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The Harlem Flop House in New York, NY

The Harlem Flop House in New York, NY


The Harlem Flophouse provides attractive, calm and spacious accommodations in a restored victorian brownstone. We are  internationally recognized for our historic charm. Our business model is to offer superior lodgings with bare bones service. This enables us to offer highly competitive pricing. A very affordable location for independent travelers.


Established in 1917.

The Harlem Flophouse has been hosting travelers for over 100 years. It has been owned and restored under the careful eye of artrist/musician René Calvo since 2000.


Company Info:

Rating: 4.88

Address: 242 West 123rd, New York, NY, 10027

    Hotels in New York, NY



    Comments (8):

    1. Paul F.
    It's always tough to find reasonably priced places to stay in Manhattan with ease of transportation.   Not only is the Flop House a great find cost wise, it's also a short train ride to midtown (5 minutes), and it's beautifully classic.   The management is friendly and very knowledgeable about New York.   This place is a must stay in Manhattan!

    04/12/10 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    2. scott p.
    This is a l'il bed and breakfast located in harlem.  Don't let the "harlem" scare you- the location is super convienent to the subway- with multiple lines less then three blocks away.  The interior was lovingy restored (seven years of loving restoration!) by the gay couple that owns/runs the place.  Being afficianadios of the old home asethetic ourselves, we were just charmed to death.

    The owners also handed us a little map with suggestions for restaurants and what not.  We tried several and they were all uniformly great.  This is a good place to try out Harlem, and has a significant cost saving over the downtown/midtown lodging scene.

    27/10/07 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    3. Sophie A.
    very cool brownstone in harlem where we got rooms for $100 a night when everything else in NYC was going for $350 and up a night (even the questionable establishments).

    according to artnet.com/magazine/feat…     the Harlem flophouse is now an artspace.  

    if you check out the flophouse's website, the website describes all the cool antiques/restoration pieces and shows you pictures of the rooms and stuff.  we stayed in the chester himes room overlooking the street, which was quiet and cozy, with its original wooden shutters

    the flophouse renovation was clearly a work of love and reflects the hard work put into it - very cozy and romantic - plus we found an empty container of poppers in the bathroom, cabinet - sexy!!

    check out harlem if you haven't stayed there yet - its very cool.

    20/01/09 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    4. Laura M.
    I wasn't quite sure what to expect when we first arrived here. I had made our reservation a few months in advance of a week-long trip to NYC based on good reviews and hoped that I had not been misled.

    The taxi dropped us off in front of the building and we rang the bell. A man named Jeff greeted us. I assume Rene, the man who owns the Flophouse, was out for the day, as we didn't meet him until the following evening. Jeff explained the locks and some preliminary guidelines to us and helped carry our bags upstairs. He showed us the shared bathroom and explained how to get the shower to work. Then he took us to our room and we never saw him again. He wasn't friendly or rude, he clearly just wanted to leave us alone, which is fine.

    The first thing I noticed about the Flophouse was the smell. It isn't good or bad, it just smells kind of... old. But in my opinion this only adds to its charm. There was something kind of comforting about it. After a long day of walking through the city it was a welcoming scent that said "now I am home".

    Of course the defining factor of the house is the decor. I'm not a very picky person, but this place looks way nicer than a hotel. Very meticulously decorated, there is always something to look at. But it is not fancy. It definitely has a very subtle worn-ness to it. The floorboards of the stairs creak and moan, and so do the beds and tables. But I like it. It's nice. And very, very clean!

    My man friend and I stayed in the Chester Himes room for six nights and had not one problem. Sometimes we had to wait 10-15 minutes to use the bathroom next to our room, as it was the only one with a shower. But this was never an inconvenience. We hardly saw anyone while we were there. There were times when it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.

    We talked to Rene a few times, and he seems very nice. I have read reviews claiming he's rude, but we did not experience that side of him if it exists. I will say, he seems like the kind of person who would be rude if you were rude first, or if you came in expecting too much. All of the bells and whistles of this place come from the building itself, not from the service.

    I would highly recommend this place if you are open-minded and  looking for a beautiful place to stay for a very reasonable price.

