The west side YMCA has one of the best locations for a budget traveller that New York can offer. I didn't expect much seeing as it was so cheap, but I have to say that I was disappointed with the unhelpfulness of the staff.
Apart from Nick (I
think that is the guys name if I remember correctly), no one else seemed to want to offer any help at all. In fact the guy at the desk when I arrived told me that I could go and find somewhere else to stay (after they'd taken my money) when I asked why he needed to take my passport from me overnight.
I know it is a youth hostel, but the rooms could also do with a lick of paint.
In short, if you're heading to New York and you need a cheap place to stay, cut your trip by 1 day and use the money you save to stay somewhere else
I opted for the semi-private (bathroom) room because it offered the private, although shared, bathroom. The employees were nice and polite during both check in and check out. The room was tiny. Just enough to squeeze a single bed, desk, and a
stand alone open closet with two hangers and three or four small shelves. There was a small flatscreen TV that I received good reception on for the limited amount of time I watched anything. The mattress was maybe four inches thick. You are supplied with one sheet, one very thin blanket, and a frail pillow. My back is still aching four days after my last night sleeping in that bed. The bathrooms were one hall over from my room. There were three bathrooms which included a sink, toilet, and shower and you could lock the door. I never had an issue with finding one vacant immediately when required. The actual cleanliness of the bathrooms were not so bad, with the exception of what other guests had left since the last cleaning. The problem with the bathrooms are that they look like they have not been updated since the building was built in 1896. The tile is old, broken, cracked, unaesthetic, and the grout is degraded. I did see mold in two of the three showers along the caulk lines. The location at W 63rd and Central Park West is phenomenal for the price. Most subway trains and buslines are located nearby. You can walk to much of midtown Manhatten and Broadway. Bottom line, if you plan on doing nothing more than storing your luggage and sleeping there, it is probably the cheapest you will find in this locale. This is not a hostel for families, at least not ones with children, or people with cleanliness issues.
Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Short walk from hotel
Use the subway entrances at Columbus Circle. There is also a Whole Foods in Columbus Circle for quick grabs, but expect to spend your "Whole Paycheck" and spend an eternity waiting in line to pay.
Upon arrival, the first room given me was without a bathroom which I had paid for. The second room had a bathroom but neither was clean. Had my son not accompanied me to drop me off, I would not have been able to start the air-conditioner--the
only source of air available. The location was fine. The staff not really helpful or friendly. The room was simple and small. There was an overhead light which could be turned off and on from the bed--a positive feature.
I am not familiar with NYC prices, but it was not cheap for the inconveniences and lack of cleanliness.
My only real complaint is about the state of the shared bathrooms. One three-toilet, four-shower, four-sink bathroom serves almost a hundred rooms, and toilets and floors should be cleaned more often than they are. And where does one store one's
key card while one showers? Still, the location--blocks from Central Park and Lincoln Center--is superb.
The location is perfect. Half a block from Central Park and a couple of blocks away from the Columbus Circle metro station. The Y is basically a dorm. I knew that going in, so that's what I expected. It was clean and convenient--exactly what I was
The hotel/hostel was what I was expecting. Nothing fancy, but a clean, safe, and comfortable place to stay. The location (next to Central Park and only a few blocks from the Columbus Circle station) was perfect. The staff was friendly and helpful.
Most of the other guests seemed to be European students. But it was quiet for our 3 nights' stay.