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“OMG!! I will defintely be back!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa 121 Harlem Guest House

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Villa 121 Harlem Guest House
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11 West 121st Street, New York City, NY 10027   |  
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Ranked #13 of 96 New York City B&B and Inns
Miami, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“OMG!! I will defintely be back!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

This is my second stay/visit to what I consider my home away from home. Villa 121 certainly lives up to its reputation and then more. The owners, Peggy and Lloyd, are absolutely wonderful! I could have stayed at the house and simply listened to them talk about the history of Harlem. The house is like being in an art gallery! Lloyd's sculptures are magnificent. I stumbled on this place durig a business trip to Manhattan. I was fed up with staying at the the standard hotels in Manhattan.and wanted a change of scene, The accomodations were great. The location is very accessible. Exploring Harlem was a joy with Peggy and Lloyd's help. Villa 121 is defintely worth the stay. The house is an architectural masterpiece. I could certainly envision what Harlem was like when the house was built and it fits in with the history of Harlem.

  • Stayed May 2012, 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.
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73 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    56
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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 (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

We spent four days here in mid-May and had a wonderful time exploring Harlem for the first time. The house, a lovely and very old brownstone, has enormously high ceilings that take you back to another era; fully restored to its old grandeur with lots of art and beautifully decorated, it's a treat all on its own. The room was spacious and the bed very comfortable; we had great sleeps. Peggy and Lloyd are terrific hosts; we learned a lot of local history from them and enjoyed sharing with them our explorations of the neighbourhood and other parts of Manhattan. We tried three of the restaurants they recommend on their website (The Red Rooster, Bad Horse Pizza and Il Caffe Latte, which was our breakfast spot, but looked good for other meals too); all were excellent. We walked the area extensively (and felt as safe as we do in any part of Manhattan), but when we wanted to go to Battery Park for the boat trip out to Ellis Island, it was a mere 30 minute trip on the express subway. Be sure to take in a show at the Apollo Theatre; we went for Amateur Night and it was a hoot.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

I had a great stay here for almost 2 weeks. It's a lovely warm townhouse with cosy rooms. The rooms were comfortable, clean and had nice beds. Peggy and LLoyd are one of the best hosts I ever had. So warm, helpfull and polite! And what to say about Harlem? Its a great place to stay! Is one of the few parts of NYC that is autheniek and not that hip. But at the same time you will find some really nice cafe's and restaurants. And yes its safe! Even at night when I (as a white guy) was down at the street I did not feel uncomfortable and you will probably don't feel so either.
Greetings from Amsterdam, Sjoerd

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
University City, Missouri, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

Not too long ago I would have been a little anxious about staying in Harlem. After all, I'm a white guy, and Harlem for a long time had a pretty bad rep. But our visit totally disabused me of those doubts. Our time there was a delight. I'll always have fond memories of our stay there, of Harlem itself, and of our charming hosts. I'd go back in a minute!

My wife and I joined my son and his wife and their twelve-year-old daughter for a four-day week-end in New York. We had a large room on the fourth floor; my son and his family had an even larger room on the third. (I kept telling myself that climbing those three flights of stairs was very good for me.)

Villa 121 is a gorgeous classic old New York brown-stone, and it's been beautifully restored by Peggy and Lloyd Toone, a couple who are both artists themselves and who clearly love this house. They bought the house some thirty years ago, and have restored it and lived in it ever since. Quite stunning woodwork is everywhere, and it's been painstakingly stripped of many decades of paint.

There is really good, imaginative art everywhere, done by Lloyd or Peggy or their friends.

Modern elements have been added where appropriate. Beds are very comfortable, bathrooms and (separate) toilets shine with marble and the latest fixtures. Kitchenettes are bright and replete with sink, stove, fridge, dish-washer, coffee-maker, utensils, dishes, etc.

But you'll see much beautiful old furniture here too. There is a strong sense of eclecticism, all the while there is a deep respect for the original beauty of the architecture.

Peggy and Lloyd have seen this neighborhood through good times and bad. Now the times seem very good indeed. The immediate neighborhood is very quiet. Marcus Garvey Park is half a block away. On Lenox Avenue, a block the other way, there is much street life. The Lenox Lounge and the Apollo Theatre, homes of legendary jazz, are both a ten-minute walk away. And be sure to try the nearby Sylvia's Restaurant; it offers world-famous soul food--in huge portions.

We found the nearby subway fast, easy and convenient. The "2" or "3" train on the red line will zoom you to Lincoln Center, Times Square, Broadway theatres, Penn Station and points south. (No, despite Ellington it's not the "A" train; that one goes to the other side of Harlem.) The bus on Fifth Avenue is only a few blocks away, and it takes you down the east side of Cenral Park to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Frick and MOMA. We recommend you buy a 7-day Metro Card, which gives you unlimited rides on the subway and buses.

