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“The YMCA a hostel” 3 of 5 stars
Review of West Side YMCA

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West Side YMCA
2.0 of 5 Hostel   |   5 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023   |  
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Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The YMCA a hostel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

I found the check I process very easy as I had booked three months prior and the room was adequate with a private bathroom. The bed was adouble that took up all the room space ad has a plastic cover that made squeaky noises when you moved. The bathroom was good except the basin moved when you ward nod the floor was always wet. The tv reception was terrible but the location is the key. Walking distance to Columbus circle and then on to Times Square, Central Park, I felt like the cat that could look at the king. Such an upmarket area. The security staff at the front were so helpful an cautious about the people coming in and out. I would recommend this place just because it has a great gym and general families for the Y.

Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
125 helpful votes 125 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

The location is perfect. It's a block or two from a subway station that takes you all over Manhattan. It's a block from the Lincoln Centre. It's about 20 mins walk to Times Square. It's a nice, safe location with Central Park a few steps away at the end of the street. It cost $6 by taxi from Penn Station.

The place is clean and friendly. The staff were helpful and welcoming, and they booked my shuttle to the airport when I was departing. Security seemed quite good, with a guard checking ID of those trying to enter after hours. There's free wifi on the ground floor (which occasionally worked upstairs in the rooms too) and some computers for those without their own devices. There's also a sitting room where you can eat, watch TV, and get to know some locals. A kiosk sells good salads, drinks and other snacks. While staying as a guest, you can also use all the fitness facilities.

I was staying on Level 12, which is one of the better 'renovated' floors -- $115/night. My aircon bedroom was small and simple, but perfectly adequate. A single bed with fresh linen and a bedspread (with spare blankets also available), desk, chair, TV and storage space were all I needed -- it's not as though one spends much time in the room when in NYC anyway!! I had a nice view over Central Park from my room.

The 'semi-private' bathrooms were adequate, though not quite as clean as I'd like (management should get the cleaners to wash down the walls -- in several bathrooms, the walls opposite the sinks were quite disgusting with unidentified grot). Each bathroom was accessible by keycard and private once you're inside. Each had a shower with good water pressure and plenty of hot water, toilet and sink. I recommend bringing flipflops/thongs to wear so you're not barefoot in the showers.

My bedroom was opposite the bathrooms. This was definitely convenient, but also meant there was lots of noise from people coming and going to the bathrooms at all hours. The bathrooms have heavy doors that bang loudly whenever people go in and out.

There are three lifts serving the busy building. One was out of order for some of the 4 days I stayed, and that made things a bit slow. But this was a minor annoyance.

All in all, the Westside YMCA is excellent budget accommodation in New York city. It's an expensive town, and this place is fairly good value for money.

Room Tip: Book on Floor 12 or 13 for the better rooms with 'semi private' bathrooms that you can only...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Hello,

Thank you so much for your review of the West Side Y's guest rooms. We appreciate the kind words about our staff and the location.

I know you mentioned that you thought the walls in the bathroom should be washed down - I will absolutely mention that to our head of housekeeping. Thank you for the suggestion.

I'm glad you enjoyed the cafe and the lounge area - do you know that we also have free live music in the lounge? You can find the live music schedule here: http://www.ymcanyc.org/westside/pages/WSYLounge.

If you have any other comments or questions please feel free to reach me at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace Rochford
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Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

I wrote my personal opinion about YMCA West Side some time ago in Portuguese and some people asked me through private messages to translate it to English, so see it translated now, with some extra information I found useful.

I always stay in the YMCA West side when in NYC, I’ve stayed there more than 10 times. I used to stay at the Wanderbilt YMCA in the east side, but this one is much better located, easily accessible and in a nicer neighborhood.

Is it worth staying there? It depends on your personal needs and on what you consider important in an accommodation, and ALWAYS remembering this is a hostel and not a hotel.

Rooms are really small (8m² / 85 sq. feet). Rooms for 4 people are double this size. To me, it’s perfectly OK once I just use the hostel to sleep basically.

Room amenities: TV (no control), desk, shelf, clothes hangers, bunk or single bed. They provide towels. No fridge, no safe. Windows can be opened in some rooms, can’t be in other. AC to summer, heater to winter. If you are in a room where windows can’t be opened, you’ll probably have to turn AC on, once heater can’t be turned off and you’ll be melting in a short time… moreover, do not throw away your bag tag when arrive; it’s gonna be necessary to cover the light’s motion sensor to avoid waking up every time you move in bed during the night.

