Doubles from: $46 to $60
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
The Hostelling International New York—one of the largest youth hostels in North America—is situated in a stunning historic building just a few blocks from Central Park.
Like most Hostelling International properties throughout the world, the New York outpost is clean, safe and reliable, with myriad services for backpackers and budget travelers.
Pros: Well-equipped facility. Fun environment. Friendly staff. Very clean. Good range of activities and tours.
Cons: Breakfast only included for premium rooms. Slow elevator. Often a wait for the bathrooms.
The HI New York City has a total of 624 beds spread across a variety of dorm rooms. All rooms are simple, spare and sparkling, with metal or wooden bunks and carpeted floors. Each bunk personal light, and rooms are equipped with lockers, an A/C unit and surprisingly comfortable mattresses.
Rooms at the Hostelling International New York come in three types: “Economy” rooms have 10-12 beds, “Standard” dorms have eight beds and “Premium” rooms have four or six beds. All rooms types come in either mixed or single-sex options (note that solo travelers may only stay in single-sex dorms).
A few rooms at the HI New York offer private bathroom facilities, but most rooms share facilities. Either way, the bathrooms are well scrubbed, although the shared bathrooms seem small for the amount of people they service (there may be a wait at high-traffic times).
Towels are included for all rooms, and premium rooms also offer shower slippers.
Like many Hostelling International hostels, the HI New York is situated in a fabulous and historic building, this one a gorgeous 19th-century mansion that was once the headquarters for the “Relief of Respectable, Aged, Indigent Females.” Its red-brick Victorian Gothic exterior has been preserved, and inside, beyond a few wine-cellar-esque brick archways, renovations have rendered things much more modern.
Rooms and hallways feel a bit like a hospital (with bunk beds), but the common spaces are as welcoming as they are plentiful. Guests have access to a well-equipped kitchen, laundry room, comfy TV lounge, library, pool table and cozy café. And, best of all, the hostel boasts Manhattan’s largest privately owned patio, a vast brick number with picnic tables, twinkle lights and plenty of greenery.
The HI New York also has an impressive event calendar, offering everything from free comedy and poetry nights to pub crawls and “clubbing” outings with cheap drink specials. The friendly staff can also book tours throughout the city, including a $10, 14-hour tour beginning at the Brooklyn Bridge and traversing all the city’s majore sights (now that's a Cheapo tour!).
Wi-Fi is free throughout, and an Internet station is available for an additional charge. Breakfast is included in the room rate for Premium rooms only.
The Hostelling International NYC’s Upper West Side location is great for travelers who want to stay where locals live, yet remain close to major attractions. Dining and shopping options cluster along Broadway, and the nearest subway stop is just a block away from the hostel.
The HI New York is situated within three blocks of both Central Park (to the east) and the lovely Riverside Park (to the west). Columbia University, Morningside Park and the impressive Cathedral of St. John the Divine are also within easy walking distance, and Times Square is a short subway ride away.
Subways: The 1 train stops at 103rd Street and Broadway, just one block from the hostel.
JFK: Take the Air Train to Howard Beach Station, then the Manhattan-bound A express train to 59th Street-Columbus Circle. Transfer to the Uptown 1 train to 103rd Street and walk one block to the hostel.
LaGuardia: The M60 public bus stops outside the airport terminals on its way into Manhattan, where it travels west across 125th Street. Take the buse to its final stop at 106th Street and Broadway, and walk about five minutes south to the hostel.
Newark: Take the Air Train to the NJ Transit station, and then any NJ Transit train into New York Penn Station. From there, take an Uptown A or C train to 59th Street-Columbus Circle, and transfer to the Uptown 1 train to 103rd Street. The hotel is a short walk from the station.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor. This review is based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Breakfast Included
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Air conditioning
- Bathroom: Private
- Handicap accessible rooms
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About the Hostelling International New York neighborhood
Located west of Central Park, the Upper West Side is a largely residential area, filled with tall apartment buildings, stately brownstones, and families. The area is home to Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, and Columbia University. One of its greatest attributes may be its borders: you're never more than a few blocks away from either Central Park or leisurely Riverside Park. Famous Harlem, whose importance as a historically African-American neighborhood cannot be matched, begins north of Morningside Heights. Despite its dangerous reputation, Harlem has become much safer... and much more popular with tourists.