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“An exceptional place to stay in Uptown New York”
Review of Mount Morris House

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Mount Morris House
Ranked #3 of 79 New York City B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 January 2011

Our 3-day stay at the Mount Morris House was the crowning act in a holiday that had to then consisted of the maiden voyage of Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, in company with the Queen Victoria, from Southampton, England to New York. From the outset Vasilis proved a most welcoming and gracious host, as did his partner Dimitri, for whom nothing was too much trouble. Our room overlooked the park on the first floor and was exquisitely perfect, from its beautiful, original wood panelling, its marble tiled bathroom, its 2 sofas and many comfortable chairs, lovely carpets and other antiques to its double bed, in its own luxuriously draped-off annex and with an almost indescribably comfortable mattress which somehow managed to combine the right degree of softness with suitable support. However, this was no museum as the room came equiped with WiFi broadband internet access plus state of the art HD flatscreen televsion and multi-channel cable.

Downstairs was equally delightful with a large lounge (where we forget to sign the visitors' book!) and separate dining room, both full of beautifully crafted antique furniture and other decorative items. Breafast was taken en famile around a large mahogany dining table and, unsurprisingly, was to the same high standard: lovely selections of fresh fruit, freshly made beverages and juices, and a daily treat - one day a lovely omelette and grilled bacon, another day smoked salmon and cream cheese with toasted bagels.

And, as others have noted, although situated off 120th Street in Harlem, these days this is a charming, entirely safe and friendly neighbourhood, overlooking Mount Morris Park itself yet surprisingly easy for both bus (immediately outside!) and subway (5 minutes walk away).

In finishing this review we might add that we travelled with 32 friends onboard the Queen Elizabeth, many of whom were also staying in town for a few days - but downtown in a variety of pupportedly 4 and even 5 star hotels. Mount Morris House beat all on size of room, value, comfort and welcome!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank patricklt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 December 2010

I cannot really add anything more to what everyone else has said already, so will simply say a huge thank you to Vasili for being such a gracious, helpful, lovely host, for whom nothing was too much trouble, thank you for making our first trip to the USA for our 30th wedding anniversary a very special time for us. Everything was perfect. Why would anyone want to stay in a small box in an impersonal hotel when an easy 15 mins subway ride from Times Square and you could be made to feel like one of the family in Vasili and Dimitri's wonderfully elegant home. We will return to NYC one day and wouldn't dream of staying anywhere else. Thank you both.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LiketoTravel115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2010

This was my family's first "Destination Christmas" and I picked the perfect place for it at Mount Morris House, managed by two of the best hosts you will ever find: Vasili and Dimitri, who have created a heavenly spot of Greek hospitality north of Central Park. Situated in a lovely, quiet neighborhood, overlooking the historic Mount Morris Park and just a block off of Lennox Avenue, Mount Morris House is a great place to feel truly "at home" in Manhattan. With the charm of the gorgeously restored (and suitably updated) brownstone in an area of Manhattan that has so many interesting spots to discover and yet feels so removed from the manic pace of the rest of the city, Mount Morris House is a perfect base for an itinerary that includes the major museums, Theater, Lincoln Center and all the great shopping that NYC has to offer. The rooms are large and beautifully furnished with antiques and art that reflects the discerning taste of owners Dimitri and Vasili. The beds are comfortable and the fine linens divine, with the modern comforts of DVD players, flat screen TVs and free wifi. There is a well stocked Butler's pantry for the guests to use right off of the dining room where delicious breakfasts were served and offered the opportunity to meet the other house guests (quite a nice international group). One of the best parts of the house is the large comfortable parlor that doubles as a reading room, and for the occasion was decorated with a gorgeous Christmas tree, hung with lovingly collected ornaments. One of my fondest memories is spreading out around the softly lit Christmas tree with my daughter, wrapping presents for my grandchildren's Christmas morning festivities. What other place and hosts would make you feel so at home?

Transportation is easy from Mount Morris House: the bus that stops directly in front of the house takes you right down 5th Avenue and navigating the subway from Lennox Avenue is a breeze. Vasili will fill you in on the best restaurants within walking distance and is always ready with advice and answers to your questions. The neighborhood is great and here I must emphasize how safe and secure it is. We didn't have a single unpleasant experience; the neighborhood restauranteurs and shopkeepers were friendly and spoke warmly of "the Greeks" at Mount Morris House. We sampled three of Vasili's restaurant suggestions and they were each spot on. We enjoyed the simple soul food (and MASSIVE portions) of Amy Ruths; the comprehensive menu of Italian cuisine at Gran Piatto d'Oro; but most of all, the Mediterranean warmth, good food and hospitality of Sette Pani (which we liked so much we visited twice). Our last afternoon in NYC was when the big blizzard hit and after spending the morning at the Met, Sette Pani was the perfect place to drop in for a bowl of rustic corn chowder and juicy burgers before returning to the warmth and welcoming ambiance of Mount Morris House.

