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“Budget ropey old hostel - but great location”

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The Vanderbilt YMCA
Ogmore-by-Sea, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
306 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 265 helpful votes
“Budget ropey old hostel - but great location”
Reviewed 16 April 2011

This is a mixed review as it depends what you are looking in your stay. I took a group of 50 students to the YMCA for 4 nights, purely for it's great location and cheap costs. If you are on a tight budget and want something central, secure and typically 'no frills hostel' then the YMCA does the job - it's fine.

However, from a personal perspective, I found it old, cramped, run down with lots of flaws. The rooms were tiny with basic bunk beds, oversized redundant furniture and badly maintained equipment. The windows were either too stiff to open or gaped widely, a little dangerous when you are on the 8th floor. The radiators and heating system clunked and gurgled all night, as did the squeaky old beds and the constant banging of doors in the corridor. The electrics appeared very dodgy, especially in some of the rooms, where plugs were literally hanging out of the walls on wires. The shared facilities were ropey - clean but a little unkept. For example, the door to the shower in the shared bathroom had a broken window and didn't close. There were only 2 lifts servicing the whole block so you can expect to wait a while getting from your floor to the lobby.

All that might be a little negative, but there were a lot of pros. The staff were very friendly and patient (especially with our large group of teenagers). They were quick to come and sort out issues, like replacing some bedding and a matress. The central location is great, only short walk from Times Square and all the action. There's a huge variety of places to eat on the doorstep along 47th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Tip: Below the lobby is a great swimming pool with excellent facilities: ample power showers, changing areas, toilets, dressing rooms which were all well kept and clean. I'd definitely recommend taking the lift down here in the mornings or evenings to shower as it's much nicer than the shared bathrooms on each floor. Although there are plenty of eating options in the area, I'd recommend Cafe Basil Gormet on 3rd, just 5 mins away (opposite Star Bucks). Amazing breakfasts: fruit, bagels, fry-ups, salad, sushi and the coffee is fantastic.

With a bit of care, attention and updating, the YMCA could be a really good option for the budget traveller. We had no problems and I'd probably take another student group back.

Room Tip: Budget, no frills, good location but tired
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank AllisonTuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Lyon, France
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2011

I've used to stay in hostel in NY - however I tried the YMCA last time. I paid about $70 / night for a room. If the room is really small (just a bed) and poorly furnished, the location + the rate made it a really good choice in NYC - since the YMCA is situated not so far from the rockfeller center / grand central (so convenient with subways).

General atmosphere: friendly - young travelers
Positive: the rate / own bedroom / amenities (sauna, swimming pool) / quiet to NYC standard
Negative: does not have a kitchen (you have to buy meals - quite logic, but I'm used to hostels and saving money by making straight pastas generally speaking). collective showers / restrooms.

A weird aspect was the reputation of YMCA as a cruisy gay male place. As a young gay male, I was quite afraid sometimes - especially in the sauna / steam room and in the collective restrooms at 3am, when an older dude ('elder') followed me quite interested by my body. I guess it won't be noticeable for any straight people - since it is really coded - but I found it quite surprising and somewhat offensive (especially at 3am). It was my only bad experiment.

So yes, if you need your own room (no guest whatsoever), the YMCA is a good cheap choice - kind of a good mix between disneyland for elder pervy (but inoffensive), cheap quality accommodation and the soviet union (collective shower). I really appreciated the steam room after 12h of walk non stop in NY - by the way. If your are a student wanting to save money, you should definitely consider this option - concurrently with some of NYC good hostels.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LuWang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2011

We are from Puerto Rico and we stay at YMCA Vanderbilt from 3/17/11until 3/20/11. The YMCA Vanderbilt is located in a walkable distance to Third Avenue, Chysler Building, Grand Central Station and just a few blocks from Times Square. Service was good, Security was good and the value is extra good. Nothing to complaint about it. The rooms are small but cozy. They have opportunities regarding the cleanliness of the rooms, but nothing to cry about it. I read a lot of bad critics, probably from people who pay $30 per night to stay in a hostel but expect a Waldorf Astoria Room. Be realistic, a hostel is a nice, cheap and affordable alternative to stay in New York City, do not expect luxuries. Just a room to sleep and plan your trips to New York City. Highly recommended for people who wants to see the best of New York, do shopping and have a great night at the bars.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Adoken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2011

For me, one of the most important factors when choosing accommodation is the location. I, personally, love a good balance between being in a safe well-known area and being away from the super touristy areas of a city; The Vanderbilt has this balance.
Me and my traveling companion walked to all the touristy areas and all the way back and even at night the area felt safe.
The rooms were very small and were basically just a bed, desk and fridge..oh and a tv (that didn't work, but who needs a TV when you're visiting New York?!)
We found the shared bathroom and shower always very clean and always stocked with body wash, soap and toilet roll. Also the water fountain in the hallway was much appreciated.
Staff at the help desk were well informed and they helped with storing suitcases and hiring a shuttle to the airport.
The atmosphere of the place was also pretty great , you really feel like part of the community.
If you are visiting NY on a budget and don't mind having a no frills place to crash this place is perfect. Also there is a great, very cheap pizzeria called Red Stone only a 5 minute walk from the hostel.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank puddlemoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Casteggio, Italia
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 12 March 2011

The hostel was right in the middle of town, that means lots of noise, it's New York! I didn't care about the noise anyway, apart from one night when the firm alarma kept us awake for 2 hours and there was no fire at all, but I'd better no complain about that, I prefer to stay awake for a false fire alarm than not being tell in case of a new one. The room was quite small, I was with a friend and we had some difficulty in moves but it was ok. The bathroom were clean enough, the only scary thing it's that one night I found a huge red insect in the toilet, luckily it was dead and I found it only 1 night out of 12 that I have been there, so after all my experience was pretty good.

Stayed September 2010, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank elenina88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2011

Rooms are old, but clean. There are some large bathrooms with a private shower.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BrunoA75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rock Springs, Wyoming
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2011

OK, let me say that I have stayed here quite a few times so this review is not based on an isolated event. I have stayed there over the years because of the location and the price...can't beat the price in Manhattan. However, I have HAD IT with this place! Never, ever stay here again. The customer service is ATROCIOUS. They are invariably rude and unprofessional. It is so bad you almost feel like you are being punked or something. I made a reservation at THEIR website at 2pm and when I arrived at 11pm to check in the only person there was a security guard who was extremely rude and unprofessional and said I was not on the list and could not check in. I showed him my reservation and he simply repeated while obnoxiously, loudly chewing his gum, that I was not on the list. I persisted and he made some phone calls. After about 45 minutes, he gave me a room key and took my passport (insisted on keeping it!). The next day I went down to check out and pay and they had all this attitude TOWARDS ME. Unbelievable. Then they told me the price was $115 when my reservation clearly states $105. Finally they relented, but just incredible rudeness. They act like they are doing YOU A FAVOR. And let me say, similar things have happened several times before. Alright, now the rooms...some are OK, and some are HORRIBLE. I got one this time right by the elevator and facing the street. You can only imagine the constant noise. Practically no sleep at all. So, that's it. NEVER AGAIN!!!!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank viajeroso71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about The Vanderbilt YMCA

Property: The Vanderbilt YMCA
Address: 224 E 47th St, New York City, NY 10017-2102
Phone Number:
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 163 Speciality Lodging in New York City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — The Vanderbilt YMCA 2*
Number of rooms: 400
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Also Known As:
The Vanderbilt Ymca Hotel New York City
Ymca Vanderbilt
Ymca New York
New Vanderbilt Ymca York
Vanderbilt Ymca New York
Ymca Nyc

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