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Hostel Review


A brief review of each of the hostels that I've stayed at. Feel free to add any comments. I'd especially like to here from you if you've had a different experience of a hostel than me.

Canada

Mexico

United Kingdom

United States


Canada

Calgary, AB
Edmonton, AB
Montreal, QC
Ottawa, ON
Port Hardy, BC
Prince Rupert, BC
Toronto, ON
Vancouver, BC
Victoria, BC
Whitehorse, YT

Calgary

HI Calgary City Centre

HI Calgary City Centre

Where: 520-7th Avenue S.E.
How much: From C$26 per night.
When: 18th January 2009, for 3 nights.
Recommendation: This place definitely ranks in the lower echelon of the hostels that I've stayed in. In terms of facilities, it has more than you'd expect. Including a 50" flat-screen TV, a pool table, and arcade machines. And although it's located in something of a shady area, it's only a short walk or free C-train journey and you're right in the centre of downtown. But for me, the main differential between a good hostel, and a shit hostel, is the people. And this was where this place fell short. Everyone here, both guests and staff, weren't friendly or sociable. With very few exceptions. The social areas were silent, and people here seemed constantly in a bad mood. And when you're surrounded by unhappy people, you get dragged down into that same frame of mind. So although you can't go wrong with this place, as it has everything you'd expect from a hostel, I wouldn't recommend it. If I'm ever back in Calgary I'll be seeking alternative accomodation. It just wasn't a happy or sociable place. Much to it's detriment.
Contact: 1-866-762-4122/1-403-670-7580, www.hihostels.ca.

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Edmonton

HI Edmonton

HI Edmonton Hostel

Where: 10647-81 Avenue
How much: From C$22 per night.
When: I've stayed here on two occasions. The first was mid-late August 2005, for 2 or 3 nights, the second was mid-late December 2006 for 1 night.
Recommendation: Located in the Strathcona district of Edmonton, this hostel is a bus journey away from downtown. And although I would usually discourage the practicality of staying away from a downtown area, you cannot fault the Strathcona area for it's bars and cafes. When I first stayed here there was even a street festival happening a short walk away. Culturally, it is much more spectacular than Edmonton's fairly drab downtown and that is a big attraction about staying here. As for the hostel itself, the common areas are very big and should keep you more than entertained. The one problem I had with this hostel though, was the lack of sink space in the bathrooms. Each floor has one male, and one female bathroom, and in the male ones at least, there is only one sink. It is not a huge hinderance, you just may have to queue up to brush your teeth in the evening. Or do it in the shower, of which there are 3 or 4. All in all though, this is a more than adequate place to stay. I've stayed here twice now, and because of the great location, would probably stay here if I was back in Edmonton again. If you're in Edmonton to go to the West Edmonton Mall, as most people seem to be, them it can be done easily from here by public transport.
Contact: 1-877-467-8336/1-780-988-6836, www.hihostels.ca.

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Montreal

Chez Jean Hostel

Auberge Chez Jean

Where: 4136 Henri Julien
How much: C$20 per night.
When: Late August/early September 2005, for around 5 nights.
Recommendation: Rarely will you ever stay at a place quite as unique as this. There are no dormitories. Rather, there is one large common area littered with matresses. You cannot fail to meet people... you'll be sleeping inches away from someone. There is toilets and showers outside, and in the van (pictured), you will find yet another matress. Yes, that van is someones bed. There is a dining table out on the balcony, which was also a great place to sit for a beer in the evening. With this hostel being as sociable and as colourful as it is, you cannot fail to make new friends. On one of my nights staying here, a group of 10-15 of us all went out for a night clubbing. I'd never met any of those people before, but that is why this place is so great. It's almost like one huge slumber party. Of strangers. Definitely the place to stay if you're in Montreal. A great hostel.
Contact: 1-514-843-8279, www.aubergechezjean.com.

