Seafarers & International House
123 E. 15th St. (at Irving Place), New York, United States
Doubles from: $104 to $145
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Reviewed by EuroCheapo.com Editors
The Seafarers and International House is run by the Augustana Lutheran mission as, officially at least, a sanctuary for sailors and sojourners. With rates this low in central Manhattan, we’ll happily hop aboard!
In addition to its great location, a stone's throw from Union Square, and low rates (as low as $104 for a double room sharing a bath), the Seafarers and International House provides a friendly—if undeniably religious—atmosphere.
Pros: Inexpensive, clean rooms. Central, although not touristy, neighborhood.
Cons: Rooms are small and simple. Baths are shared.
The 84 rooms are extremely bare bones. We can't say that they're especially aesthetically inviting or otherwise compelling, but they do the trick. Furniture is a bit worn, walls are lightly painted and bedspreads are mottled rainbow ice cream numbers. Wall-to-wall carpets prevail.
All are air-conditioned and equipped with telephones, free Wi-Fi and cable television.
And where else among the legions of hotels in Manhattan does a hotel lobby feel as if it were ripped out of the Midwest hook, line and sinker? After all, it's got low rates, location and friendly management of a type we're far more used to seeing in our hometowns. The Seafarers and International House reception area feels familiar, and not at all like New York City.
The Seafarers & International House is located at the northeast corner of East 15th and Irving Place, one block east of leafy Union Square, home to a daily farmers’ market and several subway lines.
This location will be extremely convenient for those heading out to the bars and restaurants of the East Village (just a couple of blocks south), Greenwich Village (a short walk west), and even Chelsea (about 10-15 minute walk).
This neighborhood has a much more “local” flavor to it than tourist-heavy Midtown West.
User reviews in brief
User reviews of the Seafarers and International House mostly agree that the hotel is a great value, considering its location. Most readers raved about the value, friendliness of the staff and the hotel's central location. The shared baths were kept clean (although one reader recommended packing flip-flops). The laundry room in the basement was a hit, as well.
A few reviews complained that the rooms were small, but this is largely the case throughout New York, especially for budget hotels. One reviewer, however, pointed out that for a long stay (in his case one week), the small room became downright claustrophobic.
Subways: One block away at Union Square you’ll find a slew of subway lines, including the 4/5/6, N/Q/R and L trains.
JFK: From JFK, take the Air Train to the Howard Beach Subway Station. From there, take the "A" train to 14th Street in Manhattan. At 14th Street, take the "L" train two stops to Union Square and walk to the hotel.
LaGuardia: From LaGuardia, we'd recommend either taking a shuttle bus to Grand Central Station or a taxi (for about $25) to the Seafarers and International House.
Newark: From Newark, we'd suggest taking the Air Train to the NJ Transit station, and then any NJ Transit train into Pennsylvania Station. Then take the subway (lines A, C, E) "downtown" to 14th Street, and finally transfer to the "L" train to Union Square.
For more information on these airports, see our article on getting in from the airport.
Note: This hotel was visited by a EuroCheapo editor and is recommended based on cleanliness, location, price and overall quality. EuroCheapo did not charge this hotel to be listed.
- Reception: 24-Hour
- Wi-Fi: Free
- Air conditioning
- Cable TV
About the Seafarers & International House neighborhood
Once the provenance of political rallies and drug pushers, Union Square underwent a complete overhaul in the '80s and is now lined by trendy restaurants and giant chain stores, and hosts its own farmers' market four days a week. Gramercy is an upscale area lined with elegant Victorian-style townhouses, and is home to the serene Gramercy Park, built in 1831. From here, it's an easy walk to the East Village, Greenwich Village, and the Garment District.