Thursday, August 07, 2014

YMCA Hotels for Savings

The YMCA Or Young Men's Christian Association operates a number of hotels around the world, in addition to providing other useful services such as moderately priced gyms, children's programs and so forth. The hotels generally aren't fancy, but they offer clean, safe rooms and sometimes other services. I have stayed in Ys in Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver in Canada and in Dublin, Ireland.

There is a listing of some of the Y hotels at It is not complete, but is a good starting point for finding these modest lodgings when you travel. Y hotels can be found in, among other places, Norway, India, Argentina, Armenia, France, Hong Kong, Switzerland and New York City. Opting for a Y is particularly attractive in pricey destinations such as Norway and Switzerland, Paris or New York City.

For example, a bed at the Basel YMCA hostel starts at just 29 Swiss francs, or about $40. In Paris during July and August only, you can rent a room in the Y's student residence in the 9th district for as little as 36 euros per night, or about $50. Rates are higher in New York City, but still low by local standards. A room at the Vanderbilt Y on the East Side costs between $119 and $139.

Everyone is welcome at these hotels--you don't have to be either young, male or Christian to qualify. If you do not find a Y hotel listed in the place you plan to visit, do an internet search and you may turn up something. For example, there are both a YMCA and a YWCA hotel in Montreal, but neither is listed on the international site. YWCA hotels are less numerous and they tend to prefer female guests, but they too are a good option in places such as Hong Kong and Vancouver. If you recall, even the Village People sang the praises of the YMCA back in the day.


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