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“A niche hotel — not my niche” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Aloft Harlem

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Aloft Harlem
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York City, NY 10027 (Harlem)   |  
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Ranked #148 of 446 hotels in New York City
McAllen, Texas, United States
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A niche hotel — not my niche”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

There is a lot to be said about the Aloft in Harlem; and a lot to be desired. My employer has an agreement with this hotel, so I've stayed here at least 10 times, most recently for 22 days straight.

The staff is friendly and helpful. The rooms are spotless. The features are new, and everything works. The rooms are quiet. Large windows allow light in, if you want; room darkening shades allow you to block the light, if you'd rather. The hotel is proud of their bathroom amenities, but to me soap and shampoo are just soap and shampoo.

Getting around: The hotel is two blocks from the A, C, B, D and three blocks from the 2, 3; one block from 125th Street and the MTA buses that run there; the M10 bus stops literally at the front door of the hotel. The staff will call a car service for you, if you want; the cars usually arrive within 5 minutes or so.

What's not to like:

There's no restaurant and the re:fuel station has limited offerings. Local restaurants are about three blocks away.

There's no swimming pool

There's no closet in the room and no drawers; instead, rooms have a modular cubby-hole feature. There's a short hanger hook with four hangers on it. There's literally no place to put your underwear; everything you bring is out in the open.

If you're a smoker, you'll find this place especially unwelcoming. It's a smoke-free hotel—and I don't have a problem with that as most all hotels are these days. But there's literally no place to sit and smoke. The only outdoor space is a tiny smoke-free atrium. You'll have to stand out on the sidewalk to smoke. The nearest place to sit is the Harriet Tubman statue two blocks south, which has a rock wall with no back and no shade. Area parks are three and four blocks away, but be warned: smoking is not allowed in NYC parks.

The noise of the bar/lounge is off-putting if you're not a trendy 20-something. But note: the noise is not noticeable in the guest rooms.

I should probably appreciate the big intimidating security guards in the lobby, but I find it annoying to have to show my room key just to get to the elevators EVERY time.

Room Tip: All the rooms are about equal. No room has an excellent view. Rooms facing 124th Street have a broad...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaytlyn D, Manager at Aloft Harlem, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review of your stay with us, especially since you were with us for quite a while! We are happy that you were pleased with the cleanliness of our rooms and that you felt our staff was helpful to you. Even though the Aloft Harlem isn't your niche, we do hope that our guest service and our willingness to do whatever it takes to make our guests happy will be enough to send you back our way soon! Please do let us know if we can do anything to improve your time here in the future.
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373 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (77)
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

we found this hotel through the Columbia University website. stayed for one night in June 2013. staff were friendly and reasonably efficient and they were helpful. the decor is basic and a little trendy. room was large enough to house two double beds. the bathroom had a strange smell. i guess it needed to be cleaned a bit better. however, the real issue is the neighbourhood. if you know NYC you would not stay here. this is harlem and it is a bit rough looking. just given the location the hotel should not be charging what they do.

Room Tip: location, location, location. this hotel just doesnt have it. its a rough neighbourhood
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaytlyn D, Manager at Aloft Harlem, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your review. While you may have not felt that the neighborhood was for you, we are glad you found our staff to be helpful and accomodating, and we hope to have you back with us sometime soon.
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Houston,TX
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I've stayed at the NYC Aloft Harlem four times in the last two months and this time I decided to write a review. This is a great hotel with a super great staff at the front desk. They are courteous, resourceful and friendly. The hotel is new, and the rooms are well equipped and clean. An even greater plus is the A train is 2 blocks away and the express has you at Penn St. in 3 stops, or about 10 minutes. Can't beat that for a commute. I will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaytlyn D, Manager at Aloft Harlem, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for posting a review about your stay with us, and thank you for your continued loyalty to the Aloft Harlem. We will strive to continue to provide you with an exceptional experience each time you stay with us...and you're right, you can't beat that commute!
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Pasadena, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

I stayed at the Aloft 03/2013. The hotel is in a good location.My first time in Harlem and I loved it. We took the A train from JFK straight to hotel with ease. I was touring colleges with my daughter so we had to use the subway often and we spent a lot of time downtown shopping. The Hotel staff were very attentive and gave great directions, they also called a car service for us when needed.
The room was spacious and comfortable. I shared a King size bed with my daughter and it was very comfortable. The room was updated and clean. The hotel seems to be a local hangout. It has a very nice trendy bar. The bar is in the lobby of the hotel which plays loud music. This was great except, there seemed to party every night. While we were there Thursday-Monday (5) nights. There was a party (4) of those nights. The music was loud and the patrons were louder. My room faced the entrance of the hotel on the 4th floor and the noise kept me up all night. Finally on the 3rd day I had to ask for a room change.
The manager was very kind and apologized. She offered us free breakfast and was willing to give us a discount; yet, we had purchased our hotel package through Travelocity. Just the fact that she was kind and helpful made a difference. She told us that the noise should be fine for the next few nights because they had no scheduled events. We kept our room.
The hotel is in a nice area with a lot of restaurants and a movie theater across the street. There is also shopping near by ( a Gap and other similar shops).
Overall... Great staff and Hotel..... I will for sure stay at this hotel again, I will just get a room not facing the front of the hotel and a higher floor if possible...

