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“Great service, good value!”
Review of La Sienna

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La Sienna
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2017

Great little place of character. The staff was awesome - unfortunately, we got our times wrong, and so arrived quite late, but we managed to work it out. She even gave us some toast to have as a late night dinner. Was able to provide a list of good eating places around the accommodation, and recommendations for transport. Great spot, otherwise had no issues.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Davidwazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 October 2017 via mobile

This was an amazing place to stay, and we would keep returning on future visits to New York - there's no need to look for anywhere else. It's a small place, with cosy and atmospheric bedrooms having antique items of furniture. It was really clean, great price, and a great location in Harlem. We felt safe walking at night. The owner Yvette is lovely, so helpful and kind, with lots of great recommendations for places to eat in the area. Shared bathrooms are kept lovely and clean, and the kitchen areas are well stocked and useful. The bed was really comfortable. It was such a homely place and had a nice atmosphere. We can't recommend it highly enough.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank victoria924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2017 via mobile

I booked to stay here for 5 nights with my sister based on the reviews. I did notice a few people mentioned run-ins with the owner, and I'd noticed she'd left angry ranting responses, but figured those must've been difficult customers.

We arrived to check in with all our bags at 5pm, but there was no one in sight to let us in. There was a hole in the wall with wires hanging out where the doorbell should have been. Below that was another doorbell, but nothing happened when you pressed it - it was broken. On the floor and not connected to anything was a 3rd doorbell on a bit of card. It must've been battery operated because when I pressed it a small light came on. I couldn't hear anything, but because of the light thought that one worked - maybe called the owner's mobile. We waited and waited. I tried knocking and pressing the doorbell numerous times, but no one came.

After about 15 minutes 2 German blokes came up behind us, who were clearly staying there. They were very suspicious of us, which I thought was strange (I'm 160cm tall and while my sister is slightly taller we are both lean and not scary looking at all). One of them went in search of the owner while the other waited with us in the doorway. I showed him my booking confirmation and explained I didn't have roaming and needed the WiFi password to contact the owner. He gave it to me, but there was no answer when I called. The bloke then said, "she told us we couldn't let anyone in" so he'd either wait with us in the doorway or we'd have to go back outside. Not wanting to further disrupt their day, we picked up our bags and stepped over the threshold outside. That's when I heard the screaming.

I wish I'd been filming. A crazed woman with wild hair came out from under the stairs outside screaming, "HOW DID YOU GET INSIDE?!?" My sister tried to greet her, and explain that we'd been waiting for her, and that we hadn't been inside at all; just over the threshold to use the WiFi. She was further enraged that her precious wifi password had been shared - this woman was so enraged she was shaking, rushing all over the place (I guess checking we hadn't stolen anything). She chased after the German bloke (who'd fled the scene as soon as the screaming started) saying she was going to have words with him. I tried to reason with her, but it was surreal - I felt like there were cameras hidden to put our reactions on a prank TV show. She was completely irrational; saying we were lying about standing there waiting for her, that the bell hadn't rung so the light couldn't have turned on, that we had no right to be there; because if she had to fight us it was better to do it on the street than inside. How many people is she fighting with?! I now understood why the Germans had been so terrified of letting us past the threshold.

I asked her to please email the booking agency to cancel the booking so I could get a refund since she wasn't letting us in, at which point she told me she wasn't not allowing us to enter! A further argument ensued about that, where she told me it was up to me to fight with the agency for a refund. There is obviously a lot of fighting going on in this woman's life - she was incredibly aggressive. I requested she send the email and show me once it was sent; she disappeared inside and came back holding a box which dinged when she pressed the loose doorbell buzzer to demonstrate it was working, waving it around and calling me a liar. I don't know why she thinks we would carry our bags all the way to Harlem to sneak into her building - it looked so dark and dingy in there (not that I got a good look). She wasn't gone long enough to send the email and refused to show me she had (nor had she CCed me in on the email) but told me I'd have to take her word for it. I just left.

The area is very rough, and it is a fair walk from the train station with bags.

What has happened to this lady to make her so paranoid? If she feels that unsafe in her own home I definitely don't want to stay there. It was over 30 minutes to Times Square and I think the additional money we are now spending on accomodation means we save on transport costs and it will balance out and ensure a much happier and safer holiday.

This was the most unpleasant experience I've been subjected to and on seeing those burly German men terrified I'm genuinely concerned for their welfare. If you're reading this please let us know if you survived her wrath!

Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
9  Thank Rachel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gingerbread241, Owner at La Sienna, responded to this reviewResponded 17 October 2017

When you arrive here, you are not just a reference number, you are a person. I personally greet and take care of every person who is here as long as they communicate with me. I waited several hours for them which was not an issue for me but these guys broke the house rules and let them in and gave them the pass code. When I asked him why he would let them in she said I was not allowed to speak to him that way. At that point I asked them to step out. I always take into consideration that people can be irritable after a long journey so I allowed her the opportunity to calm down or they could not enter. I am not denying them but they have to show respect. She made the decision to cancel and continued yelling. So I excused myself, cancelled her reservation and left. I am not verbally abusive but I am stern about my house rules for the safety of my guests.  My reviews speak for themselves.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2017

We loved staying in La Sienna! It felt like having our own beautiful heritage brownstone in the historic heart of Harlem. Yvette made us feel very comfortable, and provided helpful information about where to eat. The A Line subway was nearby on 125th Street - about a 5 minute walk away. This was a fantastic location for adventuring out into any part of NYC. 123rd Street was like the NY street set on the back lot of a movie studio, with rows of wonderfully maintained brownstones, beautiful big trees, and flowers. Our double bed was very comfy, with a whimsical quilt and good quality sheets; and the air-conditioning and overhead fan made our room a delightful temperature for sleeping. The tub/sink room had a big, claw-foot bathtub, and the toilet was in its own little cubby-hole. The kitchen was right outside our door, and well-equipped with a microwave oven, individual fridges, and cupboards stocked with dishes and places for storing food, for each room. There was a large complimentary selection of teas and coffee. There was a nice writing desk, a TV, and a closet with hangers. Yvette runs a first rate establishment. Very clean and home-like, if your home was spotless and charming. We also felt very secure. The two bowls of hard candies and mini chocolate bars and mints by the foyer was a thoughtful touch. Yvette is in the process of re-doing and restoring the entire place, so it will only get even better. And the price is extremely reasonable for such lovely accommodations, with such a helpful hostess, in such a central and interesting location.

Room Tip: Our room, overlooking the lovey trees lining 123rd Street, was very peaceful.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gingerbread241, Owner at La Sienna, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2017

La Sienna is like a person growing and getting better with time. We are slowly restoring La Sienna back to it's original condition. We do accept requests or concerns. Good or bad. The bicycle rental prices have been a concern so now we purchased a couple of bikes for complimentary use. With the help of our guests we are trying to put together vegetarian places to eat and looking into Gluten free places as well. So if you have problems with Gluten please let us know. For the New Year we will be adding complementary hot chocolate to our kitchenette. So if we hear a lot of request or concerns we take it into consideration but we do rely on feedback.

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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
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Additional Information about La Sienna

Address: West 123rd Street, New York City, NY
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Harlem
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 162 Speciality Lodging in New York City
Price Range: RM 312 - RM 1,134 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All rooms are completely private with a share kitchen and bathroom. Room 5 has a private kitchenette. Studio 1 and 2 have private kitchen and bathroom. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Sienna Hotel New York City

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