• Peaceful central Harlem location; walking distance to attractions and the subway
  • Gorgeously decorated, homey guesthouse in an intimate historic building
  • Individually designed, air-conditioned rooms with smart TVs, fireplaces, and beautiful bathrooms
  • Friendly, guest-oriented owner provides useful local knowledge
  • Free tea and coffee in lounge
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
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  • Few on-site amenities; no breakfast or communal kitchen
  • One of the bathrooms isn’t en-suite (though it’s still private)
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Bottom Line

255West is a chic three-pearl guesthouse in a peaceful Harlem neighborhood within easy walking distance to local attractions, restaurants, and public transportation. There are just four individually designed and air-conditioned rooms and each sports charming decor and furniture, a smart TV, mini-fridge, fireplace, and beautiful bathroom (though one isn’t en-suite). The friendly, enthusiastic, and guest-oriented owner/operator hosts are brimming with local knowledge, and make an especially positive impression. Note that there are no amenities other than free tea, coffee, and Wi-Fi. The three-pearl Saint Nicholas Inn has a similar vibe and slightly lower rates.

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Oyster Hotel Review

255West Guesthouse


Seriously stylish guesthouse in a historic building

In their own words, 255West’s owners aim for guests “to feel as though they are staying with friends with really good taste." The stunning 130-year-old narrow brownstone town house certainly accomplishes that goal. The elegant, designer lobby has pale pink walls, black-and-white checkered floor tiling, and chandelier-style downlighting over a glass-topped dining table. The bright, airy space has high ceilings, tall windows with floor-to-ceiling curtains in earthy tones, and contrasting classic and modern furniture, like a silver-sprayed sideboard cabinet and striking canvas wall art next to a cream cabriole sofa, and a piano. The imposing ceiling-height dark-wood interior doors look straight out of a design magazine. The hosts are a big part of what makes this place special: their love and enthusiasm for the guesthouse is infectious, and the lengths they go to in making travelers happy -- right down to giving out their personal cell phone numbers -- are admirable.

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Central Harlem setting, walking distance from sights and public transportation

255West is set on an attractive tree-lined street in a central and peaceful residential Harlem neighborhood. Buses run nearby, and two subway stations are within walking distance, as are local sights and numerous restaurants.

  • Six-minute walk to 135th Street subway station
  • Eight-minute walk to Historic Strivers Row
  • Nine-minute walk to Apollo Theater
  • 12-minute walk to 125th Street subway station
  • Seven minutes to Central Park by car (22 minutes by public transportation; 25-minute walk)
  • 19 minutes to LaGuardia Airport by car (45 minutes by public transportation)
  • 24 minutes to Pennsylvania Station by public transportation (29 minutes by car)
  • 24 minutes to Times Square by car (28 minutes by public transportation)
  • 26 minutes to Grand Central Station by car (27 minutes by public transportation)
  • 28 minutes to John F. Kennedy Airport by car (73 minutes by public transportation)
  • 36 minutes to Newark Liberty Airport by car (66 minutes by public transportation)
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Bright and beautiful with excellent bathrooms 

The four bright rooms -- named after the owners’ Chihuahuas, no less -- are individually designed, but they are all impossibly stylish, featuring high-end decor and furniture, and a mix of wood-paneling and elegant beige carpet. Three of the rooms' beds feature beautiful dark-wood headboards, while the Gino Room sports a turquoise bed frame with intriguing, four-poster-style spindles protruding toward the ceiling. All rooms have attractive fireplaces, and tall windows with floor-to-ceiling curtains, as well as a variety of antique-style and more modern bedside tables, desks, closets, and armchairs. The Calliope and Lily Rooms have tall whitewashed and dark-wood dressers adorned with trendy objets d’art, while the Calliope Room’s closet doubles up as a lovely cushioned alcove seating nook. All rooms have queen-size beds; the Gino Room has an additional single bed, and sleeps three.

Amenities include 42-inch flat-screen smart TVs, free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, irons and ironing boards, and miniature toiletries by Damana. 

Bathrooms are just as elegant as the rooms. The Calliope bathroom has a freestanding antique-style dark-wood vanity and a retro countertop sink, while the Guillaume bathroom sports teal walls with large white floor tiles stretching halfway up them, and a modern rectangular countertop sink -- both have walk-in showers with power showerheads. The stunningly relaxing Gino bathroom has deep blue walls, white tongue-and-groove paneling, and a huge mirror on a brick accent wall, plus attractive white-and-gray brick-style floor tiling, a retro pedestal sink, and a beautiful clawfoot soaking tub with a power showerhead. The Lily bathroom is private but not en-suite. It features a sexy black floor and wall tiling, gray walls, modern white countertop double sinks, and a huge double walk-in shower with a total of four power and rainfall showerheads.

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Free tea and coffee, free Wi-Fi, and excellent personal service

Amenities here are predictably limited, and no breakfast or other meals are served, but guests get free self-service tea and coffee in the lounge, plus free Wi-Fi throughout. The guest-oriented personal service provided by the owner/operators, who are full of local knowledge, get consistently excellent reviews.

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Best Rates


  • Air Conditioner

  • Basic Television

  • Cable

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.