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Charming Ambiance in Olde Historic Brooklyn
This three-story Victorian home was built in the exciting era of 1904 - a time of great promise. The first New York City subway had been built and the new electric light bulb illuminated Brooklyn's Luna Park in Coney Island. The Loralei takes its place among hundreds of stately homes along sycamore-lined streets making the historic neighborhood of Ditmas Park one of the largest collections of Victorian homes in the United States. When guests visit the Loralei for the first time, they cannot believe that such a private enclave of Victorian life exists within New York City. The long-time owners, Lance and Rob, have spent many years restoring the interior of this beautiful home.
As you enter the Loralei from the wrap-around porch with stately columns, you will be transported to the charm of time past. The parlor, sitting room and dining room are filled with beautifully restored furniture and accented with beveled glass French doors.
Lance and Rob have taken the best ideas of inns from which they have stayed and combined them to make you feel truly welcome at the Loralei Bed & Breakfast.
The Loralei hosts many guests who desire to visit with their friends and relatives in Brooklyn and experience the excitement of New York City. We are conveniently located 2 blocks from the subway and one block from the bus. The cosmopolitan neighborhoods of Park Slope and Brownstone Brooklyn are minutes away.
An exciting visit to Manhattan, 25 minutes by subway, is what brings many of our guests for the first time. New York City is the best and brightest its ever been. Spend the day visiting New York's world class museums, choose from among 18,000 restaurants and take in a Broadway show. After a day of visiting and touring about the City, you will welcome the tranquility of the Loralei Bed and Breakfast and sleep soundly on our luxury linens.
All of our Guest rooms have the following features:
- air conditioning
- beautiful private bathroom
- deluxe mattress and fine quality linens
- tastefully appointed Victorian style furnishings
- TV with Cable Access
- Wireless Internet Access
- second floor location
The Legend of Loralei
Although this legend has not been authenticated, it has caused quite a stir among Victorian circles..
At the turn of the last century vast tracts of Brooklyn farmland were purchased by developers that would build beautiful estates to attract the industry moguls of the day. One such mogul, an owner of a vast shipping fleet, known as Captain Bartholomew Olmstead, purchased a small parcel of land and proceeded to build a house to honor his fiance whom it was rumored he had met abroad.
Captain Olmstead labored vigorously on his home and spared no expense for his bride-to-be. The one curiosity about the affair was that no one had ever met the woman and it was rumored she was still abroad waiting for the home to be completed. Not even her name was known to the locals until the captain placed his finishing touch on the house, a plaque dedicated to his bride; Loralei.
At last, the word had got out that Loralei was to meet the captain and her new home on a most auspicious occasion; the evening of the grand opening of Brooklyn's Luna Park. The owners of the surrounding estates were too well mannered to ask questions of Captain Olmstead, and he was too private to offer information. But that evening many souls were secretly crowded behind curtained windows to see the mysterious approach of the Captain's bride.
After much prolonged expectation, a tall and stately figure, heavily veiled and dressed in dark elegant finery, glided to the porch, and then to the parlor within. That evening, the neighbors had said, every window was ablaze with gas light and the sounds of piano music were heard. It was said that two dark silhouette shapes could be seen waltzing in a kind of rapture through the drapery. All those who saw this were filled with longing and happiness that is said to be part of Historic Brooklyn to this day.
Because the evening unfolded as planned, it was all the more perplexing the next morning (and for a month of mornings afterward) to learn that the couple had completely vanished, leaving the home in a perfect state to itself. Although many explanations were offered, some say that their happiness was too great for this corporeal world and that they live somewhere nearby but unseen.
In October of 1993, the current owners acquired the house which was in the process of restoration. During the renovation process, a crude sketch of the Loralei plaque was found under a pile of old newspapers. It was assumed that the sketch was of the original plaque fashioned by Captain Bartholomew Olmstead. A new plaque, based on this design, adorns the house.
To this very day, guests at the Loralei often experience a kind of euphoria and tranquility. Perhaps the original couple are responsible but we like to think that it is partly our efforts too.
The legend of Loralei is still alive. To this very day, guests at the Loralei often experience a kind of euphoria and tranquility as is evident by a sample of some of the recent comments our guests have written in our Guest Book:
"What a fabulous establishment. It was an oasis after a long day of flights! An incredibly comfortable room with the absolute best of service & hospitality - I would recommend Loralei B&B to anyone and everyone coming to New York City ".
