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“Affordable and Adequate” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Vanderbilt YMCA

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The Vanderbilt YMCA
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   224 East 47th St., New York City, NY 10017 (Midtown)   |  
Hotel amenities
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Affordable and Adequate”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

I visited this hostel as part of a group of 55. The hostel, from outside, looks welcoming, and the reception/lobby area is pleasant and modern. Behind the desk, you can see the well-equipped gym, and there is also a swimming pool, both of which I did not have the pleasure of using, however heard good reports of. The staff at the desk were not aggressive towards our group, although they didn't make much effort to talk to any of us. The actual rooms were okay if you just wanted somewhere to sleep: they were pretty cramped with two people in them, and resembled a prison cell, however had a TV, mirror, chest of drawers, bunk beds, and functioning (but loud) air conditioning. The hostel's biggest let down were the showers: there were only TWO women's showers and TWO women's toilets on a floor, where over 60 women were staying. The showers themselves, although not plentiful in number, were usually clean, which was good, seeing as you had to queue for at least 20 minutes to get one. The toilets were also generally clean. Another pleasing feature on our floor was the water fountain: good for filling up water bottles for a day in the city, and the vending machine: good value, although on our floor it only sold food, and you had to get the elevator to another floor to buy drinks. Generally, I would say that this hostel is a fairly alright place to stay if you're looking for cheap accommodation in a great location in New York. Admittedly, it's not perfect, but for the price you pay, it's pretty adequate.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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874 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2011

I stayed at this YMCA with a friend in a two-bed room in November. The location is good. I usually stayed in hotels on the west side but this time around my friend and I went to NYC on a budget, and chose to stay at YMCA. The restrooms could use some extra cleaning. It's not too bad but there was room for improvement. The showers were shockingly cleaner than I expected (especially after witnessing the toilets). The room itself is small but so does most budget places in the city, so I was fine with it. We had enough room to move around so it wasn't an issue. What surprised me was that there was housekeeping services. It was nice to come "home" to made beds. The carpet itself could use some major pressure washing though. As for the staff, they exist? The staff on the first floor provided such non-service with no smiles.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

Front dest staff extremely rude in their overall demeanor and attitude. While I was never personally insulted, every interaction exhumed unfriendliness, rudeness and the attitude that they despise their guests.

Bad mattress, squeeqy and uncomfortable.

Although the price is relatively low, and the location good, I am not convinced that it is good value for the money.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

I’ve stayed here for a little longer period of time due to work.
I believe people need to see this place in perspective when they book a room. You shouldn’t think of it as a hotel, but as a hostel where you get your own private ‘bunk’.
Instead of sleeping with sweaty, snoring and smelly people in one big room, you get your own little place to snore, watch TV, stay up late or get up early all you want!
Off course this is not a 5star hotel (despite the location!) but you are not paying for a 5star are you?
Because reviews can make you both feel good and bad (scared even) before you leave on a trip, I decided to write one about the Vanderbilt. Hoping to get you all you want to know before you arrive :)

My experiences:
1) The room is private, but small. The privacy makes it a safe place to keep your stuff, which is very pleasant! And since the security checks your room key before going up (make sure to show it when you come in and they will be happy) the safety of the hotel is very good!
About the size; With 2 people mostly this would be crampy. Trying to leave your stuff organized will make this a lot easier! The walls are empty and the light is pretty bright. If you think this will affect your mood, remember you are only here to sleep. Also, opening your door helps with the feeling of being cramped in the room and brings in fresh air. (and you meet people!)
If you stay longer, bring some sticky gum and photo’s/flag. Fill up those walls! You will have a tv with 32 Cable channels, a desk, drawers under the bed and most rooms have a (table size) fridge!

2) Since you have a fridge, you can go to the supermarkets (on 48th/2nd or the organic Amish one on 45th/between 2nd and 3rd) and get some breakfast. Saves lots of money and it’s fun. Utensils are free at the every local supermarket, Deli and or other food shop.

3) Off course, if you want to eat cereal, you need a bowl and if you want to cook you need a kitchen. Luckily there is one! The 4th floor has a kitchen for students, front desk can access your card to it. Across from it is a simple lounge, where btw the internet reception is great if your room one fails!
The kitchen is very simple, but has some stuff you need for cooking and eating. Good way to save money again!

4) The heating thing… Yes, in the winter (until around beginning of April) it makes banging/ticking noises. It sounds like someone is banging a hammer against the pipes. BUT; this only lasts a few minutes and happens about 4/5 times a night (or day). Sure, it’s not cool. But I’ve been told it’s common in old buildings and if you sleep well, you won’t notice. If it does bug you? Around the corner on 2nd Av. Is a Duane Read (pharmacy) that’s open 24Hours where a few bucks buys you some nice earplugs. Either way, you might just as well have trouble sleeping for the City that never sleeps You never know ;)
If the heating is to hot (happens fast! The first few days in freezing winter, I was walking around in a tank top), turn it off completely and just ask for an extra blanket instead. The heat of the building will keep you room on a normal temperature, so you won’t freeze.
During the summer this City gets pretty hot and humid. Your room has an AC in it!

5) Laundry you can do on the 3rd floor, where you pay 3,75 in quarters for washing (30min) and drying (45min). An additional 4 quarters gets you powder and fabric softener.

