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Chelsea International Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
Chelsea International Hostel leaves you wondering why anybody would stay here more than once. While suitable for a one- or two-night stay, the hostel is pretty uncomfortable and poorly designed.

The Location

A clearly marked awning makes the hostel easy to find. It is a large building that has eight different entrances, so figuring out which door leads to the lobby is a little awkward. The hostel is located across the street from the NYPD’s Tenth Precinct police station, so the area is quite safe. However, such close proximity to the police station means guests may hear squad car sirens and belligerent arrestees more than anticipated during their stay in New York City. Within walking distance are two subway stations where travelers can catch trains directly to destinations such as Times Square, Central Park, the Natural History Museum, and Ground Zero.

Rooms and Bathrooms

It’s a good thing there is so much to do in New York City, because nobody would want to hang out in the dorm rooms at this hostel. The dorms and bathroom areas are so tiny and cramped it’s almost funny. There are different-sized dorm rooms, but they are all small and stuffy. In the smallest bedroom, the beds are so close together, guests will find themselves sleeping about a foot away from each other. The free linens and pillows are old and stained. There are shelves and lockers, but no closets in the bedrooms, and the only place to keep large pieces of luggage is under the beds. This is unfortunate, because the floors are absolutely filthy, so guests’ belongings will be covered in dust and dirt if they store them under the bed. Guests have almost no room to unpack. With only two electrical outlets in each room, roommates will have to take turns charging their electronic devices.

On each floor there is one shower and one toilet, each in separate rooms. Sinks are located in each bedroom and have no space to place toiletries. That, coupled with the fact that the room is so tiny, makes getting ready in the morning quite awkward if two roommates are trying to get ready at the same time. This layout is inconvenient, since it forces guests to visit three different rooms in order to complete their bathroom routines. The bathrooms are cleaner than the bedrooms, but are by no means spotless.

Common Spaces

The various common areas at Chelsea International are large enough to accommodate several dozen guests at once. One of the best things about this hostel is the private courtyard located in the middle of the property. It contains benches, long picnic tables, and ashtrays, and is relatively quiet for Manhattan. There is a large dining area, a kitchen full of modern appliances, and a room with plenty of computers with internet access for guests to use. Large pay lockers are available in the basement. With so many common areas, socializing with other travelers is a possibility, but most guests seem to keep to themselves.


The Chelsea International Hostel is mediocre at best. There is no cozy, homelike feel to the place. Reception is businesslike and not very welcoming. Most of the guests seem too engrossed with looking at guidebooks and subway maps to socialize with anyone. With so many hostels in New York City, travelers can definitely do better than this place.

by Baxter
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
May 2012

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
How is Chelsea International Hostel rated on other websites?
Not listed on HostelBookers.
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
5   Great It was the best hostel I've been to in NY! Clean and organized, the staff was very polite and helpful. I recommend for sure!  , age 25, Brazil ()
3   Very good and clean. Bad thing no wifi on the bedrooms. I liked it very much. Good location and staff very kind. The worst wifi only in common areas and until 11 pm. Bad signal only outside. Good kitchen and breakfast.  , age 22, Chile ()
4   Spacious rooms location is good ... I stayed at the four bed dorm and all the beds were single bed not like other hostels where two storied beds are norms ... enjoyed my stay ... will prefer that one again.  , age 30, Pakistan ()
4   Good for the price Pros -- Cheap. Good geographic location. Good breakfast organisation. Cons -- Rooms not "noise-isolated" from outside or inside noise.  , age 25, Canada ()
3   Ok Ok, safe neighbourhood. Police station close by. Hostel is not a hotel. Don't forget that. This is ok for hostel. Different ages.  , age 39, Dutch ()
1  I did not believe my eyes when we arrived here -- the room was only a bed, no hangers, no towels, and a door you nearly could look true. I killed 2 big cockroach before bedtime. The bathrooms were not better, I hope NY fire dep. will close this place. We left after 4 days for another place to spend our final 8 days in NY.  , Sweden ()
2   Cold in winter I stayed here a week during winter. The rooms were very very cold. I was not prepared for this but an older guy who was staying in my room had brought not only his own duvet, but also an electrical heater! Usually you would expect that heating would be included in the price. Don't expect much help from staff, they will check you in and out but probably not much more. Location is good I guess.  ()
3   Ok hostel Spent a week in this hostel, in a private room, overall there were no problems. it's very basic, a bed and a sink, but there was an air conditioner, which although noisy was needed. It's in a good location, and the bar around the corner (jakes saloon) does the best cosmos! The staff were unbelievably rude and slow. It took ages to check and i waited thirty minutes to check out, during which time an employee was checking in another guest in and the other employee was on a phone call!  , Ireland ()
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