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17 replies
NYC Hostel Help?!
melissa_sunshine
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Hey I have noticed a few other NYC posts but nobody metioned hostels?! Anyone have any good recommendations??

I am travelling with two "non-travellers" and was hoping to find somewhere fairly decent, after the hostel I stayed at in Paris I really could sleep anywhere, but neither of them have stayed in hostels before and I was hoping to give them a fairly decent first time! LOL

Any help would be fantasitc! Thanks! Smile

buffy
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Check out hostels.com it’s a great site and u can book hostels online. I always use it before I go places. I am off to New York in 2 days time and am staying at the Wanderer’s Inn (Upper East side) which has some great reviews on the site. have fun! buffy x

melissa_sunshine
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Hey Buffy, I have already checked out the site but I was hoping to get some personal references!!!

Let me know how you make out at the Wanderer’s Inn okay!?

Thanks,
Mel

Lyra
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I stayed at the Wanderer’s Inn East in October. That trip was my first time doing the hostelling/backpacking thing, so I don’t know if my expectations were unrealistic, but here’s my opinion.

Really good breakfast offering (apples, bananas, a variety of huge muffins, bagels, orange juice, coffee), available starting at 8 or 8:30am I can’t remember.

You get a welcome booklet and map upon checkin, very useful, especially if you’ve never been to NYC before (listings of common attractions’ phone numbers, addresses, etc., subway directions to attractions from the hostel, etc.) Pretty good location, it’s very close to the 96th St? subway station.

My room was an all girls dorm (10 girls) in the room on the main floor right next to the office. I don’t know if the rooms on the second floor would have been better, but the walls were paper thin and you could hear the phone ring in the office, and hear the resulting conversation very clearly (we’re talking hearing everything said on the phone on that end of the conversation).

The room was very cramped, there was no chairs or table surface to chill out, you either sit on your bed or the floor. The room consisted of 5 bunks and a locker for each person. One of girls at the opposite end of the room told me she saw a cockroach on 2 different occasions during my 2 day stay there (it seemed to prefer her end of the room, I never saw anything).

The bathroom situation wasn’t ideal, IMO. Toilet and shower in separate side-by-side ensuite rooms. A tiny corner sink stuck right in the path of the toilet room – if you at the sink, you are blocking the path of the door for the person coming out. Since the sink is in the room, you hear the running water whenever someone uses it.

In general I found this hostel dorm way too noisy for me. I was sooo glad I had decided to only book it for 2 days (was in NYC for 4 nights and had booked my last 2 nights at a different hostel – the Swiss Hostel).

Swiss Hostel I wouldn’t recommend based entirely on their unfriendly office hours. Leaving, my flight was at 11:00am. The airport shuttle pickup they arranged for me was quite early, my scheduled pickup time was 7:00-7:15am (you don’t get a choice, this company picks people up 4 hours before departure).

Anyway, the problem was that the night before, I went to see Chicago and was not thinking to the day I was leaving, and that I would have to arrange my check out. I left to eat dinner before the show at like 6pm, I got back around 11 something, packed some stuff, and had to be up early for that airport shuttle the next morning.

The next morning I wake up, frantically pack, and go to check out at like 7am, but the office is closed. Office hours are 9am-9pm, and I rang the buzzer but there didn’t seem to be any hostel staff member around. I was kinda worried, because I didn’t want to miss my shuttle, and had no way of checking out.

I ended up going back up to my dorm to wake up and ask the girl in the bunk below me if she wouldn’t mind checking me out, and that she could keep my deposit.

This wouldn’t be much of a loss for me, except this hostel took a $20 cash deposit for the keys, which I obviously never got back from them. I dont’ know if they even would have given the money to her, Laren if you read this I hope you were able to get that $20, better it went to you than to them. Anyways since I lost out on my $20 I wouldn’t really recommend that hostel either.

melissa_sunshine
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Hey thanks Lyra, that was helpful! Smile

Adeelie
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Melissa,

I’ve never stayed at any of these places (I live here in nyc), but from what I’ve heard/seen, these places are worth checking out:

West End Studios
On the upper west side, specifically on West End Ave, btwn 101 and 102 st. Like I said, I’ve never been inside, but I walk past it everyday to and from work and I always see young people hanging out on the benches outside looking at maps and such. I’m not sure if it’s a hostel though, or a budget hotel, or maybe both. But it looks promising.

Quality Hotel
This is a budget hotel also on the Upper West, on 94th and broadway (right across the street from me!) It’s newly renovated and is probably the best deal you’re gonna get in nyc for a hotel. It’s also across the street from both the train and bus.

HI New York
This is a hostel (Hosteling International, part of an international network of hostels) and it’s huge. Also on the upper west (it’s just what I know best, also accomodations are cheaper uptown than they are down, and it’s just as easy to get to things, cleaner, and less touristy). It’s on 103rd street and Amsterdam Ave. I know people who have stayed there who said it was sparse, but very clean. This is about as cheap as you can get without actually sleeping in the park.

