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“Once visited Never forgotten”
Review of West Side YMCA

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West Side YMCA
Reviewed July 15, 2010

Myself and my teenage son had booked this place through our travel agent who said it was a good place to lay your head at night, because that was all we would probably be doing there. He was close to the truth !!!!!. The cleanliness was appalling with a dirty towel left lying on the landing for the whole of our 5 night stay, used toiletries left in the "shared" bathrooms even after so called cleaners had done there bit. The launderette advertised on the leaflets given to us on arrival was non-existent and the bedroom floors never saw the slightest glint of a mop head. If you want a cheap place and not bothered about the cleanliness then this is the place for you but not for me.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 12, 2010

90 dollars a night for a single room which looked more like a monk cell (but still with TV and air conditioning), well... I guess it's normal for NYC... But still...

The mattress was a nightmare, not comfortable at all. The corridors are very noisy every morning starting at 7.00AM. And for this price, you have to share a bathroom: only three showers per floor (for the men, and three others for women I suppose) and three toilets. That's not much considering there are dozens of rooms per floor... And it's not always as clean as you'd wish it was...

Apart from that, great looking building from the outside, and above all, great location: very near the Park, Columbus Circle, and within walking distance of many landmarks (Times Square, Lincoln Center, 5th Avenue...).

Good place for young people, and for a short stay... Otherwise, maybe consider other hostels...

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled solo
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Thank FroggieParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2010

I've stayed at the Westside YMCA before in 2008. Before my trip this year I read some of the more recent reviews on here and was a little concerned that I would be disappointed this time. I stayed there from June 11th for 10 nights.

I'm just going to address the issues that concerned me before my trip.

This time I stayed on the 12th floor. The bathrooms on this floor..I'm not sure of the number but there are at least 8 were very clean 95% of the time and a little dirty but not much the rest of the time. You have to remember you are sharing a bathroom so everyone is relying on the person before them. The cleaning lady was there every morning, is a nice lady and always greeted me with a smile and a friendly hello.

The security guards were pleasant and certainly were not rude. I guess you have to remember they are dealing with an enormous amount of traffic as its a busy place. So they hold a position of responsiblity.. if my room was broken into...well were would I be going to ask how someone could have got by them and done this...right. Every time you go by them you must show your card. I'm sure they knew me by the end of the 10 days but I still showed the card anyhow.

The only suggestion I would make for the YMCA this time is they really could do something with the canteen just beside reception. I only ate there once and thought it was a little expensive. I noticed it was invariably empty. Its in a great location there and could be a little goldmine.

Greetings from Ireland.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank TODIEFOR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2010

We are a family of 5. Finding a place we could afford in NY was not easy! The cheapest hotels were $400+ a night and we got a room at the West Side Y for $200.

The location is supurb, very handy to the Subway, Whole Foods and Central Park. We found a cafe around the corner to get breakfast at every morning and ate it in the park watching the world go by.

The room was very large. It had 3 sets of bunk beds with good quality, comfortable mattresses and pillows. There was a desk with a TV and lots of room to put suitcases etc. There was a wardrobe and set of shelves and a heating/air conditioning unit that was adjustable.

The bathrooms were very busy, and we had to wait sometimes, they were also not particularly clean because of the volume of traffic. Not bad, but lots of water on the floor. Nothing a pair of flip flops won't cope with.

The staff were mostly friendly, the security staff were a bit gruff. We found our way down to the swimming pool, and the children had a nice swim. One tip is that they will not let you in the pool without a swim cap and the ones they have there were quite expensive, so take your own. They were a bit funny about children in certain areas of the changing room, I got yelled at for changing my daughter in the wrong area of the female change rooms and the woman was not very helpful with where I should be, but the lifeguards were very friendly and nice.

I would totally recommend this to families, with such large rooms, comfortable beds and a supurb location, it's hard to beat. If we go back to NY we will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
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Thank nzkeptwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2010

The summary of what follows is: you might be tempted, but do not stay here.

The deluxe single rooms are moderately pleasant; they have whitewashed walls, blonde wooden furniture and adequate shelves and space for hanging clothes. The YMCA’s traditional linoleum floor covering and strip fluorescent lighting has been replaced by a soothing sage coloured carpet (albeit it of the “hose down” variety), a soft overhead light and a table lamp.

The quality of the people you have to deal with at the West Side YMCA vary. The front desk staff are totally impersonal, look right through you and are robotically polite. The security guards are obnoxiously rude and manifest nothing but disdainful contempt for the customers. The cafe staff are so charismatic and joyful, and their coffee is so good, that I looked forward to seeing them every morning at 7 am. The gym and the people who work in it are professional, well-informed and vigilant.

The reason for saying that you should on no account stay at the West Side YMCA is that the disgusting state of the bathrooms is something no one should have to endure. This view is clearly shared by the people whose job it is to clean them.

The YMCA misleadingly describes the bathrooms reserved for its “deluxe room” guests as “semi private, single use.” There is no such thing as a “semi private” bathroom. All of the bathrooms at the YMCA are as public as can be and the locks on at least half of them do not work and members of the public burst in while you are in the shower (or worse). While it is possible to remain good humoured about this, the same cannot be said when confronted with the contents of an unflushed toilet, or when used toilet paper is strewn all over the floor, or the results of someone’s late night expectoration is splashed across the hand-basin, or when stepping over human excrement to reach the shower. I’ve heard that hook worm can help cure allergies, so maybe that is one beneficent side effect of these filthy bathrooms, but as I have no bothersome allergies I intend to avoid the West Side YMCA in future.

