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“Great location!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Bowery House

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The Bowery House
2.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   220 Bowery, New York City, NY (Nolita)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #34 of 88 New York City B&B and Inns
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great location!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2011

We had read some articles about the Bowery House...mixed feelings....but we were surprised in the good sense...but, yes there is a but...bring your earplugs...we booked a cabin, so small cubicle just for the two of us, which is great, but the ceiling isn't closed, needless to say that either you're lucky and no one snores or arrives drunk in the middle of the night, either you're unlucky and someone in the corridor talks a bit too loudly....or has his alarm go off a bit too early....the bathrooms are shared but very clean, with a nice design...and the neighbourhood is just perfect, nice shops & restaurants....I would definitely give it a try....budgetwise, there's no better option in Manhattan.....

Room Tip: Just make sure that your room is not in front of the bathrooms...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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326 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2011

I booked a room with a window that was confirmed 2 days prior arrival for 8 nights. When I arrived, they didnt have any left. They actually told me they only had 3 or 4 and if it was almost impossible to get one... Luckily they had a single cabin with no window for me... but still i wasnt very happy. However this is the only negative point about my stay because it was very clean, staff was fairly friendly and showers and toilets were permanently cleaned by staff. It's noisy yes, but very bearable with earplugs and it has all you need for a cheap stay in NY right next to SOHO in a very very nice neighbourhood... I recommend and I would go back !

Room Tip: The sigle cabin comes out at almost the same price as a youth hostel anywhere else in NYC... but wit...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2011

The amount of pleasure you will get from staying here is directly related to how open you are to having new experiences and how much you are willing to pay for similar accomodations nearby in this expensive city.

I stayed for 5 nights in late October in a private "room". Before I continue, allow me to offer the following disclaimer: I was travelling during the shoulder/off-season so I would expect my experiecne to be different had I been travelling at the height of summer.

Despite what other people have stated, I found the staff at check-in to be extremly helpful and friendly. It was my first time in NYC and I had a lot of questions and they were able to help me out quite adequately! The location is excellent, right in the heart of the NoLIta area with access to multiple subway lines (B, D, F, J, M, N, Q, R, 4, 5, and 6 within a 4-5 block radius?). Many local eateries nearby as well if you are feeling peckish. There is no elevator, so you are stuck lugging up your pack etc. up the stairs. (A LOT of buildings in NYC don't have elevators, so I don't know why people are complaining)

I found sleeping quarters and lounge areas to be exceptionally clean and tidy. Cleaning staff were always around cleaning and keeping busy. The washrooms were extremly clean. Shower stalls are quite small with not a lot of room to move around or put your things, so be prepared to shower like you were at the gym (which I, personally, have no problem with). Water pressure is good. If you want hotter water temperature, press the button on the rim of the temperature control down before turning the knob to the left!!!! Also, ladies' facilities are not on the same floor as most of the sleeping areas, so unfortunately, you will have to traverse. Clientele is mostly younger people, but during my stay I saw a variety of business and family travelers as well of all ages (and backgrounds, it seems).

Other contributors are right, however: this place is a hostel, not a budget hotel. So if you go into the experience knowing this, perhaps you can mentally prepare yourself better. Private "rooms" are no bigger than a good-sized closet with only a wood lattice roof open to the larger space, so you can hear what is going on in other rooms. If you are taller than 5'9", your feet are likely to hang off the end of the bed. You likely WILL be able to hear the person a few rooms away snoring loudly, so bring good earplugs or good headphones/earphones and music to drown it all out. The music on my iPhone saved my life! I was able to sleep soundly all five nights I was there. It can be done! Also, be warned that the sleeping areas are kept quite dark and you may or may not have trouble seeing your way through the halls. I personally did not mind this.

Rooftop hangout area is a plus, expecially on warm nights. Free wifi is strong and useable throughout all areas. Bikes are rented out at a comparitvely cheap rate of $30/day.

Staying here, it would be in your best interest to be an undemanding traveler and to only use this place to sleep, and not to lounge or hang out in. If you think of this place as a hostel, you may be able to get over the cramped shower facilities and not having the 100% privacy you expect from an expensive hotel, and the snoring and door slamming, etc. Would I stay here again? Likely. Why? My room cost $65 a night. You really can't get that anywhere else in the city, given the area, proximity to attractions, and the cleanliness and upkeep. Staying here is a NYC experience in and of itself. Be open to new experiences and situations and you will have a great time!

