242 W. 123rd St. (between Frederick Douglas and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevards), New York, United States
Doubles from: $100 to $175
Note: This hotel does not offer online booking through our reservation partners. To see all available hotels in New York, please search below.
Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
Set in a gorgeous brownstone in the heart of Harlem, the Harlem Flophouse is a rare bird of a guesthouse, an exquisitely furnished inn that balances understated luxury with a ramshackle impulse. The entryway and lounge exude classic Harlem bohemian warmth and offer just a taste of the aesthetic glories at play in guest rooms.
Pros: Gorgeous aesthetic. Homey atmosphere. Great value.
Cons: Location is a bit removed. No in-foom amenities.
Each of the four guest rooms at the Harlem Flophouse is named for a different personality (you can stay in the spirit of Thelonius Monk, Chester Himes, Corky Hale or Nat King Cole).
Décor relies on unpredictable mixing and matching. There are many beautiful things scavenged from different corners of the world: huge classroom wall maps, oil paintings, tin Thai-language signs, Finnish candy packaging and so on. The net result is a scattered but very attractive hodgepodge. Even the reproductions look like antiques. (One bed frame, an antique reproduction with chipped paint, was so well done that we were convinced we were looking at an original.)
In keeping with the building’s historic nature (it was originally a single family home, built in the 1890s), rooms are happily old-fashioned in the amenities department. That means no television or radio. The heat-prone should also note that rooms have fans but no air conditioning.
Bathrooms are all shared at the Harlem Flophouse. There is one bathroom on each floor, and both are spacious and sparkling. Each of the four rooms has its own beautiful antique sink.
The Harlem Flophouse may not appeal to all, but those looking for a personal, “local” experience will appreciate its simplicity and eclectic feel of an old-fashioned boarding house.
The clientele is mostly American, with smatterings of European guests as well, and lots of scholars. The Flophouse publishes its own guide to the neighborhood, a pithy and knowledgeable little pamphlet that we'd bet most guests hold onto long after they've returned home.
While the Harlem Flophouse does not typically serve breakfast, the splurge-prone should be aware that a lavish Southern brunch, including champagne, is available for $100 for two people.
Note that “housekeeping” here means fresh sheets and towels upon arrival. Guests seeking room tidying or extra towels will be charged an additional $25.
The Harlem Flophouse may not be in the thick of things, but its location offers something special for those seeking quiet and a “local” experience. The quaint, brownstone-lined street feels quintessentially “New York,” and Morningside Park, just a stroll away, offers a pleasant respite, while Grant’s Tomb and lovely Riverside Park are both just a few blocks farther west.
While the more mainstream New York sights (from Central Park to attraction-packed Midtown) are a short subway ride away, the area surrounding the Flophouse has plenty of its own sights. The gorgeous Columbia University campus and impressive Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine are both within easy walking distance, and the famed Apollo Theater and cool Studio Museum of Harlem are both located on 125th Street, just north of the hotel.
Reserving at the Harlem Flophouse
As we point out above, the Harlem Flophouse does not offer online booking. To reserve a room, you’ll have to contact the hotel directly by email or telephone (see below, under “more information”).
If you prefer to book your hotel online, plug your dates into the above search box to see available hotels.
Subways: The Harlem Flophouse has two subway stops, each about a five-minute walk away. The A/C and B/D lines stop at 125th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, while a few blocks away you can catch the 2/3 lines at 125th Street and Malcom X Boulevard.
JFK: To get to the Harlem Flophouse from JFK, take the Air Train to Howard Beach and transfer to an Uptown/Inwood-bound A train. Get off at 125th Street, a few short blocks from the hotel.
LaGuardia: From LaGuardia, take the M60 bus which picks up outside the terminal and stops at 125th Street/Adam Clayton Powell Boulvard, two blocks from the Harlem Flophouse.
Newark: From Newark, take the Air Train to the NJ Transit station, and then any NJ Transit train into Pennsylvania Station. Then take an uptown A or C train to 125th Street and walk to the hotel..
Read more about transportation into New York.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Bathtubs Available
About the Harlem Flophouse neighborhood
Located west of Central Park, the Upper West Side is a largely residential area, filled with tall apartment buildings, stately brownstones, and families. The area is home to Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, and Columbia University. One of its greatest attributes may be its borders: you're never more than a few blocks away from either Central Park or leisurely Riverside Park. Famous Harlem, whose importance as a historically African-American neighborhood cannot be matched, begins north of Morningside Heights. Despite its dangerous reputation, Harlem has become much safer... and much more popular with tourists.