    If you are high-maintenance, needy, picky, paranoid, or require any additional service beyond having a place to stay, I would suggest that you look elsewhere. Also, if you are traveling alone, keep in mind that this building is in Harlem, and although we did not run into any shady characters, you might not feel very safe walking around late at night by yourself.

    15/09/11 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    5. Lauren A.
    This place is a hidden gem! I'll tell you why.

    My husband and I wanted to go to NY for our anniversary, but thought staying in the city was too expensive. Even looking in nearby NJ was outrageously expensive! Then, we stumbled across the Harlem Flop House. It is soooo much less expensive than anything else in the city and NJ. Even the local Motel 6 was more expensive!  We were a bit nervous about the "Harlem" aspect, but decided to give it a try. (We spoke to a close friend who travels to NY a lot, and he said Harlem isn't like it used to be, so not to worry. This eased our minds a bit)

    We took the train to Harlem, and it was a bit of a hike from the station, but it's NY so you should expect to walk.

    We got there and was greeted by Rene. He was so kind and helpful. He gave us his cell number and told us to call or text him anytime if we needed anything. We texted him a few times with simple questions and he was always quick to respond.

    We stayed in the Thelonious Monk room (All the rooms named after famous Jazz musicians). It was clean and bright. I was super paranoid about bed bugs, as I have heard MANY horror stories, so I checked every inch of the bed and it was immaculate. I was so relieved!

    My only complaint was that we went in May, and it was HOT and HUMID and there only a fan in the room. I do understand the building is old, and the windows can't accommodate an A/C unit. There was a nice cross breeze when the door was open, but I'm not going to sleep with the door open. So it kinda stunk that I didn't even want to touch my husband on our anniversary because it was so hot and sticky in our room. So just be prepared for that if you stay in the summer months.

    I HIGHLY recommend The Harlem Flop House! I will definitely stay there again if we go back to NY again.

    22/08/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    6. James T.
    Had a great time and the host was quite helpful. The A and D express subway trains get you downtown in no time and there is a lot to explore in Harlem! Everyone at home was asking "you're staying in Harlem?" I live in Baltimore and felt much safer walking to the flophouse than I do walking in my own hood!

    09/03/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
    7. Susan T.
    This place is wonderful - beautifully renovated, warm and inviting.

    I was traveling with a friend, we stayed in a different B&B each evening of our weekend adventure - starting with the Harlem Flop House.

    It's a (4) story walkup and close enough to the subway that additional transportation is unnecessary.  We had the locks/codes explained previously and were greeted by the fabulous entryway and sitting room.  Of course, there are fireplaces and impossibly high ceilings throughout.  Lot's of reds and golds with velvet in the seating area.

    The banister and staircase were the big draw for me and they did not disappoint - wood like silk.  Narrow staircases with the perfect amount of creaking.

    We had the entire third floor which was two large bedrooms plus a shared bathroom.  Beds, lamps and linen all looked period-perfect and lovingly collected.  The windows are HUGE.  Each room had a fan.

    There was a list of restaurants beside the radio (there was a radio in every room we visited, softly playing jazz music).  

    Here's where the one star falls off...  While reviewing the list of restaurants we met the owner, Rene.  He greeted us but we sort of got the idea that that we were taking up his time (I believe he lives in the apartment below).  We said "nice list of restaurants, thanks! so you wouldn't hesitate to dine at any of these establishments?"  his reply "Well, no I wouldn't say THAT..."  he promptly excused himself and that was it!

    So:  The Flophouse is fabulous but the owner, uh-uh.

    27/01/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
    8. Alexander M.
    Great place! I stayed in the Thelonius Monk room and the large windows make it very sunny.

    Note, bring a robe and sandals, because outdoor shoes are not allowed inside, and you will be sharing a bathroom with the neighbouring room. The bathrooms have large, luxurious bathtubs, but only one of the two bathrooms has a shower.

    The building is very safe, located in a gentrified area of Harlem, less than two blocks from a police station.  Rooms have bolt locks and a peep hole, and the front door is a series of two locking doors, preventing anyone from forcing their way inside.

    One night I was there I returned and saw a cat running around. Not sure if it lived there or belonged to a guest.

    13/03/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0