J.B. - Sydney, Australia
"I felt wonderfully pampered & cared for by my Loralei B&B hosts. I loved the house and it's homey feeling. I look forward to staying at Loralei again and am very grateful for the kind service and attention of my hosts! Five stars to you *****."
A. H. - San Jose, Costa Rica
"Such a nice retreat from the rush & noise of NYC. A beautiful house & wonderful attention. We will be back again and again. Thank You. "
G. & D. - Nashville, Tennessee
"Thank you so much for all your hospitality. You have a lovely home and we are so glad you decided to open a B&B to allow others to experience it. We hope to visit N.Y. again and, of course, will give you a call to see if you are available. The Loralei was a special time and place and we thank you."
M., J. & T - Austin, Texas
"Our trip to NYC has been made even better by staying in your B&B. You are so good to take care of our every need. ...You have such a servant's heart. It was wonderful coming back to your beautiful home after having a long, fun day in the city. Thank you for being such a great host."
R & S - Abilene, Texas
"We have had such a wonderful stay with you. Dave is ready to come back - home away from home. The house is perfect - we notice lots of touches that make it special. We are definitely delighted to get to know you."
A & D - Ohio/New Zealand
"Thanks so much for your hospitality and sharing your beautiful home with us. Each breakfast was perfect. We enjoyed getting to know you. Good Luck with the B&B. We love NY."
S & D - Waterloo, Ontario - Canada
"Thank you so much for a lovely weekend! The room is beautiful and so comfortable. It was great to wake up to fresh coffee and tea and a delicious breakfast. We love it here!"
M.P. & T.P. - Cincinnati, Ohio
"Thank you so much for your hospitality. We enjoyed staying here, much more familiar and personal than a hotel in the city. And what a great breakfast! We hope to come back soon."
D.L. - Rome, Italy
"Thanks for making our stay in New York so pleasurable. We especially enjoyed visiting with you and of course the scrumptious breakfasts. You've done a fine job restoring the Loralei. Looking forward to your hospitality in the future."
C.M. & A.M - Kittery, Maine
Local Attractions and Links
How to Find Us
From Manhattan (9 miles): Take the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Prospect Expressway. (Stay in left lane to access Prospect Expressway). Prospect Expressway becomes Ocean Parkway. Make a left on Foster Avenue. Continue on Foster Avenue for 3 traffic lights. Turn right on Westminster Road. Go 1 block and turn left on Glenwood Road. Go one block and turn left on Argyle Road. The Loralei is the 5th house on the right side of the street. Look for the American flag waving from the porch and our oval Loralei plaque next to the entry door.
From New Jersey via I-80: Take I-80 East. Follow signs to George Washington Bridge. Once you are on the bridge, stay in the extreme right lane. Exit at the Henry Hudson Parkway ( H Hudson Parkway) ramp. As you follow the exit ramp, be sure to watch for signs for H H Parkway DOWNTOWN. Do not make the mistake of going on the H H Parkway uptown. The Henry Hudson Parkway will take you along the length of Manhattan along the Hudson River. The highway will continue for several miles and take you to the southern tip of Manhattan. Exit at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (Exit 2). At this point, follow directions above From Manhattan
From La Guardia Airport (18 miles): Take the Grand Central Parkway (West) to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (West). Exit left at the Prospect Expressway. Prospect Expressway becomes Ocean Parkway. Make a left on Foster Avenue. Continue on Foster Avenue for 3 traffic lights. Turn right on Westminster Road. Go 1 block and turn left on Glenwood Road. Go one block and turn left on Argyle Road. The Loralei is the 5th house on the right side of the street. Look for the American flag waving from the porch and our oval Loralei plaque next to the entry door.
From John F. Kennedy Airport (12 miles): Take the Belt Parkway West. Exit at Ocean Parkway North (exit 7B). Right on Ocean Parkway. Continue for approximately 4.3 miles and turn right at Foster Avenue. Continue for 3 traffic lights. Turn right on Westminster Road. Go 1 block and turn left on Glenwood Road. Go one block and turn left on Argyle Road. The Loralei is the 5th house on the right side of the street. Look for the American flag waving from the porch and our oval Loralei plaque next to the entry door.
From Manhattan: Take the Q or B train to Brooklyn. Continue to Newkirk Plaza. (This was formerly called Newkirk Avenue station). Go up the stairs and exit the station through the left door. Turn left and continue walking to Foster Avenue (toward the Chase Bank). Turn right and walk 2 blocks to Argyle Road. Turn left on Argyle Road. We are the third house on the left side of the street. Look for the American flag waving from the porch and our oval Loralei plaque next to the entry door.