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“Best Deal in NYC” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Sienna

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La Sienna
West 123rd Street, New York City, NY (Harlem)   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
edmonton, alberta
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Best Deal in NYC”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2011

I La Sienna is a fantastic guesthouse to stay at in New York. I came here and needed someplace; safe, affordable, clean, and close to transportation. La Sienna fit all of my requirements. As a female traveling alone I had absolutely no worries about the safety of the guesthouse. Many friends were worried about me staying in Harlem, I have no idea why because the neighbourhood was completely safe, and quiet (for New York that is). La Sienna is only a couple blocks away from the 125th street subway station, which has the A and D lines, so getting around the city is easy. There are maps and brochures downstairs for local tourist attractions.

The room I stayed in had a single bed with a desk and chair, closet and tv in an airmoire. I love that I only paid about $50/night for a private room. In a chain hotel this would cost around $200/night. I wanted to save money, and have privacy (unlike dorm rooms at a hostel). Also unlike hostel there's no curfew or lockout, and you have your own key for the building and your room. Everything was modestly decorated and always clean. The property is nonsmoking, which I appreciate. There's a shared kitchen; with several grocery stores nearby it's easy to make your own meals to save some money. The bathroom is also shared, toilet in one room and sink and shower in another. Since the property is pretty small (compared to a hostel or hotel) I never ran into an issue of needing to use the washroom while it was occupied.

There are a few other things you may want to take note of (these aren't necessarily bad, but could catch you off guard if you're not prepared). The building is a brownstone walk up and there are no elevators or wheelchair ramps. If you have mobility issues you will want to book another accommodation. I'd recommend packing light as it makes carrying bags up the stairs easier. I was able to store my bag after I checked out so I could wander around before going to the airport. The room I stayed in did not have air conditioning, and it was quite hot outside. I left the window open during the day and turned the ceiling fan on at night. I understand they are considering getting air conditioning for the rooms, which I think would be a great investment.

They do only take cash or traveler's cheques and the balance needs to be paid when you arrive. There are also two cats on site, but they are not allowed in the guests rooms. I knew of these two things beforehand and they didn't bother me.

In the end I loved my stay at La Sienna. The time and care Yvette and Manny put into this guesthouse shows. Staying here feels comfortable and relaxed, like staying at home or with family. If you're looking for a great, affordable place to stay I'd definitely recommend La Sienna. I'll be booking here for my next to trip to New York.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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104 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    59
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4
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2011

I travel a fair bit for work as an administrator of international study options for university students. Most of my travel involves staying in two star hotels or hostels - i.e. student friendly accomodations. Even when traveling on my own, I find still prefer this type of accomodation as I would rather spend my money on more travel rather than fancy, cookie cutter, soul-less hotels! So I go looking for unique options in my destinations. Still, nothing could prepare me for how wonderful an option the La Sienna would offer to weary travelers!

I had a good sense of the area in which the house was located after visiting NYC many times in the past yet I was a little fearful. Many economical places in NYC are literally dumps. What a pleasant surprise because this cannot even remotely describe La Sienna! Yvette and Manny (proprietors) have lovelingly nurtured the house into a warm and inviting destination for visitors. Whether you book a bedroom utilizing the shared bath and kitchen or one of the private suites, every room is carefull tended and offers the highest standard in comfort and cleanliness.

After that first visit, I happlly returned to La Sienna for a two week vacation in December 2010 . The heart felt welcome from Yvette and Manny made me feel as if I had truly found my home away from home. From the little welcoming surprises left around the suite to Manny and Yvette meeting us at the door to help with luggage, we felt like we had come home. The proximity to the subway, restaurants (I love the soul food at Manna's), shops - especially Carol's Daughter (ladies, you must go there for a mani/pedi) and even Central Park, that are all near by add to make this guest house an exceptional choice. My only hesitation in writing this review is that I will have trouble getting a reservation for my next visit! And there will be a next visit.

All that is left to say is, thanks so much to Yvette and Manny for offering visitors such an awesome guesthouse and wonderfully personalized stay.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gingerbread241, Owner at La Sienna, responded to this review, January 11, 2011
Thank for all your reviews. It has helped us a great deal. We actually enjoy what we do. We have an opportunity to meet people all over the world. Which is very exciting for us and we get to learn about different cultures. So thank you everyone. Manny and I look foward to our future guests.
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Houston, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2010

My husband and I stayed at La Sienna October 2010 for fun and a friend’s wedding.

The good: Charming room and house, Very Clean, Fresh Towels and bedding, a small iron in the room, very friendly staff, close to the sub station, affordable!
The not-so-good: They expect cash on delivery (was not noted in any email correspondence, even when asked); the room we stayed in was on the street - had very thin curtain and really thin sound barrier - bring ear plugs if a light sleeper, No hair-dryer in the room; the small room didn’t bother us at all – but just be ready for it.