Cleanliness is OK in my opinion; employers do their best to keep the hostel clean. However, once there are too many guests, most of them young and some from countries where hygiene is not really important, cleanliness will never be 100%. I’ve never seen cockroaches or other insects there.

Room service is OK as well, although I recommend everybody to keep valuable stuff in a locked bag. I’ve never had problems with safety neither even have seen it (to get to the rooms, you have to show the key card to the receptionist).

Bathrooms: In lower floors, shared. One for each sex in each floor. In the bathrooms: showers, toilets, sinks. Showers and toilets have dividers, so you’ll gonna have some privacy. In upper floors, semi-private bathrooms… there are like 15 of them, with single shower, sink and toilet, you lock the door (unisex). I particularly prefer those floors; I find those bathrooms more practical; you do everything at once.

The difference between the cheapest and the more expensive room is the bathroom. Staying in the upper floors will cost you 25 bucks more or so per day. It’ll depend on your privacy needs and budget if it’s worth paying more or not.

“Shared bathrooms” rooms will cost you about US$ 90,00/day and the “semi-private”, US$ 110,00. Check prices in their website before. Excellent prices considering the really expensive NYC accommodations and the excellent location, really expensive considering hostel prices in any other part of the world.

Because it’s a place where most guests are 20 – 30 years old, you’ll probably see things that you wouldn’t see in a hotel: people in the corridors in towels (or without depending on alcohol level of the person in a Saturday night), people coming in and out from (their or other people) rooms, noise, etc… if it wouldn’t bother you, fine. I really don’t care; I actually see some really funny things every time I go.

Wi-Fi: free in the lobby. In the rooms, you might find signal. Don’t count on it anyway.

Localization of the West Side YMCA is the great thing of the hostel in my opinion. It’s on the 63rd street, 4 blocks from Columbus Circle (Subway A, B, C, D, 1) and 3 from the 66th (Subway 1). Many buses stops right in the corner of 63rd and Broadway, 8th ave or 9th ave. The hotel is near the corner of Central Park West. The neighborhood (Upper West Side) is excellent, full of restaurants, stores. Walking to Times Square takes like 20 min, a little more to 5th ave.

Some of the hostel staff is really friendly, some are not… you’ll find the nice and the moody ones, just don’t care about those. It’s important to tell the YMCA (if you are not American and don’t know that) is not usually a hostel; it is a sports club (some of them have guest rooms, like this one). That means the receptionists and staff work to the guests, to people from the club, to everyone taking classes there, so they “deal” with all kind of people, and that might explain the moody ones. I don’t blame them.

Talking about the club, yes you can use the pool, gym, etc. I’ve never tried, but it’s there to the ones wishing to use it.

Check in time is 2 pm, check out, 11 am. There is a room where you can leave your luggage if you arrived early in the morning or if you are gonna leave late in the afternoon. 1 dollar per bag. You are not allowed to leave the bags for longer than a day.

Taxi from and to JFK is flat rate, US$ 52,00 plus any tolls (if driver choses a toll route – rates from June 2013) plus tips. A NY State Tax Surcharge of US$ 0,50 will be added to each trip. From and to Newark or La Guardia, prices are from the taximeter (LGA will cost you approximately US$ 40,00 + tips and Newark, US$ 55,00 + tips). Shared shuttle vans are also an option… about US$ 20,00 from the airports to Port Authority Terminal (which is 15 blocks south of the hostel – you can either walk or take a subway).

If you don’t have too much luggage, I recommend you taking the Airtrain from JFK to Howard Beach Subway station, and take the A train to Columbus Circle. Airtrain will cost you US$ 7,50 (you pay when leave the station after leaving the train) and the subway, US$ 2,50 single ride (before entering the station – both prices from June 2013). It’s gonna take about 1 hour the trip (in rush hours, taxi can take twice this time).

