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“A good introduction to the hostelling experience”

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Hostelling International - New York
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Ottawa, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“A good introduction to the hostelling experience”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Normally, when I visit New York City, I drive down to one of the suburban New Jersey towns, stay at a hotel and commute in. This time out, I decided to use some frequent flyer points to fly down and stay at the Hostelling International hostel, the first time I used a HI membership. So, what can I say?

Commuting: the hostel is a short block away from the subway station for the 1-2-3 Metro train. It's also two blocks away from the M60 bus, which goes all the way to LaGuardia airport. If you're armed with a very good map (which you can get from the hospitality counter), exploring the city on your own is going to be a breeze.

Rates: extremely low, given the neighborhood's location on Manhattan. Further discounts are available with the HI membership, which you can get from their website or from select outdoor stores such as Mountain Equipment Co-Op in Canada.

Rooms: remember that you'll be staying with other people, some of whom will be on different arrive-depart schedules than you. That said, the rooms are pretty clean and the beds will have clean sheets put on. And compared with some of the European hotels I've stayed in recently, there's lots of space to work with. The beds are also parked beside combination lamps and power unit stations, so you can charge up your phone beside you. No tables or chairs though.

Storage: guests have one locker. If you didn't bring a lock with you, the check-in will sell you one for $3 US.

Towels: the website does advertise that the room price includes a towel; however, there is a good possibility that the towel allotted to your bed may be commandeered by another guest. It's recommended that you pack one along, just in case.

Internet: wi-fi is available in both the common areas and individual rooms. Your room number will be your password, and it's available at no extra charge. Signal strength was good during my stay.

Showers and washrooms: these are communal, so shower sandals are recommended. Water is consistently hot.

Food: there's a small cafe featuring pastries, sandwiches and soft drinks on the premises. Outside there are two deli-grocery stores within a two-block radius, along with a couple of locally-owned pizzerias and a pub. In the basement there's a large kitchen space, so guests can prepare their own meals if they're so inclined.

Common areas: there are several common rooms and an outdoor yard, featuring board games and a casual library. A TV lounge in the basement is also used for small stage revues which are occasionally scheduled.

Tours: the hostel operators also organize and conduct social tours of NYC, from walks of Central Park to nightclubbing to pub crawls. These are very well attended and are a great way to get to know your fellow guests.

Laundry: on the second floor.

Overall: a fellow guest remarked to me that he decided to stay at this hostel because he had such a good experience with its sister unit in Santa Monica. I can certainly believe it. I'd certainly stay here again if I wanted to go to a major museum exhibition or sports event. Also, bear in mind that your first experience with hostelling is likely to be colored by your impressions of your roommates, as well as the staff; however, if you don't mind a sacrifice in privacy and space, hostelling can actually be a pretty good experience.

Room Tip: Room rates are determined by the number of beds (and therefor guests) in each room. There are units...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank VWOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Petah Tiqwa, Israel
Level 6 Contributor
256 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2013

Overall I can't say I really disliked this place overall, but it was a great disappointment in light of the rave reviews and and overall reputation of Hostelling International (I also stayed in other HI hostels in the US which were better).

First of all, the location seems good at first, but it's actually one of the worst hostel locations in town. It's located somewhat close to just one subway line, which means that to get almost anywhere in the city you need to change trains—considering the fact that in Manhattan subway lines go from everywhere to everywhere, this is a big minus. Also it's right across from what is considered to be a criminal area (I haven't had any issues, but native New Yorkers advised me not to definitely go there at night).

Next, the place is much too large for its own good. The staff are always very busy, there aren't enough elevators, and the atmosphere is too chaotic, even for a hostel. The biggest problem I had was that there were just 2 bathrooms on the floor (of what, 28 rooms?) and the experience of just going to the bathroom (both of them were far from my room) was the most annoying I've ever had in a hostel. Again, I'm comparing this to other hostels, not hotels with en-suite bathrooms.

