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Here's a first look at the new lobby bar and lounge area inside Pod 39. The venue is called Play Room and it's a huuuge space with a fireplace, two ping pong tables, color-coded bookshelves, a video projector, stained glass windows, and a 25-foot butcher block bar. Pretty much everything we look for in a hotel lobby hangout area.
Though the hotel debuted its rooftop bar back in September, it's taken this long for the street-level space to come together (sounds like they've got their priorities straight over at Pod!). But we think it was worth the wait. Pod Hotels put serious emphasis on socializing, so it makes sense that their public space would be so big and captivating—in many ways, more so than the first Pod hotel.
Here are our five favorite things about the new space:
The other day we singled out what might be our most favorite airport hotel yet. Having stayed in a few of them ourselves, we know a good airport hotel—straightforward, modern, clean, a place where we can lay low until our plane whisks us away—isn't always easy to find.
As it happens, Gatwick South Terminal in the UK is due for an exciting addition this fall with the opening of Bloc Hotel Gatwick. Last we heard from Bloc, they'd just opened their first-ever property in Birmingham, and the Japanese pod-inspired rooms have so far been a hit, with TripAdvisor reviewers praising the hotel's affordability, style, and helpful staff.
Just like before, the new 245-room Gatwick hotel will be tech-savvy (free WiFi, 32" HD TVs, Artemide ambient lighting) with chic Missoni-designed carpets, monsoon showers in Italian-tiled "wet rooms," and, of course, super affordable rates.
New York Hotel Week / Hotel Deals / Pod Hotels / Hotels Under $100 / Gem Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
[UPDATE: We’ve been following The Jade hotel pretty closely, and was surprised (and delighted) they were on this updated list. Then we remembered rumblings about a February opening, so we had to double check if they’d be honoring reservations for Hotel Week. We contacted the hotel's PR team and was told that when first signing up with Hotel Week, a November opening was anticipated. Due to Superstorm Sandy, the debut was majorly delayed (not because of damages, but setbacks with the utility company). So, unfortunately The Jade will not be participating in Hotel Week. Stay tuned for more news on the eagerly anticipated opening.]
We let you know about NYC's Hotel Week early, so it may have slipped your mind.
But here’s a brief recap:
From January 4 – 20, 2013, hotels that normally go up to $500 a night will be on sale starting at just $100 and none coming in at more than $250. The reason behind this promo is simple—January is one of the slowest tourism times for NYC, so this is one way for hotels to bring in guests.
We’ve been keeping an eye on the list to see if anything jumps out at us (we are bummed that our beloved Andaz isn’t participating this year), and we think there plenty worth checking out. And hey, if you live in the city, now's your chance to do that overnight you've been wanting to try.
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There's been a flood of restaurant openings over the past few weeks in NYC—and the streak will likely continue through Thanksgiving, as more restaurants struggle through delays and other setbacks. In the meantime, here's our take on five of the newest NYC hotel restaurants to hit the scene:
1. Koi, Trump Soho. Taking the place of the former Italian-themed Quattro is this latest effort by contemporary Japanese mini-chain Koi (the brand's only other Manhattan outpost is at the Bryant Park Hotel). While big leaguers like Nobu or a Blue Ribbon, also have a presence in the city, Koi can certainly hold its own when it comes to fresh seafood. The restaurant's signature Crispy Rice appetizer ($16, pictured) comes with four melt-in-your-mouth hunks of tuna tartare placed on four wedges of perfectly browned rice. Meanwhile, yummy rolls like the Northern Lights (snow crab, cucumber, avocado, salmon, black truffle) and the Baked Lobster roll will keep sushi connoisseurs plenty satisfied.
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We hate to see rooftop season go, and with fall officially beginning tomorrow, places will start closing up shop soon. Which is why we've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite hotel rooftops around the US and Europe in case you haven't visited one yet. Ever the optimists, we'll say there are a few weeks of prime rooftop hopping left before annoying things like rain, wind chill factor, and snow block us from the outdoor lounging we love so much.
Use this guide to get your pre-Fall affairs in order!
Pod 39, New York City
Word's gotten out about midtown's newest hotel rooftop bar, located on the 17th floor of the Pod 39. And why not? Enclosed by a series of majestic terra cotta columns and slender brick archways, the al fresco space feels more like a re-discovered Greek temple than the regular old Manhattan standby. But, it's a bar alright. Cocktails like the delicious Weathervane (rye whiskey, grapefruit juice, campari, ginger, and a sprig of fresh rosemary, $12) make a great accompaniment to up-close views of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and neighboring Queens. (ASchechter, Assistant Editor)
See the rest of the picks after the jump!
Hotel Deals / New York Hotel Week / Pod Hotels / Hotels Under $100 / Gansevoort Hotels / Gem Hotels / Hyatt Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
Ok, it’s clear that advanced planning can be a good thing in the hotel world when it comes to new properties. It can be important when you’ve got plans to stay at a New York City hotel where rates can be outrageously high.
