Stayed at the Aloft Harlem for two nights and while I was concerned after reading some of the comments, I was pleasantly surprised except for some couple items. Here is my review:
From the airport: After a overnight flight from Honolulu, I took the shuttle from Newark airport. The cost was $16 one way and despite the Friday afternoon traffic and being the 9th person dropped off, took about one hour from the airport to the hotel.
Arrival at Hotel: When arriving at the hotel, you have to go down a number of stairs or take the elevator, which is located to the left of the stairs. Since I had my luggage and the fact that it was raining and the stairs looked kind of steep, I opted for the elevator. I have to say that this elevator (which is not the one to go to the rooms), is the slowest elevator in the world. It only had to go down one floor, but it felt like an hour had passed. I was concerned that this was the first thing I experienced.
Checking In: After getting off the elevator I went to the registration desk. The desk is right in the middle of the lobby and it is a circle, which is different than a "traditional" hotel. The person who checked me in did an average job. She gave me my card keys, informed me about the internet in the room, and also about the hours for the bar. Nothing really special.
Location of Room: My room was on the second floor and it was about 10 feet away from the elevator. I was worried that the possible noise from other guests accessing the elevator would be noisy, but I did not hear this. I did notice that there was a room as soon as you get off the elevator, so maybe this room is not the best.
Room Stuff: The size of the room was spacious for New York. There was several light switches, and each switch was marked. There was a long counter on one side of the room with a office chair. There was also a mini fridge below the bathroom sink. Before you buy any drinks, make sure you check out the fridge, just to make sure your things fit. I had a queen size bed and the bed and pillow was comfortable for me. The wireless internet worked great for me, I just used it to access e-mails and websites. Another thing, the bathroom does not have the mini bottles of shampoo and conditioner. On the wall of the shower is a dispenser of shampoo and body wash.
Location of Hotel: After reading some of the comments, I was concerned about the area around the hotel. However I found it to be not bad. True, it's not like you are walking in Disneyland, but to me I had not problems. The hotel is located right across the Magic Johnson movie theatres and it is about a 5 minute walk to the subway station. There is a Duane Reade (drugstore) at the corner and this is where I purchased some snacks and drinks (the room came with two bottles of complimentary water). As I was walking from the hotel to the subway station, I noticed a Joe's Crab Shack, Chuck E Cheese, Ross's, Foot Locker, Dunkin Donuts, and other stores/restaurants along the way. I took the subway into Manhattan/Times Square/Rockefeller Center and if you take one subway line (sorry I forgot which one), it is an express which took about 10-15 minutes.
Staff: I did not interact with the staff a lot, only during check in and check out.
Restaurant: I did not see one, however there is a snack store right next to the registration desk. There was snacks (cookies, chips), drinks, and other food items which you purchase from the registration desk.
Fitness Center: There was one, I did not use.
Checking out: I checked out at 5:00 a.m., so there was no one else at the registration desk. I took the shuttle back to Newark.
-As other reviewers have mentioned, the noise from the nightclub can be loud. From my second floor room, I could hear the music and people. The first night I was too tired from the flight so I slept through it. Same thing for the second night, however I can see how the noise can bother some people.
-The air conditioner in the room was also loud. When other reviewers mentioned this I was hoping it was just something that happened to other people. However I also noticed this. Maybe this is why the noise from the nightclub did not bother me was because of the air conditioner noise. If I had to stay any longer than I did, than I would have made a complaint to the staff.
-Despite the noise, I liked the "modern" look. Yes, it's good to go to a hotel and be pampered with luxury. But to me, it's good to mix it up a little and feel "young" again.
-Direct TV. I love it that the tv has the Direct tv service. Unlike some hotels where you only have 10 channels, the Aloft has a ton of channels. I tried to look for an ac repair channel, no luck.
-Cleaning room option. I like that Aloft gives you a choice that if you don't want your room cleaned, that you get a $5.00 coupon to be used at their snack store or SPG points.
-Location of hotel and subway access. Some people have a negative response when you mention Harlem, but I found the area to be okay and with the subway station about a 5 minute walk, getting into Manhattan was a breeze.
Final comment: I found this hotel to be very good. I would have preferred to stay in Manhattan, but since the Aloft was about half the cost, this was a good alternative hotel. I would stay here again. However if the ac had the same noise, than next time I will definitely say something.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aloft Harlem hotel is steps from the Apollo Theater, Central Park, and NYC express subway stations. Our boutique accommodation has free wifi, on-site dining, and Plug & Play equipped guest rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aloft Harlem Hotel New York City