I am not exaggerating. Immediately after writing this, at 10:19 pm on Friday May 28, I wanted to be sure I was not being unfair to the West Side YMCA so I checked the bathrooms on the 13th floor. Three had locks which did not work. One had a toilet which was full of you know what. One had a sink containing human effluent. The sink in another contained strangely large clumps of human hair. All the bathrooms had used paper towels strewn over the floor and two had used toilet paper thrown onto the floor around the stained, long uncleaned toilet bowl. In one the shower was full of old shampoo bottles and discarded bits of used soap. In another several discarded and old razors lay about beneath the mirror. At 10:20 am on May 29 I visited the bathrooms again. The cleaner had just completed his rounds and the locks were working once more. The bathroom I went into had obviously been cleaned because the floor was still wet from being mopped but there was used toilet paper on the floor, used hand towels strewn around the hand basin and floor, hair in the hand basin, old used soap and shampoo bottles in the shower recess, and in the name of common decency all I will say is that the toilet itself was disgusting.

This is what you will encounter if you stay in the “de luxe bedroom with semi –private single use bath” at the West Side YMCA

Shared bathrooms need not be like this. I have stayed at the Vanderbilt YMCA on 47th Street and 3rd Avenue three times since September 2009 and there bathrooms were kept spotlessly clean at any time of the day. They were also well maintained and the locks worked, guaranteeing complete privacy without any of this “semi private” rubbish the West Side Y puts out.

So, steer clear of the West Side YMCA at West 63rd Street, unless you want to drop in for the coffee. I have to come back to New York next week and I am forking out $300 for the cheapest hotel room I can find.

Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
8  Thank wme79736
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2010

We have stayed at the Vanderbilt Y previously and generally know what to expect, but this was our first stay at the West Side Y because of the location and the things we wanted to do in the area. The location on 63rd Street near Central Park, Lincoln Center and Julliard is fantastic and the cost for 2 including tax was only $102, a bargain for NYC.

After reading the reviews, I expected it to be worse that it was. The rooms for 2 have bunk beds in a relatively small space, the TV is hung on the wall and worked fine (the Vanderbilt Y TVs never seemed to work right). There is a desk and chair--no chest of drawers for clothes, but there was a closet (which the other Y did not have) to hang clothes and there were extra blankets. The mattress was adequate, but the pillow was fair. Towels were large and fluffy. The only toilet item in the room were 2 small bars of soap, so be prepared to bring your own shampoo, etc. We were on the 10th floor on a weeknight and it was very quiet and seemed to have few guests on that floor. We only stayed one night and came in late so check in was fast since there were few others checking in.

The Y has a nice cafe on the first floor-all self serve--we had breakfast of whole wheat pancakes (about $6) which were tasty, but were not hot and probably were on a steam table and a Canadian bacon and egg sandwhich (about $3)--adding coffee and tea, it came to $13. Not too bad, but if you wanted something more gourmet and a little more expensive there are spots on Broadway and Columbus Ave.

We felt that the worst part of our stay were the bathrooms--the 2 urinals did not work in the men's room and the smell was overwhelming. Sinks were filled with water because the drains did not work and while using the sinks, if someone was using the shower, you tended to get all wet from water coming from the showers. The Vanderbilt Y bathrooms, while not great, were far better than this place. Management should pay more attention to these problems--it is a real turnoff and we did not want to take a shower in these very subpar facilities.

Another concern was the luggage room--you have to pay $1 to store your luggage after you check out, which is a real plus. However, this set up is not managed correctly--the luggage room is unlocked and anyone can enter it and you go in and get your own luggage--the clerk does check to see if it is your luggage once you get it, but after reading the previous reviews about this, we did not leave anything of value in our luggage when it was stored. The Vanderbilt Y seems to have a more secure system of luggage storage..

This never going to be the Ritz and you have to be aware of what you are getting for your money--it does need more attention to the bathrooms and better security for the luggage area.

T

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Pnemiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2010

On the bright side you are seconds from Central Park, Trump Tower, Lincoln Plaza etc - five stars for location. The gym is also well equipped and the staff are brilliant - making it a great bonus for the stay at the Y.

The room I'm staying in on the other hand seems straight out of a public hospital ward. As soon as the doors to the lift open on level the whift of something horrid greets you. Walking down the corridoor the carpets are stained and the walls aren't much better.

The room itself doesn't smell but the double bed seems exceptionally small and feels more like a table, the toilet gives you a workout when trying to push the handle to flush it, the hot water for the shower seems harder to find than a ticket to the most popular ticket on Broadway, and the television is barely watchable because of the static. The rooms are cleaned daily and fresh towels and toiletries provided.

I suspect there are better bargains out there...but then again there is a bit of adventure to be had staying at the Y (despite its quirks).

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank PeteFromAustralia
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 #26 of 163 Specialty Lodging in New York City
Price Range: $100 - $175 (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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