Sure, we tout the wonderfulness of last-minute bookings using apps like Hotel Tonight if you’re the footloose and fancy-free sort. But, if you crave a bit more structure, take advantage of the Second Annual “Hotel Week” on January 4 – 20, 2013. During this time you can score New York City hotel rooms for $100, $200 and $250 at more than 20 hotels. Although we liked the list a bit better last year, there's still some great deals here considering some of these places normally charge more than $500 a night!
And guess what? You can book NOW. The codes below are live for the hotels on sale. The catch? The stay is for, in the words of the Dreamgirls song, “One Night Only”. But we say there’s nothing to stop you from hotel hopping if you’ve got the chops and plan your neighborhoods right. Sure, it'll be winter, but that's never stopped people from visiting the city!
Here’s a sample of what’s on sale. You’ll find the full list of hotels here soon. But click on our links now for the lowdown on these properties:
POD 39 and 51
How to Book: Call 212-355-0300 and mention “Hotel Week”
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Finding a good deal on a room can be stressful enough—but when all you need is to duck into the hotel lobby to fire off a string of emails, or upload photos onto Flickr, or write up a hotel story, (as is often the case with us), the last thing you want to feel is rushed. Here are a few trusty hotspots we like to keep on our radar when roaming the Big Apple, looking for a chilled-out place to turn into our office for a quick hour or two:
1. Indigo Chelsea: Our buddies at Indigo Chelsea like to keep things simple in their ground-floor lobby on 28th St. They even did away (for the most part) with those floppy white plastic tubes that had us all scratching our heads for a while.
But with a new dining concept (Blu) that replaced the previous Bice Italian restaurant last year, and free WiFi all over the hotel, this midtown gem is a clean, friendly, reliable place you can go and get a bit of work done for a while. Which we do often, with a side of sweet potato fries ($8) to keep our appetite at bay.
We found rooms for tomorrow night for just $85 a night. Yes, that's for a bunk bed but guess what? All the room categories at the hotel, including the queen bed category, are going for a special sample rate of $85 this month.
That's because the hotel hasn't quite finished up its construction so as a concession to guests willing to put up with "light construction work, intermittent or no access to internet or cable television" and no restaurant or bar service, rates are super, super cheap.
While we do prefer our hotel stays to have all their amenities and services at the ready, we can't turn away from an $85 room rate. Will you?
Have you stayed or are about to stay at the Pod 39 Hotel? Let us know how it went!
[Photo: Pod 39 Hotel]
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When we first reported about the opening of NYC's second Pod Hotel, we were mostly excited about the fact that all the rooms would have their own private bathrooms. Same tiny capsule rooms as ever, but this time, no shared bathrooms. Phew!
Yesterday, the NY Times decided to pick up on the trend of "tiny but luxurious" hotels, focusing mainly on the new Pod39 and its abundance of communal space, both in the lobby and up on the colonnaded roof. But what caught our eye was a quote from Pod Managing Director David Bernstein, confirming that what guests love about the compact rooms isn't just the size: it's actually the bunk beds.
Go figure. People show up in NYC and pay $150-$200, only to pretend it's sleepaway camp all over again!
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And one of the things we're most excited about this second-edition, updated Pod is that this time, all the rooms will have private bathrooms. Queen pods, odd pods, single pods—and yes, even bunk pods (shown above).
Which is only fair. With all the socializing embodied in the Pod culture (let's not forget the rooftop space, taco bar in the lobby, and video/photo "screening wall"), it's only right that guests, whether they're backpacking from Europe or in town on a conference, should be entitled to a little privacy in the bathroom. Added features like this (and starting rates of $119/night) will soon be giving Yotel a run for its money.
For more photos, click below!
We told you way back in August that The Pod Hotel would be opening their second NYC location in the Summer of 2012 and amazingly, the Pod is staying true to their word, having just announced a June opening date for Pod No. 2.
Fortunately, this Pod won't be called Pod No. 2 but rather Pod 39 after the hotel's location on 39th Street in the Murray Hill nabe. And unlike the original pod, Pod 39 will have private bathrooms in all the guestrooms. Room categories range from double, queen and bunk beds starting at 60-sq.ft. and keeping in line with the Pod concept, the biggest rooms are only 120-sq.ft.
Downstairs will be an open lobby space with a “window box” reception desk, a coffee bar, and a unique Pod feature: a “screening wall” where guest photos and videos are projected around the clock. But best of all, the hotel plans to open an international taco bar as part of their lobby restaurant concept.
One week into the New Year, we think it's fair to say that the "Happy" has already rubbed off. It's cold, the headlines are full of depressing news, and we hear that hotel room rates will go up this year (good for hotel biz, not so much for our wallets).
So, here's a nugget of goodness for 2011: The Pod Hotel in New York is running one of those wacky date-driven promotions tomorrow, 1.11.11, letting folks snag a room for $111.11--and not a teensy-tiny pod with bunk beds, either. This rate is for a Queen room.