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The Vanderbilt YMCA
Reviewed 13 June 2011

I’ve stayed here for a little longer period of time due to work.
I believe people need to see this place in perspective when they book a room. You shouldn’t think of it as a hotel, but as a hostel where you get your own private ‘bunk’.
Instead of sleeping with sweaty, snoring and smelly people in one big room, you get your own little place to snore, watch TV, stay up late or get up early all you want!
Off course this is not a 5star hotel (despite the location!) but you are not paying for a 5star are you?
Because reviews can make you both feel good and bad (scared even) before you leave on a trip, I decided to write one about the Vanderbilt. Hoping to get you all you want to know before you arrive :)

My experiences:
1) The room is private, but small. The privacy makes it a safe place to keep your stuff, which is very pleasant! And since the security checks your room key before going up (make sure to show it when you come in and they will be happy) the safety of the hotel is very good!
About the size; With 2 people mostly this would be crampy. Trying to leave your stuff organized will make this a lot easier! The walls are empty and the light is pretty bright. If you think this will affect your mood, remember you are only here to sleep. Also, opening your door helps with the feeling of being cramped in the room and brings in fresh air. (and you meet people!)
If you stay longer, bring some sticky gum and photo’s/flag. Fill up those walls! You will have a tv with 32 Cable channels, a desk, drawers under the bed and most rooms have a (table size) fridge!

2) Since you have a fridge, you can go to the supermarkets (on 48th/2nd or the organic Amish one on 45th/between 2nd and 3rd) and get some breakfast. Saves lots of money and it’s fun. Utensils are free at the every local supermarket, Deli and or other food shop.

3) Off course, if you want to eat cereal, you need a bowl and if you want to cook you need a kitchen. Luckily there is one! The 4th floor has a kitchen for students, front desk can access your card to it. Across from it is a simple lounge, where btw the internet reception is great if your room one fails!
The kitchen is very simple, but has some stuff you need for cooking and eating. Good way to save money again!

4) The heating thing… Yes, in the winter (until around beginning of April) it makes banging/ticking noises. It sounds like someone is banging a hammer against the pipes. BUT; this only lasts a few minutes and happens about 4/5 times a night (or day). Sure, it’s not cool. But I’ve been told it’s common in old buildings and if you sleep well, you won’t notice. If it does bug you? Around the corner on 2nd Av. Is a Duane Read (pharmacy) that’s open 24Hours where a few bucks buys you some nice earplugs. Either way, you might just as well have trouble sleeping for the City that never sleeps You never know ;)
If the heating is to hot (happens fast! The first few days in freezing winter, I was walking around in a tank top), turn it off completely and just ask for an extra blanket instead. The heat of the building will keep you room on a normal temperature, so you won’t freeze.
During the summer this City gets pretty hot and humid. Your room has an AC in it!

5) Laundry you can do on the 3rd floor, where you pay 3,75 in quarters for washing (30min) and drying (45min). An additional 4 quarters gets you powder and fabric softener.

6) Staff.. I’ve noticed, it really depends on who you are talking to. But in general, if you ask nicely, be understanding/calm, most things are possible. This may sound a bit crazy, since you are the PAYING guest here! But.. maybe someone is just having a hard day? People in the city work many many hours, often two jobs. You try being nice all the time. Once again, matter of perspective and experiences. I noticed, when you are understanding you get a hell of a long way :)

7) The area! The location is simply awesome. You are right next to the UN Headquarters and one of the trump towers. The nice Turtle Bay park is 3 blocks down and Grand central is 5 minutes away. Lex-53 is 7 minutes and Time Square is 15min. All these stations get you everywhere with the subway! You are in 5min walking distance of 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock) and St. Patricks Cathedral. Central Park is about 25 minutes. It’s a very safe neighborhood and pretty quiet to. During the week there are mostly business people around, in the weekend it’s mostly tourists and local outside. Walking outside as a woman is very safe here and there a lots of places to grab a bite to eat of have a drink (bring your ID!)