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Ottawa

HI Ottawa Jail Hostel

HI Ottawa Jail Hostel

Where: 75 Nicholas Street
How much: C$27 per night (with an HI membership).
When: Mid-Late August 2005, for around 3 nights.
Recommendation: There aren't too many hostels as unique as spending a few nights in this former prison. Well unless you're used to that anyway. The dorms are located in the cells and they maintain much of their prison 'charm', for lack of a better word. The steel gates remain in place of doors, and unfortunately, it seems as though the prison beds also stayed. There was a lot going on when I stayed here. On my first night there was a party out in the prison yard. We spent the night getting drunk right below where the last Canadian hanging took place (I think the 25 drunk backpackers shocked the tourists being shown around the jail more than the gallows). The jail location is convenient for downtown, though is probably around a 20-minute walk from the Greyhound station. A great hostel. Well worth staying here just for the experience. Much of the eerie prison feel still remains. Though it disappears when you get drunk.
Contact: 1-613-235-2595/1-866-299-1478, www.hihostels.ca

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Port Hardy

Hardy Bay Hikers Lodge

Hardy Bay Hikers Lodge

Where: 17 Carnarvon Place
How much: C$20 per night.
When: Early August 2005 for one night.
Recommendation: I was on the Greyhound bus on my way to Port Hardy with nowhere to stay, with the full intention of spending the night sleeping rough rather than pay excessive B & B fees. I had been unable previously locate any hostels within Port Hardy. Luckily, I got talking to someone on the bus and they pointed out that there actually was a hostel to be found in Port Hardy. It was a very wet night that night, so I was very glad that she had. Calling this a hostel may be a bit of an exaggeration. Rather, it is the house of this fairly elderly retired gentleman, who has a couple of bunk beds in two rooms up stairs. He provided board for persons departing on, or arriving from the ferries heading North to Prince Rupert. Not really as a business; rather I think he enjoys the company. Someone else who was staying there at the time I was, was very short on money, so he gave her the nights accomodation for free. It was a very nice place though, and he had some entertaining stories to tell in the morning. Don't expect anything like a pool room or anything such as that. The common area is his living room and there isn't even a television. It is though a perfectly comfortable nights stay whether coming or going on the ferries. Since I was in Port Hardy, a further hostel has opened up that can be found here.
Contact: In researching this hostel, I have been unable to find a dedicated website. Booking can though be made through either of the following sites:
www.hosteltimes.com, www.allhostel.com.

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Prince Rupert

Pioneer Hostel

Pioneer Hostel

Where: 167 3rd Avenue East
How much: C$20/C$22 per night depending on date.
When: Early August 2005 for one night.
Recommendation: This place is a great bargain. I used it only as a stop-over between ferries on the way to Alaska, but the free shuttle bus provided by the hostel made it an extremely easy stop. I got off the ferry and the pioneer marked car was waiting for me. Then the next morning, a lift was again provided to coincide with my ferry departure. This service is at no extra cost and is also available to the VIA train station. A great bargain. As for the hostel itself, this was more than satisfactory. Most people seemingly use it only as a stop-over, often arriving late and leaving early, so don't expect a wild atmosphere. The beds though were comfortable and the common area was more than adequate. Spending any time in Prince Rupert; you can't go wrong with this place. A great little hostel and an absolute bargain considering what you get for your money.
Contact: 1-250-624-2334, www.pioneerhostel.com.

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Toronto

Canadiana Backpackers Inn

Canadiana Backpackers Inn

Where: 42 Widmer Street
How much: C$25 per night.
When: Late August 2005 for around 5 nights.
Recommendation: I feel fairly indifferent about this place. It was perfectly adequate for a few nights in Toronto. But at the same time, I don't get filled with any particular emotions from thinking about it. It's got a good location for Downtown. And for Hooters if I remember correctly. But it doesn't have much 'wow' factor to it either. The common areas are nice, and it is a good place to arrange activities from. I did a great trip to Niagara Falls that I booked at the hostel reception. On the other side of the coin, although my stay was perfectly satisfactory, I did hear some people complaining late one night that they had bed bugs. This must've been at least 1am, and by this time all the linen was locked away and the night manager did not have any means to get any more. These people then had to wait until the common area had cleared for the night, and sleep on the sofas. That was from overhearing someone elses complaints. For me personally, I had no problems what-so-ever. If I'm ever back in Toronto I'd have no problems staying here again.
Contact: 1-416-598-9090/1-877-215-1225, www.canadianalodging.com.

