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La Sienna
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Reviews (164)
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All reviewsexpress trainceiling fansoul foodstudio apartmentlovely brownstoneharlem shakecommunal kitchenbrown stonenew yorkshared bathroomsingle roomsubway stationperfect place to stayaround the cornerhome away from homeevery morningbed was very comfortable
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5 - 10 of 164 reviews
Reviewed 27 August 2017 via mobile

We stayed here for three nights and enjoyed it very much. Yvette wasn't there when we arrived but she came as soon as she knew we were waiting, and knocked money off our bill for the inconvenience. Bear in mind you need to pay in cash and there's a security deposit. The room itself was charming and the house is full of history which we loved. Yvette is in the process of restoring the property so some rooms aren't as recently decorated as others but they were all absolutely spotless. She runs a VERY clean hostel!! The kitchen facilities were great and the cat outside rolling around the steps was cute. Yvette gave us some great advice on where to eat locally and further in to town as well. She was friendly and welcoming and the reviews here that say otherwise are baffling.

All in all a great choice - would definitely go back and recommend to others.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Bozle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2017

I travel to NYC quite often, and have stayed at La Sienna multiple times. I have always had a great experience, and have kept going back. The location is great (3-5 minute walk to the subway station), the price is extremely reasonable, and the accomodations are very nice and clean. Yvette, the owner, has always been kind and helpful.

The rooms are both single room, with shared bathrooms, and - for somewhat higher fees - a suite with ensuite bathroom and kitchenette.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank lailasal3243
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2017

Every year I travel to NYC
I stayed all over the city in all kind of places, till in 2014 I stayed at La Siena in Harlem, 2 street blocks south of the famous Apolo theater. Harlem has lots of history and the community of black and Hispanic is really special. La Siena is run by a lovely lady Yvette who takes care of her place in the good old New York fashion, that means fast and world like. She is very helpful to guiding new guests in bubbling New York. La Siena guesthouse is 3 floor traditional brownstone row house as is 80% of Harlem houses. This is why Yvetes place La Siena is so special to me that I am able to stay in the Harlem community and the New York City Area as if I where part of it. All rooms have TV with most of the NY stations. But I only use it in the morning and late in the evening. Most of all the price for a room is more than affordable One block from La Siena is a police station and 3 blocks up is the A train station. So it is safe and you can commute to everywhere 24/24 hours a day from this guesthouse. The rooms give me a classical Americana feeling, almost colonial. Thank you Yvete for all of your support

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Stephan125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2017

Let me get this straight this is NOT an attack, and is meant in the best way possible. La Sienna has LOTS of potential, and I would put it down to adjustments AND fine-tuning to make it a wonderful experience, but unfortunately our experience this time was a shade of unpleasant and I do not wish to repeat it, in its current state. Before I get into it, I want to say that Yvette (the owner) is a very kind person with a lovely brownstone New York house BUT...

... it started after we booked it. I am a 22 and my partner is 24, 25 at the end of June (2017) and we are both studying a Masters in biotechnology in the UK, her in her 3rd language. We were in New York for a week, mainly for Book Expo America and chose La Sienna based on closeness to the Javits Centre and good reviews. After booking we noticed that it said that anyone under 25 was not allowed to stay there (our fault entirely), but after paying around £80-90 upfront, I emailed the establishment explaining that we would be respectful and we were there for business, and could we still stay. I received an email saying as long as I was quiet and respectful, there would be no problem.

Our journey was a nightmare and I had no mobile (cell) reception in the U.S. and my partner had no battery, so yes, we were very late to the check in time we had given and had an absolute nightmare trying to find La Sienna. After about an hour hunting, we were greeted by a quite abrupt Lady, who instead of welcoming us demanded to see ID as we 'looked young'. My partner showed hers and although I had got out my passport, it was ignored. After about 5 mins of a introduction and explaining how old the house was (which was indeed lovely) and saying be careful of the wood and don't scratch things, and nice places to eat nearby she showed us the room. The room was a good size but lacked character and looked like an upcycling project with thick gloss paint on lots of the furniture, it was nice but it could have been so much more genuine. It had AC unit installed in the window and a budget ~24inch TV flat on the wall about 5ft to the left of the end of the bed (not the best) but there nonetheless. A few channels worked properly but signal was awful and many channels were Spanish.

