Hotel Review: New York City’s Aloft Harlem #aloftharlem

by Notorious Spinks on 04.04.2014

hotels-in-harlem-new-york

As a young girl, I always dreamed of visiting Harlem. Coming from a single parent home, I remember falling in love with the works of Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman and Claude McKaye wishing I were there with them. I wanted to walk the streets of Harlem with these literary geniuses, have intense debates about current topics and then listen to live music performed by Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. I just wanted to be there and Shimmy the night away. But, modern day Harlem would have to suffice and the Aloft Harlem was a great compliment.

The Aloft Harlem (Starwood Property), a boutique hotel, located in the heart of Harlem presents a modern, youthful and funky style for guests. Located less than 10 miles from LaGuardia Airport, walking distance to the historic Apollo Theater, and a subway ride over to Times Square, guests are able to experience the magic of New York City with minimal worries about transportation.

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Upon my arrival, the front desk staff was very thorough and check-in was fast. I was thankful for this after traveling more than 1800 miles across country. I was tired, anxious and excited, combined. I appreciated that my room provided a warmth that made me feel at home and less anxious about being in the city that never sleeps. I finally exhaled.

window-view-from-aloft-harlem

Once I got settled in, I fell in love with my room. The size of the room was perfect for two people, the desk area provided great working space to update my blog and do some tweeting, and the bathroom area was settled in an alcove with a shower and a partition to separate the toilet area.

window-view-from-aloft-harlem

window-view-from-aloft-harlem

window-view-from-aloft-harlem

Because I love water, the oversized showerhead made me swoon with the complimentary Bliss body wash provided in a dispenser on the wall. It also came with a shampoo/conditioner by Bliss as well. I think this gesture won me over…one less thing to pack next time.window-view-from-aloft-harlem

In the lobby of the hotel, there was a snack station with all kinds of tasty and healthy treats and a cocktail lounge connected to the in-house WXYZ Bar. Yes, the bartender was on point…I’ll drink to that.

WXYZ-Bar-in-Harlem

Just so you know, the cocktail lounge turns into a party on the weekend with a live deejay. If you’re not into the parties and prefer quiet, then ask for a room higher up when you check in. Better yet, you may want to call the hotel a day or two in advance and request this because those Bose speakers keep the party live.

WXYZ-Bar-in-Harlem

Overall, my stay at the Aloft Harlem was enjoyable. I felt like it was well worth the investment with the amenities of bottle water and coffee, FREE Wifi, free local calls, and iMacs with printers in the lobby for guest use. Yes, it all comes with your room fees.

As I stated previously, I’ve wanted to get to Harlem for as long as I can remember. I’m so blessed that the universe aligned and my dream came true. Although I was too late to hang with Zora and Langston ‘nem, I did get to walk the streets and see many of the historic landmarks they frequented. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading the classics and look forward to visiting more historical locations when I return in June.

One last thing, the prices at Aloft Harlem are less expensive than other hotels in the New York area like Manhattan. This may be due to there being “NO ROOM SERVICE”. However, there is a 24 hour store located next door to the hotel that cooks hot food… try the cheeseburger and Philly steak. Also, many restaurants deliver to the area so you’ll be good.

If you’re in the area, I will be there for Blogging While Brown Conference the week of June 27th. If you’re traveling to New York, be sure to consider the Aloft Harlem and let me know how you liked it.

Have you ever traveled to New York? What was your most memorable experience?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Michellette "Mimi" Green June 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Great review, this is right on time. I too am packing (will pack) for Blogging While Brown this week. I travel to NY a lot but this is my first time staying in Harlem.

So long as they have an iron to feed my OCD then I’m good. I hope to connect with you there.

- Mimi
http://www.mimicutelips.com

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Rothesia June 25, 2014 at 5:45 am

Great post! This makes me even more excited about staying at the Aloft Harlem.

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Mhar Mg May 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

We love staying at hotels whenever we go on vacation especially in summer. I have a friend in New York and she told me that Harlem is very nice.

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agatapokutycka May 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Not the best window view but I like the room decor, really stylish

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April McGregor May 27, 2014 at 7:32 am

When I was a flight attendant, I stayed in so many hotels in different countries. I never really paid attention to the things in my room. All I cared was a clean, nice bed and a great shower and tub. LOL

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Travel Quest May 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm

I live in up state New York for 6 yrs, and I only visit NYC once I would love to go back there again before winter maybe. There is something in that City that you cant compare with other busiest city in US. I LOVE NY :)

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paula bendfeldt May 25, 2014 at 6:47 pm

I was just I NYC a few weeks ago and this hotel looks like a great option to stay at when visiting NYC.

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Alexandra April 29, 2014 at 9:40 am

What a LOVELY hotel! While I never checked out one of their guest rooms, their lobby was beautiful and had a great vibe! It is in the heart of Harlem, and I wished I checked out the neighborhood more last year – it’s so rich with diversity and history…and great food!

While baby girl and I love to visit NYC – we are no longer tourists and the regular attractions no longer interest us – we love checking out local fairs and museums and a great restaurant! We explored Harlem a little bit last time and loved it. We’ll have to go back there and do more exploring next time. Oh and we love the Bronx Zoo!

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Notorious Spinks May 10, 2014 at 11:45 pm

I will have to try out the Bronx Zoo when I go next month Alexandra. I wish I lived closer to NYC.

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MELISASource April 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm

I had the pleasure of staying in an Aloft hotel recently in a different city, and my experience was awesome! I’m happy to see that the brand keeps it consistent with quality, design, and service.

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Notorious Spinks May 10, 2014 at 11:47 pm

Melisa that’s awesome. I love when brands hold up across the board…true branding.

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Pamela K (@datingmyspouse) April 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

I still have New York on my bucket list of places to visit. Like you I developed a love for NY from reading. This place looks amazing!

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Notorious Spinks May 10, 2014 at 11:48 pm

I can’t wait to get back there next month Pamela. The place where dreams come true.

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Tati (@tboardley) April 4, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I really needed a recent NY hotel review. I’m from CT; currently reside in NC, but hubby has never been upstate. I love that fact this hotel has a cocktail lounge, close to the airport, and a subway ride to Times Square.

Thanks for this review!

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Notorious Spinks May 10, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Thanks for checking it out Tati. I really do love this hotel. It is my official Harlem spot.

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PammyPam April 4, 2014 at 8:10 am

I, too, used to dream of Harlem. My people of jazz and literature called to me as a child. Hats, gloves, stockings the whole nine.

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Notorious Spinks April 4, 2014 at 10:47 am

LOL! They were dressed might fancy PammyPam. Thanks for stopping by.

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