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“Disappointing”
Review of Big Apple Hostel

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Big Apple Hostel
Reviewed 20 January 2014

We stayed at the Big Apple Hostel 5 or 6 years ago and really enjoyed it. It was renovated recently and in the process, they have lost their kitchen, plus no area for people to really gather except the front lobby area. It has also more than doubled in price per bed. Still a great location, clean, and safe, but I don't think we'll stay there again. In addition, the first night we were there the heat went out entirely and we had one thin blanket and that was all for cover. The heating situation there in the winter really isn't good -- it's either stiflingly hot or freezing.

Room Tip: aim to get a room that is not on street side. There is a lot of street noise, especially if you hav...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank swhchurch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 18 of 61 reviews

Reviewed 5 January 2014

I stayed here many times, it is a great location and I never had a problem before. This time my friend got bit about 30 times. We were here for 4 nights , room 58 first then room 61. The next person that slept in 58 also got bit (they told us).They are working on it. Also our cable was out for two nights, the safe was not working in room 61 and the air conditioning was not working in room 61 either.

No discount was allowed when asked, but later they offered a free stay if we were in New York again.

When I got their my bill was higher than I expected (20%). They said the site I booked though does not tell people about the 17% tax. It had indicated a final balance (ex tax). They also charge about 3% for paying by card. But don't tell you this till you query the bill. Polite staff I must say, but we did not get what we paid for or expected on this occasion. Again the location is great though.

Room Tip: Avoid room 58!!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Gerard T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

My stay in November 2013 for more than a week was EXTREMELY pleasant.
I met and befriended many matured dignified travellers who stayed at the Big Apple Hostel.

Ruth, Rob, HK staff and the location make a huge difference in this otherwise mundane place.
Ruth & Rob are very informative and helpful. Ruth walks the extra mile to make extra coffee and make you smile. When a house keeper helped me with the bags she said it was a moral obligation to do it. I was deeply touched.

I saved so much on transportation because Times Square and Broadway were right at your feet. All the big stores, famous restaurants, and important places were nestled within a few square miles.
all one had to do was walk, walk, till sunset and more.
I also discovered many new places.

In the dorm sector, two beds to a room is very practical and spacious enough.
Few more items should be added to make the stay better.
A larger mirror is very important. The electrical terminals are as old as the hills. THE ONLY CHAIR IN THE ROOM WAS BROKEN.
The shared bathrooms are large, but only 90% clean.
Some areas need very little upgrades like a can of spray paint on a rusty pipe, or a door.
Door locks are loose and old. Yet, I didn't have any security issues. Linen was of good quality. Floor carpets are very old. Window blinds were falling apart.
The wi-fi service worked well in the small lobby where most people were.
The coffee counter is pathetic. When the coffee runs out, there is no replacement until Ruth makes some as a personal favour.

I understand that the owner is a very mean person.
THIS IS THE FIRST WORLD, NYC IS ONE OF THE FEW MOST POPULAR CITIES IN THE WORLD, THE NAME OF THE HOSTEL ITSELF TAKES AFTER THE FAMOUS CITY, LIKE A SIGNATURE DISH IN A GOLD STAR RESTAURANT, then why be mean? Why not provide the customers the little extra?
The hostel needs a total upgrade. The change must come from within. I mean, FROM THE HEART OF THE PERSON WHO OWNS IT.
HE HAS NOT REALIZED THAT WE ARE HIS BREAD AND BUTTER.

One can buy very good nearly-new or used supplies from the Charity Stores to make the place better.

It is surprising and strange that the NYC Mayor never had a law to inspect hostels.
I paid less than half the price in South American Hostels for a private room with attached bath and patio with a buffet b/fast and other superior communal facilities.

I will return to The Big Apple Hostel because the location is ideal, the staff are great, and the price is ok.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank kalhari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

We booked a private room for a three night stay in New York and could not have been happier with our experience. The hostel is in an amazing location- right in Times Square and right next to a pub and a cafe with great food. Ruth checked us in, and she was incredibly friendly and helpful; later in the day, she even gave us some great coupons for places we were interested in visiting. Because of our coupons, we saved over $20 on excursions, so definitely don't ignore the friendly front-desk people! Our room was clean and quiet, and the woman who cleaned was extremely friendly as well. Prices were very affordable too! We go to New York every three months, and this will be where we stay from now on!

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

I hesitate to review this place because in a way I'd like it to be kept a secret! I stayed here with my teenage daughter when we had made plans to go down to the city but didn't realize those plans were in the middle of high convention season and all hotel rates in midtown were through the roof. We ended up loving the Big Apple Hostel! We were in a private 2-twins room (vs. a double dorm room) and it was roomy and comfortable. Yes, we paid a little extra to be each supplied with a towel, for each of us to have a "ground level" bed, and to have a little table and alarm clock. I wouldn't hesitate, though, to stay in one of their dorm rooms either.

The beds weren't your typical nice hotel beds, but they were comfortable enough. Ditto with the sheets and towels. The most important thing for us was that the room was clean and safe and comfortable - and it was. The shared bathrooms weren't any problem whatsoever. We had two on our wing for 4 or 6 rooms (can't remember which), and we never had an issue using one when we needed to. One of the bathrooms had just a toilet and sink; the other one was a full bathroom with a tub/shower unit. They were clearly cleaned regularly.

