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“Group Booking”
Review of West Side YMCA

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West Side YMCA
Reviewed May 12, 2013

I made a group booking in the West Side YMCA, with a group of fellow travellers. While I wasn't expecting much, I did get more than I expected. The rooms were what I was thinking they would be: utilitarian. Basic, get the job done. Nothing fancy, at all, some of the others had problems with their rooms. However, the issue got solved quickly. Shared bathrooms were as you expect. The commons area was well furnished, the shop well stocked, if a bit difficult thanks to the card only nature. What really make this YMCA good is its location. Extremely close to Central Park and Columbus Circle, it is perfect for those who like to sightsee cheaply, on foot or by subway. Times Square was about 15 minutes away, and once you figure out the subway, you are within an hour of anywhere on the island thanks to the Columbus Circle station.

Extremely good for the price, don't expect a great amount and it will pay you back.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Geoff0304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this reviewResponded May 14, 2013

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to review the West Side YMCA. I am glad to hear you enjoyed both our cafe and our common areas. We have been working to improve these sections of the hostel and are glad to hear positive feedback from guests. We are continuing the renovation process on the guest room floors, and look forward to the improvements that are currently in progress.

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace

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Reviewed May 11, 2013

This is my third visit to New York and third stay at West Side YMCA. For its great location near Columbus Circle and central park, I will say the price of the room is cheap enough to make it a good choice. However, I want to say a few words about the bathroom. I stayed on the 8th floor in a room with a double bed and used shared bathroom. The shared bathrooms are really quite bad. During my stay between 5/7-5/9, the 8th floor men's bathroom continued to stink and smell of urine, without being cleaned. One of the toilets is broken, and one of the sinks is broken, too.The shower stands are very small and have no door, just covered by a tarpaulin, and there is no space to hang or place your things inside the stand. You have to use some hooks outside the stand for whatever you bring with you. Because the tarpaulin is too small, water splashes out of the shower stand frequently and can drench any clothes hanged on the hooks outside. On the other hand, the "semi-private" bathrooms on the 12th floor are better. This has been explained by others before, but I think it is worthy of explanation again. The "semi-private" bathroom of YMCA is not private at all; they are not inside your room. The semi-private bathrooms are 10 separate rooms in the hallway. Each room is locked and require a key card to enter (only those staying in deluxe rooms--those with "semi-private bathroom" description in their reservation web page--can enter with their key cards). Each room contains a shower stand, sink and toilet. They are usually much cleaner than the shared bathrooms, and pretty spacious. It feels like a real private bathroom once you are inside and the door is locked. If I ever visit New York again, I might consider staying at West Side YMCA again, depending on who I will be traveling with. However, if I can afford the money cost, I will never choose those rooms with shared bath again; choose those with semi-private ones at least.

Room Tip: Choose those rooms with semiprivate or private bathrooms; avoid those with shared bathrooms if you c...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Yen-Yu L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this reviewResponded May 14, 2013

Hi Yen-Yu,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at the West Side YMCA. We appreciate your repeat stays with us, and your honesty about the issues with the bathrooms are very helpful in making sure these issues get addressed and solved. While I am glad that you enjoyed your experience with the semi private bathrooms, I will be sure to speak with our housekeeping staff regarding the cleanliness of the bathrooms on the shared floors.

Thank you for staying at the West Side Y, and if you have any further comments or concerns please feel free to email me at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace

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Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

