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“Check your bed for bugs.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of New York Gisele's Bed and Breakfast

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New York Gisele's Bed and Breakfast
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134 West 119th St, New York City, NY NY. 10026 (Harlem)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #83 of 95 New York City B&B and Inns
Oakland, California
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Check your bed for bugs.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2010

I checked in to giselles and was assigned toa room. I laid in the bed and then found that there were bed bugs in the bed. I was then assigned to another room. The next day I had bites on my hands, arms, and feet. I you stay here be sure to check the bud for bugs.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

Giselle's Guest House is extremely interesting. Everywhere I looked I saw interesting textures of an antique row house, it's furnishings, and art. The double bed we slept has a brass head frame right out of a Matisse painting. A copy of a Greek statue, discus thrower, was remarkable, and the lace curtain double window gave a beautiful quality of light. -and much more.

The beds were hard -just I like it- and the bedding clean. The floors were clean and the bathroom - genuine 1910.

Everything was interesting - It was not perfect. Perfection is boring!

My wife, daughter, and I came to NYC to meet my wife's
brother and wife who were coming in from Finland and did not speak any English. They were here for a re-cooperation from a horrible family disaster this winter. We had booked at the Pan American Hotel, but wanted to be on Manhattan.
Looking for accommodations on the Island, we found Giselle's Guest House at the last minute, which was recommended by a neighboring guest house operator -who does not serve breakfast either.

Ms. Giselle was very accommodating and after a day's wait some how fitted us into her schedule. Giselle herself was friendly, organized and a wealth of information about the resources.

After we had canceled the room at Pan Am and booked at Giselle's place, I found this blog page. The reviews I read made Giselle's place sound filthy, and Giselle herself sound like a lunatic, which was not true at all. With such bad reviews I wondered how she could be still in business. On reading the blogs more colsely, I noticed the same negative disacriptive adjectives in many of the highly perjorative reviews. I concluded for some reason these people had unfairly ganged up on her and decided to try to distroy her business.

My relatives in Finland also read the negative blogs and were really worried. We were ready to drive back to Washington, D.C. immediately an d not spend the night there. However, the rooms and shared bathroom were clean enough and adequate for our needs. Nobody in our family noticed any insects or rodents -we looked!

Having a background in Psychology, I was particularly attentive to her mental condition, and found Giselle intelligent, artistic,friendly helpful and accomplished in juggling the management and upkeep of her establishment.

Would we recommend Giselle's Guest House? We were recommending Giselle's Guest House to other visitors while we were in Manhattan. We recomjend it now and plan to come back.

The point is, if one wants a standard boring motel/hotel -look elsewhere. For me, an artist, Giselle's Guesthouse was reminiscent of a Parisian Hotel I stayed in 40 years ago, but Giselle's is cleaner, with better appointments. And Giselle's has, In the French fashion, a shared bathroom, that in this case is a real bathroom.

I and my family plan on returning to Giselle's soon. It was a happy decision that we will repeat.

Thank you Giselle for accomodating us!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2008

Our experience was similar to these other stories on this site. And this shows how miss Gisele runs her business:

Gisele is a chaotic totally stressed out woman. She overbooks and everyone who doesn't fit in the B&B, she sends to her other guesthouse on Lennox. By that time you are in New York, everything else is booked, and you have no other option than to stay with her. You're trapped in Gisele's guesthouse from hell.

Two weeks before arrival I called 6 or 8 times to Gisele to make sure we had a reservation for a double private room. On the phone she was so chaotic that I got nervous about the reservation. 24 hours before landing in NY, she said she was overbooked at the B&B, and that's how we got trapped in Gisele's place on Lennox. The building looked OK from the outside and from the inside the interior didn't changed since the roaring 20-ties but not in a good way. It wasn't a guesthouse, but a squat. Everything old, and broken, but even that can be fun and adventurous! But not for that price!

We arrived in the evening and Gisele arrived. She was stressed out and her phone was ringing all the time. First thing we noticed entering the building was a strong gas smell. We told Gisele when we checked in, but she said that some guests just did some cooking; "just a small leak, nothing to worry about!" Right then we decided that, if we lived the night , we would leave the next day!

MOUSE...
After checking in and cashing our money, she showed us the room. Which wasn't a double privat room but a 4 bed dormitory room. We got angry, because we made reservations! And we had a romantic holiday planned in NY and we didn't want to sleep in single bunk beds! Gisele didn't like the way the conversation went and suddenly she pointed at a corner of the room and said: "Ouh, What's that? A mouse!" She tried to get out of the conversation by faking that she saw a mouse in her own guesthouse! Well that's a good review! Which made me angry and wanted my money back! It was 22:00, we had a long flight and it was to late to find anything else, so we agreed to disagree. We stayed untill 7 that next morning.

Want more?
-dirty unwashed sheets with cigaret burn holes. We got only 2 sheets for 2 beds and nothing to cover the dirty mattresses with.

-the mattress looked like one from a crack junkie and gave us both a rash.

-we couldn't close the window shutters. I hanged my coat in front of the window as a curtain.

-the graffiti on the walls from earlier guests warned us for mice, but we only heard one!

-the walls were so thin we could hear the neighbour breath, but this was difficult because the neighbours on the otherside were so busy with a party that we could hardly speak with each other, and getting some sleep was even harder.

