I have a lot of friends that live in Manhattan and never venture above 14th Street. So in their eyes, I am an anomaly, living on the Upper West Side, or what I lovingly call Columbus Circle North. Well over the weekend, I ventured even higher up in terms of street numbers and checked out the new Aloft Harlem—the first hotel to open in the neighborhood in decades, and the first Aloft property in New York.
It is what Starwood promises: "style at a steal." The lobby and bar are vibrantly designed with a circular check in stone desk that glows at the bottom and the w xyz bar's backbar made up of panels of blue, yellow, and green gradient lights. All in all the hotel has a cool industrial, yet comfortable feel with exposed piping, modern, low furniture, and a palette of gray, black, and cream in public spaces, and 124 loft-like rooms with wooden headboards, oversized windows, and smart storage solutions. My favorite part: the hotel is dog friendly and upon arrival, furry friends are giving the Arf package complete with treats, a bed, and water/food bowl with its own bone-shaped placemat.