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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?