The building itself is landmarked, so not too many changes have been made to its exterior. Though inside, pretty much the entire building was gutted, every wall was torn down and re-built, and three entirely new elevator shafts were installed. Serious work for a serious (and affordable) hotel!
We peeked inside the rooms, which are pretty much what expected from seeing the original Pod. Compact, bright, and full of bunk beds. Some new additions, however, got us even more excited than we already were. For starters, closets have been replaced with nifty sculptural pieces that provide a bar for hanging clothes and a bench for luggage; also, easy-to-maneuver black metal shutters have been installed over the windows, so guests can control the natural light without forfeiting that cozy, pod-like room feel.
Oh, and let's not forget these handy little media ports installed on the walls next to the beds. Offering two power plugs, USB, HDMI, and audio/video inputs, you can essentially hook up your own personal media center from next to your pillow, and have it all pop up on the TV screen. A Pod is for play, we say!
The Pod is a busy place, full of guests who like a cheap, efficient stay, and who also enjoy meeting other guests during their stay. There is no better place for that to happen than the hotel's 17th-floor rooftop. We've seen a lot of rooftops in our time, and this one by far has us the most intrigued. Not considered large by any stretch of the imagination, the Pod 39's rooftop is special for its intimate cloister-style Renaissance design and views.
Looking out across the East River from between the brick arches and terra cotta columns is a pretty unique experience, and we can't wait to get back up here when the hotel is up and running. A bar will be set up inside near the elevators, and capacity will hover around 80, with priority given, of course, to guests.