I recently went on a trip to NYC with my Uni course, so we were aged from 19-21, with the exception of the 3 lecturers who came with us. We stayed on the 9th floor, which I believe is a renovated floor.
To start off, the YMCA isn't as bad as people are saying. After reading some reviews on here, I was dreading going, but was pleasantly surprised when we got there. The room was clean, with a comfortable bunk bed and a new flat screen TV. Myself and my room mate were fine with it after a day to get used to it, my only problem was that it was small, but we were only there too sleep so that didn't really bother me. We had shared showers, which were really the worst part of the whole place, but still weren't as bad as people make out. There was a smell of wee once you walked in, as the showers are in the same room as the toilets, and they aren't always clean or flushed, buts that's down to the people staying there, not the YMCA itself. Some of the toilets were close to overflowing some days, but to be fair they did seem to be fixed. The showers don't stay at one temperature, so be prepared to wait for the shower to get hot again. I found that the temperature evened out when no one else was using the showers, so try and get in early.
I had a problem with my room at first, in that the bed was in bits against the wall, and nothing else was in the room. We waited a bit after thinking that our room just hasn't been done yet, but then went down to the reception to ask what was going on, who were friendly and polite to us and told us that maintanance were going to sort it out. Maintanance were in the room when I went back to check later on, and didn't speak any English when I asked them what was happening. They were frankly rude and intimidating, but as long as your room is fine you won't have to deal with them. Eventually we're told to move rooms by reception, who were again friendly, and our new room was fine and comfortable.
Rooms are very quiet and seem to be soundproof, could hear slight noise every now and then from other people, but most of the time it was quiet and we were able to get a good nights sleep every night.
Lounge area was nice, fast wifi and a comfortable safe place to sit at the end of the day.
Some people staying in theYMCA seem to have mental problems, but as long as you stay out their way and don't act up about them being there, they don't bother you.
There is a toilet you can use on the bottom floor, just ask reception, which was a vast improvement on the shared one, I'd recommend using that if you can't stand the shared toilets.
Overall, after dreading my stay at the YMCA, I found it to be a pleasant surprise. The cleaning staff again didn't speak English, but were fine and didn't take anything from anyone, and tidied the room well. Beds made everyday, fresh towels, cups and soap too. Friendly enough cleaners, just there to earn money like the rest of us. Not sure how well someone older than me would deal with it, but the majority of noise on my floor was from the people I had come on the trip with, and I was near everyone I knew too, but my floor was perfectly comfortable.
Would recommend flip flops for the showers if you're uncomfortable about the idea of sharing like I was, but I know people went without and were fine. I didn't see any cockroaches myself but I know people who did in the bathroom so just be aware of that. Curtains pull all the way across, if uncomfortable hang your towel over the edges to add some more protection.
My tutor said that she thought the gym and sauna etc was superb, she loved it but i didn't get the chance to try.
The west side ymca is fine if you're staying there just for a bed and to get ready in the morning, it's nothing fancy but it's a comfortable bed, warm, clean room and quick showers were perfect for me, I was planning to be out all day. Try and get a refurbished room if possible, as the one I was in did the job fine. Don't listen to the people saying its not safe or it's dirty, the doors had locks on, there was safety deposit boxes and your stuff should be safe. I would recommend staying here for its location, but you may be able to find somewhere better for the same price. But really, it was fine for the time that I spent there. Friendly staff, clean room, poor smell in the showers but the actual showers were clean enough. Fine stay, maybe because I was with all my friends who are terms and young twenties, but it was fine for all of us.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank lukec94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this reviewResponded May 14, 2013

Hi Luke,

Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review. The feedback we receive from guests is extremely helpful to us, as we are working to improve guest experiences at the West Side Y.

I apologize about the initial confusion with your room - I will check in with the staff to see where the communication breakdown was.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed our lounge space and wifi - those are new features for us, and we are happy to hear that guests are enjoying them. We are also launching free live concerts in the lounge space once a week for guests and members.

I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to check out our fitness utilities yourself! We have a great gym complete with a cardio studio, group exercises classes, racquetball courts, weight rooms, and two swimming pools that are open to our guests - as well as the steam room and saunas in the locker rooms. Glad to hear your tutor enjoyed the facilities - hopefully you can stay with us again and have a chance to experience them for yourself!

If you have any more questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me via email at grochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace

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Reviewed May 8, 2013

This hostel is definitely for young people. There are bunk beds in rooms and you have shared bathroom. There were plenty of teenagers on my floor, so while staying there I felt almost like in a dormitory. Apart from that his hotel was not renovated for ages. The bathroom seems to be old and wasn't very clean. Anyway I always wanted to visit YMC hotel and sing the YMCA song by Village People. Finally my dream came true ;-)

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank tomeks85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Still not cheap, and there are now better-kept places to stay in NYC (Equity Point on Times Sq for example), and fixtures and fittings are getting a bit rickety now. Wi-fi only available in the downstairs area, something to do with the age of the building (although I've stayed in plenty of older places all over the world which have wifi throughout)

Although rooms have A/C, the unit is just placed in the open window with a thin plastic sheeting around the unit, which in winter doesn't keep any cold air out and makes it very noisy year-round on the street side.

