Everybody wants to get the best deal on accommodations when they travel, and one of the most affordable options are hostels, many with features like private rooms and baths, even entertainment by local bands.
These are five of the best hostels in NYC, where hostels have been flourishing as the hospitality industry looks for new ways to accommodate an average of 60 million visitors a year.
Hostelling International- NYC
Just two blocks from Central Park, this Victorian-style hostel – pictured above – is one of the largest hostels in the city and boasts Manhattan’s largest private outdoor patio, a spacious open area for travelers who want some fresh air.
The hostel also hosts welcome parties, which usually consist of barbecue/free beer nights or live bands.
In addition to the guest rooms, there are two floors dedicated to common use, five banquet rooms, and a 36-burner kitchen for guests who want to cook their own meals, to save even more money.
- Rates as low as $44 per night.
- 891 Amsterdam Avenue corner 103rd Street, Upper West Side
Chelsea International Hostel
Just a few steps from the famous High Line park, Chelsea International Hostel has been in operation since 1993.
Although rooms are fairly basic, they take pride that there are no bunk beds or long lines waiting to use communal toilets like in some other hostels, and there’s a large, comfortable reception area for meeting other guests and sharing experiences.
Their Eat-All-You-Can Free Pizza Wednesdays is a big attraction for guests.
- Prices start at $35 per night.
- 251 West 20th Street, Chelsea
- photo courtesy HostelWorld
Jazz on the Park
This appealing hostel just steps from Central Park offers both dormitory rooms and private rooms, and the staff if multi-lingual, which is a comforting plus for guests who are non-English speakers.
There’s a coffee bar and TV lounge, summer bar crawls and occasional BBQ parties, and it’s just a block from inexpensive restaurants and shopping on Columbus and Amsterdam Aves., and on Broadway.
- Room prices start at $40 per night.
- 36 West 106th Street, Central Park West
Q4 Hotel and Hostel
This attractive property is one of the least expensive in NYC, known known for its clean dormitories, which are either single-gender or mixed, and for its convenient, central location in Queens.
There is a communal living room with a TV, table tennis room and full kitchen.
Another plus is that one of the largest contemporary art institutions in the US, MoMA PS1, is just a 15-minute walk. Also, its location is just one or two subway stops from Manhattan.
- Room rates start at $33 a night.
- 2909 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City, Queens
The Local NYC
Centrally located in Long Island City, Queens, just one subway stop from Manhattan, his modern hostel offers comfortable beds, coin-operated laundry machines, full kitchen, a lively bar, and a rooftop with great views of Queensboro Bridge and the Midtown skyline. The Local’s homey atmosphere is maintained by the warm staff and a relaxing down-tempo vibe.
Guests also are treated to a free welcome coffee or beer on check in.
- Room prices start at $40 per night.
- 1302 44th Ave, Long Island City, Queens
Why hostels are a booming niche
Hostels are becoming a popular choice in New York City because of their affordability, which can be as little as one-quarter the price of a conventional hotel room, and for their location primarily in residential areas, which makes them exceedingly attractive to tourists who want to spend their vacation dollars more wisely.
Their smaller sizes, unlike hotels which are mostly in high-density commercial zones and much larger than hostels, also helps keep down the mortgage rates.
Maximizing the mortgage term also helps reduce the financial strain every month, so events like interest hikes will have little to no impact on the business.
In their article How Does the Fed Rate Affect Mortgage Rates? NYC brokerage firm Yoreevo describes how potential interest increases are already considered when banks issue mortgages. This can mean a lot, especially for hostels which formerly were residential homes, whch can continue the mortgage with the help of paying guests.
Also, many hostels do away with costly amenities normally found in hotels such as in-room cable TV and mini-bar. Eliminating these features allows the owners to further lower the cost of accommodations.
All of these factors collectively contribute to the affordability of hostels.
With their balance of convenience, comfort and cost-friendliness, hostels are hard to beat, especially for the budget-minded traveler.
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