The staff was very helpful before our trip down and promptly responded to my questions, and they were also pleasant when we were down there. We actually really liked staying here a lot, and I have reservations to stay there again on my next trip down. The location is super convenient and within walking distance to Penn Station, the major theaters, MoMA, and Central Park. As others have mentioned, it's also on a surprisingly quiet street, and having the Cranberry Cafe as a neighbor is an added bonus.

If you're looking for some sort of partying social hostel, this probably isn't the place for you. If you're looking for a no-frills, practical, clean, and affordable place to stay in midtown Manhattan, this place would be hard to beat. (I hope they never go away!)

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
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Thank CottageSpirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

I stayed here for 13 nights. It was my first time ever staying in a hostel instead of a hotel and I will probably never stay in a hotel ever again. Yes it's true, you need to be in the small lobby to get wifi and there are only a handful of chairs and tables, only a small bar fridge and coffee in the mornings but look at the price! Never once did I feel the place was dirty, neglected or not run professionally.

I was very impressed with all of the staff! The maids were friendly and the people on the front desk were great to deal with. Especially Allen and Ruth! They were so awesome!! I can't express enough how great they were. MASSIVE Shout out to Allen! I actually left my iPad in my room and picked it up for me and mailed it back to my place!!! I think that says a lot about this hostel and the people working there. I highly recommend this hostel and I will definitely be going back there again!

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

I needed a place close to the theatres and this place fit the bill. Tripadvisor reviews looked good to me so I made the reservation.

What I LOVED:
* The location. It can NOT be beat. It's right in the heart of Midtown,BUT it is actually quiet! I thought there would be a lot of street noise and there wasn't. Also It's right next door to a 24 hour cafe with low prices, what's not to love about that?

* The price. WOW, I stayed two nights and spent about $123.00, unheard of in NYC especially near Times Square.

* The service. I was early and had no problem dropping off my bag. Any questions I had were kindly answered and they had plenty of maps and other tourist material.

What I liked:
* It was pretty clean for a cheap hostel! It was clear that they try to keep it neat and tidy.

* I wasn't hot or cold and the bed, while certainly not hotel standard, wasn't uncomfortable and I slept just fine.

What I wasn't crazy about:
* Lack of information. Their website is very minimal and doesn't have all the necessary information. It's not listed, and I wasn't told, but there is a $10 (Cash Only) key deposit. Usually not a big deal but I didn't have the extra cash on me. Luckily I was with a friend who let me bum the money off him.

* Confusing or misinformation. The website says towels are not provided but there was a towel and washcloth sitting on each bed. The website also says there are dorm rooms and private rooms. Both are two person only but private rooms have the "possibility" to accommodate a third person. I booked one bed in a two person dorm room. What I got was a bed in a three person room. Again not a big deal but it wasn't what I was told. Also, and the most annoying part, there were not enough electrical outlets for three people and none were near my bed. The TWO outlets in the room were near the other two beds so I had to ask one of the other women in the room to let me plug in my phone on their outlet for a while and I couldn't charge my phone overnight. (The outlets where between the bed and the wall so I would have had to climb over a sleeping person to get to my phone) SO FYI if you're in a three person room, make sure there is an outlet nearby before you claim a bed.

* Shared bathrooms. I have no problem sharing and didn't have a problem this time but (I was on the first floor so I can't speak to the upstairs) there were only two single person bathrooms. I assumed that when they said shared bathrooms that it would be multiple stalls and multiple showers. Nope. One bathroom was just a toilet and a sink and extremely small, I'm 5'4 and my knees almost touched the wall opposite while sitting on the toilet! The other bathroom was bigger because it had a shower. One shower! Luckily I didn't have a timing issue with other guests but then I have no idea if the other rooms were occupied or not. So FYI plan your showers accordingly.

Other Info:
There are a few stairs when you first walk in to get up to the first floor. There is an electric stair climber for those who need help but no ramp. If you're in a wheel chair you probably want to call first and see if you can be accommodated.

There was only one overhead light in our room. I was lucky that the women I shared with were on a similar schedule as me but it would probably be prudent to bring a small flashlight if you think you'll be coming or going very late/early as well as a sleep mask in case you share with some one inconsiderate or who has to turn the light on.

Overall:
You get exactly what it says on the tin. This is a cheap, BASIC, hostel in the heart of NYC. There are no frills. You get a roof over your head and a bed. It's clean and simple BUT that is all you need. I would stay here again in a heart beat!

Room Tip: There is a back patio that is right outside some of the first floor rooms. You can hear everything...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank LadyZady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Big Apple Hostel

Address: 119 W 45th St, New York City, NY 10036-4043
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Times Square / Theater District
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 163 Speciality Lodging in New York City
Price Range: £33 - £147 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 46
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our dormitory rooms with only 2 people per room. Private rooms with 2 twin-size bed with the possibility to accommodate a 3rd person. Private rooms equipped with a queen-size bed (for 1 or 2 people). All rooms are air conditioned. Bathrooms are shared. ... more   less 

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