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The Harlem YMCA
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Reviews (214)
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Reviewed October 2, 2013

Stayed there for 3 nights in September 2013. Given I was not in NYC as a tourist, I did not see much sense in shelling hundreds of dollars per night, so settled for the Harlem ymca. I was given room 721. The room had a double bed, a fridge and a chest of drawers. No tv, no chairs, no signage to let housekeeping know not to disturb. For air circulation there was a very noisy a/c unit, although the room was too basic for my liking and dated it was clean. I notified staff of my need for a chair and a signage, was advised to borrow a chair from the common area and was given a nicely handwritten temporary signage for my first night. The staff is courteous but I feel they do not have all the tools to provide a better guest experience, which is up to management. A restricted free wifi is provided. Although I did not expect much given the price a tv hooked up to the wall is not too much to ask in my opinion.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the 10th floor, as it is where the private bathrooms are located.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank alyyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

It is clean (and there is constant cleaning of the common areas), the price is great (you cannot find anything cheaper in central NYC), the gym that you can use is absolutely fantastic! We realized that the machines that they have there are better than at our gyms at home in central Berlin. The tube station is a half a block away, which makes it easy to get around.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ueberwinden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 (as is the nature of the place) and the bathroom doors are hard to shut, and so tend to get slammed. Also, there will always be the noise of traffic and sirens, this is New York!
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Nikki H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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