The price was also not cheap, so if staying in New York City, I recommend considering other options.

The only somewhat redeeming qualities were that the rooms were well acoustically insulated, and the actual people staying at the hostel made it a somewhat fun experience.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ynhockey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2013

I stayed here last summer and it was not only easy but also fun, there are a lot of activities which is very useful in cases like mine "I always travel alone" it's location is the best, I highly recommend you to go to the river side park (just 3 blocks from the hostel) beautiful place.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Adriana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Before I left for NY, I tried to find a No. 1 hostel which with good price, convenient place with safe & soft bed. When I arrived there, I think it is a correct choice and try to have a good sleep. However, I cannot believe there has such a big surprise gift for me.

After 12 am, someone came back with a girl and began to do the thing which should only do in a private room for 2 adult. Hey man; this is a room for 8 Male, not for couples. They made a big noise and the guy who sleep downside has to go outside. I even think he must go to ask security man to check it, but he didn't.

Someone came in after 1 am that interrupted the action of the lover. I think I slept when they were quiet after 3 am.

I tried to complain to the manager in the next morning, the answer is they can do nothing if we had not talk to them even there is CCTV may catch that. For the red on the body, they said that absolutely not bite by bedbug. I can say nothing but left with disappointed.

Everyone has different experience, this is mine here and the reason I rate it not good.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lairdchai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013 via mobile

I stayed in the hostel back in 2011, it was my first time in New York. After travelling for almost a day and half I was really tired and just wanted a good night sleep. The hostel is situated on 103rd street close to Central Park with a subway close by. I thought the hostel was very clean and provided me with me a great night sleep before travelling the nex day. There were hot showers, Internet access for those that needed it, entertainment downstairs, food and drinks available whenever. I was in a dorm with my friend and six others, the only downside was people kept coming in and out and very noisey sometimes but other than that I think it's a great hostel for travellers and people doing Camp America like me! I totally recommend it to others and its very affordable with other hotels in New York been quite pricey. Staff on reception were really polite and phoned us a cab to port authority the next morning so we didn't have to lug all our things on the subway.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Hannah F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
k423iu
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2013

As far as hostels go, it was what I was expecting. Nothing special about the amenities but the building was close to food options and transportation. Rooms had good sized lockers, bathrooms were clean, no complaints here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank k423iu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 27, 2013

This place is in a very good location - one block from the red 1 train that takes you straight to times square and only a short walk to the upper west side of Central Park and other train lines.
I stayed in a 12 bed women's dorm and had no troubles. The beds have individual lights (so you aren't disturbed by others coming in late), the sheets and towels were clean, bathrooms better then your average college dorms and there is free wifi.
Also the cafe downstairs is very good as there is a laundry on site.
Would recommend this place to anyone looking to stay in a good location at a very reasonable price.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mcfly_85_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostelling International - New York

Property: Hostelling International - New York
Address: 891 Amsterdam Ave., New York City, NY 10025-4403
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Upper West Side
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 164 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostelling International - New York 2*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
HI-New York is located in a landmark building on the Upper West Side. One block from Broadway and a main subway line. Minutes from glorious Central Park. Situated near Central Park and Columbia University, the hostel is in a historic Victorian Gothic-style building on the Upper West Side. It organizes walking tours, sporting events, group outings to concerts and more. There is capacity for 672 guests, and facilities include internet access, kitchen and laundry. From an all-day walking tour to a viewing of a New York movie in our cozy TV room to a quiet cup of coffee in our cafe, Hostelling International New York has everything you need to make your group happy. Play the latest games on Play Station 2. Check your email without leaving the hostel. Wash and dry your clothes in our new laundry room on the second floor. Pick up subway/bus MetroCards, sundries, NY souvenirs, calling cards, and more. The hostel is located steps from the subways and minutes from Times Square and other major NYC attractions. Ask our friendly staff what they can do for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostelling International - New York Hotel New York City

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