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“A love-hate experience”
Review of West Side YMCA

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West Side YMCA
CT
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“A love-hate experience”
Reviewed 22 July 2012

I stayed at the YMCA hostel for 5 nights and there were extremes of what I loved and hated about the place. While my "hates" are very extreme, please consider the "loves" of my review before considering to forgo this place.

Let me start with the hates: As other reviewers have written, the bathrooms were terrible. It looked as if they were regularly cleaned but due to the non-existant ventilation, the bathroom always had a "muggy" smell to it. The bathrooms had near zero privacy, so if you need to shower, be prepared to have people see you naked. Yeah, the curtains were a bit small but there was no place to change or hang up your clothes while you showered. I showered late at night after my touring of the city and there were always people coming in and out of the bathrooms. The weather in July is incredibly hot and the water coming out of the tap was way too hot and it was not good brushing my teeth with hot water. On two occasions, 2 out of 3 toilets were blocked and filled with faeces. From then, I refused to use their toilets and used the ones at the (upmarket) Time Warner shopping centre about 3 mins walk from the hostel. Sure this may be extreme, but the Time Warner toilets were clean and had more privacy. In total, the bathrooms need a complete renovation.

My room was bare with an ugly view but was at least clean and had decent privacy.

My loves:
I loved the YMCA for its location and safety. The area is in a VERY upmarket area a stones throw away from the Trump hotel as well as the Dakota next to Central park. A major subway transport hub at Columbus circle is less than a 5min walk away. For the price ($92 including tax) for a single room, one CANNOT beat the location and transport convenience of this hostel.

I also found the hotel to be very safe. There were strong key card locks on the doors as well as a pin code lock on the female bathroom doors - so that no males are able to walk in. On every passage were security cameras that were motorised and rotated to track me as I walked down the passage. The staff were also friendly and very efficient. I struggled to work the air con and they sent up an engineer within a few minutes, who quickly resolved the situation. Everytime I entered the hostel, the security guard politely asked to see my room key. Again, the staff were very friendly and professional. In contrast to what other reviewers have said, I would say that the YMCA would definitely be safe for young girls and/or kids to stay there.

My room was cleaned every day and a new towel with soap was always provided. I was happy with the cleanliness of the room.

In conclusion, given a limited budget, I would stay at the YMCA again and would rather spend a bit extra and stay in the deluxe rooms that have semi-private bathrooms. My "loves" of this hostel far out weigh the "hates". For this hostel, you want to spend as little time as possible in it and enjoy exploring New York City!

Room Tip: Spend a bit extra on the deluxe rooms that have semi-private bathrooms where you can have a bit more...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank bwil001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
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Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2012

I stayed here on a trip to NYC with a friend. We had booked this hostel because of the price and great location - not only is it right next to Central Park, it's also just round the corner from Columbus Circle metro station making it very easy to get around. The room was small, with just the bunk bed and a table and chair. Most of the table was taken up by a TV, which only just watchable due to the poor signal strength on the cable system.

The room was hot and the air conditioner really struggled to keep the room at a comfortable temperature - it had to be left on for at least an hour to make any difference. Had the weather been any hotter during our stay this might have made it quite difficult to get to sleep. The other issues were the very creaky wooden bunk bed (which lacked a ladder), and the sensor-controlled light which would sometimes activate in the middle of the night if someone rolled over.

The shared toilet and shower facilities were fine, you'll need a bag to keep toiletries and clothes in while you shower and preferably some flip-flops to get to and from your room. Light clothing was acceptable in the hallway, pyjamas would probably be OK and you might (just) get away with a large towel around your waist for a short distance, but apparently guys are expected cover their top half.

All in all it was of acceptable standard for the price we had paid which was very reasonable considering the location. I would almost definitely stay here again if I visited NYC again.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ebzilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2012

I had to spend two nights in Manhattan in June 2012. I searched for a while to find someplace just to stay close to the Lincoln Center area and not break my budget. I have to return in July 2012 for 4 days. I decided to try the YMCA West Side; their webpage indicated they had refurbished rooms. I rented a room with a bunk bed. Once I checked in, I realized I had 1/3 of a room. Well, it had a bed, desk, window AC unit which blew hot air all of the time, and a color TV which did not get good reception. The curtain would not stay closed when the AC was turned on. The room was about 10 x 7...yep, smaller than a prison cell it seemed. :) It was relatively clean for its condition and they brought fresh bath towels only (no wash cloths). The bathrooms were community bathrooms for the entire floor - young females and older males. Not a good setting for a young girl. My first thought upon arriving at the room - don't stay here in July.

Room Tip: To help travelers choose a good room, chose a good lodging establishment - not this YMCA. The staff...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank MamieT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these New York City hotels

Billericay, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 July 2012

This hostel is very good value for money for New York City, rooms were cleaned daily, the bathrooms were always clean, as long as the person before you have been ok. Location - unbeatable! Central park is within spitting distance and is great to walk through of a morning, lots of joggers and dog walkers from 6am onwards

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jcvbpickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2012

The price and location can't be beat! If you simply need a place to stay while you explore the wonders of New York City want and to spend 1/2 the cost of regular NYC hotels, this is the place for you. It's located in Manhattan next to Central Park and it's an 8 minute walk to two subway stops near Lincoln Center.

The rooms and hallways are a bit dreary and smelled as such. A fresh coat of paint and new carpeting would really spruce the place (and smell) up a bit. Despite the ancient look, the key card locks on the doors were top notch. It was surprisingly quiet, so it was possible to get a peaceful night's sleep. Rooms were tidied up each morning. The restrooms were relatively clean and the showers were hot. Guests have use of the gym facilities, so you could always shower in the locker room if you close your eyes against naked members changing and head to a private stall.

Safety is the only reason I didn't have this YMCA a higher rating. While they are supposed to "card" everyone going up to the rooms, they didn't. I was able to walk by several times upon my arrival without being asked to show my room key card. This is scary considering one night a man followed my mom and I up to our floor. When I noticed him, I pretended we had gotten off on the wrong floor and pulled my mom back onto the elevator. He turned around and got back on with us. We went back down to the first floor where he hurried off and left out the front door. I reported this to security who assured us this was a fluke and they've never had any issues. Nevertheless, I still was able to walk by without getting checked. Not good when they say they check everyone.

Another safety concern was the door to the women's bathroom on our floor had a lock on it to prevent men from entering, but the door wouldn't close all the way preventing the lock from engaging. That meant any man could walk in and surprise you while you're in the shower. (This is how I ended up showering in the women's locker room.) The worst part is I had to report this to management FOUR times for a day & a half before they finally fixed it. One of the security guards on duty told me I was the only complaining when I approached her again. I told her I was probably the only one concerned. A poor attitude to take when it comes to guest safety.

Would I stay here again? Maybe.

Room Tip: The 12th and 13th floors have "renovated" rooms which cost more. While I didn't see th...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Black_Planeteer
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

Property: West Side YMCA
Address: 5 West 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10023-7162
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Upper West Side
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #28 of 164 Speciality Lodging in New York City
Price range (per night): ₹ 5,768 - ₹ 10,768
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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