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Vancouver

American Backpackers

American Backpackers

Where: 347 West Pender Street
How much: C$10 per night/C$60 per week.
When: April 16th 2009, for 7 nights.
Recommendation: Don't expect this place to be clean. It's not. Don't expect it to be quiet. It's not. Don't expect to not go into your dorm and find someone passed out on your bed because they smoked too much crack. You will. This hostel has 2 things going for it. First, it's location. Although it borders with the shadier areas of downtown Vancouver, you're easily within walking distance of anything you will need. And second, it's price. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. And you aren't going to find anywhere else in Vancouver to stay for $60 per week. But once you get here, you'll know why. It's dirty and you won't get much sleep. If you're really, really, tight on funds, then it is a bed for the night. But if you can scrape together the money to stay at one of the Granville Street hostels, then I suggest you do. Because even at $10 per night, you aren't getting good value for money. It's not a pleasant place and I surely don't recommend it. Contact: 1-604-688-0112, www.ameribackpackers.com.

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HI Vancouver Central

HI Vancouver Central

Where: 1025 Granville Street
How much: C$26+, depending on date and hostel membership.
When: I've stayed here 3 times. The first was in May 2005, for around 7-10 nights. The second was in mid/late December in 2006, for, I think, 3 nights. The third was November 19th 2008, for 5 nights.
Recommendation: It's a pretty big hostel, and follows the M.O. that all HI's in large cities seem to follow. A big positive for this hostel compared to many others, is that breakfast is provided with your room fee. Sneaking a few muffins & pastries into you bag & drinking all the orange juice, you won't have to spend to much extra on food during your stay. Beds are comfy and events, such as tickets to see the Canucks, are offered. There is even 'The Royal', a bar/nightclub attached to the hostel. This is a great night out, but if you're after a quiet nights sleep, asking for beds furthest away from the club is recommended. In my first stay in Vancouver, I got to know the then, night-manager. He would often unlock the roof for a few of us (including him) to smoke a joint or two on the roof. That was always fun. Strangely enough, he wasn't working there when I next came. All-in-all though, a decent choice when staying in Vancouver. Certainly preferable to the nearby HI-Downtown. By my 3rd stay here, wireless was also offered free throughout the hostel.
Contact: 1-604-685-5335/1-888-203-8333, www.hihostels.ca.

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HI Vancouver Downtown

HI Vancouver Downtown

Where: 1114 Burnaby Street
How much: C$23.50-C$27.50 per night, depending on date.
When: May 17th 2005, for one night.
Recommendation: The location is just off Vancouver's Davie Street. After spending that first night in a bar in Davie Street, I remember thinking how the girls just weren't looking at me twice. Turns out they don't dig the British accent as much as I'd hoped... nope! Actually turns out that Davie Street is where all of Vancouver's gay bars and clubs are located, which is great if that's your thing. If you're wanting a night out in a straight bar though, you're better heading out onto Granville street, where some preferable hostels are also located. This was the first hostel that I ever stayed in, and to be honest, it was not the best introduction. The staff were unhelpful and not especially friendly. The hostel as a whole just does not match up to the others that I've stayed in, in Vancouver. There's nothing especially wrong with this hostel if you're struggling for a place to stay. But it is a definite inferior choice to the others that I list here that Vancouver offers.
Contact: 1-604-684-4565/1-888-203-4302, www.hihostels.ca.

