Accommodations were provided by Hostelworld and The Local for the purpose of writing this story. However, rest assured all opinions are 100% my own.
Looking for accommodations in New York City, on a budget, is a total hassle. First of all, hotels in Manhattan are super expensive, and Airbnb is usually a hit or miss. – That’s why I rely on my helpful, well-off friends and their gorgeous apartments with incredible views. #blessed But what do you do when you ran out of favors? Well, you go with the most affordable option out there: a hostel.
Sidenote: I’ve only stayed a hostel once before, on my very first trip to NYC, back in 2010. It was a four-bedroom dorm in Harlem. The hostel itself wasn’t bad – breakfast was even included. However, I’ve known the city better I would have never chosen that location… Way up there! The travel time really set my friends and I back on our sightseeing schedule.
After living there for a few years, now I can say I’m very familiar with the city, – even though I still get out on the wrong subway exit. Anyway, when I was searching for the best hostel on Hostelworld.com, I was instantly attracted to The Local – for its proximity to the city.
Located in Long Island City, The Local sits right across the East River, just a stop away from Manhattan on the E train. That means you can be in Midtown in less than ten minutes; that’s remarkable. Not to mention the skyline view from the rooftop, UNBELIEVABLE!
Another thing that sold me on the property was the charming yet modern atmosphere. You can tell the building has been remodeled to accommodate guests from all over the world. The front desk and library are bright, airy with a pop of color.
Besides, The Local offers many amenities the majority of New York City hostels don’t have: complimentary drink with your stay, small art gallery, work area, coin Laundromats and most importantly, a full service bar stocked with 23 different types of craft beer, signature cocktails, coffee, snacks, and pastries.
Ultimately what makes The Local better than other hostels in the city is the fact that every room – including the dorms, has its own shareable bathroom. -No more awkward encounters with half-naked people in the hallway. Although, I wouldn’t mind running into a handsome naked guy, but hey! That’s just me.
To avoid flashing my butt to other guests, I chose to stay in the Private Twin Room. It was much bigger than I expected, and all the natural light that was coming in from the big windows was perfect for photo shoot. On the other hand, the toilet and shower were t-i-n-y, which didn’t bother me.
As much as enjoyed my privacy, I have to be honest; that room was freezing. – I don’t know if it was the FRIGID weather outside or the old heater that kept blowing cold air once a set temperature was reached. Nonetheless, the staff was super helpful and provided me with an extra duvet cover once I told them about my issue.
While a hostel is far away from offering all the “luxuries” from a hotel, it is a fantastic place for those travelers looking for a more sociable and affordable experience – Dorm rates start as low as $31/night. New York City is full of life and energy. You certainly have a better chance to meet amazing people, getting to know them and befriended them staying at a hostel.
Lifestyle photos by Chel Wardell