I really loved our stay in this hotel. The location is fantastic, right off Columbia University campus and on the bus/subway stops. Upper West Side is FULL of cafes and little shops, and there's a Starbucks right across the street, too :)
We did have minor problems, like our reservation was made to a previous month by mistake :), but we had a printout of our online order, and everything was resolved. Staff are very friendly. The lines for registration/checking out are really long though - they are friendly to everyone there, so it takes forever to go through... Also, no extra blankets if the weather is cold :(
Otherwise, fantastic experience. The doorman in black is a fun touch for a student hostel :) The lobby is very well decorated and pretty - you forget you're in a hostel! The rooms are fine, and they are cleaned every day - also a great touch.