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Samesun

Samesun Backpackers Lodge

Where: 1018 Granville Street
How much: From C$25 per night
When: Late May 2005, for 5-7 nights.
Recommendation: Located directly opposite the HI Vancouver Central, you're spoilt for choice in this great part of downtown. This is more of a hippy-friendly choice to the HI option. Don't be surprised to see people playing guitar wearing tea-cozys as hats. And offering weekly and monthly rates on dorms, you can expect to be rooming with someone who's become quite settled. This contradicting HI Central's unenforced policy limiting the number of consecutive nights that can be spent at the hostel. However, despite the hippies, this is still a great place to stay. It has the enjoyable Beaver restaurant and pub attached to the downstairs, which is good place to sit for a beer. And the common area includes a nicely designed televison room. It only falls short of the HI option by not providing complementary breakfast. It has a very different vibe to the HI, and is definitely worthy competition for your business. See the Samesun more as a backpackers hostel, where as the HI is for people who want to stay in a hotel, but are just too poor. I strongly recommend this place.
Contact: 1-604-682-8226, www.samesun.com/destinations/vancouver.

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Victoria

Ocean Island Backpackers Inn

Ocean Island Backpackers Inn

Where: 791 Pandora Avenue
How much: C$19-C$25 per night.
When: Late July 2005, for 3 nights.
Recommendation: I loved this place! One of my favourite hostels, it really has character. The dining room doubles up as a night club, often at the same time. One night I ate a plate of pasta right next to the DJ booth. There is a bar downstairs that I found great for meeting people. And the staff were awesome. They remembered my name as soon as I'd checked in, and weren't scared to shout it across the entire hostel. The dorms were awesome too. I arrived in Victoria solo, but had a lot of fun with the people in my dorm. These included a couple of girls who were pretty stunning to look at... and weren't shy to not sleep in much, and a Mexican who had a shoe-box full of canabis under his bed. And he didn't mind sharing it. My only regret is that I was only here for 3 nights. If you're short on money, there is also the option of doing 3-hours house-keeping per day in exchange for a nights stay. An awesome hostel with real personality.
Contact: 1-888-888-4180/1-250-385-1788/
1-250-385-1789, www.oceanisland.com.

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Whitehorse

Beez Kneez Bakpakers

The Beez Kneez Bakpakers

Where: 408 Hoge Street
How much: C$25 per night.
When: Mid-August 2005 for one night.
Recommendation: I didn't decide to go to Whitehorse more than a day or two before I arrived. As such, both of the towns hostels were booked for parts of my stay. Luckily for me, the Beez Kneez had a space the night that I arrived. My bus did not get in until around 2am, at which point the hostel had gone to sleep. Waiting for me, was a welcome note, instructing me to the room left up the stairs and into the room with the door open, which turned out to be a double room, rather than a dorm as I had booked. I was a little unhappy about this at the time because I did not have to finances to afford a room. Turns out, they had let me my own room, with double bed, for the price of a dorm in order to not disturb other guests. Having slept in dorms for the three weeks prior to this, getting a private room was a luxury I had not had for a while, and I made the most of it. Twice. The next morning, although I could not stay in the hostel any longer, they were more than helpful in helping me sort out accomdation for the rest of my stay. I was free to use the facilites and leave my bag in storage for as long as I needed, which I greatly appreciated. Being on a tight budget, the accomodation that I arranged was a tent outside of town. But they pointed me in the direction of the Canadian Tire store to buy the tent, and the site to pitch it. They even lent me the phone to call up the campsite. On the plus side, I then had private accomodation for a further 5 or 6 days, even if it was made of canvas. But although I could not stay on at this hostel, they went out of their way to help me, and by giving me a private room, had gone out of their way so to not disturb other residents. A great little hostel. When staff have attitudes such as this, I can only recommend this hostel.
Contact: 1-867-456-2333, www.bzkneez.com.

