My 14 year old daughter and I stayed in the back room on the second floor of this old brownstone in East Harlem. The room was clean and basic, decorated quite sparingly with restaurant themed wall decorations. The bed was comfortable but the pillows were quite thin (I actually pulled the pillowcase off my pillow and used the sham pillow to sleep on). The toilet paper was also very thin. The room has two large windows that look out onto the neighbours' backyards; this allows light in without compromising privacy. The TV in the room was small and quite a ways from the bed which made viewing difficult. There was a coffee maker (no coffee provided-just the coffee maker), a microwave and a small bar fridge. Plates, cups and cutlery is provided. The MGH is located in a vibrant neighbourhood and is right on the green subway line and a short, pleasant walk to the red line. There are many fine restaurants walking distance from the guesthouse.
On the way to the airport after our stay at the MGH my daughter realized she had left her Kinkyboots CD in the room. She contacted Todd (the owner) to ask him to retrieve it from the room and mail it to her (she offered to pay for shipping). He responded that he had it and would send it off....that was October 25th, she has yet to receive it despite having contacted him twice since - that was the disappointing part of our stay at the MGH.
We stayed at the Margot GH October 1st - 5th. We loved it! Todd the owner was very helpful as is mentioned in most of the reviews. The location couldn't have been better for us at this price point. The area is cool/funky with small cafe's and bars. Short walk to the trains / subway system. Short walk to the "Park". We loved the room/studio feel in our unit on the 2nd floor. Good sitting area, comfortable bed. Nice bathroom/shower/tub. It really was like having a small flat in the city. We would stay here again. Thanks, Todd!
MGH is standard housing in a substantial old building: nothing fancy, thin bed pillows, thinner [one-ply] toilet paper, and a tiny TV. Daily maid service is not provided. Not a B&B, because breakfast is not served, though a microwave, coffee supplies, and a small refrigerator are provided. This 3-story row house is located on busy Lexington Avenue in East Harlem, so pick a room away from the street if you wish to sleep. The area is slowly gentrifying, so decent restaurants are popping up, including Lexington Social one block south and breakfast/coffee spot Bosie Bakery on 2nd Avenue.
Margot Guest House is a great value for NYC lodging. It’s worlds better than overpriced chains. It’s in a safe, relatively quiet (for NYC) neighborhood with good restaurants & easy access to Central Park, etc.
The owner was helpful & available by text during our stay. The premises are clean. The beds were comfortable (not too hard, yay!). The sheets had a nice feel. No evidence of scented products (yay). Each room has a refrigerator and microwave. WiFi worked well. Notebooks have house rules & helpful info for NYC visitors.
What we wish had been different:
1) When we arrived, the owner gave us keys and told us how things work at Margot. But he kept talking even after two of us said we were exhausted from travel and needed to go eat immediately. We had no interest in museums, bike rentals, etc. When he told us, "Just five more minutes," we sat there dazed until he finished. We wish he'd graciously sent us on our way when we didn't want that info. (We read a similar complaint in another Margot review.)
2) Our bed had 4 pillows. But 2 had decorative shams and no pillowcases. I texted the owner, but had to use a towel until housekeeping brought pillowcases the next day.
3) If you are sound-sensitive, choose the top-floor room in the back of the house. Then you won't be awakened late at night as we were by people tromping on the noisy wooden floors above. We heard almost no street noise.
4) If you need a cold sleeping room, note that the owner wants the AC off when guests leave for the day. On a hot NYC day, it takes hours to re-cool the room for sleeping. The ceiling fans did not work in our room or our friends' room.
5) The last night, our friends refrigerated several meals we'd purchased for the long trip home. But the refrigerator was loose (the owner said maybe the housekeeper did it) and we had to throw out all our food. The too few electrical outlets and didn't make great contact.
I spent 2 weeks here and didn't want to leave! I still want to go back, I loved the area. Being more of a non-tourist, I wanted to spend time in a neighborhood rather than the city center of hustle and bustle. This place was perfect. Felt like I really lived in East Harlem for a while, the area is interesting and close to subways and anything that you need. Todd was exceptional at making me feel welcome and at home, lots of tips, nice chatting and anything else I needed he offered his email/phone number. As most of the reviews will state, it is an older building so there is a lot of creaking and door noises, it is tastefully decorated in old world charm. I stayed in a room at the rear of the hotel, and had no problem at all with any noise... and slept very comfortably. Even with the a/c on all night (which was loud), but I didn't find it an issue.
I did love the interesting neighborhood, and not once did I feel uncomfortable or unsafe - I am a female, solo traveller and would return home on the subway late at night with out any issues at all.
It depends on what you want out of NYC, but you want no real frills, old charm and the experience of living in a neighborhood of NYC... then this will be perfect for you.
I definitely will return here again, and Todd, hoping to do that in a few more weeks on my route back to Australia :) Thanks for everything.
Oh, and free wi-fi was great!