Magnolia House results from the owner’s 30-year role as co-author of many titles, and many editions, of The Frommer Guides, each of which included evaluations of the bed and breakfast inns of Europe. Whereas he’s still writing and publishing travel articles and celebrity exposés from the landmark’s upper floors, its “showcase rooms” now operate as a client-indulgent B&B loaded with mementos from the early days of the Frommer Guides and “The Golden Age of Travel.
Danforth Prince is a liberal, media-conscious NYC writer, editor, and president of an independent small press specializing in celebrity biographies. Danforth is the resident manager of an elaborate historic home with gardens and available space--both in my heart and in my agenda--for the housing, protection, and entertainment of temporary visitors to New York City. Whereas his office and residence are on the upper floors, AirBnB guests occupy the rather grand formal areas on the ground floor. Lower Manhattan is easily accessible via a ten-minute walk and a 22-minute (free) ferryboat ride. This is country living in the city, with lots of cultural, historic, and razzmatazz literary sideshows.
Magnolia House results from Dan's 30-year role as co-author of many titles, and many editions, of The Frommer Guides, each of which included evaluations of the bed and breakfast inns of Europe.
Edgy media associations have always been part of the Magnolia House experience. Previous guests have included Tennessee Williams (“Magnolia House reminds me of Blanche DuBois’ lost plantation, Bellereve!”), golden age film personality Joan Blondell (a close friend of celebrity biographer and co-owner, Darwin Porter), Lucille Lortel (the philanthropic but very temperamental Queen of Off-Broadway), the very outspoken Jolie Gabor (mother of the three “Bombshells from Budapest” otherwise known as Zsa Zsa, Eva, and Magda) and a host of other stars, starlettes, and demi-mondains of all descriptions and persuasions.
Conjoining this rambling old house with the hospitality trades is a logical move, considering how inter-related the memorabilia is. And after years researching and writing the world’s pre-eminent travel series, Dan is alert to the hopes, dreams, needs, and aesthetics of temporary visitors.
Magnolia Moment #1. THE VIKINGS, (I MEAN “THE DANES”) ARE INVADING MANHATTAN and Magnolia House re-cently accommodated a passel of them. See how its innkeeper coped with I LOVE DENMARK in dialogues with Karin Muller, Danish Nationalist, Architectural Enthusiast, and Historian.
Magnolia Moment #2. PUMPKIN, MON AMOUR: What REALLY happened at Magnolia House when Halloween, the Presi-dential Elections, and fallout from the release of Blood Moon’s radical new exposé of Donald Trump ALL COINCIDED? MEET PUMPKIN, newest member of Blood Moon’s extended family. She’s seven, she’s a star, she’s a child with special needs, and she’s MY PUMPKIN.
“Here’s a good one,” "its called Magnolia House, Staten Island, easy walk to the ferry, two rooms so we don’t have to share with the boys, living room, breakfast and, oh by the way, Tennessee Williams stayed there.” Hold the phone. Tennessee Williams, right, not Hank Williams (although that’d be cool too) or Ted Weems? ” Tennessee Williams for sure,” he said, “you know, Stella!Stella!” “Book it,” I told him, without a second’s hesitation.
The host, Danforth, responds to our booking request with the elegant, almost florid correspondence of a 19th century gentleman. I, for one, was intrigued. I didn’t have time to google Danforth to make sure he wasn’t of the Procrustean persuasion, so I had no idea what to expect he’d look like and was hoping for the best.
Radical hospitality. Great location, charming host, beautiful rooms, outstanding breakfast conversation. We came as guests, we left as friends. Read more »
Vivacious Veronica, AirBnB client from Holland, · October 2016
Danforth and Darwin live in an inspired household filled with antiquities, art, story and passion. The Garden was divine and we caught the ferry daily from paradise to the Big Apple. Nothing was ever a problem for them and we were welcomed with open arms and hearts. The house is of heritage, so if you are looking for stainless steel and hand sanitiser this is not for you. If you would like to experience a historical home full of intricacy and depth beyond a hotel or modern minimalist experience, please come and visit for a while, it will be pleasant and perhaps even a life -long memory.
AirBnB clients Warren, Tracey, and Amelia from Palm Beach, Australia · July 2016
Such a warm welcome at a very difficult time for us (we were visiting the Island for a family funeral). Danforth and Darwin made us very comfortable and were very kind and understanding. Such a beautiful grand dame of a home with a lovely garden - we saw a cardinal and robins and numerous other birds. Really enjoyed our brief periods sitting on the porches/verandas. Quiet neighborhood. A hidden gem. Thanks.
From Altadena, CA · July 2016
Thank you for the interesting conversations during breakfast and the warm welcome every time we came back from an exhausting day in the city.
From Den Dolder, Netherlands · July 2016
Presently, with the understanding that we’re committed to keeping prices reasonable within an economy where mainstream NYC Hotels are staggeringly expensive, we’re funneling reservations through AirBnb, a popular booking service that keeps payment and booking rituals simple.