Visits from parents, friends and random relatives who’ve never been to New York are great. You get to spend quality time with those who knew and loved you before you became a cool New Yorker, and you’re guaranteed at least one free restaurant meal. What’s not so fun is cramming your entire family into your apartment. Thankfully, Brooklyn is home to a host of Bed and Breakfasts (Breakfasti?) that are a charming and inexpensive alternative to high-priced hotels.
Our B&B research entailed riding nearly every subway line in the borough in search of the comfiest beds and chicest decors. Focusing on abodes with rates topping off at around $150/night, we nixed the pricier pads, like Bed and Breakfast on the Park and Akwaaba Mansion (as well as those with hideous wallpaper and funny smells), to bring you some of Brooklyn’s best lodging options. After all, grandma may think your barista/drummer/tattoo artist/poet of a roommate is adorable, but she doesn’t want to share a bathroom with him.
Best Home Away from Home
The first thing you’ll notice upon stepping inside this Victorian home is the pleasant scent (maybe just Febreze, we’re not sure). The place is simple yet inviting, with a two-bedroom suite and another with one bedroom—both with their own bathroom. Guests must be 15 years or older (which may explain why the place is so immaculate). If any of your out of town visitors are suckers for an Australian accent, this may be the place for them. About a third of the guests are international and a ton hail from down under.
667 Argyle Rd. (West Midwood), 646-228-4656
Nightly rate: $125-$165; Transportation: B and Q trains to Newkirk Ave.
After catching a case of empty nest syndrome in 2005, Sue and Michael decided to open the doors of their iconic Ditmas Park home to travelers from around the globe. Known for its muted Rainbow Bright-esque paint job, Rugby Gardens is a three-story Victorian home that can accommodate five guests between two bedrooms, with a shared bathroom. The rooms are smallish but the décor is very home-away-from-home, full of old photographs and paintings by the owners’ artist son. For leisurely nights spent in, each room has a DVD player, and there’s a sweet collection of movies in the hallway. The “take your shoes off at the door” policy is made less awkward by the basket of comfy slippers next to the stairs. Breakfast is a continental spread of baked goods, fruits, and cereals.
317 Rugby Rd. (Beverley Square West), 718-469-2244
Nightly rate: $150; Transportation: B and Q trains to Cortelyou Rd. or Beverley Rd.
Best Place for a Trip Back in Time
Once the house of actress Susan Hayward, this town home is now bursting at the frame with paintings, sculptures and upholstery that immediately transport guests back to 19th-century Brooklyn. All three rooms share one bath, which some may find a little too 1851 (the year the manse was built). Still, Baisley guests frequently book stays for upwards of 10 nights. Breakfast is a full American spread, and features such a.m. faves as quiche and French toast. When the weather is nice, you’ll be served outside in the the garden.
294 Hoyt St. (Carroll Gardens), 718-935-1959
Nightly rate: $125-$168; Transportation: F and G trains to Carroll St.
Best Place to Socialize with Fellow Travelers
You feel a world away from bustling Flatbush Ave. the moment you step inside Lefferts Manor, even though you’re just a block away. The spacious living room is accented with Moroccan decor and the high ceiling gives the place a cool, Cosby show vibe (no Theo sightings yet). The rooms are television-free, which encourages reading and great conversation among guests (or boredom among teenage girls dying to find out what will happen next on the Hills). There are five guest rooms, two bathrooms and a cute kitchenette for heating up the leftovers from one of the many take-out joints down the street.
80 Rutland Rd. (Prospect-Lefferts Gardens), 347-351-9065
Nightly rate: $69-$169; Transportation: B and Q trains Prospect Park
Best Bang for your Buck
For $150/night, Dekoven Suites will hand you the keys to their entire bottom floor, complete with a private entrance, kitchenette, washer/dryer and full bathroom. The day we stopped by, a family with three kids had just left and there was plenty of room for all (the innkeepers even provided a crib for the smallest traveler). Upstairs are two large rooms and two bathrooms (one with a sick jacuzzi tub)! The diplomas on the walls and home office give the place a lived-in quality that other B&Bs often lack. It’s obvious you’re in someone else’s home, but the vibe is so casual that it’s not long before you start to feel like it’s your house too.
30 Dekoven Court (West Midwood), 718-421-1052
Nightly rate: $140-$150; Transportation: B and Q trains to Newkirk Ave.
Best Bed Without the Breakfast
Inn on Second
Who comes to New York to stay inside all day? Nobody—which is why the owners of Inn on Second offer guests a great bed, minus the breakfast. The two guest rooms share one bath (which has the best blow dryer ever… the Yellowbird), and are both decked out with stocked mini fridges and personal computers. The bathroom is cleaned every day and guestroom-cleaning can be arranged for longer stays.
60 2nd St. (Carroll Gardens), 718-596-3185
Nightly rate: $125; Transportation: F and G trains to Carroll St.
Most Adorable Hosts
From the moment your enter the door, Bibi and her husband make you feel right at home. Friendly, chatty and welcoming, the couple reminds you of those cool neighbors you grew up with who would spoil you with junk food. Their nine-year-old B&B has two suites, each with a private bath (for $165) and three rooms that share a bath for $135. (Here’s a tip: if you stay for four nights or more, the price is bumped down to $130). The two suites are on the third floor and get their own living room and full kitchen. While the rooms don’t get a common area, there is a full kitchen. In the mornings, breakfast is served between 8 and 10 with a continental spread, and if you like your eggs a certain way, Bibi takes requests.
762 Westminster Rd. (West Midwood), 718-434-3119
Nightly Rate: $135-$165; Transportation: B and Q trains to Newkirk Ave.
Best Near the Slope
Though this isn’t technically a bed & breakfast (breakfast is only served upon request), it’s still worth a place on our list. Boasting two suites and four standard rooms, each suite has its own bathroom, kitchen, dining area and back patio. The other rooms share a bathroom and are equipped with a mini fridge, coffee pot and microwave. The decor is simple and uncluttered (no antique collection of dolls and knick knacks here). The spacious suites go for $175, and the rooms go for $115 (both low-season prices). There’s also van service to and from the airport and for tours, both for an additional fee.
288 Park Place (Prospect Heights), 917-865-7428
Nightly Rate: $125-$175; Transportation: B and Q trains to Seventh Ave.; or 2 and 3 trains to Grand Army Plaza
Nina Koske contributed to this article.