I can't recommend Mount Morris House enough for the discerning traveler who wants an alternative to the impersonal and pricey hotels around mid-town and Times Square. I have found my "home away from home" in NYC at Mount Morris House and look forward to returning again and again.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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5  Thank Lisakclayton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2010

We felt at home in the cosy Mount Morris House in Harlem. The rooms are beautiful and huge, breakfast is delicious (nothing more to say) and Vasili is so welcoming that you just don't want to leave again. We had a perfect stay there and we would recommend everybody to go there.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sorrisa83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2010

We arrived early at Mount Morris in our hire car, and from that moment Vasilis made our first visit to New York a wonderful experience. We parked close by, checked in, our luggage was taken in hand and he explained the best route to drop off the car. When we returned late at night after our first exploration of the city, we found a spacious, elegantly furnished and quiet room. We slept soundly and went down to breakfast -which varied every day, and was always plentiful, including fresh fruit and Greek savouries and pastries. Vasilis was on hand with information and advice, and at the end of our stay organised a private hire car for our trip to the airport.
While Mount Morris is a little distant from central New York, the transport links are quick and easy, and it was a pleasure to return to this tranquil, leafy neighbourhood to wind down at the end of a hectic day.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank sheona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2010

My friend and I received a truly warm welcome, gracious hospitality throughout out 3 day stay,personal interest from Vasili, the owner, in our comfort and our overall sense of feeling at home, in a magnificent home in the historic district of East HArlem - no safety/security issues in the neighborhood - I want the world to know we enjoyed a marvelous time, will be back, have alerted my friends to it, and remember the delicious breakfasts of fresh-baked Greek pastries, fruits, yogurt, to say nothing of salmon one morning! Enjoyed morning chats with other guests from Australia to Germany. Best price value fo New York City.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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1  Thank danny019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2010

My wife Margy and I stayed at Mount Morris House (MMH) for seven nights in early November. I had applied to run in the NYC Marathon and we decided to book well in advance in case I got a place in the race. Our logic was that even if I didn't get a place, we could still go and see the race finishing Central Park, about a dozen blocks south of MMH).

I'd stayed in Manhattan in 2008, paying fancy prices for a nice hotel on Lexington Avenue with what I thought was a decent size suite. I'd intended to visit Harlem on that trip and hadn't got round to it (It's amazing the plans you never get round to when visiting NYC).

So, we decided to try and find a place to stay in Harlem to get better value and allow us a chance to learn more about this historic part of Manhattan. We found MMH here on Trip Advisor and the superb reviews were reinforced by our initial exchange of emails with Vasili; prompt, pleasant and informative.

Vasili arranged a private car from the airport - about $40 more than a taxi but Margy needs a wheelchair for much of the time, which travelled with us. Peter, our driver, was enthusiastic about Harlem and about MMH (he lives in Queens).

Vasili greeted us with quiet and understated warmth - no gushing welcome, or razzmataz just a helpful host, interested in how our trip had been and how Margy was feeling. First impressions of the house were, for me, how peaceful and welcoming it seemed. Spacious, beautifully and thoughtfully furnished, but the ambience was what got me. Happy people lived here.

We had, we thought, forgotten to pack Margy’s pain medication and I asked Vasili if there was a drug store nearby only to learn a prescription is needed to get pain killers in NYC (might well be the same across the USA).

Vasili was obviously concerned. He said his sister worked as a nurse and he would ask her to come over from Long Island next day to see how she could help. “But that’s about two hours away.” I said.
“No problem. She drives” said Vasili calmly.
I insisted he should not trouble her and that we would contact our doctor next day to see if we could get a prescription by fax.

We’d been in our room less than 10 minutes when the phone rang. I picked it up to here an automated message: “This is Mount Sinai Hospital, we are pleased to confirm an appointment at 1.30 pm tomorrow for Mrs Margaret McNally” How’s that for service?

As it happened we found Margy’s meds when we opened the suitcase and Vasili cancelled the hospital appointment without fuss. He also arranged to move us one flight of stairs further down next day to save Margy the extra climb.

