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“Fantastic Christmas Stay in the Big Apple!”

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Chelsea International Hostel
Reviewed 13 January 2014

100% location.
100% cleanliness.
100% service.
110% recommended.

My sister and I stayed in the Chelsea International Hostel for 6days over Christmas in NYC, 2013.
First thing is first - the location is great. It is out of the crazy hustle and bustle of NY, settled in the cool, trendy, quirky neighbourhood of Chelsea. A 5minute walk to get the the High Line makes for a great morning stroll, stopping by the Startbucks on the way of course. We caught the subway on 19th street to anywhere we wanted without a problem (I would highly recommend getting the $30 7-day pass for the metro, you save alot especially in Winter where walking long distances is not so tempting).
Although we didn't have the budget to, the Meatpacking district in which Chelsea is situated is host to many fantastic and trendy restaurants.
Between the hostel and the subway station is a movie cinema (Bowtie), two Chinese spa's ($10 manicures!) and a must-do : Murray's Bagels (the best bagel I have ever had, and voted as best in the city).
The area was safe and fun, and the set up of the hostel with apartments blocks each with their own front door opening onto the sidewalk makes one feel like they have their own little place in New York.

We had our own room which was simple and spacious. A heater which worked wonderfully, hot showers (3 per block which was more than enough) and all of the blocks link to one common area with wi-fi, a kitchen and a cool social space.

The hostel had a few rules which they enforced well - such as quiet hours, so although the walls were thin, it was never a bother. Very cosy, warm and clean rooms and areas.

The staff were very friendly and the bagel breakfast included was great. Courtyard very cute, although it was way too cold to go outside when we were there!

Great stay here, very good value-for-money and we felt right at home, which was lovely over Christmas. The only complaint I would have is that there is no free baggage storage area, so if you arrive before you can move into your room, you will be paying $5 per locker to store your suitcase for the day. Otherwise - a great hostel that I would recommend to both young and old.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Paula P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 January 2014

Firstly, I would like to commend the staff here, I have only GOOD things to say about them. But the place itself... not so much. We initially intended to stay 10 nights over Christmas and NYE. Travelling on a budget, we didnt want to pay the ridiculous $$ for a hotel and Chelsea seemed a lovely area. (It is!)
We had pretty low expectations, knowing it was basic and being a hostel n all, but it was lower.
In short, the location is GREAT, it's a CLEAN SMALL room, with an iron cot, a TINY bathroom, a heater, a locker, with unaccessible wifi from room, in a building off the street, with a roof. Dont expect atmosphere. If you're JUST looking for a place to sleep and not meet people...then this is for you. Its the cheapest private room you'll find. Read on for more info.

We booked a private twin room, it had two single beds and a private ensuite. Like I said, the room is basic. Like a shoebox with a a very very very small bathroom. Two iron cots as beds. Large lockers to store your items.
The accomodations are off of the street in 3-4 brownstone walk-up buildings. The first key gets you into the building which you enter off of the street. Then the narrow steep stairs go up three levels. The private rooms are off on all levels. Wifi is not accessible here. We didnt spend any time any time in the common area. To get to it you would need to exit your building, walk on the street, then go through to the courtyard at the back. However there are rooms OFF of the courtyard, and in the building where the kitchen and common area is, i'm not sure what these rooms are like.
The only reason we left was because after our first night we woke up to our door OPEN when it had been locked the night before. You can only get in with a key. This made use feel uneasy as the doors take quite abit to jiggle open even with the key. The staff were very helpful and asked us what we would like them to do, change rooms or change the locks (which they were going to have to do anyway). They were confused as to how it could have even happened. (Note : They do have surveillance cameras on the entrances of the buildings)
We just felt that the room didn't warrant the $135 a night we were paying there just to sleep. So we moved across town.
Thank you to the man on the front desk for helping sort us out!

I know alot of NY places are tiny, but I feel like these rooms could be made to feel a little nicer, fresher, more inviting, and not resembling prison barracks. This place has huge potential, unfortunately it did not work out for us.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank KneecoleC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014

I stayed in a single room at this hostel and loved it. It was one of the best hostels I have stayed in and all of the facilities were very clean. The hostel, including bedroom, was well heated, the bedroom had its own basin, shelves and locker. The bagels and coffee at breakfast were great, and staff very friendly and helpful. Free wifi in the common areas and large courtyard (too cold to enjoy the courtyard in December though but it would be lovely in summer). The neighbourhood is clean, quiet and has lots of cafes and restaurants. Really good value for money, would definitely stay here again

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank scooter4000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2013

Look its a Hostel.
The owner was very helpful and recommended great places to eat. It can get a little noisy at night but its NYC afterall. The bed was small and a little uncomfortable, but for the price in NYC and the location, I'd stay there again.

Room Tip: I guess not facing the street. The bathrooms are small but worth having own bathroom
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Dara-Khmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2013 via mobile

I live in Boston and visit New York often . I don't like to pay high prices because I am there to enjoy the city and rally just need a clean, convenient place to sleep . The Chelsea Hostel fits the bill! I can get a single room for $70. The rooms have sinks in them, and the bathroom and shower are down the hall.
I am a budget traveler and am used to this sort of arrangement, so it doesn't bother me.
The price of the room also includes breakfast. They have bagels, cereal, coffee, fruit, juice, and coffee. It's fun to chat with the visitors from all over the world while you eat breakfast!
The neighborhood is fun and convenient.
This is basically my home away from home when I visit New York!

