If you are looking for a cheap place that throws you out to the streets of NY and not think about coming back until bedtime, this is the right place for you. No luxuries, just convenience. Very close to public transportation. The rooms are very small and the bed rather uncomfortable. There is no security box either. There is no snack / beverage machine so you have to bring your own. Wi-fi is free but it did not reach our room.
Been there with a friend last August who booked a double room for 3 nights. Despite the low cost for the accommodation, comparable to other hostels in central Manhattan, we had free acess to several facilities, such as: swimming pool, sauna, gym, basketball court. It has been an awesome surprise, I'll definitely go back there next time in NYC
I did feel scared for my safety. On many occasions my friends went to lower floors to use showers/go to the loo. Numerous times they were warned by cleaners to stay off these lower floors as the people on them were dangerous and that their was a gang on level 7 and that only floors 10 and 11 were safe. Wierd people also sometimes hanged outside the hotel. There was also likely prostitution as someone came out the showers on level 5 with her breasts exposed and asked if anyone wanted to have sex with her.
I stayed at the YMCA for 2 nights. It is good as it is a very short wall from the metro. The gym, pool and basketball courts looked great!
However, I felt the rooms were very claustraphobic and our light would keep turning on every 30 seconds after being turned off. Therefore, my friend had to unscrew the light from its electrical supply which meant we could sleep in the dark, but also spend the whole time we were in the room in the dark also.
The Wifi, only reached half of the corridor on floor 11 and unfortunately that didn't reach our room even though every room is meant to have free wifi.
Also, due to staying with a large group of friends there were long queues for the showers, which there were only four (which were nice and large).
The hotel isn't nice. My room was freezing, i needed to ask for a change room because the air entering by the window. The neighbourhood isn't nice, is soo far. It's clean but i was in winter and the temperature in the room was incredible cold. I decided to change hotel because of it. I don't recomend the hotel to other people.
The YMCA serves a noble purpose in Harlem, helping many folks who need a hand. The staff was hospitable and many of the long time guests were friendly. The neighborhood is a gem and Harlem is inspiring. The reality of being a guest at the YMCA is less about the ideals of helping mankind and more about the inconvenience of it all. Every time a door closes, and there are a great many doors on the 10th floor, it makes a giant banging sound. There are four shared bathrooms on the 10th floor. One of them was broken. Get up early or expect to be standing around in the hallway in your pajamas. One of the functioning bathrooms had no hot water. One of the shower rooms that did have hot water had a broken toilet. The rooms are tiny, similar to a minimum security facility that is home of Anthony Weiner. The bunk bed mattresses are covered in plastic such that the bottom sheet pops off in the middle of the night. On the plus side, the room was moderately clean and the AC created some background noise to drown out the hallway noise. One of the guests was smoking in his room and it stunk up the entire 10th floor. I was grateful to have a place to stay.