“ Address: 570 Tenth Avenue / West 42nd Street „
I stayed at Yotel for 4 nights on 30 Aug - 03 Sep 2012. I spent weeks scouring the internet looking at every hotel in mid town Manhattan. Yotel was actually one of the first hotels I came across and was the one I chose at the end of my search because it represented the best value for money at the same time as having everything we needed.
The hotel is a large building (although it is quite small by New York standards) and has around 27 floors therefore there are hundreds of rooms within the hotel. The concept of the hotel is a spaceship style with pod type rooms which are small but well laid out with all the essentials. It is very modern and futuristic in a fun, arty kind of way. The hotel certainly aims at younger people and reminds me of something you would see in Japan, yet there are guests from a variety of places and variety of age ranges.
**Booking & Prices**
I booked online direct with the hotel. I didn't check if I could have got it cheaper through 3rd parties as I prefer to book direct. The hotel website is easy to operate and the booking process was smooth and easy, and more importantly felt secure.
We booked a Premium Corner Suite which is slightly bigger than the standard rooms and is located on the corner of the building and features floor to ceiling panoramic windows on 2 of the walls. This room cost Euro302 per night which by the current exchange rate came out at £197 per night. After booking I emailed a direct request to the hotel reception for a higher level floor with a skyline view. I received a response within 24 hours to say that this can't be guaranteed but would be requested.
The hotel is located on 10th Avenue in-between 41st and 42nd Street. Therefore it is in Midtown Manhattan in the Hells Kitchen area (given this name due to the large number of restaurants in the area). This is a very central location and allowed easy access to everything we wanted to do during our stay. We could walk to Times Square, Rocafeller Centre, Central Park, Grand Central Station within 10-15 minutes. It was only a 15 minute walk to Radio City Music Hall where we saw a show. If you wish to visit Ground Zero or Battery Park Port (where the statue of liberty cruises depart) this is roughly a 5 mile walk down the island. We walked this however there are other options such as taxi, bus or subway.
We flew into JFK Airport and were originally discussing getting the train into Manhattan which would have cost around Euro8 each. However we soon learnt that official taxis in and out of Manhattan from JFK are fixed at a rate of Euro45 + toll to anywhere in midtown. So we paid just Euro50 each way to get to and from the airport despite it being an hours journey. I would strongly recommend going with this option as train travel takes much longer and involves going through some quite bad areas with luggage which isn't the best idea. However the hotel is located just a minutes walk away from Port Authority Bus Terminal which means access to the hotel is easy via public transport. If you were to drive to the hotel there is a secure hotel car park available in the basement however I don't know any more about that.
The check-in process is electronic in this hotel and is located in the lobby of the hotel where one staff member is present to help. You simply type in your booking details on a touchscreen computer and your room key cards are produced. There is no need to deal with any check-in staff unless there is a problem. This was a unique experience and one we were fond of, particularly as it reduced the need for long check-in queues.
The style of the room is the main reason I booked this hotel. The corner suite we stayed in was absolutely amazing and for the price we paid probably the best view you could get of the city. Two of the walls in the room were taken up by glass windows meaning we got an amazing panoramic view of the city which looked amazing both during the day and at night. It also really opened up the room which was quite small and made it feel nice and light. The request I made for a higher floor room I made was requested and we were placed on the 18th floor which made the view even better. Of course due to the large windows and the brightness of the city it meant the room was never dark, but the electronic blinds did a great job of blocking out the majority of the light and giving us a good nights sleep.
The rooms in general are very modern and are how you would imagine a room if Apple were to design it. Everything is fresh and white and minimalist, yet everything we needed was there. The bed was quite hard which may bother some people but I actually found I had a good nights sleep on it. The room had a wall mounted large flat screen television which had access to most major American TV stations, although we didn't watch the TV very often. Around the TV was a wall mounted storage station featuring various mini shelves and holders etc where we could keep general stuff such as bottles of water, hairdryer, plug adaptors etc. The room also had a desk with chair which we didn't really use very often but would be useful for those using the hotel on business.