Tip: Buy the metro card 7-day unlimited ride if you stay longer than 4 days and intend to use public transportation a lot. It gives you the possibility to take how many subways or buses you want in 7 days for US$ 30,00. At the machine, step by step: Buy Metrocard / Get a new Card / Unlimited Ride / 7-days. Insert money or credit card, voilà! If you take 2 subways or buses in a day for 7 days or 3 in a day for 4 days, it’s already worth it. Taxis in NYC are not expensive, but sometimes it takes forever to find an available one.

I think this is the important things to say. Hope this information will be useful to many people.

Cheers!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Hello,

Thank you so much for such a thorough review, and thanks for taking the time to translate your original review from Portuguese!

We very much appreciate the kind words you had about our location, and are happy to hear that you have stayed with us multiple times. Next time you are planning on staying at the West Side Y please let me know!

I know you mentioned that the Wi Fi has been spotty, I just wanted to let you know that we are in the process of installing a Wi Fi booster on each guestroom floor to ensure for more consistent free Wi FI services.

If you have any other comments or questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace Rocjford
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1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013 via mobile

I stayed at west side YMCA for a week on a shared bathroom level. Oh the horror. I have stayed in my fair share of dorms with shared bathrooms before but this was my least favourite. Firstly the showers, which offer zero privacy and next to no space to put your belongings. They are relatively clean but a little more than a shower curtain that doesn't pull the whole way across the shower is required in my book. Secondly, there was no window, and no exhaust fan! Meaning it was constantly steamy and smelly. We were staying here during some very warm days and the lack of fan and/or window in the bathrooms made it terribly unpleasant. The sinks were also quite dirty but that is to be expected with however many people on the floor sharing the one bathroom.
Aside from the bathrooms (and the terrible musty smell in the hallway), the rooms were quite pleasant. Small but comfortable. My bunk was very high and had no ladder so we had to rearrange the furniture so that I could climb up onto the table and onto the bed each evening, which became a bit of a funny novelty but could be quite annoying for some, especially if you were staying in a shared room. Would have helped if we could open our window as there was an aircon/fan but the room would get overly stuffy and would have been good to get some fresh air in it (probably what the whole building was lacking!). Downstairs area was nice. No laundry facilities however. No kitchen. It's very basic, you could no doubt get more these days for what you're paying, but the location was great. Right next to Central Park, perfect for evening picnics and walks.
Overall I probably wouldn't stay at west side YMCA again, at the least until they improve their bathrooms!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to review the West Side YMCA. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your room, as well as the close proximity to Central Park!

I apologize for your experience in our bathrooms. We are working to keep the bathrooms as clean as possible on the shared bathroom floors. We are also currently rennovating 2 of our floors, and the rennovations will include brand new bathroom facilities. We anticipate the rennovations will be complete in mid July, and are looking forward to the updated facilities!

If you have any more questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me at Grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace
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Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

Where do I begin...
I got conjunctivitis from my stay here.. whether it was from the sheets or just the absolute filth on everything, I am just not sure.. but bloodshot and gooey eyes ensued for 4 days after the second night.
The corridors absolutely stunk, not sure what of.. but whatever it was, has been there for a while.
The room we booked was a double private.. turns out it was a bunk bed jammed in what looked like to be a cubbyhole, my sheets were not clean and there was someone elses hair on my pillow..
2 out of the 3 toilets in the girls bathroom didnt lock - showers were tiny and whatever you didnt want getting wet, you had to put outside on the sink.
The staff were OK to deal with, apart from the fact that
a) we werent told where the lounge, kitchen or bathrooms were located
b) there was a code to get into the bathrooms
c) each guest had to keep their room keys on them otherwise security won't let you in after hours (we found this out the hard way)
Overall, this place is badly managed, dirty and really run down.

Room Tip: Book early and research the location and reputation of the hotel/hostel.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Hello,

I'm so sorry to hear that your stay with us did not meet your expectations. I can assure you that we are very concerned about the feedback you provided, and have met with our staff to reiterate our expectations in terms of cleanliness.

