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Broadway Hotel & Hostel

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Hostelz.com's Review
The Broadway Hotel & Hostel is a contemporary, mid-rise hostel conveniently located on the Upper West Side (two short blocks from the One-Hundred-Third Street Station and five short blocks from the Ninety-Sixth Street Station). Central Park is within walking distance, as are a variety of top-rated (yet inexpensive) restaurants. The hostel's dark modern Asian-themed décor contributes to its low-key, uptown atmosphere.

The Broadway offers private rooms with double beds as well as traditional four-bunk hostel rooms. A substantial discount is offered for rooms booked online. At the time of this review, the only acceptable forms of payment are cash, traveler's check, or money order. The guest room pros slightly outweigh the cons. The rooms have contemporary Asian-style furniture (dressers, nightstands, bedside lamps, and bed frames) and modern paint finishes. They have crisp white linens, lots of pillows, warm blankets, and soft duvets. Each room has a radiator, a ceiling fan (but no air conditioning), and a keyed lock with deadbolt (but no chain). Private rooms have small televisions (without remotes), but the reception is terrible.

The rooms have horizontal metal blinds (some with missing links), but no draperies. And although there is plenty of drawer storage in each room, there are no closets, no shelves, no hanging hooks, no towel bars, and no toilet paper holders. There is also no lockable storage in the rooms. School-style communal wall lockers are provided on each floor (you must provide your own padlock).

The Broadway Hotel & Hostel's website is rather misleading. It is billed as a "newly renovated New York City hostel," but the owners really should disclose that they are still in the midst of a major renovation. Some floors haven't been touched at all, and although those floors may not house guests, it is impossible to ignore the sounds and smells of full-blown construction (especially when you have to walk through them to get to the upper guest floors). The website further advertises "attractive amenities" such as "Ecco natural bath products" and a "hair dryer" in every room. In reality, rooms come with two miniature bars of generic, plastic-like soap and a ceiling fan (but no hair dryer).

The Broadway Hotel & Hostel's worst sin is its deplorable plumbing. Toilets leak from the cisterns and the water pipes knock like jackhammers every time a sink is turned on. It is unclear whether or not the staff actually responds to complaints. We complained about our leaking toilet cistern and the staff member on duty listened with great compassion (and even took detailed notes). But after two days of waiting, it was never fixed (even housekeeping staff ignored the substantial puddle on the bathroom floor). While we were checking out, we overheard people complaining about the communal bathrooms on two separate floors.

The Broadway Hotel & Hostel's ground floor common rooms are so luxurious they almost make you forget all the problems upstairs. Hit movies are played simultaneously on three large flat screen televisions which seem to float on the bare brick walls. The theater-quality surround sound system makes every seat a great seat -- especially the wide soft leatherette chairs and sofas. A large, dark wood bookshelf offers a variety of books for the studious. A pool table and kitchen area (with large refrigerator, two microwaves, and café-style seating) make for a busy, but cozy common space. There are no stovetops or ovens, but there are plenty of local restaurants offering exceptionally good cheap eats. The common area vending machines offer snacks and sodas for those who don't want to venture outside.

There are eight computers available for prepaid internet access, some with USB ports and VoIP handsets. The computers are densely packed into a dark notch of the main common area. When movies are playing, the powerfully loud sound system can make VoIP conversations difficult (and also challenge your concentration). The computers can be a bit flaky (rebooting without warning), but if you notify the reception desk they will compensate you for your lost time. The common areas -- including the internet area -- don't open until 8 a.m. each morning.

The Broadway Hotel & Hostel has a single elevator, but it is small and very slow. It is faster to use the stairs, although beware that the hostel has nine floors -- and the luggage storage area is on the fourth floor.
There are pay phones mounted in the stairway of every floor, and prepaid calling cards are available for purchase from a machine in the ground floor common area.

There is a communal bathroom on every floor (with a single shower and single toilet in each room). Miniature bar soaps and liquid soap are provided. As mentioned before, the private rooms have bar soap only (no shampoo). The bath towels, hand towels, and bathmats are replaced daily by housekeeping (who also make the beds and clean the bathrooms daily).