I had all my valuables including a macbook pro, ipad pro, a mint 1972 Olympus OM-1 and three lenses from the 70s and 80s which add up to ~£1890 and are no longer manufactured or repaired, in my backpack from the flight as hand luggage. Yvette offered in an almost panicked way to take my heavy bag, but I was ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED when she used momentum to swing it into the air and let it crash onto a luggage rack. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE OF CONTENTS. She then hurriedly took the suitcases and shut them in the cupboard and said that they would be ready for when we needed to unpack, very odd as we were going to immediately. You are not able to be checked in without payment and payment is in cash (specified). After the journey it didn't cross my mind and this meant a 7 minute walk both ways and loitering outside a bank to get in as someone else went in and then the nightmare of currency changing fees for $618 from my UK bank.

The location is interesting. Harlem. Seems harmless enough but I think has elements of being very rough. Lots of people in the evening doing drugs and listening to obnoxiously loud trap/rap music. Do not come here if for whatever reason you easily feel threatened.
Something that only happened carrying $600+ cash back to La Sienna.

There are post-its and printed sheets of paper all over La Sienna from 'leave the door open' for the door so you don't pressure anyone because the shared toilet has a frosted window (still very uncomfortable), to 'if you leave hair and urine on the seat you will be asked to leave' (as in find somewhere else to stay) in many languages, and 'Leave the seat down, be courteous' (my honest thought was Yvette doesn't like men). There were lots of rules and standards to uphold and the whole thing felt, unfinished and like Yvette was stressed to have people 'stay in her house' - always watching and checking. We are paying guests and a good establishment should be able to run itself without the need for signs. An initial rule sheet at the beginning of check in would suffice, and also I was worried that although we tried to keep standards, other guests were not, as it was a shared bathroom and therefore no way of knowing 'who made what mess'. The kitchen is a nice feature but we found we didn't use it because we were worried about using anything and not upholding Yvette's personal standards. Also there was 2 days were there was no toilet paper and we had to use the toilet on the floor below.

In Summary: La Sienna is run by a genuine, kind New Yorker with good knowledge of everything in New York, and it has much potential. More focus on the big things, like room layout (TV viewability etc) not details, they come later and it feels like there is too much focus there. Simple things like Headboards for all beds, so pillows stay on the bed when you sleep. Invest in the lovely building, and maybe have a communal lounge downstairs, where more of the building would be seen and have one more premium TV and some books. If it is a home and not a hotel or hostel, make it feel that way. Invest in simple things like a higher quality of toilet paper, not a single ply and more importantly relax. People generally respect others property, and maybe increase the refundable security deposit? Better directions to the establishment would be beneficial for those who do not have ANY way of using maps would also be useful.

I cannot underline how perfect La Sienna COULD be with changes. But as is, we personally were only just physically comfortable, but not at all comfortable with the situation. Invest in your business and the demand will follow.

My age has nothing to do with it, and if I can be any help and you want to hear my ideas, email me. You should be proud of what you achieved so far with the building, but not as much with the service. I want La Sienna to be a great place and I want to be able to recommend it, but it feels stressed and unfinished and at the moment I cannot.

Thank you

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Alexander2695
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gingerbread241, Owner at La Sienna, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2017

Someone approached me and asked if I had hired these interns because they were walking around, taking notes and discussing on how to improve the place when they should have focused on the purpose of their trip. I will help anyone with their luggage up or down the stairs. However, it is not physically possible for me to swing their luggage on to a rack when it required two people to take it up the stairs. Then take it off of a rack and put it in a cupboard (closet). The rules are there to remind you of courtesy not control. La Sienna is not a social scene. We are not fancy but you will have a clean, budget friendly place to stay. Yes, I am always around cleaning the place but do not mistaken that for stress. I love what I do. We can do all of those fancy changes but it will reflect on the price. Instead we are slowly improving La Sienna so it will not affect the prices. La Sienna is a work in progress just like people. Thank you for your ideas but we like things the way they are.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2017

The person who owns this place, Yvette, is volatile and verbally abusive. We left there to her shouting a hail of curses at us, as she literally kicked us out the door (because she wanted to be paid in cash and added a $50 "security deposit" to the charges.) We considered calling the police. If I could award negative stars, I would. Just the worst experience traveling we have ever had. A person like this should not be involved in the hospitality industry in any capacity.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
2  Thank suzyfarmingdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gingerbread241, Owner at La Sienna, responded to this reviewResponded 13 June 2017

These people arrived and had no money to pay. They were aware of the rules because they booked through an agency and everything is in writing. They wanted to stay one night for free which I declined. They became aggressive so I asked them to leave and contacted the agency.

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