8) They have no restaurant or room service. They do have free use of the 2 swimming pools (bring a cap) and fitness areas on the 4th floor of the membership building. (not the same as the hotel part) They also have 2 kinds of steam rooms in the locker rooms and many showers there, if the one on your floor is busy. Free shampoo/shower gel is in every shower available. Your room gets clean towels every day or you get them in the locker rooms. Any of these things are included in the price and after a day of walking, the sauna feels like heaven! Personally, I have never experienced any weird things in the locker rooms, like people described, but off course I’ve never been in the men’s locker rooms / showers.

9) I read they had bed bugs a while ago. I can tell you, I had them ones in my stay, but I brought them in myself after a movie-visit. (I’d been there too long for them to be in my room before!)
The responds was great, they gave me a temp. room until mine was fully cleaned and assisted me with getting my clothes cleaned! They felt bad and did everything they could and should do! They have someone regularly cleaning the rooms to prevent it and all the beds have plastic covers to protect you, causing the risk to be put to a absolute minimum!

The price/quality thing…..
This one, you have to decide on your own. If you are looking for a luxury place to spend your trip, don’t go here. But if you’re looking for a affordable place to sleep on a good location, well then, here you go. Hoping this was useful and you will all fully enjoy this wonderful city!!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled solo
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28  Thank Frequent_long_stay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 June 2011

The location is perfect for exploring Manhattan, but this is not a hostel, more a hotel with no service. Closeby Grand Central Station, a small piece of the Berlin Wall and United States. But the area itself (commercial centre) isn't that great, there are a few restaurants, bars and enough places to buy your breakfast. The entrance is a main entrance for the hostel, the gym and a child care. After closing hours of these community services, you will have to show your pass to the guards, they are there 24/7.
The hostel is 10 story high building with nothing but small bedrooms with 1 or 2 bunkbeds (don't know if there are big dorms). In our room we had a refrigarator, don't know if it's in every room. The hallway (W-shaped) provides 3 toilets and 6 showers per gender, the are clean. You don't need the code you will recieve for the ladiesbathroom (on the 10th) cause the lock been broken. Be sure to check it. Last but not least: take earplugs if you will need the airco, cause they are very old and noisy, nut just noisy, but exactly VERY loud.

For short: if you just need a bed, this is a one of the cheapest places the stay in Manhattan. Take your earplugs and flipflops, and you will be alright and save a lot of time travelling. But don't expect any socializing, kitchen or athmosphere.

Room Tip: Try the lower levels, cause it's hot upstairs.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dounia81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2011

Yes its in a good location and yes the price is good [not value]. But, after a hard day walking and touring around you do not want to come home to this shoebox to lay in a bunk, because thats all you can do, unless you want to go down to reception and listen to the staff be rude to everyone who dares enter or heaven forbid ask a reasonable question. This place needs to close, just because you can get away with sub standard accomidation and service doesn't mean you have keep doing it. The rooms are like a prison cell and the staff are so bad [who employed these people?], It spoilt what should have been a great time in New York. I am a seasoned traveller, but wasn't prepared for this. The worst thing is that you cant leave, because last minute hotels in New York dont really exist, unless you can pay $400 night, trust me. On 2 occasions when I had to brace myself for the humiliation of the front desk, people were checking out early that could, so heed this.
When I booked, I felt, all you need is a bed and a shower, seriously that is all you get, no real personal space except the confinds of the bunk bed, no relax space to ponder the day or even sit with your partner or friend to talk. Not good value if all you want to do is leave.

Room Tip: Go elsewhere
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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JohndayYeodene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2011

Dont expect 5 star luxury but its fine as a place to sleep at night. At the end of the day your in new york to see the sights and explore. The only thing I would say is the room we stayed in was very small. With two cases it was a squeeze.

The staff were fine with us no shouting no rudeness. I guess it depends on who you speak to. We lost our room key and they were more than happy to help!

One other thing is the subway isnt that close. I stayed in another hostel in new york and the subway was right round the corner, this really makes a difference as you have to walk a fair bit.

