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.
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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