Housekeeping was fine: clean towels, soap and shampoo every day and your bed is made up, there is cable TV and a safe in each room too.

Leisure facilities are excellent but then if you're a tourist in NYC, you're not going to spend a lot of time in the accommodation or the gym, you get a better workout just walking around the city! It's just a few blocks to Columbus Circle for the subway and a few steps to Central Park too, so good location

Room Tip: Make sure you ask for one of the (4 or 5) rooms with private shower and toilet.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank JandRandTandC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grace R, Guest Relations Manager at West Side YMCA, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2013

Hi,

Thank you for taking the time to review the facilities at the West Side YMCA, your feedback is very helpful in letting us know how we can improve the experiences future and returning guests have while staying with us.

We recently began renovations on multiple guest room floors, and are looking forward to quickly seeing results of someone the renovation. We are continuously working to make improvements to the facilities - we recently finished our new guest lounge that now offers WiFi, TV, and live entertainment.

Our WiFi network is new as well, and we are working on expanding the reach of service so that it will be accessible on all floors.

Thank you again for reviewing the West Side Y. I hope you enjoyed your stay in New York City, and if you have any further questions or comments please feel free to reach out to me at GRochford@ymcanyc.org.

Best,

Grace

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

I had booked the West Side YMCA for one week (a single room with shared bathroom for more than 90 GBP per night), based on earlier stays there. When I arrived I realized that the place has deteriorated a lot since a year ago: the room (on an "unrenovated" floor) was tiny and spare, with spots on the floor and walls; the TV was old and produced graint images; the ceiling light (the only one in the room) went off every few minutes (on a timer to save energy I guess); the radiators made a very loud noise. After the first sleepless night a group of Danish teenagers arrived who turned the entire floor into a chaotic playground: they shouted and slammed doors throughout the night and made the entire bathroom (in which only one tap worked) a garbage bin with paper towels and clothes thrown onto the floor and into the sinks. When I complained at the reception and asked for another room they were very rude and said that all rooms were taken and that I paid a budget rate (for more than 90 GBP without breakfast for a room of such low standards I certainly overpaid at least thrice)! The cafeteria on the ground floor has also changed: no more fresh products and cooked breakfasts but only pre-packaged overpriced items - payment by credit card at automatic cashiers only (even for a copy you have to use a credit card; kids without credit cards cannot get anything). I was only glad when my stay had come to an end and I could move out. Beware of this place!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank cata33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

been there many times ( like 3 or 4 ), cause it's one of the cheapest opportunity in NYC.

yeah, the rooms are very basic and tiny. in my opinion there wasn't nothing to complain about cleanliness.

you can't beat the location near columbus circle, times square and central park, If you also like to meet cool people from all over the world this is the place to be!

I recommed this hostel you younger people.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Denis L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about West Side YMCA

Address: 5 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023-7162
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New York > New York City > Upper West Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 163 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range: $92 - $179 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — West Side YMCA 2*
Number of rooms: 377
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just off Central Park West and steps from the Columbus Circle transit hub, our New York hostel guest rooms offer private Single and Bunk rooms that provide a home away from home for nearly 130,000 International and Domestic budget travelers each year. Our ideal location in NYC allows guests to enjoy the beauty of Central Park, the energy of Times Square and world famous cultural institutions including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Museum of Natural History. As a hotel guest of the West Side YMCA, you can enjoy FREE use of our 65,000 square foot Health and Wellness Facility - including two indoor swimming pools. We're easily accessible to all NYC public transportation - uptown, downtown, cross-town buses, and the 1,A,C,E,B,D,N subway lines.Guest Rooms Facilities Include Cable TV, Shared Bathrooms on each floor (some private facilities)Air-conditioning, Housekeeping - Clean Linens and Towels provided. Elevator BuildingAround the clock check-in 24 hour security Free WiFi in lobby area Safe Deposit boxes No Curfew ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
West Side Ymca Hotel New York City
Ymca New York
New York City Ymca
Ymca West Side New York
Ymca Nyc

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