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Kaytlyn D, Manager at Aloft Harlem, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for your candid feedback on your stay! We are pleased to hear you received wonderful service and that you were happy with your room! With that said, we appreciate your comments on the noise levels as well, as this will enable us to improve future guest experiences. We do hope you will come back and stay with us soon!
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IL
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We stayed at the Aloft Harlem for two nights in late June over a weekend visiting family. We chose the hotel based on location (2 blocks from A train subway) and price (vs much higher on the UWS). We were very pleased that we made the right choice! The front desk staff are so so nice and helpful. They helped us with directions and also with making a last minute car reservation to the airport. The room was small, but very well designed... with a big screen TV, huge shower and even a tucked away iron and ironing board. Nice perks: free bottles of water in the room, free coffee in the lobby, really nice fitness room, and pastries and yogurt and juices (for a price) in the morning for breakfast. We wish we had a chance to hang out at the modern, hip bar, but they did not open till 5pm and we were out each evening before they opened. The Wifi in the room worked great. Since we had a quick trip, we did not have an opportunity to explore the neighborhood, unfortunately. We will stay at Aloft Harlem again if the we are in the area.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaytlyn D, Manager at Aloft Harlem, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for your detailed review and for highlighting some of our great amenities! We are glad to hear you enjoyed your stay. Our team is dedicated to making your stay in Harlem a great one, so we hope you will come back to visit us again soon.
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Minnesota City, Minnesota
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

The Aloft Harlem is fresh and energetic with a staff that is ready to serve. I’m not a fan of Starwood’s W brand -- It’s just a bit too hip for me. So I was reluctant to try the Aloft (a limited service cousin of the W) but it was literally the only hotel in Harlem.

Pleasant surprise!

Upon arrival I noticed the lobby was actually a full flight below street level, down a series of outdoor stairs. The elevator to the lobby was out of order. Just as I was preparing to haul myself and my stuff down to the lobby, a uniformed staff member appeared from nowhere and carried everything down to the lobby. Check-in was smooth, and the agent recognized my Starwood status.

The guest room, while small, was exceptionally well designed. There was a comfy king size bed, an entertainment center/work space and plenty of room to open and lay out luggage. The vanity area had a small, but efficient area for hanging clothes. No tub, but a large and luxurious shower with quality linens. The room furnishings were simple, but pleasant. Good air handling and room darkening drapes. I especially liked the usb power station for charging the cell phones, and port extender for plugging electronics into the TV/sound system.

The common areas were also simple in design, but attractive. There was a soft seating area, a lobby bar and a self-service snack area.

I especially enjoyed the location of this property. Harlem is an exciting multi-cultural area with unique shopping and amazing restaurants. Aloft is only 2 blocks from the subway – an express station that puts you one stop from Times Square.

This is a comfortable, quality property, nicely located with a knowledgeable, energetic staff.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaytlyn D, Manager at Aloft Harlem, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Thank you for the wonderful comments, we are so happy to hear you enjoyed your stay! It is tough to find large hotel rooms in the city, but our concept is to have an efficient yet stylish space that works for the guest. You definitely hit the nail on the head with your comments about the neighborhood. Harlem is a growing neighborhood, and we are glad to be a part of the change here! We truly hope that you will come back to stay at the Aloft Harlem soon!
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carolinas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013 via mobile

Took a quick trip to Harlem to drop daughter off for camp. Upon arrival Deon'ta [ hope I'm spelling correctly] greeted us with a smile, expedient service and great information. The bed was heavenly to sleep in. The price for parking package was well worth it! Going back in July. Well done, Aloft Harlem!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kaytlyn D, Manager at Aloft Harlem, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
We are so glad you chose to stay with us during your short trip to Harlem! We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of front desk agents, and your comments will be shared with them. Hope to have you with us again soon! Thank you for choosing us again!
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Additional Information about Aloft Harlem

Also Known As:
Aloft Harlem Hotel New York City
Aloft Harlem Hotel
Address: 2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, New York City, NY 10027
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Harlem
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#86 Business Hotel in New York City
#144 Family Hotel in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aloft Harlem 3.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aloft Harlem hotel is steps from the Apollo Theater, Central Park, and NYC express subway stations. Our boutique accommodation has free wifi, on-site dining, and Plug & Play equipped guest rooms. ... more   less 
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