So when I start planning a trip and need to find somewhere to stay, the first thing I do is head on over to Hostelworld and start trawling through hostels. And normally it’s a fun thing. I look for the coolest, most stylish and quirky hostel in my chosen destination and make sure it’s in a great location and within budget. But when I did this for my New York City trip, I wasn’t impressed at all.
You see, most hostels in New York City are absolutely rubbish. They’re the kind of hostels you end up staying at when you’re travelling long term and are running out of cash. The ones where everything is basic and naff and no-one is on your wavelength there.
And the worst part? THEY’RE ALL SO EXPENSIVE.
So you’re paying a fortune to stay somewhere gross just to be in the greatest city in the world. And it’s because of that last part that people do it.
Well I came up with two ways to stay somewhere nice in NYC without breaking the bank. The first was to stay in an Airbnb in Brooklyn, which I’ll tell you more about another time, and the second was to stay at The Local NY in Queens. This was one of the only places I could find that was within budget, looked pretty cool and was close to Manhattan. Here’s how I got on.
The Local NY, New York
So first up let’s talk about the location of this place. Because when you say Queens, it’s sounds real far away. But in reality it’s just across the Queensboro Bridge from Manhattan, in a place called Long Island City. It’s just two stops on the subway to get into the city and about a 10 minute walk South down to some bars and restaurants (and a cool brunch place – Cafe Henri).
Plus the location itself, although pretty industrial, has lots of street art, and oh wait – the best freaking view of the Manhattan skyline! Honestly that’s one of the main reasons I booked this place. You see, The Local NY has a rooftop. A rooftop with REAL pretty views like these (and these were taken on my phone so imagine that it’s even more impressive IRL).
It’s also located in a big warehouse so the ground floor common areas have a cool, industrial vibe. I mean the front itself opens up to the street, with a cool bar at the front with colourful lanterns. Definitely my vibe.
A bit further back, there’s a large space that showcases art and on certain nights hosts events. On one of the nights I was there they projected an arty film onto the back wall, it was all very hipster. And I liked it.
It’s then all open plan round to the hostel lobby, an area with a library and computers and tables with plugs so you work on your laptop. It’s pretty chilled round here and everyone seems pretty normal, you know? Not crazy 18 y/o partiers or weird old guys, just cool people hanging out.
There’s also a small kitchen here but it’s pretty low key. I guess that’s because if you’re in New York, why on earth would you cook, right?
Rooms-wise, I tried two different rooms at The Local NY.
On the first night Josh and I stayed in a 4 bed dorm. It was a really nice set-up with the shower room and toilet in the first section of the room separated by a door from the bedroom part. This means that when you’re getting ready in the morning you can do your make-up with the light on without disrupting other people sleeping. Score.
The beds also had their own plugs, their own personal night light and a large locker under the bunk. Basically all the things I expect from a good hostel. What I was pleasantly surprised about though was the fact that when we checked in, the guy at Reception gave us locks to borrow free of charge for use on the lockers! Which was good because I had totally forgotten to pack one.
The second room I tried out was the Queen Room. And I really liked it.
This private room with a queen bed was beautifully decorated with artwork, cool furniture, brickwork painted white and large industrial windows pouring light in. It was just perfect and nicer than a lot of hotel rooms I’ve stayed in!
And you know what was awesome about BOTH of these rooms? There was no noise! Every time I’ve stayed in NYC, the noise has been insane. Like sirens all night and beeping and shouting. But I guess that’s just Manhattan, because Long Island City is nice and quiet, y’all.
Overall I give The Local NY top marks. If you’re looking for somewhere cool in NYC that won’t break the bank and oozes a bit of industrial charm, this is the one for you.
You can read more about The Local NY over on their website.
What do you think of The Local NY? Is this the kind of hostel you’d like to stay at? Is there anywhere else you’d recommend in New York?
Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!
Total Blogger Transparency: I accepted complimentary accommodation at The Local NY but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.