Stayed: September 2013
Thank Meredith A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

The place could do with updating and upgrading but for a reasonable priced hostel you get what you pay for. The location is very good, wifi doesn't work in the rooms but in the common areas. Breakfast is good - bagel and cereal.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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1  Thank Lauraw03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2013 via mobile

If you're not a particularly fussy traveller and/or you're on a tight budget this place has a lot going for it. There are a lot of positive things which must be said about Chelsea International Hostel and only a few slightly negative ones. I'll start with the negatives. As with most hostels the accommodations are spartan and utilitarian. The beds are small, hard and resemble barracks cots. The toilets are separate from the rooms, and shared communally. None of them had any soap or hand towels in them, so remember to bring your own. The showers are extremely small, also shared communally and separate from the toilet. No soap or toiletries are provided there either. The water seemed like it took FOREVER to become hot. Another important thing to remember, bring your Passport. You CANNOT check in here without a Passport. This is the first thing you will be asked for at the reception desk. I tried to check in about an hour early and was told to come back because my room would not be ready until later. You will be asked for NOTE: One reason for my being in NYC AND for wanting to check in a little early was because I was applying for a Visa at one of the consulates there. When doing this you need to temporarily relinquish your Passport to the Consulate. Now, when I go back to check in I no longer have a Passport so I am out of luck, right? NO! In lieu of the Passport itself they will accept a photocopy of the picture and identification page(s) of your Passport as well. Problem solved. Another note: I had a COLOR copy handy because it is a VERY good idea to carry several COLOR copies of your Passport with you (in a separate bag or location from your Passport itself) whenever and wherever you are traveling. You will also be required to provide a $10.00 US cash refundable room key deposit
at check in. Another negative aspect of staying here was the noise. The walls seemed thin and sound carried easily. The floors are hardwood (very nice walnut, possibly) and whenever anyone came or left their footsteps echoed throughout the halls. My room faced the street and I could not only hear all the traffic going by, but also the conversations of anyone talking on the sidewalk below my window. This place is NOT very handicapped friendly. It is old, small, narrow and has stairs which must be climbed to get to or from almost anywhere within the buildings. Wheelchairs are definitely not an option here. I also wouldn't want to be on crutches, rely on a cane or have any severe mobility problems. Those are pretty much all of the negative things I can recall.

There are many positive things which must also be said. A free NYC map with subway and bus lines is available at the front desk. Everything I saw appeared to be very neat, and quite clean and tidy. Linens are provided, including a daily towel and a soft, warm, comfortable blanket. Unlike many hostels, I was able to obtain a single room to myself. This is a nice feature for solo travelers who do not wish to share their sleeping quarters with others. The rooms have small sinks with cold and (slow!) hot running water. At least one toilet for each group of rooms is right outside your door. The shower for each group of rooms is no more than a dozen or so steps away. The rooms have extra large lockable steel lockers in them. They will hold almost anything except full-size suitcases. Each person staying here should bring a PAIR of at least medium sized locks with them to secure their valuables and personal items safely inside their lockers. When I first tried to check in I was told there are temporary lockers available for use in the lower level. There are a number of very large to extra large lockers available. I RENTED one and stowed my excess heavy bags in it. NOTE, it is a completely automated RENTAL system. You do not need a lock. You do need either US cash, $5.00 minimum or a valid, acceptable credit card for the payment of the machine.
BEWARE, these lockers cost $5.00 PER USE, each time you access them, or 24 hour time period from the time of initial activation. So this is strictly a short term solution, like prior to Check in, as it was for myself. There is free WiFI here in all of the "common" areas. There is a large common area outside courtyard/patio with numerous picnic tables. There are computer rooms offering complete computer rentals at reasonable rates as well as some pay phones available for use throughout the facility. There are several kitchen/dining common areas. The kitchens are large, clean and have everything except an actual oven. There are large refrigerators, microwaves, toasters, gas burners, tea kettles, coffee makers, cookware, utensils, paper towels, tea and more provided.
Your room stay includes one breakfast, per person per day, which is available from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM. The breakfasts consisted of a huge bagel with butter and jelly if desired, a piece of fresh fruit, and all the cereal, milk, tea and coffee anyone wants. The dining areas had several large tables with seating for six each and stools at counters for many more. Electrical outlets are dispersed throughout to power your electrical devices for WiFi use in these common areas open from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Although technically not provided in the rooms, I was also able to access the WiFi in the room I stayed in, which was an obvious added plus. The location here is a good one. It is a decent area, in fact there is a police precinct on the same block, just across the street. The location seems to be fairly centralized and quite convenient to many things. It is most definitely a hostel in flavor and ambience. I met two young ladies from Denmark while they wee moving into their room. Two guys from Great Britain were staying in the room next to mine. I heard Russian, German, Scandinavian, Spanish, and several other indiscernible dialects being spoken around me at various times during my stay there. Perhaps the most hospitable thing about this hostel is the very low hostel-like price. Staying here is a fraction of what it costs to stay in most other establishments, inns, motels, B+B's, etc. Unfortunately, they do limit their guests here to a maximum fourteen night duration. Combined with the ability to reserve a room ahead of time online, it makes this a great value of significant convenience.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
7  Thank Doug B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chelsea International Hostel

Address: 251 W 20th St, New York City, NY 10011-3501
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Chelsea
Hotel Style:
Ranked #26 of 163 Speciality Lodging in New York City
Price Range: £70 - £132 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1 star — Chelsea International Hostel 1*
Number of rooms: 150
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Also Known As:
Chelsea International Hotel New York City

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