Hotel Review: Yotel Times Square

Hotel Review: Yotel Times Square

Overview: Everything you need and nothing you don’t. Tiny rooms but modern and efficient use of space. Best for solo travelers, ok for couples, groups might be cramped, even in a larger room. And the bathroom does not offer a lot of privacy.

YOTEL New York
570 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10036
By phone: +1 646 449 7700

The Yotel in Times Square claims on its website that it “creates time, giving you everything you need and nothing you don’t.” Confused by the vague description? So was I. Let me fill you in on what actually makes the Yotel unique.

The lobby (if you could call it that) was as confusing as the website. Instead of a front desk with human beings, there were machines to check guests in and out, though there were people there to help. The process was surprisingly efficient: I just entered in my name and the dates of my reservation, and since I was early, the machine told me the room wasn’t ready yet.

luggage robot Yotel New York

So, I headed up to the fourth floor (the closest thing the hotel has to a real lobby, including a desk where staff take questions) to sit at the cafe, which boasts an impressive North African-inspired menu. I worked at a small table while eating fried cauliflower and pita bread with hummus, yogurt, and eggplant — dishes I enjoyed so much, I ordered the exact same ones again later that night. In addition to the cafe, which also sold coffee and pastries, there’s a larger restaurant on the fourth floor.

YOTEL rooftop Terrace New York

The “everything you need and nothing you don’t” tagline began to make sense when I entered my 27th-floor room, overlooking a gorgeous view of midtown Manhattan. The bed was tilted to partially lean against the wall and create space, and it went down for sleeping at the press of a button. The shower had shampoo and soap combined in one bottle, as well as a large bottle of conditioner, something I often find hotels lacking. The menu was on the TV. (They don’t deliver, but you can order food from your room, get a call when it’s ready, and pick it up downstairs.) Every inch of space was put to use.

Yotel room size

There was only a glass wall and curtain separating the bed and bathroom and there wasn’t too much extra space, so the room would not be ideal for multiple people traveling together. It looks like most of the Yotel’s rooms work this way. As a solo traveler, though, I didn’t feel cramped. The bed was not luxurious but comfortable. The WiFi in the hotel was quick, and there was an outlet to charge my computer next to the bed. The Yotel is impressively high-tech, in fact, with a luggage-storing robot and a mobile concierge app.

The hotel’s in a great location on 10th avenue between 41st and 42nd streets, a quick walk to the ACE trains and Times Square but far enough west that it’s still quiet. There are tons of cafes and restaurants right around the corner.

The building was a bit annoying to navigate, though, since you have to transfer elevators every time you hit the fourth floor. The Yotel definitely has its quirks, but they’re all part of its charm.

Rooms:

Rooms are known as “cabins” at the Yotel, and they definitely echo the size of a ship cabin.

Queen rooms are the most plentiful, but there are rooms that add one or two bunk beds that can work for a family of up to four.

Some king rooms are available, and some with terraces and outdoor tubs (not hot tubs) that look pretty special. One VIP terrace room has a king bed and a sofabed so it can accommodate up to four adults.

Tech:

Good wifi and outlets next to the bed for charging.

Luggage storage robots!

Family-friendly amenities:

Bunk beds in some rooms.

Bikes available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Yotel branded coloring books and colored pencils are available for a fee. Or download the images from the website.

Food options:

The Green Fig offers Mediterranean food on the fourth floor lobby level.

The rooftop terrace is the largest of any hotel in NYC, and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Many restaurants in the neighborhood.

Deals and Activities Nearby:

Ummm… it’s New York City.

Parking:

Parking garage below the hotel. The standard rate is $45.00 for 24 hours, $62.00 for valet parking with SUVs costing an additional $6.00.

Suzannah Weiss

Suzannah Weiss is a freelance writer and editor currently serving as a contributing editor for Teen Vogue and a regular contributor to Glamour, Bustle, Vice, Refinery29, Elle, The Washington Post, and more. She authored a chapter of Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World and frequently discusses gender, sex, body image, and social justice on radio shows and podcasts. Whoopi Goldberg cited one of her articles on The View in a debate over whether expressing your desires in bed is a feminist act. (She thinks it is.)

Hosted

The writer of this review was a guest of the hotel. All writers on All Over the Map provide unbiased opinions, whether hosted or not, but we thought you should know that they didn't pay to stay there. 

Killer Heels in Brooklyn

Killer Heels in Brooklyn

As I sit nursing my aching feet, which are apparently paying me back now for overdoing the cute shoes in my 20s, and having just bought the ugliest pair of shoes I could possibly imagine to help nurse them back to health, the irony of the title of the Brooklyn Museum‘s upcoming show does not pass me by. “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” opens September 10, 2014 and runs through February 15, 2015.

Despite my current foot woes, or perhaps because of them, I remain a shoe fanatic. Collecting photos of interesting shoe fashions is an obsession when I travel.

