Yotel, New York City
THE HOTEL: The quirky Yotel group's fourth property opened in New York in June 2011 with 669 'cabins', making it the year's biggest hotel opening in the Big Apple. It's located a few blocks west of Times Square and a short walk from the Javits convention centre, and is significantly different to its predecessors at Gatwick, Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol airports.
THE CHECK-IN: The lobby, 'Ground Control', features a row of automated check-in counters and the 'Yobot' left luggage facility – a mechanical arm that delivers and retrieves suitcases from a bank of bins behind a glass wall. After being issued with a room card, I took the lift to 'FOUR', the hotel's hub, then another to my cabin higher up.
THE ROOM: My 16m2 Premium cabin was a masterclass in design, making use of every available inch of space without having to compromise on style. White walls and surfaces are complemented by trademark purple carpet, mood lighting and a large wall mirror. A double bed slides into a sofa position at the touch of a button, and there's a small work desk with power points, a 32-inch wall-mounted flatscreen TV with iPod connection, safe, iron and ironing board, hairdryer and handy storage points around the room. The bathroom area, with floor-to-ceiling window, has a spacious walk-in shower. There's a 'Galley' on each floor featuring complimentary hot drinks, ice and vending machines. 'First' and 'VIP' cabins feature the likes of hot tubs and pool tables.
THE FACILITIES: Complimentary tea, coffee and muffins are served each morning on 'FOUR'. This busy floor also features Mission Control (a concierge desk and essentials shop), a small gym, computers, Dohyo restaurant, flexible 'Studiyo' space, Club Lounge and bar with adjoining Club Lounge Cabins (for use by day for meetings or by night for a touch of exclusivity) and access to New York's largest hotel roof terrace.
THE VERDICT: This city centre Yotel has all the same cool design features as its airport locations (and many more), but also feels like a real hub of activity, with business and leisure guests alike frequenting the trendy bar and lounge area. Crucially, it's also in a good central location with competitive rates.
THE DETAILS: 570 Tenth Avenue at W42 Street, New York, NY 10036. Rates from $179 per night for the remainder of the year. See: www.yotel.com
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2012)