With the view to helping anyone else heading to New York to find a decent place to stay, here's a list of the three places to avoid:
1. Sugar Hill International Hostel - we were delayed on our flight into New York and were arriving late. The hostels response was, tough luck, find somewhere else to stay. At 9.30 pm on Saturday evening in New York that's not as easy as it sounds. We lost our deposit also.
2. The Chelsea Centre - when checking in we were told we'd been put in the room for "undesireables", nice! Then we found the beds all had rubbish foam matresses of which some were on the floor, there was a list of rules and regulations as long as your arm, e.g. lights out 10pm, no spirits allowed only beer and wine, you have to vacate between 11 and 3 etc etc. Its not cheap either at 33 USD per person per night. Very strange place this one, you don't even get a key, you have to knock on the front door every time.
3. Central Park Hostel - cheap but a strange mixture of locals, buskers, and drunks. Got threatened whilst lying in my bunk, lovelly. The kitchen is lacking plates, bowls, cups, cutley or even a cooker. But it is cheap and very close to the subway.
Any other bad hostel experiences, please share them so others can have a much more enjoyable stay in New York!
Ohhhh I stayed at Sugar Hill once, not pleasant, Ive never met such rude staff in my life!!!!
Do not stay at Jazz on the Park hostel.Its one of the worst hostels ive ever stayed in.You book a 4 bed dorm and they throw you in a 12 bed dorm with small lockers which cost a fortune and disgusting sheets and matresses and not enough room to swing a cat in it.
Not sure what was down in the basement either but it stunk of wee.
oh dear, seems like many bad experiences with the hostels. Any good news to share? Will be in New York for 1-2 weeks. Not quite set on where to go yet. Any advice?
nyurgh. the chelsea centre is my least favourite place i have stayed in the world, including khao-san-type dives.
If there is more than one person I'd skip the whole hostel bit here in NYC. I've never heard anyone speak lovingly of a hostel stay in my home city. Instead I'd suggest you go visit craigslist.com and look for people renting a room or apartment. You can find a clean, decent studio which can sleep 2 comfortably (or more less comfortably) for about $75-100 a night, the catch is that you usually need to book well in advance.
Cheap rooms can be rented via some of the local newspapers for under $200 a week but you tend to get what you pay for so check them out pretty well before committing.
You'll save more money by staying in the outer borroughs of the city but it can be very inconvienent. You can also book a room in Jersey City, or Hoboken (both in New Jersey for less money - Hoboken is a college town) and get into Manhattan in less than 20 minutes from most places (by PATH train or NY Waterways Ferry), you'll also get incredible views of the skyline from that side of the river.
Hope it helps.
My friend and I stayed in a hostel/hotel in upper Manhattan for $50 a night for a week. The rooms weren't top quality and there was a community bathroom but other than that, all was well. I can't remember the name, give me some time to dig around for it and I'll try and post it on here.
Heading to NYC in Feb for a week and trying to find a decent hostel also. Thought we had found a nice place called the Malibu Hostel/Hotel (Which is listed here)
Then we dug this up:
[ Edit: Corrected hotel ]
So far 3 were looking at that have gotten good reviews on tripadvisor.com:
Hotel 31, 120 East 31st street.
Chelsea Star 300 West 30th Street and 8th.
I was at the Chelsea Center East (427 East 12th Street) last January. Wasn't too bad. There was no key to the main door, had to knock. Communal sleeping area and bathroom. Fan was a little loud at night... Overall wasn't quite the Ritz but it was a place to sleep and that was good enough for me and it was pretty cheap at $25 a night. They overbooked the place and we volunteered to sleep in the downstairs dining area and had $10 (each, $15 a night...) taken off our bill. You just had to wake up at 8am when everyone else did...