"Beyond Wilderness" by Iris van Herpen at the Brooklyn Museum "Killer Heels" exhibit

“Beyond Wilderness” by Iris van Herpen

When we rolled into the town of Hoi An, Vietnam not too long ago, I knew the place was known for its custom tailors. But I had no idea that there were custom shoemakers, too. There were entire blocks of the tourist town dedicated to sneakers in every color and pattern available, dress shoes with wings, heels with patchwork leather, sandals on platforms…. I was in heaven.

Shops upon shops full of custom-made shoes in Hoi An, Vietnam

Shops upon shops full of custom-made shoes in Hoi An, Vietnam

So of course when I heard about the upcoming “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” at the Brooklyn Museum, I put it right into my calendar (along with a shoe-shopping trip to Manhattan). The show looks at the high-heeled shoe’s rich and varied history as fashion statement, fetish object, and outlet of artistic expression. With Killer Heels, the Brooklyn Museum will host fashionistas and shoe fetishists of all ages and types to view more than 160 historical and contemporary pairs of high heeled art and craft.

Italian chopine at the Brooklyn Museum "Killer Heels" exhibit

Italian chopine

The exhibition features pieces from both high-profile and emerging designers and fashion houses, including Christian Louboutin, Rodarte, Zaha Hadid, Iris van Herpen, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Giuseppe Zanotti, as well as from the Brooklyn Museum’s renowned costume collection. Killer Heels also features six specially commissioned short films, inspired by high heels, by Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh, Zach Gold, Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Marilyn Minter, and Rashaad Newsome.

"Atom" by Noritaka Tatehana at the Brooklyn Museum "Killer Heels" exxhibit

“Atom” by Noritaka Tatehana

Details: “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” opens September 10, 2014 and runs through February 15, 2015 at the Brooklyn Museum.

Brooklyn Museum

Birthday on Broadway

Birthday on Broadway

broadway

(Reprinted from an article in Mount Vernon Patch)

To celebrate his eleventh birthday, my husband and I told our son, Julian, that we would take him on a special weekend anywhere we could drive to. He didn’t hesitate — we were going to New York City! Julian loves theater, food, and “fancy” hotels so I can’t say I was surprised.

The New York weekend seems to be a DC-area rite of passage. I have talked to many families who have taken their tweens up to the Big Apple for a special celebration. Here are some tips for making the most out of the weekend.

Getting there:

While New York is only a half day’s drive, it’s not a fun city to drive in and it can be difficult and pricey to find a place to park. The bus is a great option. A long bus ride is probably a first for a lot of kids so it’s something they will probably look forward to. I recommend the Bolt Bus for being clean, affordable, comfortable, and reliable. They offer several trips a day from DC to NY.

Hotel:

Hotel prices in New York are notoriously high but you can get a pretty good deal using Hotwire or Pricleine.  I’ve had good luck with both many times in the past.  Make sure you look at their maps to help you choose the neighborhood.  We used Hotwire on this trip and had a fantastic stay at the Benjamin Hotel on East 50th, within walking distance to the theater, Central Park and Rockefeller Center.  Julian’s favorite part was the pillow menu, which lets you choose among a dozen or so different types of pillows.

Broadway Shows:

The thrill of a Broadway show is even more special when seen through young eyes. We went to see “Billy Elliot” on our weekend with Julian. Many websites offer discounts on Broadway tickets, including  Entertainment Link and Broadway Box. I’ve used them both successfully.  Do check out off-Broadway shows as well.  We saw a fantastic off-Broadway show last year, “The 39 Steps,” and it cost a fraction of the price of a Broadway show.

Treats:

If you’re one of those people who needs an excuse to indulge in sweet treats (I am decidedly not), having a child along works perfectly!  Do check out these two New York sweet spots.  A New York institution since 1954, Serendipity serves up some seriously delicious ice cream. Try their specialty frozen hot chocolate. If candy is more your speed, head over to Dylan’s Candy Bar for a huge assortment of candy, chocolate, and candy-related paraphernalia.

Shopping:

While I could spend hours browsing through New York boutiques, Julian had some specific shopping destinations in mind on this trip.  He had saved up some pocket money and wanted to go to the Lego Store at Rockefeller Center and FAO Schwartz at 767 Fifth Avenue. The Lego Store was a disappointment. It didn’t have a huge selection and only a few large models on display. FAO Schwartz, however, was magical, from the moment we were greeted by the iconic doorman.  We channeled our inner Tom Hanks and tickled the ivories in our socks on the giant piano and spent over an hour browsing at the vast array of toys.

What made the trip so special for us weren’t  just the bright lights of New York City, the great hotel, or the show—although those were all amazing—it was the chance to spend an entire weekend alone with our oldest son, something we hadn’t done since his brother was born eight years earlier. It’s hard to get away and I don’t know when we’ll be able to do it again, but I know the memory of that trip will stay in our minds and hearts forever.