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“Okay location for visiting NYC”

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Hostelling International - New York
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed August 29, 2013

I stayed at the HI - New York on two separate occasions during August whilst on a trip around America. The hostel is in a good location on the Upper West side of Manhattan, one block away from the subway station that will take you to Times Square in fifteen minutes and a few blocks from Central Park. As with any big city, it is probably advisable not to walk around the dark side streets alone here at night but it is a perfectly safe residential neighborhood during the day.

The hostel itself is a huge building with over 600 rooms. Des pite the building having a large 'Youth hostels of America' sign, it is Hostelling International's policy to allow people of all ages to stay as long as they are not residents of New York State. The older people (50+) that tend to stay in hostels bring a completely different atmosphere to the room as they aren't your typical young traveler and most seemed to be down and out's. This can make the room feel awkward and uncomfortable as HI tend to let anyone in despite how strange they are.

I stayed in a 12 bed room on my first stay and a 10 bed the second time around. Both rooms were on the fourth floor and as the elevator in the hostel is so slow, I always walked from the lobby up to my room. Which wasn't a problem for me but if you struggle with stairs then you will have to get used to waiting for the elevator to arrive. The rooms contain very large lockers which will be able to fit in a large backpack/rucksack as well as having room to spare. The beds themselves are quite comfortable by hostel standards.

Each floor has numerous bathrooms with toilets, showers and sinks. I never had to wait for any of the facilities at the hostel, whether it was morning or night and they are cleaned regularly.

The only 'tour' i signed up for was a pub crawl on my first night. After waiting in the lobby for twenty minutes someone from the check in desk told us that no one from the hostel would be able to join us, so he gave us a list of local bars instead. We went to the Lions Head which has the $1 drafts on Wednesday, which is a good deal for NYC but the beer is Bud Light which tastes watered down compared to the regular beer.

The cafe next to the lobby is good and contains a number of pastries, cereals, snacks and drinks. It is reasonably priced and there is usually enough seats available for everyone.

Overall I found the hostel to be in a good location to get around NYC from. My sleep quality was never very good but that was due to snorers which is a problem in every hostel. The bathrooms are plentiful and clean and the cafe is a good, cheap option for breakfast. Hostelling Internationals policy on allowing people of all ages, including strange older men and their no drinking allowed policy as a result of this leads to the atmosphere in the place being quite stifled. As NYC has a million things to do I was always out of the hostel but if you are looking to meet up with people here then you might be better off trying your luck at a smaller and cheaper hostel in the city. I personally will be returning to this hostel though, as they offer tours everyday and you generally get a good if unspectacular experience with HI,

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank ainsleyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 28, 2013

I was a little bit scared to stay in this hostel but it was the best place I stayed in my whole trip! The rooms were clean and comfortable with enough space for everyone. I had a fairly heave suitcase and kept getting a top bunk, which means a top locker, which was a bit of an effort to get my suitcase in and out of (especially when it was a case of the suitcase fitting like a glove!). The pub crawls were a great way to meet people, I played beer pong with a Brazillian, and the places they go have cheap drinks (like $1 beer cheap!). It's also only a block or 2 back from Central Park and about a block from the subway. If (like me) you want to hail a taxi in NYC it's so easy, there is always empty ones going past.
The hostel itself is in an old building which means a sloooow elevator but there's stairs for the impatient. The laundry was well equipped with enough machines for lots of people at once. One of the best things though was the little cafe. Only accessable by hostel guests it was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and everything was a great price by NY standards.

Overall the BEST hostel I've ever seen. Only place I'll be staying when I go to NYC again!!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Kelly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013

Room was a standard 4 bed female dorm room, it was basic and clean, I have no complaints. The bathrooms were also kept clean. The hostel was close to the subway, felt safe walking back to hostel at night. The hostel also did some great walking tours, definitely good value and would recommend to get your bearings of the city. The hostel had a few common room areas, which were also kept clean. I would recommend this hostel and will stay here again when I'm back in NYC.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Natasha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

I stayed there twice in a room for 4 people. I have to say, it is not a type of hostel where you can stay for more than one night. Everything was ok, they have really great public area- cute restaurant, service, international breakfast for free. If you want, you can lock your luggage into small lockers for 5 dollars per day. Everything was a little bit expensive, but I know, it is NYC. I could stand everything but that horrible air condition. It had no button to turn it off. We slept in 3 jackets and it was the worst cold night in the middle of August ever!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank KatkaVerbenikova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

This hostel has been the best hostel I have stayed in.

Although the rooms are small they have lockers that you can put your suitcases in. The bathrooms are always kept clean and tidy.

The cafe is nice, the food is well priced and there is heaps of great places around to eat. The staff are very friendly and helpful and you are always greeted with a smile.

They do hire out the function room on the first floor for birthday parties so be prepared to see lots of people walking around the hostel. They have quiet time from 11pm - 8am so the parties all finish at 11pm.

All in all a great hostel. I will be back

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank AnnaKate123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Rooms as you would expect. Safe area, no trouble at all, a police watch zone is also in the area so always felt safe. 2 minute walk from central park. Close to many shops and restaurants in Amsterdam Avenue, subways close. Concierge are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, lots of tours set up by local people to experience things such as Harlem Gospel Church Service; a must by the way!!!

Lift is very slow however…shame they don't sell alcohol either or have a bar. Much needed at times! Lots of young people in hostel too (under 17). Get a bit under your feet at times but that can be the hostel way I guess.

So many people expect hostels to be like hotels….they aren't! If you are looking for a good hostel with lots of activities then this is the place.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Amazing hostel
Good location at the top of the red route, easy and accessible
Good people hang out there
Expensive internet
Good/massive bathrooms
Nice rooms
Good organised activities
Good tours
Good price
Would recommend

Room Tip: A good way to save money in a hostel is book a room in a mixed/large room!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank erlusby1
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

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 163 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range: $46 - $175 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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