-the shower seemed so dirty that we didn't dare to get in.

Positive points:
5 minute walk from a subway stop, 10 minute walk from Harlem entrance of Central Park. And the area is a bit ghetto but not boring and we found some nice restaurants and bars.

TIP:
If you are writing a novel and are lost for inspiration, go and stay with Gisele. She has great stories and never a dull moment at Gisele! But don't stay here if you want a rash-free romantic holiday!

How did we escape Gisele. And HOW did we found another place in NY when everything seemed booked? The best tip ever!
http://newyork.craigslist.org/
Many great people sublet there house or extra room. The next day we had a great room with a nice NORMAL couple in Brooklyn. We had a wonderful time. Gisele sucks but Craigslist rules!

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2008

I just found this little place by accident,when the other place i booked over booked.I asked some friends what they recomend they told me Giseles guesthouse in harlem.so i phone up and they had rooms.the guesthouse was small about 4 rooms in total.The landlady was helpful and polite,and told me that harlem is quite safe and nothing to worry about.the rooms where clean and tidy,the bathroom small but clean.The road it is on is quiet a few cars not much noise from other people around.I probably will come back to this little guesthouse next time i`m in new york.

  • Liked — clean room helpful landlady
  • Disliked — everthing was
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverwijk
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2008

We are a couple from the Netherlands and we had similar problems with the reservations as in the other reviews. When we called to tell Gisele that we would arrive in the evening she did'nt recognized our name, was telling us we had made reservations for her hostel (all the rooms in the B&B were booked) and that we paid with traveller checks for 50 dollars while she charged my creditcard for 110.
When I asked her (a little stressed cause it was halloween and to find another place to stay would be impossible, and this was our honeymoon so we did not want to stay in a hostel) how that was possible, she freaked out, was talking about me starting a war with her while I did not yell at her or anything.
At the end she was telling me we had the room in the B&B, that she got confused because of me.
We have spend 3 nights in this horrible place, with a horrible person, she is really not ok and cannot be trusted. The place is old, smells like there is a lot of fungus, the room had moist marks on the walls, the bathroom was dirty and did not have a proper shower. There was just one bathroom with one toilet in it, when somebody else is using the bathroom you can't go to the toilet! The bed seemed clean but I ended up with an itch, and my docter told me that I had flee bites!
This is a place you don't want to spend any time. We wish we had seen this website before we went there...

  • Liked — subway around the corner
  • Disliked — flees in the bed
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beauceville
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2008

We booked a room two weeks in advance in this bed and breakfast. We went there knowing that there were no breakfast but it did not matter as the place looked awesome from the pictures and was surprisingly cheap at 110$. With a 24h notice we were told that our reservation were not good as she overbooked that weekend so we could not have our room and that there was nothing that she could do... She then proposed another room in a youth hotel (that she also owns on lenox st.). We would then stay there in two single beds (with my wife) in a room with 4 beds for 100$ per night instead of 110$ per night. We looked at different hotel in new york but everything was booked. We thus gave it a try and the adventure began...

The first meeting with Gisele was pretty amazing as she looked like an about to burnout boomer with an perpetually ringing cell phone with a pile of loose paper and a pen. We later found out how she could have overbooked as the loose papers were the reservation schedules. She then sat down five minutes by our side and she explained how much stress she was going through because of us all (tourists/tenants). After she began cleaning the room and was reappearing briefly to cash some rents from other tourists. At some point we thought that this whole stuff was only a scenario in order to increase the rent or to say that we would have to share our room with someone else.

And she finally sat down with us. Exhausted. She took her pile of paper and she wrote down our reservation for four days onto the sheet for the Friday. I assume that there were sheets for the other three days but those sheets she did not use. As we were paying four time the amount the other were paying (100 instead of 25) we were allowed a key. Remember that we have four single beds in our room and that we had a good deal to begin with.

There were no unknown animals or insects in the room. There was a little bit of hot water sometimes and the mirror was functioning properly but thats about it. We did not need anything else. (there was a functioning fridge and a gas stove that we did not use).

We did not have any other problems but we saw a sanitary napkin open in a pile of garbage in our corridor. I am still a little bit troubled.

The last afternoon we could talk to Gisele a little bit as the weekend was over and her cell phone was not ringing anymore. We were amazed by her history as she was one of the first white women to own a house in Harlem about twenty years ago. Even though she had everything figured out for about everything and everyone (especially black people) and was making nasty faces if we were contradicting her in any way it was maybe the most satisfying part of the stay at her bnb.

  • Liked — Gisèle character
  • Disliked — The accommodation
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Montreal
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2008

We had made reservation, but than (less than 48h before we came!) she called us to say she made a mistake and didn't have room for us. So we landed in one of her "auberge" instead, we had no choice, and that was terrible.

The woman is very bizarre, unreliable and racist. We saw her take everyone as hostage because she was stressed, and for absolutely no reason we had to wait for an hour before she would give us the key of our room. We were kind of trapped there and couldn't leave the place.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about New York Gisele's Bed and Breakfast

Address: 134 West 119th St, New York City, NY NY. 10026
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Harlem
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #83 of 95 B&Bs / Inns in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
New York Gisele`s b&b
New York Gisele`s Hotel New York City

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