Thursday, August 30, 2012

New York City's Pod Hotel

The name Pod Hotel says it all. Or does it? My expectation when checking into the brand new Pod 39 Hotel in the upmarket Murray Hill neighborhood in Manhattan is that my night would be similar to falling asleep -- or nervously trying to -- while having a CAT scan.  Instead I found a minimalist room with brightly hued accents that, though wee, was sun filled. thanks to three windows, including one in the bathroom with its translucent walls and rain shower. (The amenities are the organic Red Flower line which come in colorful cardboard containers.)

The flat screen TV, complementary WiFi as well as wireless media center and iPod docking station all assure that you're connected and distracted from the small room dimensions. (My suggestion is to book a queen room on a high floor.)

The only oddity of the room. which comes with plenty of fluffy towels, is the lack of cups. (You have to call the front desk for those.)

On the ground floor, guests lounge in sleek chairs. Others check one of several iPads that are mounted on the wall and call up Google maps or search for restaurant reviews on Yelp. The concierge desk is piled with the latest issue of Time Out New York to assure that you'll have access to the latest information on pop-up shops, gallery openings, literary readings and street fairs.

The hotel is still a work in progress: a restaurant is set to open as well as a spacious lounge that'll be equipped with a ping pong and pool table.

But the highlight of this property,which is a landmarked building, is the original Neoclassical rooftop that's been repurposed into a scenic terrace with archways, antique-tiled tables, a copper-topped terra cotta-faced bar as well as tall terra cotta columns and benches. From this airy perch, you can sit and take in the panoramic views of the city, including the Empire State Building, while sipping one of their many exotic and well-crafted cocktails. (The bar is open to the public and, since my stay here a few weeks ago, I've stopped by for drinks several times.) Even the virgin drinks were memorable: I lingered over a refreshing cocktail concocted of watermelon juice, ginger syrup and citrus.

For such a spare room, however, the price isn't cheap. My room went for $155. But, how much time do you spend in the room anyway? And, considering hotels in New York City can run in the hundreds, especially given this prime locale, the Pod 39 is worth it. You'll be in a quiet, tony  East Side neighborhood that accessible to the Lexington line subway. You'll feel like you're in the land of hipness. And, then, there's always that rooftop retreat to look forward to at the end of the day.


Mabel Torres said...

I'm a frequent visitor to NYC for business, and I'm on a tight budget, so the combination of short notice and limited spend usually puts me in a roach motel. But Pod39 was a breath of fresh air. Amenities are great. Only problem is that they don't have hairdryers just yet. Otherwise, great stay at the Pod. Great location considering it was so close to Grand Central Station.

J The Travel Authority said...

Hi Mabel, Glad you enjoyed your stay there. The location can't be beat. I never use a hairdryer so I didn't miss it. But I found it odd that there were no glasses in the bathroom. When I asked them, they said I could've called the front desk and ask for one. It just seemed easier to put a glass in the room in the first place.