6) Staff.. I’ve noticed, it really depends on who you are talking to. But in general, if you ask nicely, be understanding/calm, most things are possible. This may sound a bit crazy, since you are the PAYING guest here! But.. maybe someone is just having a hard day? People in the city work many many hours, often two jobs. You try being nice all the time. Once again, matter of perspective and experiences. I noticed, when you are understanding you get a hell of a long way :)

7) The area! The location is simply awesome. You are right next to the UN Headquarters and one of the trump towers. The nice Turtle Bay park is 3 blocks down and Grand central is 5 minutes away. Lex-53 is 7 minutes and Time Square is 15min. All these stations get you everywhere with the subway! You are in 5min walking distance of 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) and St. Patricks Cathedral. Central Park is about 25 minutes. It’s a very safe neighborhood and pretty quiet to. During the week there are mostly business people around, in the weekend it’s mostly tourists and local outside. Walking outside as a woman is very safe here and there a lots of places to grab a bite to eat of have a drink (bring your ID!)

8) They have no restaurant or room service. They do have free use of the 2 swimming pools (bring a cap) and fitness areas on the 4th floor of the membership building. (not the same as the hotel part) They also have 2 kinds of steam rooms in the locker rooms and many showers there, if the one on your floor is busy. Free shampoo/shower gel is in every shower available. Your room gets clean towels every day or you get them in the locker rooms. Any of these things are included in the price and after a day of walking, the sauna feels like heaven! Personally, I have never experienced any weird things in the locker rooms, like people described, but off course I’ve never been in the men’s locker rooms / showers.

9) I read they had bed bugs a while ago. I can tell you, I had them ones in my stay, but I brought them in myself after a movie-visit. (I’d been there too long for them to be in my room before!)
The responds was great, they gave me a temp. room until mine was fully cleaned and assisted me with getting my clothes cleaned! They felt bad and did everything they could and should do! They have someone regularly cleaning the rooms to prevent it and all the beds have plastic covers to protect you, causing the risk to be put to a absolute minimum!

The price/quality thing…..
This one, you have to decide on your own. If you are looking for a luxury place to spend your trip, don’t go here. But if you’re looking for a affordable place to sleep on a good location, well then, here you go. Hoping this was useful and you will all fully enjoy this wonderful city!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

The location is perfect for exploring Manhattan, but this is not a hostel, more a hotel with no service. Closeby Grand Central Station, a small piece of the Berlin Wall and United States. But the area itself (commercial centre) isn't that great, there are a few restaurants, bars and enough places to buy your breakfast. The entrance is a main entrance for the hostel, the gym and a child care. After closing hours of these community services, you will have to show your pass to the guards, they are there 24/7.
The hostel is 10 story high building with nothing but small bedrooms with 1 or 2 bunkbeds (don't know if there are big dorms). In our room we had a refrigarator, don't know if it's in every room. The hallway (W-shaped) provides 3 toilets and 6 showers per gender, the are clean. You don't need the code you will recieve for the ladiesbathroom (on the 10th) cause the lock been broken. Be sure to check it. Last but not least: take earplugs if you will need the airco, cause they are very old and noisy, nut just noisy, but exactly VERY loud.

For short: if you just need a bed, this is a one of the cheapest places the stay in Manhattan. Take your earplugs and flipflops, and you will be alright and save a lot of time travelling. But don't expect any socializing, kitchen or athmosphere.

Room Tip: Try the lower levels, cause it's hot upstairs.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2011

Yes its in a good location and yes the price is good [not value]. But, after a hard day walking and touring around you do not want to come home to this shoebox to lay in a bunk, because thats all you can do, unless you want to go down to reception and listen to the staff be rude to everyone who dares enter or heaven forbid ask a reasonable question. This place needs to close, just because you can get away with sub standard accomidation and service doesn't mean you have keep doing it. The rooms are like a prison cell and the staff are so bad [who employed these people?], It spoilt what should have been a great time in New York. I am a seasoned traveller, but wasn't prepared for this. The worst thing is that you cant leave, because last minute hotels in New York dont really exist, unless you can pay $400 night, trust me. On 2 occasions when I had to brace myself for the humiliation of the front desk, people were checking out early that could, so heed this.
When I booked, I felt, all you need is a bed and a shower, seriously that is all you get, no real personal space except the confinds of the bunk bed, no relax space to ponder the day or even sit with your partner or friend to talk. Not good value if all you want to do is leave.

Room Tip: Go elsewhere
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2011

Dont expect 5 star luxury but its fine as a place to sleep at night. At the end of the day your in new york to see the sights and explore. The only thing I would say is the room we stayed in was very small. With two cases it was a squeeze.

The staff were fine with us no shouting no rudeness. I guess it depends on who you speak to. We lost our room key and they were more than happy to help!

One other thing is the subway isnt that close. I stayed in another hostel in new york and the subway was right round the corner, this really makes a difference as you have to walk a fair bit.

Shower access was fine didnt have to wait too long.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Vanderbilt YMCA

Address: 224 East 47th St., New York City, NY 10017
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 188 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — The Vanderbilt YMCA 2*
Number of rooms: 400
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Also Known As:
The Vanderbilt Ymca Hotel New York City
Ymca Vanderbilt
Ymca New York
New Vanderbilt Ymca York
Vanderbilt Ymca New York
Ymca Nyc

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