Nikki Bagley, age 23, from Pensacola, Fla., is seen in...

Nikki Bagley, age 23, from Pensacola, Fla., is seen in The Webster Apartments, which is an all woman's apartment building, in Manhattan. (March 22, 2011) Credit: Jennifer S. Altman

Marian Daniells has it made when it comes to housing in Manhattan: Reasonable rent, prime location and enviable amenities that include maid service, hot meals and a rooftop garden.

What the 18-year-old college student doesn't have is permission to host male guests beyond the first floor.

"My friends joke that I live in a convent," said Daniells, who lives at The Webster Apartments, a female-only residence on West 34th St. "It's very much like school. It's an all-female dorm but with a wide variety of ages and occupations."

The Webster, which has a months-long waiting list of women hoping to snag one of its 373 rooms, is among a handful of residences with a generations-old tradition of female-only occupancy. The most famed is the now-shuttered Barbizon Hotel for Women on the Upper East Side.

Such residences, which house mostly young European expats working or studying in New York, keep rent low because they are nonprofit organizations -- a room at The Webster costs $272 per week for interns and working students.

The length of stay varies. The Webster has a four-week minimum, but some -- unmarried working women -- can stay as long as they want.

Daniells, a student at Northeastern University in Boston who is originally from San Diego, is in New York for a semester working as an intern at a magazine.

Allie Goldstick, 19, of Austin, Texas, who is a student at Indiana University, said The Webster was "perfect" for her while she did a stint as an intern at "Saturday Night Live."

The females-only rule was not as important as the laundry, TV room, backyard garden, maid service and other amenities, she said.

Nikki Bagley, 23, reflected Thursday on her three-month stay at The Webster as it draws to a close.

"It was economical and convenient," said Bagley, of Pensacola, Fla., who is finishing up her internship at Fox News and leaving at the end of the week for a public relations job in Atlanta.

"It was not like a college-dorm atmosphere," she said.

Some institutions allow residents to sign in male guests but do not permit them to stay overnight. Others ban men entirely beyond common areas.

Maryann Leinhart, manager of The Webster, recounted a time years ago when a resident snuck her male friend into her bedroom. A building supervisor found "this poor guy crouched in the closet," she said. Such indiscretions are few and far between because tenants put their stay in jeopardy by breaking the rules, she said.

There's a similar general respect for tradition and rules at the Brandon Residence for Women on the Upper West Side, said Rachel Weinstein, vice president of development and communications with Volunteers of America, which runs the 124-room Brandon.

"You can imagine that the younger residents would like to have their boyfriends here, but that's how it is," she said.

Alex Pacheco, 37, who was waiting for his girlfriend outside the nun-helmed Jeanne d'Arc Residence in Chelsea last week, said he doesn't mind that he's not permitted to set foot in her room there. "I would much rather prefer that she's safe than anything," Pacheco said of Tatiana Kalabukhova, 23, who moved to New York from Russia to work and study.

Daniela Lindemark, 24, a Berkeley College student from Norway, said she is glad to call The Markle Evangeline Residence for Women in Chelsea home, if only for a semester.

"Guys laugh at the idea of an all-girls home or think it's strange," Lindemark said. "It's a savior, though."

With William Murphy


House rules


The Webster

419 W. 34th St.

No men permitted beyond the first floor. Residents may entertain male guests in the beau parlors, library or dining area. No curfew, though residents must buzz staff and show key to be let in after hours.

The Markle

123 W. 13th St.

Guests must be signed in. Male visitors are welcome only in lobby and dining room. Female visitors staying overnight must rent guest room or pay fee for rollaway bed to be placed in resident's room.

No men permitted on residential floors, though exceptions include male maintenance workers who announce their arrival and residents' parents who are permitted to rent guest rooms.

No curfew, but residents must buzz staff to be let in.

No smoking and no alcohol permitted in residence.

The Brandon

340 W. 85th St.

No men permitted beyond the third floor in the residential areas. Residents cannot have their fathers or boyfriends help move them in. Male maintenance workers announce "men on the floor!" before entering residential areas.

No curfew, though guests must buzz staff to be let in.

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