Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A stylish property with thoughtful amenities
Aloft properties are known for their hip, playful design concepts and affordable rates; this Harlem incarnation delivers both in spades. Guests enter the property via a sunken courtyard off of Harlem’s Frederick Douglas Boulevard, and the stylish lobby impresses with its industrial-chic decor, bright color accents, streamlined furniture, and gorgeous light fixtures. A billiards table is an added bonus, as is the 24-hour marketplace, dubbed re:fuel, off the lobby. There is also a popular lounge -- w xyz bar -- where live jazz or DJ sets are a common occurrence.
The Aloft owns the bottom five floors of the building, and residents in the condos on the top floors have access to the hotel’s fitness center, located in the basement. But the space is large enough that finding a machine is not difficult.
In Harlem, one block from the Apollo Theater and a 10-minute walk from Columbia University
Harlem is known for its rich culture, epitomized by the famous Apollo Theater, located just one block from the Aloft. This part of the neighborhood is known for its charming brownstones and delicious restaurants -- Marcus Samuelsson’s famous Red Rooster is located two blocks away. Columbia University is a 10-minute walk, making this a convenient home base for those visiting the campus. It’s significant to note that, despite the hotel's charms, the Aloft is one of the first hotels to open in Harlem since the 1960s; it's the best choice in the neighborhood, but also one of the only choices. There are plenty of stylish boutique hotels in other neighborhoods of New York City, but their prices will be higher.
Spacious rooms with smart design and stylish accessories
The stylish rooms have modern, streamlined design and playful, music-oriented details, such as accent photos of record players. Vintage alarm clocks, striped pillows, copies of Wired magazine, and turquoise work chairs add additional character. The size of the rooms (already large by New York City standards) is maximized by smart design techniques -- headboards, for example, double as storage space.
Flat-screen TVs have plug and play capabilities, allowing guests to easily connect laptops, music, and gaming devices. The hotel will also provide cables if you need them. Other notable amenities include free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and free water. Bathrooms aren't fully enclosed, which may be a downside for some, but they come with walk-in showers and high-end Bliss toiletries.
A bar with live music performances, but no full restaurant
The w xyz bar is a hip spot , and live music performances sometimes take place here. The marketplace off the lobby, re:fuel, offers a variety of snacks and drinks throughout the day. There is a small business center, as well as a large, bright basement fitness center. Though the fitness center is shared with the condo residents in the building, there are more than enough machines to go around. There is no full service restaurant on-site, but there are many options in the surrounding neighborhood.
The 124-room Aloft Harlem offers a stylish stay for a good value -- a trademark of its brand. Modern, streamlined design throughout the property merges with playful, music-oriented details that give the spaces character. Rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and luxurious Bliss toiletries, as well as cool design features. The hip on-site bar has a billiards table, and the fitness center is large and modern (though shared with apartment residents). Though the Harlem location is some distance from New York City’s main tourist sights, this part of the neighborhood offers many excellent restaurants, galleries, and performance spaces, including the iconic Apollo Theater just one block away.