Room Tip: Bring earplugs or headphones/earphones and music to help you sleep at night! Also, rent a bike and d...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

We stayed at this hostel for 9 nights. It is dark, dismal, noisy, dirty, full of mosquitoes, mice and unhelpful surly staff, and seriously lacking in provisions for privacy.
We booked a room with a double bed - the room was the size of the bed, although we expected that - the top bunks of the dorms next door can easily perve into the 'private' room. The female bathroom was downstairs and through reception so a pajama parade was required for any shower or toilet trips. The showers provide zero privacy and were cold every time. There are 3-4 flights of stairs up to the accomodation, so if you are a girl with chicken arms and lots of luggage, good luck getting to your room.
Coming 'home' after day out in the delights of New York, to a dark dingy crap hole, was extemely depressing.
The only positive was the location, which was perfect for getting the vibe of the funky side of manhattan. The place was also secure from the street with a night doorman (although presumably not from fellow guests nor staff).
By all means stay at the Bowery House - its the cheapest place you'll find in Manhattan - but only stay one night, or two at the most.

Room Tip: There is no benefit to selecting a room with a double bed - you and your partner may as well save $2...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delray Beach, FL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

Its a historic boutique hotel. Doesn't have all of the modern luxuries, but the ones it does have (bath products, robes, sheets, pillows, mattresses, WiFi, roof) are phenomenal. I came for 3 days and stayed in an original cabin. A great value and the location was perfect with beautiful decor to boot. Would recommend this to anyone on a budget. Just know that for $62 a night you're not going to have the Plaza Hotel.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2011

If you are in your late teens, early twenties and don't want / require much / any sleep i would recommend this place. Also if you want absolutely no privacy and like hearing the guy at the opposite end of the corridor breathe while you are sitting in your 'private' room - then this is the place for you.

This is not a hotel in any shape or form. It is a hostel. I should have realised for the price in Manhattan. I stayed in the 'Prince Room' (which is the biggest stretch of the word 'Prince' i've ever come across) which is billed as the best room in the 'hotel'. The door was made of a material as robust as balsa wood (hence i could hear the drop of a pin anywhere outside of my room).

At a glance, just some of the problems encountered before checking out early;

Arrived late on a Saturday night, jet-lagged. Check-in girl was polite but completely uninformative - "Your rooms at the top of the stairs.."

Discovered via word of mouth that there was a part on that night in the 'hotel'. Party ran all night, i believe until around / after 4am. Very loud. People attending the party (many of which didn't appear to be staying at the 'hotel' were directed to the toilet down the hall from and passed our 'private' room - you can imagine how distruptive and noisy this was with drunk kids going up and down and stopping to have loud banal chit-chat all night.

2nd night - false fire alarm in the middle of the night. Girlfriend stuck her head out the door of our 'private' room to investigate to be confronted by a very loud and somewhat abusive member of staff shouting "who the f**k pulled the fire alarm - did you do this?? Did you see anyone??"... no you stupid boy, we were sleeping until we heard the alarm followed by you stomping around like a teenager.

TV stopped working a few times and was fixed while we were out - this i can live with.

Part of the wall was crumbling for the duration. Where a giant old radiator hung from the wall at high-level above the bed. We reported the problem to staff who would investigate while we were out. When we got back, "I think someone had a look but i don't have a clue what the outcome was..." - great, very helpful.

Hot water in the female showers stopped working 1 day, great if you like a freezing cold shower in an open communal shower room with hard / cold finishes throughout.

To get to and from the communal shower rooms for females from our 'prince' room you have to pass through the public reception / lounge area. Not very well considered.

Shower rail fell down while i was in the mens showers with a female cleaner standing in-front of my cubicle. Noticed that they aren't properly fixed to the wall.

Terrible lighting throughout - appears to be on purpose, but this is just poor ill considered design and NOT mood-lighting.

Obnoxious very loud guests (not all - but they make up for the quiet ones by being extra loud) - who seemed to all be European. I am European and i was embarrassed by the behaviour of some throughout the duration.
I had to ask some to keep the noise down as it was almost 1am during the week to which i was told "i am here for a month, this is like my home.." to which i asked, "So, staying here for a month gives you the right to be as loud as you like at any time of day or night?" which is precisely what he thought. I informed the staff and they were good enough to stop by to have a word, but it didn't seem to have any effect.