Be sure to take some time to chat with your hosts who know everything there is to know about Harlem and New York--especially in the areas of art and music. If you're lucky you might get Peggy to sing for you.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2012

My sister and I had a great time staying here. The old brownstone house has been beautifully renovated and is full of great art work by Peggy and Lloyd's friends and Lloyd himself. The rooms were comfortable, clean and were nicely furnished with old furniture. Peggy and Lloyd were very accommodating and great to talk to. Both have interesting stories to tell about their lives and will also provide you with lots of information about places to visit in the surrounding area. The only draw back was the number of stairs to the top floor room that we stayed in.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Brisbane
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2012

Villa 121 is a guest house in a quiet tree-lined street of Harlem, a couple of blocks (short walk) to the West side subway and a very short walk to buses that service down-town and the bronx. The house is charming. It has been sensitively rennovated with stunning woodwork throughout. It is impeccably clean and decorated with an eclectic mix of artwork and sculptures. The owners, Peggy and Lloyd are friendly people who immediately put me at ease. They were one of the highlights of my trip to New York - thank you Peggy and Lloyd for being such wonderful hosts.

The rooms are very comfortably furnished and huge. My room had a great bed - big, excellent mattress and soft linen. The rest of the furniture, lovely old dressers, comfie chairs framing the window (it was such a luxury to have a cup of tea in the rocking chair and watch the squirrels and birds in the gardens around me), a day bed and a kitchenette as well as the main queen-sized bed. Lots of room, which made it a very comfortable stay.

The bathroom was gorgeous in marble trim and black/white tiles, with a claw-footed bath that I could soak in. Good hot water and reasonable water pressure.

It's an old house, so expect wooden floors and old staircases up to the guest rooms. Sound travels much as you would expect in an old house, but all of the guests that I stayed with were sensitive to this and I didn't find that the noises were disturbing. More reassuring, in a way.
Security at the front door, and for the rooms themselves is good - different keys, solid locks, and the entrance and hallways are well lit with motion-detection lights.

As a solo female traveller, I was a little nervous about the area, but needed to be near the bronx for work. I liked it so much that I stayed an extra night to use Villa121 as a base to explore Manhatten over the weekend. It was a gorgeous walk to Central park, and the north woods were lovely to explore on a spring morning. The neighbourhood was friendly - people greeting each other in the streets is common, good mornings are exchanged with strangers. This isn't the case in mid-town or the lower east side in my experience. I walked the area late at night and early in the morning without any problems.

Food wise - there was a nice breakfast cafe a block downtown on Lennox avenue called Cafe Latte that served healthy meals and had a nice atmosphere. I also bought very nice tea-samplers from here to enjoy in my room. The olive pit grocer was a couple of blocks away on 125th street heading east - good for salads, fruit, lunchbox type stuff (great because there is a fridge in your room). Red Rooster is 2 blocks north and there are several jazz bars in the area.

I thoroughly recommend Villa121. I'm writing this review from a Marriott hotel room in a different city, which lacks any of the charm, comfort and grace of this lovely guest house, and would much prefer to be back in the rocking chair in the blue suite contemplating my day.

Room Tip: I encourage you to correspond with Peggy and Lloyd about the type of trip you are having as they wer...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Frankfurt, Germany
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2012

My wife and I found our Villa 121 experience to be our best accommodation visiting New York, hands down.

Room Tip: We stayed in the aqua suite. The light of the sun rising over a nearby church steeple is etched in...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa 121 Harlem Guest House

Address: 11 West 121st Street, New York City, NY 10027
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 96 B&Bs / Inns in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Number of rooms: 2 King Bedroom Suites with private , and. 1 Family Suites w/two bedrooms sharing a full bathroom with stand-up shower. Amenities: Free High-Speed Internet. Free Parking, 32" Flat Screen TV, Free Cable. Micro Wave. Toaster Oven,Iron/Ironing Board. Coffee Makers. Hot/Cold Filtered Water Dispenser in every room. Some Kitchen Access. This turn of the century mansion was built 1887 at the height of New York's Gilded Age, and designed by the firm of Cleverdon and Putzel. The one family home boasts beautiful mahogany/oak woodwork features throughout , large bedroom-suites, hardwood floors, 14 foot high, and large marble and tile bathrooms. The guest house is situated 1/2 block off Mount Morris Park, and included in the National Register of Historic Places Just around the corner you can choose from a number of international restaurants serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As well you will find the local grocery store, dry cleaners, and deli, florist shop, drug store, and laundry, and banks are conveniently located within 3 short blocks.. 5 Minute walk takes you to 125th Street or 116th Street express subway train . 15 Minutes ride subway ride to Time's Square. 15 Minute walk or bus ride,. 10 Walk to Central Park. You will find many significant American landmarks, museums, and monuments (i.E. The Apollo Theater, Historic Harlem Churches, Metropolitan Museum, Studio Museum, Shomberg Center of Cultural Research in Black Culture, The Museum Mile, Columbia University, Central Park, Apple Store, Tiffanys, Yankee Stadium, Costco, El Barrio, and so much more within 15 minutes of guest house, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Columbia University Hospital, and Riverside Church . . . ... more   less 

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