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Back in mid-August, the Opera House Hotel opened its doors in Melrose as the Bronx’s first luxury boutique lodging of its kind. Many residents were excited about such a place opening up in the Bronx let alone the South Bronx. Others were skeptical and were in the opinion that no one would want to stay in the neighborhood.

Well after four months and 5,237 guests to date, it would seem that the hotel has been a hit. Vincent Hardy, Director of Guest Relations for the Opera House Hotel says, “…these are encouraging numbers but we’re hoping to do a lot better in 2014.

According to Hardy, the hotel has worked hard to obtain a presence on the many online travel agent sites like Expedia and Orbitz to achieve visibility but,”there is no doubt that…Tripadvisor reviews is what is a major deciding factor for guests who are considering booking the hotel.”

With more than 100 reviews on the site, the comments are overwhelmingly positive not just for the hotel but for the neighborhood.

Many guests who reviewed the Opera House Hotel on TripAdvisor didn’t hesitate to mention their apprehension of booking their stay in the Bronx due to our unfortunate reputation from decades old stereotypes.

These same guests often noted in their reviews that they were pleasantly surprised on how safe they felt in the neighborhood even if it had a gritty edge to it.

On November 4th, an Italian guest had this to say on TripAdvisor: “The area is not at all corresponding to that which the word ‘Bronx’ can evoke. It’s a suburb inhabited by simple people, sometimes poor, but very decent. We have never been bothered or harassed. If I went back to NYC again for sure at this hotel. The value for money is super. A special thanks to all the staff! ”

In another review by Philipp R of Germany, he also questioned the safety of staying in the Bronx or the neighborhood and said that his stay at the hotel changed his perception of the area and would stay there again as well as recommend it to his compatriots.

Not all reviews have been great but the negative ones have been miniscule in comparison to the over 95% positive reviews. Several reviewers were less than pleased with the neighborhood but that’s to be expected. Not everyone will ever be satisfied.

It is important to note that if anything is worth mentioning—beyond the luxury accommodations that the guests have been thrilled with —is that the majority who have stayed have stated how safe they felt versus the image they had of the Bronx prior to actually coming here.

With prices half that of equal accommodations in Manhattan and easy access via an adjacent subway station to the major attractions of the Bronx and Manhattan, and Crunch Fitness opening right in the hotel sometime in the Spring of 2014, booking at the Opera House Hotel is an easy decision.

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