perhaps trying a less expensive alternative might be a good idea and I still do, however, next time I will make sure I am more thorough in my research. I would not recommend the Harlem Flophouse as an option until the owner refurbishes the property and becomes more friendly.

          TripAdvisor Reviews The Harlem Flophouse New York City

          4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding

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