What we all say when we book a hostel is 'All I need is just a place to sleep at night'. This is what I thought as well, but I barely had this at the Candy Hostel. The bed was like sleeping on a blank of wood. Horrible!
Also, After tossing up a decision between the a few hostels, I chose Candy in the end, because the features were clear. One in particular was air conditioning. I am a person who gets very heated and breaks a sweat in a hot room, so air conditioning is one of these very basics I need. The hostel lied in their description, because not only was there not air conditioning, there was no air circulation at all! All they had was a window, not ducts or anything.
If you wanted to open the window, you had to risk one of the many pigeons that dwell on your window sill coming into your room during the night. I would not have considered this hostel, even if it were half the price, if I knew it didn't have air conditioning.
We also had a TV in our room which was great, only thing is, it didn't work. It didn't get any signal, and the front desk kept telling me when I asked 'the ariels are down and the whole block is affected. I found this off seeing as in the common room they had a TV running 24/7.
This next point may be more the guests staying, rather than the workers, but it definitely needs a mention.
The bathroom was a mess 9 out of 10 times I visited. The toilet was blocked half the time, toilet paper, and one occasion, feces were on the floor. I would wake up the next day (8-9 hours later) and the mess would still be there. I found myself checking the 6 bathrooms on each level to find the cleanest every time.
The walls are paper thin, so you can hear everything that is happening around you. One incident in particular (this is not the establishments fault, but a word of warning of the types that stay here) a man almost every day for a week, would come in the hall, scream at people, several occasions shouting at women calling them various obscenities and threatening them at the top of his lungs. I found myself escorting my girlfriend to the bathroom each time, as she was horrified to walk the hallways.
The overall feeling of the hostel wasn't pleasant. The carpets felt dirty when walking, the elevator buttons didn't always work (had to press UP when I wanted to go down), it almost all the time had unpleasant smells in the hallway.
You may thing my standards are high, but I stayed in a hostel in the heart of Sydney city, for $25, and I had a comfortable bed, air conditioning, and clean bathrooms, which was all I needed for a pleasant stay. I paid almost three times as much, and barely had any of these. I strongly recommend to anyone, cough up the extra money per night and get a cheap hotel, even if it's further away from the heart of NYC (the transport is amazing so it doesn't matter if you're a little further out)