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Mexico

Cancun
Mexico City

Cancun

The Weary Traveler

The Weary Traveler Hostel Mexico

Where: Palerma 30, at Uxmal
How much: TBC
When: 11th July 2008 for 2 nights
Recommendation: This place is a solid option for a budget stay in Cancun, but don't expect to be overwhelmed by any of the facilities. The kitchen is basic to be complementary, the common areas leave a lot to be desired, and the bathrooms are falling apart and don't have hot water (not that you need it in the Cancun heat). It does have free Internet, though only one computer for the whole hostel. The dorms do not lock so are obviously not secure, however lockers are provided which are big enough to store even the largest packs. The overriding memory of this hostel for me though, is that they didn't have enough bedding on my first night here, so I had to make do with a damp towel I had with me as a duvet. On the flipside, it is in an awesome location for everything except the beach. There are plenty of bars and places to get food within a 5 minute walk, starting with a good burger bar right next door, and you're only a 2 minute walk from the bus station. You're out of the main tourist area here, so you can expect to meet the locals when you go out here, rather that Americans if you go out near the beach. If that is what you fancy however, you can easily pick-up a number 1 bus not far from the hostel. Expect around a 30 minute ride to the big clubs and beach area. Not the greatest hostel, but in an awesome location. Don't expect a quiet nights sleep however with a club just across the street. Rooms are equipped with fans which, although a little noisy, are effective.
Contact: 998-887-0191, www.wearytravelerhostel.com.

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Mexico City

Hostel Catedral

Hostel Mundo Joven Catedral

Where: Republica de Guatemala # 4
How much: M$135 per night.
When: I've stayed here twice: 28th June 2008 for 2 nights, and 17th July 2008 for 2 nights.
Recommendation: This place has all the facilities you could ask for in a hostel: A restaurant, a bar/club, free breakfast and dinner, dorms are en suite, bands playing, trips to places such as the pyramids and Nacho Libre, Internet; and it's even in a good location. The problem with this place is the front-desk service that you get. Everyone is very friendly, but they're inefficient and they're unreliable. The first time I stayed here they lost my booking, despite phoning and emailing them to confirm. Then the keycards they give you seem to wipe clear every few hours so you can't get into your dorm. They blame this on the static of keeping your card in your pocket. Where else are you going to keep it though? And then when you need to go to the front desk for anything, including getting your card reactivated, expect to be waiting there for 15 minutes. Even if there is only 2 people in front of you in the queue. They definitely don't do anything quickly. When I arrived and they'd lost my booking, despite being in the early hours of the morning, I was still stood there for 30, maybe 45 minutes while the guy behind the desk faffed around on the computer. And I had a printout of my reservation. And this was being the only person there. This place has all the facilities you could ask for in a hostel. You'll just need some patience to get to use them. It's inefficiently run, but it's still a pretty damn nice place to stay once you're checked in, and as long as your key is working.
Contact: 55-5518-1726, www.hostelcatedral.com

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United Kingdom

Penzance

Penzance

Penzance Backpackers Hostel

Penzance Backpackers Hostel

Where: The Blue Dolphin, Alexandra Road.
How much: £13/£14 per night, depending on date.
When: I've stayed in this hostel on two occasions; once to, and once from the Scilly Isles: In May 2007, and in June 2007 for one night per stay.
Recommendation: About a 10-15 minute walk from the quay and the train station, this is a great budget option for those catching the ferry over to Scilly. On the first occasion that I stayed here, it was quite quiet. I told the staff I needed to be up early in the morning, and they responded by giving me an entire 8-bed en suite dorm to myself so I could get up in the morning without any real inconvenience. Don't expect too much excitement; it's seemingly a very family oriented place, but for a couple of comfy nights in Penzance on a tight budget, this place was great.
Contact: 01736 363 863, www.pzbackpack.com.

