Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
This well-equipped hostel attracts young budget travelers.
Located in a beautiful -- and large -- historic building on the Upper West Side, this Hostelling International property has nearly 700 beds. The size of the property shows even in the public spaces, where numerous guests can be found at any hour chatting, checking email, shooting pool, and watching TV. As a hostel, the property largely attracts young, budget travelers -- many of whom are international -- as well as groups looking for inexpensive accommodations. Guests who are traveling solo also often choose to take advantage of the free offerings the hostel provides, which range from neighborhood tours to pub crawls.
In a beautiful landmark building on the Upper West Side
The hostel -- located in a beautiful historic building -- sits on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 103rd Street on the Upper West Side. It is within walking distance of Central Park, Columbia University, and the subway, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, and delis. Midtown's major attractions -- such as Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, and Times Square -- are about 30 minutes away via subway.
Most rooms are dorm-style; however, guests can opt for slightly more expensive private rooms as well.
Not surprisingly for a hostel, most rooms at the Hostelling International are dorm-style, with up to six bunk beds tucked into tiny spaces. These rooms are bright, but stark, with no furniture aside from the beds, a single mirror, and a locker for each bed (guests must bring their own locks). Economy Dorm Rooms can sleep 12 people, while Premium Rooms sleep four to six. Bathrooms are located in the hallways.
Guests can choose to book a private room for their group for a slightly pricier rate. Private rooms, which sleep four, are simply decorated, but have a bit more space and furniture than the dorms; they each feature one double bed and one bunk bed, a private bathroom (with a hairdryer), a mini-fridge and coffeemaker, a desk, a flat-screen TV, and an iron and ironing board. Decor is plain but clean and up-to-date; most rooms feature a color theme that is incorporated in everything from the comforters to the walls.
Features are extensive; however, there is no fitness center.
The hostel may not have a fitness center, but features are nonetheless extensive and most guests take advantage of the many offerings. Staff, who are on-site 24/7, organize events such as tours and pub crawls for those looking to explore the area and meet other guests. Guests can also meet fellow travelers in the hostel's many communal areas; it features several lounges (one with a pool table), a small cafe, a business center with a dozen Mac computers, an outdoor patio, and a theater room.
A guest kitchen is well-stocked with pots, pans, utensils, and dishware for those wishing to cook, and guests needing additional storage can rent a locker located on the lower level. There is also free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
Catering towards international travelers and groups, the Hostelling International - New York is a well-run budget property with numerous on-site features, including a theater, large business center, and several lounges, all of which are equipped with free Wi-Fi. Guests can opt to spend a bit extra on private rooms with amenities such as flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and private bathrooms, or choose the very budget-friendly dorm rooms with small bunk beds, which can fit up to 12 guests. There is no fitness center and some find the Upper West Side location removed from major sights, but the hostel is within walking distance of Central Park and the subway, and free daily offerings include guided tours and pub crawls.