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“Great transport links, decent facilities and a good price” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Harlem YMCA

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The Harlem YMCA
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great transport links, decent facilities and a good price”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

The hostel is a street away from the subway, which takes you into the centre of town. Despite what I've read in other reviews, I'd like to clarify a few things;

a) me and my friend met new people in the kitchen/ communal area of our corridor both nights we were there. It's not a typical European-style young people's hostel, but it did seem to have quite a social atmosphere, with people always walking around.

b) the doors do lock! At first we worried that the door was just closed and could be opened from the outside corridor, but we tested this theory with one of us on the outside, and it seems that when the doors close, they automatically lock, just so everyone is aware. We had no issue at all with safety and the security at the main desk seemed to take this seriously.

The rooms are basic, as are the bathrooms. Yet the wardrobe space is very big, large enough to be used as a changing room, in fact. Additionally, the advantage to being on one of the top stories is the view at night. From the kitchen/ bathrooms I think that we had one of the best views of the skyscrapers, especially as we were out of the city! It was fantastic to see the buildings lit up at night.

As people have already said, I can confirm that this was our first experience with a hostel, but it has encouraged us to stay in a hostel again. I would recommend this place to any students travelling to NYC, particularly with friends, who want a cheap and safe place to stay whilst they see the sights. The place was very clean considering the number of people inside it, the staff were polite, and the beds were comfortable.

Room Tip: If you have a problem with noise at night, bring ear plugs. People are constantly coming and going...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nikki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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172 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank G94J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Joyce A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

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
Helpful?
2 Thank Emma F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castlefinn, Ireland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 traffi...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank johncastlefin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bananas2985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
74 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

Ymca is a very pocket friendly hotel in nyc. The location is easily accessible by metro.
Very international back packers.
In our booking, wit was stated that no check in allow after 12 mid night. Our flight was delayed and we tried contacting them. They never pick up calls after numerous tries. We even left a voice mail and email. Luckily we arrived just before mid night.
Upon arrival, we did the 'first part' of check in and was told to do '2 nd' part on the morning. They even took our passport.
The next day,they lost the check in card we filled the night before and was told thatbwe could pay when we check out but5 minutes later,was told to pay.
The room is clean and no bed bugs HOWEVER although we are on the 10th floor, we can still hear the traffic downstairs. There is an air condition in The room, but it was extremely noisy, imagine a car with the engine turn on in the room. It's loud. The corridor was also noisy with ppl slamming their doors and talking loudly. On sunday night, i guess the cleaners were cleaning the toilet at 3 am. It was VERY noisy... Perhaps we are also unlucky enough to have a group of noisy spanish students staying on the same floor...so, be ware, it's not sound proof.
The rooms are clean with thick mattress and a small fridge. The bath room....it's shared and you can only use the 7th, 10th and 11th floor. The bath room has alot of hair on the floor. I think, it will be great if they have more bath rooms on every floor, either you wake up early to use the toilet or queue.
Wifi is only available on the common room on the ground floor.
In all, if you are really on a tight budget and dont mind noise, this is a good place. Cheap but i couldnt really recommend it though...

Room Tip: Avoid rm 1024 to 1026 as it is near the toilet and shared area.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LeslieNL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thalia K, General Manager at The Harlem YMCA, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Leslie,

We're very sorry to hear that you did not have a good experience at our hostel!

We appreciate your feedback about the overnight check-in. We do have 24 hour security to help facilitate overnight check-ins, but because security staff have no access to our booking system, only our trained guest rooms staff can complete the payment and check-in. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience it caused you, and are always looking for ways to streamline the check-in process.

I also want to apologize about the noise. During the low season we plan to carpet the hallways which we hope will dampen some of the sound that travels.

Once again we appreciate your feedback, and will continue to work to provide the best possible experience for future guests.

Kind regards,
Thalia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Harlem YMCA

Property: The Harlem YMCA
Address: 180 W 135th St, at Seventh Avenue, New York City, NY 10030
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Harlem
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #24 of 168 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — The Harlem YMCA 2*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Get more and pay less, when you stay with us at the YMCA! Enjoy our full-service fitness center which includes swimming pool, steam room and sauna, and cardiovascular and strength training studios. Take advantage of free Wi-Fi and television in the tourist lounge, business center, daily housekeeping services, and 24-hour security. For travelers who are on the go, we are conveniently located near four subway lines (2/3, B/C) which run 24 hours a day. A 10 minute ride will take you to the most scenic and serene sections of Central Park, and 10 minutes more will take you to the heart of Manhattan and hotspots like Times Square, Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center. Stay in the neighborhood and admire the historic architecture and rich cultural sites on a guided tour through Harlem, get a taste of soul by Top Chef Master, Marcus Samuelsson at Red Rooster, and polish off the night with some smooth jazz on Sugar Hill. We have private single rooms as well as private doubles (bunk beds). Guests share common bathrooms which are conveniently located on each floor. • Free unlimited Wi-Fi (in tourist lounge)• Clean linens & towels provided • No curfew or lockout • Each room is private with own lock and key• Each room has air conditioning & refrigerator• 24 Hour security• Elevator building• Free Tourist Information and Maps. If you would like to inquire about group rates, or have additional questions please contact us!Please Note: All guests must be 13 years of age or older. Valid Photo ID is required to stay at the YMCA. Maximum length of stay is 25 days. Visitors are not permitted on the guest room floors. Check-in after 2pm, Check-out by 11am. Reservations may be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to arrival date without incurring penalty charges. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Harlem Ymca Hotel New York City

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