Okay, I was bit worried about all those uniform reviews, all saying just "place is great, Bert is nice" in unison.. its almost suspicious, isnt it? Dont worry! It is simply true.. :)
We stayed in the 131st apt. Apartment is very spacious and nicely decorated. All necessary accessories (iron, hair dryer, microwave, fridge etc etc) are in place and work properly. Sleeping room was quiet enough (relatively.. you are in a very busy part of the city!) - windows are not facing the street, but a yard with trees.
There are really minor issues here and there, but no real problem - the place is a bit worn and old, There are some stains from previous leaking on the ceiling etc, you really shouldnt inspect the place too thoroughly, say, under beds etc :).. it is definitely not dirty, but dont expect a superb hotel level cleanliness - go to a hotel if you want one.
Our toilet clogged once but we solved that ourselves easily using that huge plunger in the bathroom. The water pressure in the shower wasnt perfect. Walking on the wooden floors really makes much noise (we didnt mind of course, being on the top floor - but once, somebody complained, respectively banged on our floor from below - even though we really tried not to make unecessary noise). I can imagine this could be very unpleasant.
However, all of the issues mentioned above just come with the age of the building and its really impossible to blame the keepers..
As for the safety - building is locked all the time and has lockable iron bars in front of the front door. We felt completely safe. The neighborhood is actually very nice and seem to be on of the better ones in New York. Everybody was friendly to us. The American Legion, jazz bar Bert recommended to us, was wonderful.
Forget all the crap about Harlem - there are no gangstas, no brothels or pawn shops etc, the most frequent facility around is probably a church :) You see old people, families with children.. I think, once, we met a beggar and once, some girls who might have been "ladies of the night" (or not)..but thats it. It is a normal, real neighborhood, not a showcase for tourists. There are plenty of restaurants, grocery stores, even a fresh fish market..
Central park is in walking distance and from 125th street station, there are two express trains and two local trains going to lower Manhattan. With the xpress train it really takes just a while to get there.
Overall, we were very pleased. Dont be to picky and you will love this place, its value is so much better than of a matchbox-sized hotel room! We felt like we actually live in NYC, which is priceless.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chic&Budget guesthouse & apartments offer budget private rooms & apartments in charming brown-stone houses. Guests are accomodated in espacious rooms (1 to 3 persons) with private bathroom most of them and apartments (1-5 people) in a combination of double/queen size beds and sofa-couches.Different properties:- Chic&Budget 131 Guest House- Chic&Budget 127 Guest House- Chic&Budget 131 Apartments- Chic&Budget 132 Apartment- Chic&Budget Madison Apartment- Chic&Budget Garden Loft Apartment ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Chic&Budget New York Hotel New York City
- Chic And Budget New York