If you’ve ever wanted to experience living in a New York brownstone or townhouse without paying a fortune, your best bet is to book a stay at a bed and breakfast. These B&Bs give guests a chance to experience a cozier, quieter side of NYC.
New York City isn’t known for being small or quaint. The sprawling metropolis is a grid of skyscrapers, imposing townhouses and towering apartment blocks – all surrounded by a rush and a buzz that makes it an exciting destination. But if you know where to look in among the chaos, there are small gems to be found. These seven B&Bs offer the opportunity for a more personal stay in the city – one where you can get to know your hosts over a free breakfast and cup of coffee before heading out to explore their personalized recommendations. If you’re looking for a B&B stay in New York, this is Culture Trip’s pick of the best.
This 1860s Italianate mansion in tree-lined Stuyvesant Heights was renovated by the husband-and-wife team of Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns, maintaining many of its classic historical features, such as gaslight fixtures, stained glass and antique furnishings. It offers Southern cooking and hospitality, and each of the four guest rooms is outfitted to reflect a different culture. Along with all of this, the private garden and sun porch make the Akwaaba Mansion unique among other New York B&Bs.
An 1888 townhouse designed by celebrated architect James E Ware, Mount Morris House overlooks Marcus Garvey Park (also known as Mount Morris Park), on a historic block that once housed notable creatives such as Rodgers and Hammerstein. The Gilded Age architecture features parquet floors and crown moldings, while the huge rooms have marble bathrooms and gorgeous antiques like wooden room dividers and desks – accented with Persian rugs, fringed lamps and sparkly mid-century chandeliers. Mount Morris House is best for extended stays, with two suites for up to three or five people.
Not far from Columbia University and Central Park, the beautiful, cozy West 119th B&B in the Mount Morris Park Historic District is known for its friendliness and hospitality. It provides two rooms for up to three or four guests, all with different amenities, such as heated bathroom floors or access to a private garden terrace. Breakfast, if included in your stay, is provided by Il Cafe Latte, just a short walk around the corner.
At the heart of the Gramercy Park neighborhood, The Inn at Irving Place is set within a pair of 1834 townhouses. Described as reminiscent of Edith Wharton’s New York, the inn provides eight guest rooms with beautiful Victorian furnishings, as well as four extended-stay abodes, all accessible by its grand staircase. Also on the property are Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon and Cibar, a martini bar.
The Sankofa Aban Bed and Breakfast is a beautiful Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone built in the 1880s. The Victorian parlor features stained-glass windows, original moldings, woodwork and wood floors, with a garden in the back. The colorful rooms are richly decorated, with similar detailing, antique fireplaces, marble washbasins and ceiling fans. Shared bathrooms include either a whirlpool spa tub or a claw-foot tub. The Sankofa Aban is mostly known for its weekly Brownstone Jazz events, which feature swinging musicians performing intimate sets in old-school elegance, so be sure to check it out during your stay.
Set in the 1887 Renaissance Revival house used in Spike Lee’s Crooklyn (1994), Arlington Place honors the brownstone’s Victorian past while infusing it with contemporary and eco-friendly elements to make it a truly unique property. Notable touches include the dining room’s old-fashioned toile wallpaper, depicting modern Brooklyn. Visitors here can enjoy a complimentary organic breakfast and use of both the library and garden. There’s also a cavernous bar in the cellar.
If you love seaside B&Bs but want to see the city, Harbor House is the place to go. Located on Staten Island, this B&B offers great views of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty and Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Rooms tend to be spacious and airy, and guests receive a continental breakfast. At least a two-night stay is recommended to make the most of this less-explored borough.