Shower access was fine didnt have to wait too long.

  • Stayed: May 2011
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1  Thank andyman5002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2011

Stayed for 2 days at the Y recently. Paid about $90/night. Mon and Tuesday. Room is very small BUT for a hostel no complains. Room has a TV and small fridge. My room was close to the end of the hallway so I didn't experience all the noise or ruckus others are complaining about. The noise from the pipes didn't bother me at all. The room has an AC unit. It makes noise obviously but nothing louder than what you would expect on any older window unit.
The bed is so-so BUT hey it's no waldorf astoria. I used it just to sleep and that's it. From that standpoint it can't be beat considering the location and price. I couldn't find anything under $200 in Manhattan for the week I was there.
The only real complain I have is the staff which could've been more accommodating. The housekeeping staff were friendly BUT can't say the same for the front desk/check in. They're indifferent at best. The room is very small but pretty clean and the common bathroom is ok as well. I didn't use wi-fi or the gym but heard the rooms have terrible signal. You have to go to the lobby area to get online.
If you're a solo traveler on a budget and all you want is just a place to crash at night then I would recommend this place.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled on business
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Thank MrWorldTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2011

This place will suit people who are content with a bed in a good location at a good price.

WARNING: Most the staff at the YMCA Vanderbilt on the ground floor offer dreadful “service”.

The staff at reception treat you like you are a problem not a guest. The men at security are disgustingly rude and obnoxious, and will frequently yell at guests. It is not uncommon for them to also just grunt instead of talk to you.

Rooms and bathrooms are poorly serviced and WIFI barely works (certainly not in the rooms). Rooms are cold – be sure to ask for a blanket (but don’t expect to get one without a fight or argument with the security staff!).

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Penske-files
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2011

I'd read previous reviews, so knew what to expect in terms of its quality, but it really is saved by its location and price. Travelling solo, and wanting a private room, I defy anyone to find anything close to the £50 a night I paid that's even on Manhatten!!

On East 47th St, between 2nd and 3rd Ave, the location is fantastic. A 10 mins walk to Grand Central Station, 20 mins to Times Square, and in a seemingly safe area of town. Plenty of shops and bars close by.

There are two desks on the ground floor - the security and the actual reception. Check-in was quite slow, partly because its also reception for the gym and swimming pool within the building. On the security desk was one bloke who actually came across quite hostile if you dared to ask him a question. Also, remember to show your roomcard to him if you want to get in the lift. I saw him shout at people despite no-one actually telling you that you have to do this!! Anyway, they weren't all bad, one of the other guys was very helpful with the luggage storage room.

Its a pretty huge place, with probably about 50 rooms on each floor (of which there are 10ish). I had a single room on the 5th, which was very spartan. A terribly uncomfortable bed, lino floor, desk, chair, quite a large fridge, tv, and some shelves. Not much room to spread out. I know people have written about clanking pipes during the night, but I thought it was more of a constant groaning noise! I didn't sleep too badly really, but that's after long days trudging the streets of New York! Bathrooms (separate male and female) were communal, with separate lockable shower rooms. I only saw 2 on my floor but didn't have to wait to use them. Generally quite clean, though they did get a bit smelly every now and again.

The hostel has a gym and pool attached. You need to have a swimming cap to use the pool. If you don't have your own its $10 to buy one. I did this and never used to damn thing as everytime I went down there, there seemed to be a class on. Check the timetables!!

In summary, this is the place to stay if you want real budget standard accommodation in a great location, at a fantastic price. Don't expect miracles, you get what you pay for in terms of your bedroom. If you're the type of person who just really needs a bed for the night, this is the place. If you need your comforts, like fluffy pillows, complimentary soaps and en-suite bathrooms then avoid.You have been warned!!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Thank majp81
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

Address: 224 E 47th St, New York City, NY 10017-2102
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 163 Speciality Lodging in New York City
Price Range: £73 - £129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The Vanderbilt YMCA 2*
Number of rooms: 400
Reservation Options:
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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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