Now that the Christmas rush is over, and I've recovered from the jet lag, here's our trip report part 1.
DH and I returned last week from our trip which incorporated two weeks in NYC. We stayed for the first half at Greenwich Village Home, and the second half at A Garden in Chelsea.
Greenwich Village Home: We read the lovely reports here about Carla's hospitality, and it's all true. Carla came out to welcome us after our long trip, and took us on a tour of the little studio's facilities, even though I was very jet lagged. Luckily DH was around to take it all in.
Carla kept the little studio clean and tidy during our stay: it was really nice not to have to worry about cleaning or washing dishes during our stay there. She also did a load of laundry for us, which really helped. Having breakfast provided for our first week was a treat, since it took us a few days to find our way around and get to know the area..
There is also a very efficient heating system in the house, which was nice for us as we weren't accustomed to the NYC winter (although we were told it was warmer than usual when we were visiting, it still took us a while, and some new coats, to get acclimatized). In fact we ended up having to open the windows a bit when the heat was turned up!
Wireless internet access is available at GVH and it was really useful in booking restaurants and tickets to shows, as well as just checking emails. There are also lots of TV channels to watch. It is very conveniently located to the subway, restaurants, cafes and shopping areas.
Breakfast is provided here, we had a choice of hot and cold cereals, with bagels and cream cheese or muffins, fruit, juices, coffee and tea, as well as our "welcome" cannolis.
One thing that the other reviews didn't mention that is fabulous about GVH is the bed. DH has had problems from an old football injury, and the mattress was wonderfully firm and supportive, and he didn't have any aches and pains at all. We both had a great night's sleep while we were staying with Carla.
A Garden in Chelsea was our next stop. There weren't many reviews so I wasn't really sure what to expect. However, it's a similar set up to GVH: the room is at the bottom of a brownstone, a few steps below street level. The major difference here is that the hosts don't provide breakfast, only coffee and juice to get you started. It is more like a studio apartment rental than a B&B, so it should probably be classified as that, instead of a B&B. The hosts also don't service the room, and tend to keep out of your way unless you need something. Since we had already been in NYC a week, there were several places we wanted to go for breaakfast, so it wasn't a problem. Since we were only there a week, the room not being serviced didn't pose a problem either.
The room here is very large and airy, and there is access to the back garden (except in winter). The extra room was very much welcome, as by the end of the first week, we had accumulated a fair bit of shopping and souvenirs. There would definitely be enough room for a couple with a child to stay here.
The room can be set up as a king size bed, which we had. THe bed was wonderfully supportive and firm, and the room is equipped with a DVD player and stereo as well as fully equipped little kitchen with a microwave and stove. The apartment has a table and chairs, and there are large shelves of books available too, and a big closet to hang clothes.
The pipes in the pictures in the TA review are heaters: they radiate heat down into the room very nicely in winter. An additional electric heater was available as well, but we really didn't need it, the room was very warm just from the heating pipes. The marble bathroom has a small tub/shower and a drying line across the bathtub, so it's possible to do a little bit of laundry. The hosts provide wireless internet access.
It is located a few blocks from the subway, and is close to restaurants, cafes and shopping areas.
Both places have similar reservations policies: you need to book well in advance and provide a 50% deposit, with the remainder paid when you arrive in cash. Both supply amenities such as hair dryers and iron and ironing board.
We enjoyed our time at both places, and would happily stay at both again.
Next up: Part 2 - Attractions and sightseeing