It is hard not to like the Broadway Hotel & Hostel, despite its serious shortcomings. The staff at the hostel is genuinely friendly and always available (although their authority and responsiveness is debatable). A full-time security guard and locked luggage storage rooms (complete with numbered luggage tags) provide a tremendous sense of safety in an often unpredictable city. The common areas are simply sumptuous and worthy of praise, but they cannot completely redeem a falsely advertised hostel with bad plumbing.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
June 2007

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Location/Contact
How is Broadway Hotel & Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
Hostelworld  
81%
82%
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82%
78%
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Hostels.com  
79%
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78%
HostelBookers  
82%
80%
93%
84%
79%
86%
HostelsClub  
76%
76%
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Average  
80%
79%
84%
82%
78%
82%
Broadway Hotel & Hostel Reviews from the Web
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
3   Adequate but too expensive NYC is expensive, I get it, but this place isn't worth $40 a night for a 2 bed dorm. Rooms are bare bones, which I'm used to, but the window was broken and wouldn't close all the way and the fan looked like it was going to fall out of the ceiling. The door to the hall loudly slams shut whenever it closes and they charge you hourly to use the computers downstairs, which is ridiculous. The location is cool as all the museums are a lovely stroll through the park away and the train can get you downtown, but I think one can find a better place for the price.  , age 22, California ()
5   Great service, would stay again. Great location for traveling around Manhattan, spacious and very well maintained lounge with lots of comfy seats, very friendly staff. Rooms have mirrors, sinks, good heating, lockers, and free bathroom towels daily. Two showers per floor means no huge lineups in the morning. Free wifi in lounge. Breakfast in the lounge is pricey, but there's a Subway and McDonald's within three blocks, never mind all the coffee places and ethnic diners. Would absolutely stay again.  , age 25, Canada ()
4   Warm people. Polite staff. Comfie bed. It was amazing staying at Broadway, I felt like did The right choice. Staff were always friendly.  , age 28, Brazil ()
4   Pleasantly surprised We had a double bed private room and I was pleasantly surprised when we got there and found an air conditioning and our own bathroom. The room was updated recently as was the lobby. The place was very clean and comfortable. I will be staying here again and recommending it.  , age 23, USA ()
4   Good Really enjoyed the stay!  , USA ()
2   Least Favorite Hostel I stayed in Broadway for a conference in June 2010 and I expected it to be like all the others I had stayed at in the past. It's a very odd place, not near any of the tourist spots, on a side street. The staff weren't terribly friendly, but they weren't outright rude either. Not good at all for socializing. Everyone sits in the common room in front of the tv or computers, not saying a word to each other. The kitchen was very small for how many people they have. They've gotten in trouble for having too many people in the past. The rooms are odd, with only one bunk bed and no other furniture, with cheap Ikea decorations. No drawers, no table, just the floor to put your bags. No lockers either. The hallway bathrooms were fine, but didn't seem like enough for how many people were staying there. Not impressed. Would not go back.  , USA ()
2   Not quite what the pictures make out... Well we stayed in a 4 bed dorm for 10 days when visiting New York and altho the room was very clean it is nothing like what the pictures make out!! First of all the lift was broken when we arrived and carrying a 28kg suitcase up to the 7th floor was not much fun (or having to take the stairs everytime you left the building wasnt great!) The bathrooms were very 'used' and kinda grungy but the main problem was that you were sharing 5 bathrooms with about 50/60 people so unless you got up at 6 in the morning you had to wait in line to get into them! There was not much social interaction in the hostel, the common room was great with the tvs but there was not really any where to just sit and chat to other backpackers. And the kitchen didnt have any utensils which didnt make cooking very easy! All in all its a clean hostel and for the price its not bad if you want somewhere quiet to stay and the location is excellent.  , Scotland ()
1   awful, not very clean, I wont stay here again. we were there for 4 nights,. Beds were just springs with a little bit of covering. Things went missing, staff in general didnt seem to know what they were doing. It took us the full holiday to get problems sorted out. staff julio and brian were thew best many thanks to them. The rest, less said the better. The rooms were nothing like in the pictures. the rooms were clean but not the bathrooms. We asked for a room change as we were  , england ()

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