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The Harlem YMCA
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Reviews (214)
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Reviewed August 6, 2013

As a cheap place (about $50 per person per night) for a couple of friends to stay for a few nights, then the Harlem YMCA fitted our needs excellently.

In every category it did what it was meant to do:
- Not in the very very centre of New York, but about 90 seconds walk to the subway. And the fast trains (the 2 and 3, they skip most of the stops) come regularly to take you swiftly into the very centre of the city in around 15 minutes.
- Clean room, beds and towels. Their rooms are all private singles or twins (bunk beds). Plenty of storage space (although a small room), plus air conditioning and a large fridge (handy for your water bottles!). Not the brightly painted room shown in some of the photos knocking around, but equally clean.
- Clean communal facilities, and generally no wait to use them (although one of the three showers did have some small flies, and the doors required a bit of shove).
- A 'kitchen' space with a microwave, circular table, and spectacular tenth floor view into the city. We spent both evenings here chatting with other guests for several hours.
- Yes the slamming doors and traffic can be heard, but didn't prevent me from sleeping well. It seems the door kept out noise from the corridor; when in our room we were never aware of human voices or music.
- While anyone could theoretically get in the escalator up to the guest floors (we were on the tenth floor) then the 24/7 security desk meant we felt safe. Be aware that if you arrive after a certain point (8pm weekends, 11pm weekdays) then security will keep your passport / photo ID overnight, before you to check-in fully in the morning (check in desk opens at 8am).
- There's no food provided. We didn't actually use the complimentary breakfast voucher (one each, if you stay for multiple nights). There's lots of food in the area - we went to the International House of Pancakes (ihop) both mornings.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank G94J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

This is the perfect spot for the perfect price. My first experience with a hostel and would definitely do it again. While traveling in New York you will spend a lot of money so saving on your resting place is great. The location is easy to get to from LaGuardia Airport via subway and or the public bus, only 2.50. I took a cab when we arrived and it was 28.30, whew too much. The staff was very friendly, the only complaint is the bathroom but it is what you would expect in a shared bathroom. No televisions in the rooms but we were exhausted so that didn't matter, but there is a lounge in the lower level you can watch television in. This was perfect for the price we had bunk-beds which did just what it was suppose to allowed me to rest. Small but who stays in their room on vacation.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 1127
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Joyce A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2013

Harlem YMCA is situated right by the subway station as well as by some great places to get food. The staff were fantastic - extremely helpful. One even printed out an A3 sized poster of the subway lines when I lost mine! All their facilities and exercise classes were open to us and they had free wifi as well. The rooms are simple and so are the bathrooms, but are clean and tidy. I would definitely recommend this place for anyone travelling on a small budget.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
2  Thank Emma F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Accommodation basic with no meals on offer at this location. Stayed 7 nights. There were plenty of coffee shops near hand with takeaways. There were kitchens and microwaves to cook your own food. Place clean and staff very friendly. Pity we went when Sandy was going on. We didn't get to see all the attractions we had planned to see because of the storm. We did get a small refund of our NY attractions card but I felt the refund was quite small. A bit of compensation was on the way when the transport was free from the Wednesday to the Saturday. A pint of lager worked out at about 8 euro, but that was in Manhattan. Back home the same pint would be 3.50 euro. Be prepared to pay a good bit extra when in NY. 3 hours wait in JFK on arrival. Very slow customs and immigration. My mobile didn't work at all after I was assured by O2 that there would be no problems while in NY. Everyone else on different networks experienced no problems. Would go again, but maybe in the summertime.

Room Tip: The room at the front were I stayed was good and quite, as there does not seem to be too much traffic on the road outside.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank johncastlefin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

We stayed at the Harlem Y for 2 nights. The location was fine, and actually quite easy to get to from La Guardia airport. The subways were close by and efficient, so getting around the city was really no problem from this location. Furthermore, you can get breakfast and lunch vouchers to have a meal at a local buffet (focus on soul food). We gave that a go, and really enjoyed it. I would also like to add that we had this preconceived notion that Harlem was going to be sketchy, but it was not. This neighbourhood in particular felt safe and comfortable even late at night.

There was some confusion with our check-in... and what we considered to be some unnecessary waiting, but it got resolved. I would like to say that the guys working during the day were much more courteous and professional than the lady working the night shift, but it really didn't change our opinion on the place as a whole. Our room on the 10th floor had a bunk bed, a dresser and a fridge. There were also towels and soaps, which was a nice surprise. We had a shower room right across from our door that no one else seemed to know about, so it was empty whenever we required it. The halls were a bit noisy - it seemed impossible to close doors without them slamming. I don't think anyone was intentionally being noisy, it's just the nature of the building. The common room down stairs was nice - free wifi and possibly a place to meet fellow travellers. I wish I remembered my bathing suit because the pool looked nice as well.

All in all, I would probably stay here again as it was a good deal and we had a good experience with the friendly and knowledgeable staff. It might be better to stay here when you're travelling with a friend rather than a significant other, as the bunk beds are not an ideal romantic setting, but you can certainly squeeze 2 in a bed if needed :)

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Bananas2985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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