Overall we would not return, not because of the service or the room itself, but because it is a bit far from any of the activities we got into. Also - having gluten intolerance was a challenge in staying on this side of town. There are not many options. We would likely stay closer to down town next trip. But recommend for anyone wanting to stay on this side of town - it is a bargain!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Gingerbread241, Owner at La Sienna, responded to this review, December 5, 2010
We have an inhouse caretaker who will provide our guests with hairdryers if requested. Regarding gluten intolerance or any special food needs our inhouse caretaker could research that for any guest or you can also research on Tripadvisor. Currently, we only have 1 gluten free restaurants that is located a few blocks away but our supermarkets offer a lot of gluten free products. If you have any concerns please email us. Also we note in large caps that we do not accept credit cards however we do accept travelers checks or cash. You can also check out our information before booking. Thank you for the feedback as these are some things that we can work on improving.
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Oxford, UK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2010

My wife and I spent a lovely four nights in the La Sienna hostel. Having paid a lot for grotty rooms in Manhattan before it was a pleasant surprise to get a small suite (bedroom, bathroom and kitchen) for a reasonable price. The hostel was immaculately clean, the rooms nicely decorated and the owner friendly and helpful. The building is only a short walk from an express subway station which takes you to the centre of Manhattan in 20min or less. The surrounding area is not conventionally touristy, but we felt comfortable walking back together from the subway, even quite late at night. Very much recommended; we would definitely go back.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2010

Have visited NYC many times and always stayed at La Sienna.

Yvette and Manny are extremely hospitable, friendly and go above and beyond to accomodate their guests.

Stayed in every room there, apart from the single and would say rooms are spacious, extremely clean and looked after, tastefully decorated and includes free wifi (fast and reliable), cable tv and all neccessary amenities when staying away from home.
For the price they charge this is amazing value!

Located in Harlem, for those worried about this location, there is no reason to be. Arrived late at night and would come arrive back after late nights out and never encountered a problem or felt unsafe. The local police precinct is located at the end of the street also. Subway is accessible within a few minutes walk and about 10 minute subway ride in to midtown.

In conclusion.. STAY HERE!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Huntsville, Texas
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2010

Read all the good reviews, then booked and stayed 4 nights the end of June (2010). I paid $45/night cash. (Note that they do NOT take plastic or personal checks.)

The place is in Harlem, just 2 blocks from the Apollo Theatre and 4 blocks from the A-train express and just minutes to Times Square. On 125th St., you also can take the M60 bus to and from LaGuardia Airport. (I strongly recommend you buy a 7-day Metrocard for just $27; it's good for unlimited rides on both subway and bus routes.) Very convenient location with 24-hour mini-marts on almost every corner. Though the neighborhood is worn and loud at times, it felt reasonably safe and welcoming.

My room was a single, appr. 9'X12' and located on the top floor facing the street. Toilet and separate shower shared by 3 other guestrooms. I found shampoo and towel in my room but no soap or washcloth. Very comfortable twin bed with quality bedding, but the ceiling fan could not combat the excessive heat and, unfortunately, I slept poorly each night. Street noise wasn't too bad, but I was glad I brought my ear plugs.

There is a kitchen on the top floor, and each guestroom has its designated servingware and spot in the refrigerator. Lots of signs posted and rules given by Manny at check-in, but all to make life run more smoothly. Wi-Fi was free, easy to access and speedy.

Overall, the place is simple but quaint, very clean, well maintained and operated. For the price, you just cannot beat it. I will look forward to staying there again in the future...but never during the heat of summer. (I wish they did what some budget places in Europe do: have a/c available for an extra charge, say $10 or so per night.)

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gingerbread241, Owner at La Sienna, responded to this review, July 3, 2010
Thank you for your comment and yes we have added a larger fan based off a comment a current guest. just spoke with us. I would also like to say thank you for the alternative charge for the A/C. As we are trying to keep cost down for our guests A/C would definitely bring up the prices but we can defintely offer an alternative charge. This is something we may be able to implement for the following year.
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Hong Kong, China
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2010

Yvette and Manny are super friendly. I really appreciate all their helps and cares. It was a big favour, by allowing me to stay until midnight. Otherwise I would have to sleep in the airport to wait for my 7am flight. Manny even reminded me several times that I should wake him up at 3am to help me with my luggage. He also gave me an alarm clock and knocked on my door to ensure I was ready for the shuttle van. If I go to NY again, I will definitely return to this guesthouse to visit them!

The room was big enough and clean. When I checked-in, they were on the way cleaning my room (I arrived earlier than the time scheduled). No doubt that they changed the sheets etc. I also have space in the kitchen to keep my own food. Sweeties and (cereal bars) are available for the guests. Everything looks good except the stairs…you better walk softly. Also, internet is available for big rooms only but not the top floor I stayed.

Location: It is at Harlam and takes around 20 minutes to lower Manhattan by subway. As I appeared to be the only Asian in that area, I drew quite high attention when passed by. However, no one really bothered me. Polices were on the streets. I backed to the guesthouse before dark (8pm) and it was safe. There are also supermarket and fast food restaurants nearby. With the cheap price I paid, I think the location was reasonably good and convenient.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Sienna

Address: West 123rd Street, New York City, NY
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Harlem
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 185 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is not a Hotel or Hostel. This is a rental unit. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
La Sienna Hotel New York City

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