I would love the opportunity to speak with you further regarding your experience. Please feel free to contact me at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace Rochford
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Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Other reviewers have mentioned the great staff, especially the cleaning staff. They have all my sympathies and commendations for having to clean up after the guy who liked to use the bathrooms right across from me. Gah! They should have hazmat suits for guests like that. The bathrooms are large single occupancy rooms with one door that locks. Each has a toilet, sink and shower and these were cleaned pretty thoroughly every morning. Most people clean up after themselves, so aside from that one guest, it wasn't too bad. The worst part for me was the noise of the doors - heavy latches being locked and unlocked and the doors banging shut. There were about 80 rooms on my floor and maybe 12 bathrooms... From 11 PM to 2 AM it was like living through a farce from hell and it would start again around 6 AM. During these restroom rush hours, there were line ups in the hall and conversations which I could hear clearly through my closed door. I was there on business so I was to bed early and up early - I didn't get much sleep but I beat the bathroom rush and always had a choice of bathroom. My room itself was nothing to look at, a mix of new and shabby. It was utilitarian and clean. The door to my room had a half inch gap all the way around, so sound and light poured in from the hallway. There was also some generator/boiler like throbbing hum that I thought was the A/C, but it wasn't on and I didn't need to use it. The little to-go market downstairs is good for coffee and snacks, or there's a Starbucks just 2 blocks away. The lounge always had people in it, but it was comfortable and I always found a place to sit and use the wifi. The location was perfect for me, close to Lincoln Centre, Central Park and the subway and within walking distance of most of my appointments. I felt completely safe coming and going.

Room Tip: Take ear plugs/headphones and if you can't get a room with a private bath, make sure your room i...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this review, May 31, 2013
Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to review the West Side YMCA. We appreciate these reviews, as they provide us with great feedback that help us address any issues our guests may have.

We do understand that sometimes the floors can get noisy with guests coming in and out at different hours. We plan on purchasing some earplugs that we can keep at the front desk for guests that are having trouble sleeping. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!

If you have any more questions or concerns please let me know. You can reach me via email at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace
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Vancouver, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

The staff at this location are great and do their best to deal with the difficult circumstances of a rundown building. The staff were understanding and did issue a refund for my last night when I had to check out one day early. Housekeeping staff were very friendly and did a good job cleaning the rooms.

I would not recommend this to anyone I know...they should definitely warn prospective guests that their facilities are in terrible condition. I stayed in a room on the 10th floor and paid $100/night for a private room. There was one shared bathroom for the entire floor, which has at least 40 guest rooms....there were only two shower stalls that were in working condition, the handicapped shower stall was out of service for the entire duration of my stay (3 nights)....half of the sinks in the bathroom leaked all over the floor and it was difficult to get the adequate temperature....the urinals didn't flush properly so the shower/bathroom smelled like urine the entire time. I tried the showers on the 9th floor and found that they were in worse shape with the ceiling buckling and dripping water from above.

It seemed that other floors were renovated, but those floors were not accessible and were locked with a fob that didn't work with my key card.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this review, May 31, 2013
Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to review the West Side YMCA. Reviews like yours help us gauge which areas need to most focus in terms of the improvements we are working to make.

We very much appreciate your kind words about the staff. The staff work hard to provide the best service possible, and we will be sure to pass along the message to our customer service representatives to keep up the good work.

As we have mentioned before, we are currently working on a large scale renovation, which will include a revamp of the bathrooms. We will continue to address the issues of cleanliness with out housekeeping staff as well.

Thank you again for your review. If you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me via email at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace Rochford
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Additional Information about West Side YMCA

Address: 5 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 185 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — West Side YMCA 2*
Number of rooms: 500
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just off Central Park West and steps from the Columbus Circle Travel hub, our New York hostel guest rooms offer private Single and Bunk rooms that provide a home away from home for nearly 130,000 International and Domestic budget travelers each year.Our ideal location in NYC allows guests to enjoy the beauty of Central Park, the energy of Times Square and world famous cultural institutions including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Museum of Natural History. As a hotel guest of the West Side YMCA, you can enjoy FREE use of our 65,000 square foot Health and Wellness Facility - including two indoor swimming pools. We're easily accessible to all NYC public transportation - uptown, downtown, cross-town buses, and the 1,A,C,E,B,D,N subway lines.Guest Rooms Facilities IncludeCable TVShared Bathrooms on each floor (some private facilities)Air-conditioningHousekeeping - Clean Linens and Towels providedElevator BuildingAround the clock check-in24 hour securityFree WiFi in lobby areaSafe Deposit boxesNo Curfew ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
West Side Ymca Hotel New York City
Ymca New York
New York City Ymca
Ymca West Side New York
Ymca Nyc

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