The room we stayed in the first night and the one we spent the rest of our holiday in were both spacious and beautifully furnished, warm, quiet, welcoming. The pictures on the MMH website do not do the rooms justice - especially from a space viewpoint. You would happily spend a full day in them relaxing as though you were at home.

From the first day we gradually found ourselves being woven into the magical fabric of Harlem in this historic area around the main neighbourhood thoroughfare - 125th St where Bill Clinton still has an office. We spent plenty time downtown doing the sites but heading uptown again on the subway always felt like coming home.

The subway itself is a microcosm of NYC; never mind queuing for Broadway tickets, enjoy the brilliant doo-wop band singing deep under the streets of Times Square at 42nd Street ( we watched and listened for 45 minutes - here’s a short clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x2S8rPha0g

At 125th St in Harlem we also saw a magnificent group of breakdancers busking on the platform - you would not be surprised to see them in an X Factor final.

Not only did we never feel unsafe walking the Harlem streets at night, we felt welcomed and looked after. We witnessed various ‘random acts of kindness’: A teenage girl approaching an old woman who seemed a bit distressed: ‘Ma’am, are you OK? Do you need any help?”

A teenage boy moving towards a blind man as he searches with his stick for the top stair of the subway, taking his arm gently. The blind man, quiet but determined - “I don’t need your help, man” The youngster, unperturbed, leaves the proud man and skips on down for his train.

It is many years since I have been in a place with such a strong sense of community. I’m not saying it is perfect and crime-free but I would not hesitate to move there tomorrow.

I did not get accepted for the marathon but nor did we have to make the trip to Central Park to see the finish as the 22 mile mark was right outside Vasili’s door, turning the big race into the highlight of our trip. From ten in the morning till late that day, we experienced all that the NYC marathon has to offer - celebration, encouragement, music, big crowds, enthusiasm, atmosphere, hope, and the indomitable American spirit, heavily spiced with the colours, the characters, the optimism, style and beauty of the Harlem community.

Another short clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4Yybjgs-Ok

Vasili introduced us to many of his friends on marathon day; suffice to say a book could be written about each of them - a wonderful experience.

On a more practical note, if you are considering buying NYC passes - excellent value on the face of it at around $165 for entry to around 50 attractions, you will need to be disciplined in setting and keeping to your itinerary if you are to get full value. We carefully planned to visit four in a day and got to only one.

Our favourite attraction was the Intrepid Air and Space Museum - one of those things you might slot in as a bad weather alternative, that turns out to be a revelation.

If you happen to be pushing someone in a wheelchair through Manhattan, you will find that New Yorkers have an uncanny ability to text/play games on their phones while moving as part of a river of people, never needing to look up, just sensing you are in their path and making the optimum adjustments to slip around you with barely a change in pace. It’s the other tourists who give you trouble!

We found almost all New Yorkers to be unfailingly polite and helpful though they do like to tell you something just once and not waste time having to repeat themselves.

Probably the best tip we can offer if staying at MMH, is learn to use the subway. Free maps are available at each station and you quickly grasp how all the lines work. Trains are fast and frequent and a 7-day ticket for unlimited travel on subway trains and buses is exceptional value.

In summary, from a visitor’s viewpoint, if Harlem is the crown of Manhattan, Mount Morris House is the jewel. Once you’ve stayed there, its sparkle, carefully polished and tended by Vasili and his staff, will always tempt you back.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank JoefromScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mount Morris House

Address: 12 Mount Morris Park West, New York City, NY 10027-6316
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Harlem
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 79 B&Bs / Inns in New York City
Price Range: £94 - £245 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Treat yourself to spacious, quiet, luxurious b&b style accommodations in a splendid Manhattan townhouse. We invite you to stay in our large bedroom suites and make yourself at home in this historic New York residence. Minutes away from Downtown Manhattan, you can experience the hustle and bustle of the City and have a peaceful and quiet place to rest in the evening.All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, pillow-top beds, plasma HDTV television, radio and alarm clocks, WiFi, hair dryers, iron and iron-board and maid service. Quiet and sunny, with great vistas of Mount Morris Park and resident proprietors who are always ready to share their knowledge of New York life, Mount Morris House offers its guests an unforgettable experience of luxurious b&b style accommodation and personal care in the heart of New York at reasonable cost. Now offering our economy comfort private bedrooms with shared bathroom. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mount Morris House Hotel New York City

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