2. The Algonquin: · Yes, Matilda the Algonquin kitty has returned to her newly-renovated stomping ground—and now so can you! If you're interested in more than just sipping an $18 Matilda-inspired cocktail, then bring along your laptop for some lounging in one of New York's classiest, most historic lobbies. No one's expecting you to found the next New Yorker magazine—a simple Facebooking session is fine with us.
· 3. Yotel Times Square: Five avenues west, and on completely the other side of the lobby design spectrum, we think Star Trek fans will find the massive fourth-floor lobby at Yotel Times Square much more to their liking. Head past the self-check-in screens on the ground floor, into the elevator, and up to FOUR, which comprises the hotel's restaurant, terrace, Club Lounge cabins, and main lobby area. Pull up to one of the wide bright green booths, log onto the WiFi, and get down to business. When you get bored of staring at the screen, take a look around at some impressive manga-inspired art installed on the walls.
· 4. Pod 39: Though rooms opened this month with staggeringly low rates of just $85/night, the rest of Pod 39 isn't likely to be finished until later this summer. But when it's all up and running, guests can expect pretty much the same features as the original Pod, with one key improvement: a bigger lobby. This sprawling ground-floor space should make the hotel a hub for backpackers and digital nomads alike—though whether because of the free WiFi or the yummy tacos is up to you.
· 5. Tryp Times Square: A playful signpost next to the Front Desk directs travelers to different capitals of the world (Paris, Madrid, Sao Paolo), but if 35th Street is where you find yourself for the afternoon, a truly relaxing place to be is Tryp Times Square's funky, Mediterranean-inspired lobby. Knock back a glass of white wine, choose from some yummy tapas plates, and plug into the power outlets lining the community table at the far end of the lobby. Knowing how tech-savvy this hotel has strived to be since day one (it was the first hotel to sign on for the travel-themed social media app LobbyFriend), we don't think you'll have any problem pairing your croquetas with a bit of quality laptopping time.
And if you like to travel with an entourage, don't forget about the hotel's tricked-out family rooms for parties of up to eight. You might be fighting over the computer, but at least there'll be plenty of beds to go around.
[Photos: Hotel Indigo Chelsea, HotelChatter]