So those are my best bets. I’d be happy to answer any other questions that you might have about nyc, or anything else. Good luck!

buffy
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hi mel, having stayed at the Wanderer’s Inn last week (new york is AMAZING, recommend going iceskating in central park, empire state and times square are all essentials! heres a tip, if u want to catch the ferry to see statue of liberty from battery park, u need to get there at 8am or there is a huge queue!!!), the hostel was not as good as i had expected from the reviews on hostels.com, we stayed in a 2 person private room (305) which was very cramped especially after we brought all our shopping back! people actually live in the hostel too which is kind of weird, watch out for the weird irish bloke who wanders around at night and lives on the 3rd floor!!! it gets v cold at night and they only give u thin blankets so i was a bit cold, the radiators have weird settings as well! like Lyra says, they have weird bathrooms, with showers, toilets and sinks all in 3 separate rooms! no lift either which is a bit crap if u have lots of luggage! also with breakfast, they provide a good selection of food but dont open kitchen until 8am which is quite late and the kitchen is incredibly small!! some germans comandeered the whole table one day and we had to eat outside! on the plus side, location quite good, my room was very quiet, very near 96th st subway station, near central park and there are supermarkets and a few restaurants around the area. overall i probably would not stay at the wanderers inn again because it was so cramped.

melissa_sunshine
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Hey thanks for the review Buffy!!!

I was on-line looking at a couple of the places that Adeelie suggested and I think I will try one of them! I am excited about going to NYC, have never been and have always wanted to go!

Suedela
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Check out the Gershwin Hotel/Hostel. I have not stayed in the hostel portion, but I stayed in the hotel last year and thought it was very nice. Would gladly stay there again. Has a great eclectic decor, the outside appearence is something you will never forget. Its located in the Flatiron area-27th between Madison and 5th. The subway is a close walk, as are restaurants, Empire State building, Times Square, Rockelfeller Center, and 5th avenue shopping!!!

gershwinhostel.com

Adeelie
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Melissa_Sunshine, have a great time in nyc, enjoy my ‘hood, and let me know if you have any other questions about the city.

segacs
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Everything’s cramped in New York. Something to do with ten million people living on a tiny island.

If you get lucky, you can get a very decent deal for a cheap hotel. If there’s three of you willing to share a room, it may be quite reasonable. Last May I went for a long weekend with friends and four of us split a room at the Red Roof Inn on 32nd between 5th and Broadway (right around the corner from the Empire State building) – brand-new, smallish rooms but liveable, if you catch a deal not too harsh on the wallet. Try Expedia or the like for other similar deals.

euro2004
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I stayed at the Manhattan Inn Hostel. $34 / night. It has 6 persons per room I think with private bath in each room. Clean, free breakfast, good people. Location is pretty good — close to Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Rockefellar centre. Beware — It is freezing in NYC at this time of the year unless you’re from a colder area!

bensonm28
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If you have people to split a room with, you can get a room at the Marriott in Times Square for a hundred bucks on Priceline.com Can’t beat that!

Kurlypunk
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I usually stay in a place called the chelsea star hotel, which is not the same place as the hotel chelsea, but still fabulous nonetheless. It’s in a bldg where madonna first lived when she moved to nyc, and you can stay in her old room if it’s available. Very nice hostel, near subway lines (including the A train from JFK), the interior decorating scheme rocks, nice and clean, and the staff is really helpful. It’s on the corner of 8th ave and 30th street, right near penn station and madison sqaure gardens.

Pan Kleks
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what place is best when you want a 2 person room (2 beds) with a budget of 60-70 USD a night per room?

is sugar hill in harlem too far north to be enjoyable, the sugar hill hostel has good prices

Kurlypunk
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As long as you have relatively easy subway connections, it doesn’t matter where you stay (unless it’s a sketchy neighborhood i guess). Even if you’re up in harlem, you could just hop on the subway and be downtown or wherever else just as easily.

bride2be
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I’m from NY. I don’t know of any hostels, but I saw the previous postings. When my fiance and I were looking to move in together, we looked near 103 and Amsterdam. Its a decent area, but we ultimately decided against it for fear of me walking around alone at night. Its pretty close to spanish harlem, and pretty far from any subway i may have taken. once you get into the 90’s your fine, but i wouldn’t recommend going above the 101 area….just a thought.

Adeelie
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Hi guys. I have a bone to pick. I just thought I’d put a few rumors to rest that have been spreading around here, specifically from bride2be. There is a hostel on 104th Street and Amsterdam, it is a rather large HI. This hostel it is nowhere near spanish harlem. Spanish harlem is all the way on the east side. The area where the hostel is, is perfectly safe. It is nowhere near West Harlem or Spanish Harlem. People see streets in the 100’s and automatically think it’s Harlem. First off, I wouldn’t stay in Spanish Harlem, but lower West Harlem, is perfectly harmless, if you don’t mind being the only white person around. It is completely safe however. I wouldn’t go too far past 130th street though on the west side, or past 100th street on the far east side if you’re not familiar with the area. On the west side, Harlem starts all the way on 125th street, that is more than a mile away from 104th street, and even 125th street is really gentrified (there’s even a Starbucks, among other things, on 125th st). And just to put it in perspective a little more, Columbia University is on 116th street. And do you think all those Ivey Leagers are paying to live and study in Harlem? No.

The 104th street hostel however, as I wrote in a previous post months ago, is perfectly safe, it is on the upper west side, a primarily residential neighborhood with lots of kids, and families, oh, and yuppies, but they’re harmless I hear. The street is not the prettiest in NYC, but it is very safe, has several 24hr bodegas, and is right by the train on Broadway (there’s a 1/9 stop on 103rd), it couldn’t be a better deal. I know people who have stayed there, and although it is rather bare, it is very clean, and friendly, and convenient. Don’t be put off by high street numbers, the higher you go, the better a deal you will get. I guarantee it, from the mouth of a native New Yorker, and born and bred upper west sider.

P.S.
If you end up staying there, and you like Indian food, a really good and inexpensive restaurant recently opened on 101st and B’way. Check it out. It’s called Indus Valley. The Tandori lamb is excellent!