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United States

Anchorage, AK
Juneau, AK
New York, NY
Seattle, WA

Anchorage

Anchorage International Hostel

Anchorage International Hostel

Where: 700 H Street
How much: US$25 per night.
When: Mid-August 2005, for 1 night.
Recommendation: The best thing going for this hostel, is its location: Right in downtown. It is a nice hostel regardless, hindered slightly by a dormitory lockout from 10-4 everyday. Although, common areas can still be used during this time. There is also a curfew that is usually 1am, although it becomes midnight on weekdays during the Winter. Definitely the preferable choice of the two Anchorage hostels I've stayed in. A more than satisfactory choice for a few nights stay.
Contact: 1-907-276-3635, www.anchorageinternationalhostel.org.

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Spenard Hostel

Spenard Hostel

Where: 2845 W 42nd Avenue
How much: US$21 per night.
When: Mid-August 2005, for 3 nights.
Recommendation: I wasn't a big fan of this hostel. Locationally, it is fairly dyer. There is nowhere of interest less than a bus journey away: To walk to downtown from here, would take the best part of an hour. And the immediate surrounding area seemed somewhat dry. The connecting bus service is though perfectly reliable, so getting anywhere isn't a big deal. I also found that the staff certainly weren't going out of their way to be overly friendly. The Anchorage International Hostel, situated in downtown is much the better option. Anchorage has a lovely downtown area come the evening, and staying here is going to be a hassle to see it. A hostel I very much doubt I'll ever use again.
Contact: 1-907-248-5036, www.alaskahostel.org.

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Juneau

Juneau Hostel

Juneau Hostel

Where: 614 Harris Street
How much: US$10 per night.
When: Early August 2005, for 5 or 6 nights.
Recommendation: At $10 per night, this is a rare Alaskan bargain. At the time I stayed there, to make a reservation involved sending a $10 deposit in the mail, which even in 2005 seemed a little strange. Not quite up with the times in Alaska. There were no problems however, and they at least offered an email confirmation for your booking. Each day involves doing a chore in the hostel. This will be something like hoovering one of the dorm rooms, that will take about 3 minutes of your day. It is a worthwile sacrifice to keep costs down. That is, of course, unless you offer to close down the hostel, which basically means taking charge of the place for the last hour (11-12 o'clock), checking in any late arrivals, and locking up at midnight. It this instance, your nights board is free and you do no chore. I did this for my final 4 nights at the hostel, so didn't pay a penny. This is a very family-friendly place, and as such, staying there alone at 19, people felt like I must need to be mothered... which was a little annoying. But all in all this is a great place to stay. There is a 9-5 lockout everyday, which can be a little frustrating in the wet weather that Juneau offered me on my first days stay. There is also a 12 o'clock curfew; at which points the doors are locked. I seem to remember there being a maximum number of consecutive nights that you could stay at the hostel. One which I breached with little difficulty, so it obviously isn't strongly enforced. An awesome place and an awesome bargain. If you're willing to lock up every night, it is essentially free accomodation.
Contact: 1-907-586-9559, www.juneauhostel.net.

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New York

Central Park Hostel

Central Park Hostel

Where: 19 West 103rd Street
How much: From US$28 per night.
When: I've stayed at this hostel on two occasions. The first was early September 2005 for 1 night. The second was late December 2006/early January 2007, for 5 or 6 nights.
Recommendation: Firstly, do not make the mistake of thinking that I stayed here twice, so it must be good. Both times I have stayed in this hostel, it has been because every other hostel in Manhattan is already booked up. There are a couple of positives to staying here. Firstly, it is right next to Central Park, and is right next to a Subway station. It isn't located in an especially attractive area, right next to a slightly dodgy looking estate, and with a lot of rats populating the surrounding streets. However with it's proximity to the Subway, getting to better parts of the city isn't much of a challenge. Or if you need some exercise, walking through Central Park can also be nice. The hostel also has an adequate common area including a pool table. It is quite a gloomy place though. It's dirty and really doesn't have much personality. Some hostels are worth staying in just for how nice they are. This is not one of those. If you stay here, it is because it is convenient for your needs in New York. I'm sure there are preferrable places to stay around Manhattan. If all you're after is a roof over your head, then this place will satisfy your needs. Just don't expect to gain too much more from your stay.
Contact: 1-212-678-0491, www.centralparkhostel.com.

