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Tone On Lex Hostels

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Hostelz.com's Review
Tone On Lex is a clean, affordable, well-located place to spend the night, but not a great hostel for hanging out or partying.

The Location

The hostel is very well-located, two short blocks from the 96th Street 4/5/6 subway stop and the 96th Street crosstown bus, along with north/south buses on Lexington, Madison, and Fifth Avenue. On the 4/5/6, it's a fifteen-minute subway ride to museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, around twenty minutes to the Museum of Modern Art, and a half hour subway ride to the lower east side. In nice weather, walking to Central Park takes less than ten minutes.

The neighborhood is safe and well-trafficked. There are little groceries nearby and restaurants a short walk south on Lexington and Second Avenue. Tone is not very well-marked, though, and it isn't until you go up the steps to the front door that you see a tiny sign telling you the entrance is on ground level underneath the front stairs.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are small but clean -- maybe too clean, since the smell of cleaning solutions can be overwhelming. Each floor has one room with a toilet and two rooms with sinks/showers, which doesn't seem like enough, but the waiting times for toilet and showers were never very long. Each room has one locker per bed, but no hooks or other places to put anything. The mattresses are not good quality, with giant troughs in the middle, and the pillows are lumpy as well. Though towels are provided, there are often no clean towels available except right after a batch has been cleaned.

Common Spaces

This is a very basic hostel, and not a great place for hanging out. There is a small kitchen area with tables and a television and a tiny common space with no furniture. Some people take chairs from the kitchen to sit on in the common space while working on their laptops. In nice weather, people hang out at the picnic tables in a big outdoor area, a nice courtyard behind the kitchen. People are chatty and friendly, but mostly keep to themselves. The hostel staff are pleasant but disorganized, and it takes them a while to solve any problems.


Tone is a great place to stay if you'll be busy in New York City and just need somewhere to sleep and keep luggage, but it's not a great place for partying or being social.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
by Elizabeth
December 2009
How is Tone On Lex Hostels rated on other websites?
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Great location, staffing variable Stayed here early 2012. So much depends on who else is there at the time. Several 'staff' are travelers working a shift for their bed. Some confusion over my bed, not entered on computer so stripped and reassigned each day! Kitchen small but adequate if you take your turn, large fridge/freezer for named bags, nothing of mine disappeared. En suite dorm facilities clean enough, guess I got lucky! Would go back (with fingers crossed) as such a good location.  , UK ()
2   Not acceptable for anything longer than a single night's "rest" For the price one pays, one doesn't expect too much comfort. Yet I was shocked at the degree to which Tone on Lex is prepared to push that expectation of its guests. The sharing dorms leave much to be desired, but the fact that the toilet and shower are in twin cupboards IN THE SAME ROOM as the beds is bizarre, and needless to say, unacceptable. For 8 people, the facility is simply not good enough, and there's nothing more to be said. The staff are friendly but not very clued up. The kitchen is spartan and cramped, the most poorly equipped of any of the hostels I've seen (and I've seen some shockers). You can see that Tone is trying to be likable, but no amount of friendliness can make up for the ablutions gurgling away in the cupboard next to your head at 3am. Don't come here unless its for only one night and you have a fantastic sense of humour.  , south african ()
3   Could be improved Was nice staff, and good place, price was great, but the people that work in the place control the television every time.  , Spain ()
4   Very good Very safe and nice location, good facilities. Very nice, young, and helpful people at the front desk; clean rooms. Free breakfast, you can have it in a nice back garden. Nice common area. Just one negative thing -- internet very expensive (but is expensive in all NY).  , Italy ()
4   Great place, two thumbs up I had a great experience at the Wanderers Inn East. It was my first hostel experience in many years and I was pleased. I had problems at all. Lots of young travelers and very friendly. I read the other comments and many of them do not reflect the place. It is clean, friendly, and very safe. Breakfast in the common area and internet access (for a small fee) as well as TV news. I parked on the street right in front all weekend without moving my car and without incident. I arrived Friday and left Monday morning.  , Ottawa Ontario, Canada ()
1   Drugs -- people having sex in the bed next to me -- Horrible I would never go there again. It was disgusting, huge rats and drug addicts and homeless people were sleeping in the same room. The staff were rude and I left the night after i checked in. Th bathroom had mold and the beds has bedbugs and hair from the person before. Do not stay here.  , USA ()
4  I stayed for a week here last summer -- it was my first visit to NYC and my first experience in a hostel. I didn't know what to expect, but decided not to expect anything -- then you can be pleasantly surprised. I was. I had to switch rooms each night because I booked my reservation so close to my arrival date (book early) and that part sucked. But it was otherwise a good experience, one that I am repeating this summer. As others have said, it's a great location -- quiet, safe, and near the subway and the park. If you are accustomed to staying at the Hilton, don't bother, but if you're not uptight and are looking for a great bargain in the city, this is it.  ()
1  I spent four nights in this hostel and can affirm: the place is a hole. The rooms are dirty, there are not bathrooms enough for the guests, and the room with the restroom inside smells bad. If you intend to have fun in New York City Saturday night, be warned: early Sunday morning you can be awakened by a cleaning worker without notice or excuses, and with a BIG NOISE. And don't try to protest: the administrator doesn't know basic rules of hostel business and is extremely rude. Run away!  ()
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