Dynamic Harlem should be on any music lover’s radar during a visit to New York City. Its rich African-American heritage is responsible for the thriving theatrical scene and long list of smoky jazz clubs it’s known for today – and thus the reason why Harlem has become a magnet for so many. Have it all on your doorstep by staying in one of the best hotels nearby.
Harlem is a historic neighborhood, with clubs and cafés that have played host to some of the most talented artists to emerge in the last century. A stay in the area offers visitors the chance to explore its storied streets, as well as easy access to some iconic New York City landmarks further downtown. If you’re looking to visit, here are the best hotels in Harlem.
Behind the red-brick and glass facade of this hotel is a futuristic setting formed of geometric patterns, tropical graphics and smooth, curved furnishings. Its sustainability-focused design uses natural materials like cork and wood, complemented by the bright pops of coral red and turquoise that run vividly throughout the upper floors. Rooms feature clever amenities such as plug-and-play connectivity stations to link your devices to the LCD flatscreen TV, as well as walk-in showers, coffee makers and an ergonomic work desk. Downstairs is a self-serve cappuccino station for morning pick-me-ups, while lounging in popular bar W XYZ with a refreshing mojito could easily be the highlight of your day.
This Victorian-era townhouse has operated as a hotel for over 100 years, serving as a charming backdrop for many Harlem Renaissance artists, fashion and music photo shoots. Its frozen-in-time reputation has been adhered to with vintage furniture, boldly patterned mustard-yellow wallpaper and antique claw foot tubs that look like they belong in the abode of fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes. A deliberate absence of modern appliances also means they can maintain their affordability, so money can be spent enjoying Harlem staples such as bebop birthplace Minton’s, known for its nightly jazz sessions.
Hugging the edge of Central Park in the Upper West Side, Arthouse NYC sticks to a stripped-back mix of exposed brickwork, moody lighting, raw concrete edges and vintage leather chesterfield sofas. Rooms are much brighter – white walls are complemented by midnight-blue suede curtains and abstract art, while amenities like the Keurig coffee maker and complimentary Pure toiletries make for a relaxing stay. The speakeasy-inspired bar uses crimson velvets and mahogany walls in its adjoining piano lounge to create the classic ambience of the 1920s; a cosy setting to enjoy their signature Broadway Martini next to the toasty glow of its original fireplace.
The stately facade of the Opera House Hotel speaks volumes of its equally elegant interior, with nostalgic elements like behind-the-scenes photos and theater posters paying homage to its former glory as the Bronx Opera House. The lobby sets the scene with a sleek jigsaw of panel wood while rooms consist of creamy coffee colors, contrasted by the scarlet floral runners on queen-sized beds. Relish a movie night spent sprawled on cloud-like Stearns and Foster Mattresses in front of the flatscreen TV, or stretch your legs with an amble to nearby Mott Haven Bar and Grill – karaoke, game and even imagination-indulgent paint nights are a weekly occurrence.
A grand Victorian-inspired building, HI NYC Hostel’s red-brick exterior is elevated by turret-style corners and uniform rows of windows – an intriguing juxtaposition to the contemporary decor found inside. Compact shared rooms are brought to life by bright tropical shades, with white metal bunks and handy wall-mounted bedside lamps providing a practical place to crash or recline with a good book. Head downstairs to find lounge areas peppered with leather teardrop-shaped sofas, an enchanting patio with picnic tables for al fresco lunches and a communal kitchen with graffitied walls and diner-style booths. Classic red phone booths also feature alongside pool tables, while daily tours and nights-out are great ways to mingle and explore.
Located in the history-laden streets of Washington Heights, The Edge Hotel is an ideal place to stay for those looking to witness the medieval architecture of The Met Cloisters or catch a baseball game at nearby Yankee Stadium. The rooms use a sleek combination of restrained tones and wooden furnishings that are complemented by colorful geometric art. You’ll also find luxury amenities such as a pillow-top mattress, a Keurig coffee maker and natural LATHER bathroom toiletries. Primed for professionals, the hotel also offers high-tech meeting rooms and a fitness centre for letting off some steam.