Checked out the next day and into a far superior (actual) hotel just 2 blocks over.

All the girls on the reception were pleasant and tried to be helpful but i got the impression everyone who worked there was fairly inexperienced in the hospitality industry.

It should be billed as a noisy hostel for Euro-kids, NOT as a boutique hotel.

For these reasons i would never recommend this place to anyone.

Poor show guys.

Room Tip: I don't think there are any good rooms... we stayed in the top-billed room and it was poor at be...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2011

Recently I stayed seven nights at the Bowery House. I’ve been going to NYC for a week every October for the last ten years and look for an inexpensive private room to just sleep in since I’m out and about from early in the morning to late at night. After reading some of the reviews on TripAdvisor, I decided to try the Bowery House.

I had a reservation for seven nights and after two nights there I came back to find my room had been given to somebody else and my luggage had been put in storage because I was a “no show”. Apparently the room I was in was different from what I had been assigned in the computer; but they found me a new room for the rest of my stay. Contacting the Bowery House is problematic. I had emailed them a week before my arrival to reconfirm my reservation and got no response. I tried calling a number of times also before my arrival to verify my reservation and was not able to connect to a live person. But when I arrived my reservation was intact.

Location is great – a number of subway stops within six blocks. Adjacent Houston Street has three movie theaters – Sunshine, Angelica, and Film Forum. The Apple store is seven blocks west on Prince Street. Whole Foods grocery store is a block away at Houston/Bowery. And Chinatown and Little Italy are a few blocks away.

Security is good. You have to be buzzed in at the front door and late at night there is a security guard at the front door. Desk staff were friendly. Roof top garden is nice and lots of people in the lounge use WIFI.

Bathrooms were beautiful and always kept clean. On the third floor is the shared women’s bath with showers plus one private bathroom. On the fourth floor is the shared men’s bath with showers plus one private bathroom. Bathrooms could get crowded at times.

My biggest concern when making my reservation was getting a good night’s sleep. Rooms are cubicles about 6 feet by 5 feet with open wood slats on the ceiling. Hallways are kept extremely dark – it is basically just a place to sleep, not to hang out in. You hear every sound from the 30 cubicles on each floor – people coughing, closing doors, etc. Most of the guests are conscious of the noise and minimize sounds but of course there are the exceptions.

It also helps to keep your luggage to the Thoreauvian “essentials” since obviously space is extremely limited in the cubicles - a comfortable bed, a small chest with two drawers and one clothes hook (hint to management – it would be very helpful to have another clothes hook in the cubicles). I’m 6 feet and my head touched one wall and my feet touched the other wall when sleeping. However I actually slept quite well. Ear plugs are de rigueur.

The New York Times had a front page article on October 12, giving a history of the place and its current reincarnation. You can read it at

Would I stay there again? Probably not. At the Greenpoint YMCA in Brooklyn where I have been staying the last few years, you can get a private room for a week at half the price of the Bowery House, albeit with much dingier rooms and bathrooms. But I’m glad I tried the Bowery House.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Bowery House

Address: 220 Bowery, New York City, NY
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Nolita , Manhattan
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 88 B&Bs / Inns in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — The Bowery House 2*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our property, 220 Bowery, was built in 1927 as a manufacturing building. It operated in this capacity until it was reborn as The Prince Hotel in the 1940’s to serve as temporary lodging for soldiers returning home from World War II. All floors of The Prince Hotel were rebuilt with single room cabins that were just large enough for a bed and storage of essential items. The bathrooms were made communal so that the hotel operators could maximize its occupancy and house as many soldiers as possible. With its prime location and easy access to vices such as gambling, prostitution and saloons - some of the soldiers never left and decided to make the majority of the 200 cabins their long-term homes. It was in these single rooms that many of the Bowery’s most eccentric characters lived for decades adding to the lore and drama of New York’s former skid row. At The Bowery House, we have decided to preserve and restore every detail of the remarkable 1940’s cabin craftsmanship and in turn provide unique, authentic and historic accommodations to travelers from around the world. Part museum and part hotel, we hope you enjoy not only the neighborhood but also the living history that is The Bowery House. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Bowery House Hotel New York City

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