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Chelsea International Hostel

Chelsea International Hostel

Where: 251 West 20th Street
How much: From US$32 per night.
When: I've stayed here twice: 24th June 2008 for 4 nights, and 19th July 2008 for 1 night.
Recommendation: Both times I stayed here, it was essentially during a heatwave in New York. And I have 2 different experiences of this place. The first being in a dorm with air conditioning. The second being in a dorm without air conditioning. With air conditioning this place was pretty good. The dorms are comfortable enough, the kitchens are useable, although definitely not overly equipped, and the Internet is fast and reasonably priced. In terms of common areas, there is a yard, which is a great place to hang-out, although this closes at 10. And then there are a couple of nicely air-conditioned rooms. These close at 12. And if you happen to be staying here on a Wednesday, it's pizza night, where the hostel orders in a stupid amount of pizza, and leaves them in the common area for guests. You won't go hungry that night, so this place is a pretty solid choice. The other experience I have of this place, is in a dorm with no air conditioning. No amount of pizza makes up for a night laying awake from the heat, sleeping in a lake of your own sweat. If you're here in the Winter, or are able to ensure a room with air conditioning, then this place, by New York standards, is great. By far the best of the New York hostels I've stayed in to date. If you cannot make either of those guarantees, then it might be in your interest to look into somewhere a little more comfortable for a hot Summer night.
Contact: 1-212-727-7289, www.chelseahostel.com.

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Dexter House Hostel

Dexter House Hostel

Where:345 West 86th Street
How much: From US$25 per night.
When: I stayed here in early September 2005 for 2 nights.
Recommendation: DON'T STAY HERE! This place is an absolute dump. I arrived in New York with nowhere to stay. I eventually heard about this illegally run hostel when I got talking to someone working in another hostel in New York. She subtly handed me a piece of paper with the address of this place on it, saying that this may be the only place left with any space. It was a choice between staying here, or sleeping rough. I'm not even sure I made the right decision. You walk into this swanky looking hotel. To get to the hostel, you're taken through a door and suddenly this shiny hotel becomes a grey, cockroach infested pit. It's dirty. It's gloomy. It has cockroaches crawling around the kitchen. If this is the only place left available in New york, save your money and sleep on a park bench. There are some permanent residents staying in the dorms as well. When I was there, one guy I spoke to had been there 20 years. How I don't know, but avoid this place at all costs. It's an absolute dump.
Contact: I could not find a dedicated website for this hostel. A lot of hostel booking websites now seem to offer places at this hostel though, which was not the case when I stayed there. One that I found that had some quite interesting accounts of the hostel was www.hostelz.com, which includes an account by a resident staying there. Worth reading if you don't trust me about how bad this place is.

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Seattle

HI Seattle

HI Seattle

Where: 84 Union Street
How much: US$19-US$26 per night.
When: Mid-December 2006 for around 3 nights.
Recommendation: Some websites I have looked at bill this hostel as 'one of the best hostels in the world'. I wouldn't go that far, but it is quite a good hostel. The common area is large and includes free pool. It is fairly comfortable, fairly clean and fairly secure. It has a good location within Seattle (about a 15 minute walk from the Greyhound station, and about a 20 minute walk from Qwest Field), so it really has everything you look for in a hostel. The staff are friendly as well, and were very accomodating when I came to collect my bag after I had put it into storage for a day. I was no longer a resident of the hostel, but they still allowed me to use the facilities to ready myself to leave after getting absolutely drenched in a storm after seeing the Seahawks play a game at Qwest Field. A very nice hostel, you can't go wrong with if staying in Seattle. I wouldn't quite class it as one of the best in the world though.
Contact: The HI hostels website doesn't seem to have this hostel listed anymore, and other sites are refusing to take bookings, which may mean it's closed down. Anyone have any information?


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