Right now, New York City is still under-served when it comes to hostels, both in terms of quantity AND quality. Most hostels in the city can't hold a candle to what you'll find in Europe, Asia, or even the West Coast. A quick glance through Hostelworld's listings shows how few hostels here can manage to pull in even mediocre reviews and ratings.
I've worked for 3 hostels (2 here in NYC, 1 in Miami), and have 5 years of hospitality experience. I don't claim to be a genius, but I do think I understand basic customer service principles and the notion of getting back what you put in. So I've decided to take the big leap and do you know what!
I'm currently seeking investors for a very different kind of hostel in NYC, the kind that can garner worldwide acclaim by offering guests an experience normally reserved for the hippest boutique hotels in a hostel atmosphere.
I'm currently scouting locations in the Lower East Side, East Village, and Williamsburg. Right now, most NYC hostels are consolidated in the Upper West Side-- which is a nice enough area, but if you're a young traveler looking to enjoy the best nightlife, restaurants, and shopping, downtown is where you want to be. Also, a good LES location would give us proximity to the Chinatown bus routes travelers use to daytrip to DC, Boston, Philly, and Baltimore.
The concept is essentially 'Hipster Chic'... a Manhattan Gossip Girl aesthetic with indie flair, so stylish it hurts. Inspired by only the best boutique hotels and hostels, an experience custom-made for flashpackers. This is one they'll write about in magazines saying things like 'I can't believe it's a hostel!'
Just some of the things we hope to offer:
*A Wide Variety of Room Choices: Single and Twin Private rooms, dorms of various sizes, and a couple of Luxury 'Suites'. Each room distinctive and unforgettavle.
*For the dorms: sleep in style in custom Bunk Beds with privacy curtains, shelving, reading lamps, power outlets, white noise machines, headphone only mini-tvs, and iPod docks.
*For the privates: big flat screen tvs, comfortable beds, desk space, mini fridges, and Sirius satellite radio.
*The bathrooms: For the traveler tired of grimy and rundown hostel bathrooms-- mist showers, fountain sinks
*A Connoisseur's Complimentary Breakfast: No stale donuts or cheap cereal here-- instead, enjoy bioche, croissants, bagels, and fruits from local vendors.
*24/7 Concierge Service: Order food, get directions, book an airport shuttle, you name it. A full time person dedicated to helping guests make the most of their stays.
*Free Wi-Fi that actually works! Plus use of PC and Mac computers for a fee. The concierge desk also offers guests a wide selection of tech products like outlet adapters, cameras, and usb cables.
*Luxurious linens and towels, and a wide selection of toiletries available for sale at the front desk.
*Fully equipped kitchen with state of the art appliances and fine cookware.
*The Perfect Lounge: Meet people from around the world in an atmosphere decidedly out of this world. DJs spin while guests recline on designer sofas. Pieces from our artists in residence adorn the walls. Feel like playing around? Try pool, ping pong, air hockey, or foosball-- or maybe something more modern on XBox 360, Playstation 3, or Wii... it's all in the game room. How about relaxing? Try the Quiet Room with reading chairs and space for yoga/meditation. Or catch an indie film in the Screening Room.
*Weekly visits from fortune tellers, yoga coaches, chefs, and dance instructors!
*Pop culture trivia nights, Roppongi-style karaoke nights, Spelling Bees, and Readings on the weeknights!
*Coordinated nightly outings to all the best that NYC has to offer: clubs, bars, galleries, concerts, performances, screenings, and more.
A bit about operating concepts:
- Key staff members will be awarded their own rooms, and all staff will reside in the hostel. This may seem unconventional, but I believe it will encourage staff to go the extra mile and offer superior service. I'm sorry, but too many hostels in this city are paying front desk clerks $8 an hour with no residency, and you get exactly what you pay for-- unhelpful, uncommitted staff.
- We'll staff a traveling ambassador, paid on commission, to recruit group sales and larger reservations, especially during the winter months. In New York, there is ZERO excuse for a 'slow season'.
- A larger hostel that can keep it's Hostelworld rating in the 90s (or even high 80s) is going to have amazing capacity numbers simply because no one else can pull it off. This is the one thing I'm sure of.
I'm positive some people are looking at this and saying, 'maybe he should start small'. And 99 percent of the time, I'd agree. But small isn't what this city needs right now. This past summer, the biggest hostels in Manhattan put paying guests in mattresses on the floor while fielding (and usually ignoring) complaints about mice, broken windows, and abysmal customer service--
What New York is a hostel that raises the bar. If you believe one of the best cities on Earth deserves one of the best hostels, this might be the right venture for you.
Just PM me if you're interested (and I hope you are), and we can talk about details. Look forward to talking to you soon!
Update: Check the second page for a major update on our progress with this venture!