“ 55 Central Park North, New York, NY 10026. „
The view from the roof of this place is magnificent! If you can sneak up and be quiet enough not to get caught out then you can spend an evening up there with a few friends overlooking the whole of Manhattan and Central Park, lit up and looking gorgeous. Our room held 8 people, although doubles are available, and was comfortable, a little stuffy and cramped, but cheap. The hostel itself is relatively clean and will certainly do at only $20 a night. The decor is bright and vibrant and adds to the great, friendly atmosphere in the foyer and red basement. While we were there for a week in August they held several music nights and comedy events in the basement for $5 and free beer. We also took a trip to the Ricki Lake show with the hostel and managed to get on screen for only $3! Downstairs there is a laundry room, cafe, internet service and T.V, and a great deli/grocery store right next door. With regards to being able to get around the city from the hostel - it's so easy. There are several bus stops nearby and the 110th St Subway station is only a few metres away. Although it's situated in Harlem on 110th St (you know the song? 'Across 110th St'?) it's well manned with plain clothed security and of course the police are always around! Gunshots at night are a frightening sound - you will be safe there though - don't go wandering around at night or on your own - in fact just don't go wandering at all. The only bad things I would say about the Hostel are that it's difficult to get into the bathrooms as there are really only 1 per 50ish people and that they really didn't seem to care that someone had stolen my sleeping bag from my locked room. But hey, it's a cheap hostel, within 15 mins of Manhattan and it's great fun there if you're up for it.
When I booked the hostel for me and my three friends, i had never been to New York before and was basically making wild stabs in the dark. I think that for a first attempt i didnt do too badly. On our way to the hostel our taxi driver warned us that the hostel was at the top of Central Park and therefore very close to Harlem which is one of the three places to avoid in New York at night(the others being China Town and Central Park- so basically we were located between 2 of the supposedly most dangerous places in NYC come night fall!!). We were recieved relatively warmly, paid our monies and went up to our room. We were all sharing a room with 2 double beds in. We were in a confined space together and expected conflicts but nothing major arose!We shared a bathroom down the hall with several other guests. We suffered a leaking radiator half way through our stay but this was dealt with swiftly and efficiently by staff. Lockers, Pay phones, Internet access and a snack bar are all available in the lobby. The hostel is also a sort of drop in centre and some of the visitors in the lobby may seem fearsome and hostile at first glance but in general are keen to chat and make new friends. The location of the hostel is its only downside, being at the top end of Central Park means that it is far away from Manhattans main attractions. Despite this taxis are frequent and the subway is near by. Next door to the hostel is a Deli, which comes in handy for those late night munchies. A definate plus point to the hostel is the view from many rooms, it over looks Central Park, and looked beautiful on a frosty february morning.