“ 224 East 47th Street, NY 10017, between Second & Third Avenues. Tel: +1 (212) 756 9600. „
* Prices may differ from that shown
I have heard so many mixed reviews from friends who have stayed in hotels in New York. Usually they failed to live up to their expectations, being dirty or noisy and all far from cheap. A friend of mine sugested I stated at the Vanderbilt YMCA when visiting New York. It is cheap, and although unglamourous, you know exactly what to expect when you get there. After tax we paid each $333 for a week (works out as £223 with a dismal exchange rate of $1.49 to the pound). So really not a bad price, all things considered. For this price, we had a small room with bunkbeds on the 7th floor which is accessable by lift and staircase, and the rooms are operated by a key card and each resident gets one each. Both beds come with sheets and a blanket, and you get fresh towels and a maid service every day. We also had a wall mounted TV with cable, a refridgerator, a desk, and a small area for hanging clothes. Also included was free WiFi access, which was handy as I have this feature on my iPhone, plus heating and airconditioning. Bathrooms are shared, but were always clean and well maintained. There were also two separate shower rooms, so I never had to queue at all. For the sporty, also included was the use of the gym and pool, although I am ashamed to admit I didn't use either. The staff there were also friendy. One day I managed to lock myself out, and with some ID, they created me a new card in a matter of seconds, I was very impressed. Also, location-wise It was brilliant being in Manhattan rather than neighbouring districts. The hostel is about 5 minute walk from grand central station, 10 minutes to Times Square and maybe 10-15 minutes from 5th Avenue. The nearest subway is also two blocks away. The hostel also does dormitary room beds, and also rooms with 3 and 4 beds. Of course the more to a room, the cheaper it becomes. Although we were two 20 something males, there appeared to be a varied mix of people of all ages and also families with children. Booking online is straightforward, you need to enter creditcard information, but you're free to cancel without penalty 3 days before travel. They just send you an email confirmation which you need to take to reception and payment is in full on arrival. As long as you're aware of the room's limitations, I think this is an excellent place to stay in terms of cleanliness, location and price. People I know paid double what we did in other places and didn't have nearly as good an experience. I will definitely stay there again.
I have stayed in the Vanderbilt twice now. The first time was through a friends recommendation, and although you have to share a shower/toilet area I never had to queue during my stay. The second time we originally booked into Jazz on the Park in North Manhattan which was awful (but thats a different review). The Vanderbilt is located just across from Central Park and the Empire State which makes it ideal for just about everything. There are plenty of rooms, albeit bunkbeds so no nookie and there is an excellent cafe/diner thing just round the corner that sells gorgeous breakfasts, as well as an Irish pub which servers Stella! They also have a swimming pool, but you have to wear a rubber hat if you use it. All in all I would definitely stay again, for sheer convienience and cost, although I wouldn't take the missus' there.
I stayed here for 6 nights on a school trip to NY when I was 15. From the outside, it looks quite impressive - its down a dark little street but it's within walking distance of the centre of NY and the shops. In the lobby is a self-service cafe/restaurant which is unvaried but quite cheap and good quality. I recommend breakfast there, especially the pancakes, although the service is mind-numbingly slow. Theres also a little shop with postcards, stamps etc. There are 10 floors, with hundreds of rooms. The room is tiny, with a bunkbed taking up about 3/4 of the space, and the rest taken up by a chest of drawers with a cable TV on top. If your suitcase doesn't fit under the bed, you can try and balance it on top of a few hooks that constitute the wardrobe, but I don't recommend it because it will fall off in the middle of the night. The bunkbed has no ladder (well, ours didn't) so you climb up the end of the bed. Be careful, because the beds are on wheels and are easily pushed to the other side of the room! Also, the person in the top bunk has to be perfectly still or the squeaking will drive the other person mad. It is a very safe place, you have to show your room key in order to get in the lift and go up to your room. There are always two quite big security guys hanging about in the lobby! There are 2 lifts for the whole building, and in the morning it can take 20 minutes (no exaggeration!) of going up and down in the lifts, with the doors constantly opening on the same floor, jam-packed with the same carriage full of people, before you reach the lobby. However, it's very clean. There is a communal bathroom on each floor (separated by sex) but there were only 2 showers on our floor, with about 20 people wanting a shower each morning. Rooms have a heater/air conditioning, and a window with a great view of some other windows. There is a pool, but you must be over 16 to use it. There is an alternative pool for younger peop le, but we couldn't find it! Also, shy English take note that there are no changing rooms, only locker rooms.