On one bedside table there was an ipod docking station which was actually a very expensive one and worked brilliantly. We listened to our ipod music on here every evening whilst getting ready and it saved us bringing speakers / our own docking station. The room had loads of plug sockets so we were always able to listen to music, charge phones and use hairdryers etc at the same time. There was a small wardrobe in the room which had plenty of space and hangers for our 5 days worth of clothes. Space may be limited if you were staying any longer than a week though.
There was an electronic safe in the wardrobe which we used daily and was easy to use and trustworthy. The wardrobe doors were full length mirrors which was useful when getting ready. We also found a mini ironing board and full size iron in the room which was a nice surprise as we rarely have an iron in any hotel and it was nice to be able to iron my clothes before going out.
The bathroom was modern and included a toilet, sink with light up heated mirror and shower area with curtain. Although the bathroom was always clean and looked modern I was quite disappointed with it in general. The shower was hot but not very powerful, which I could cope with until it came to washing my hair when it took ages to get the shampoo out. Despite it being quite weak it also leaked into the rest of the bathroom as there is nothing dividing off the shower area except the curtain and unfortunately the water didn't drain away quickly enough. Then the weirdest thing of all was that the door to the bathroom was a large glass sliding door which was see through. It had a few white spots on it but was generally see-through and not even frosted. I've been with my boyfriend for a few years and we live together but we both found this a bit odd as it meant you could see eachother on the toilet!! We just tended to warn eachother first so we wouldn't end up getting a shock! But if you were staying in the room with someone you don't know as well it could be really awkward and embarrassing!! I also found that the bathroom was a bit too minimal and didn't have many places to put toiletries both in the shower and around the sink, which meant balancing bottles here and there and leaving some on the floor.
We never experienced any noise from inside the hotel whilst in our room and wouldn't even have been aware there were other people staying there as it was always quiet on our floor. However we were able to hear the traffic noise from outside despite being on the 18th floor. Most reviews I read said the rooms were very well soundproofed so I think the noise we heard was a downside of being in a corner room and having so much glass which may not be soundproofed as well as the normal rooms. The noise was never too much for us to sleep though and didn't put me off being in the corner room.
There was an air conditioning unit in the room which we found easy to use and worked well, cooling down the room very quickly which was important when visiting in August when the weather is very hot and humid.
The only other letdown of the room other than the bathroom was when I unplugged my straightners which were plugged in on the desk and the wire lightly caught the back of the desk and a heavy wooden board which was placed there to cover the wires on the wall fell down onto my foot. It bruised immediately and was painful that night but fortunately was much better the following day. We never got round to reporting this to the hotel so I can't comment on their reaction but we have mentioned it on the feedback form. It made me doubt the workmanship and quality of the rooms.
On each floor of the hotel there are 2 'Galleys' which is a small kitchen with a full size fridge to store any food and drinks, a free of charge coffee machine and a cold water and ice dispenser. We found this useful and often enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate from the machine for free, and found it to be good quality. We also used the ice to cool down our drinks in the room. The only bit I wasn't keen on was the public fridge, I just wouldn't be comfortable leaving my food or drinks in there, not just because they might go missing but I'd be worried about other hotel guests tampering with them. Therefore I would have much preferred a mini fridge in the room. However the ice machine meant we could cool our drinks down when needed so I didn't find it too much of a problem.
The galleys are located next to the corner rooms and I had read some reviews saying that this can be quite disruptive with the galley door slamming all through the night, however we never heard anything and never met anyone else in the galley so didn't find this a problem.
The rooms were always spotlessly clean and I have no complaints in that area. The information booklet in the room said maids would visit every 3 days, however our bed was made and fresh towels given on a daily basis which was very nice. We were out for the majority of the daytime so never saw the maids, and never felt like anything was moved or messed with in the room when they had been in. The rest of the hotel was also always clean including the lobby area, corridors, lifts and dining areas.
The hotel bar is actually a bar in its own right, meaning anyone can come in from outside the hotel. We didn't deliberately avoid it but always found that we were somewhere else and didn't actually visit the bar until out last night which was a Sunday. On this night the bar was quite quiet, however from wandering past the bar on Friday and Saturday night it was much busier. The bar is located on floor 4 so isnt too high up and has an inside area connected to the in-house Sushi restaurants and then a large outside terrace with funky seating areas and a separate bar. We decided to go for the outside area and ordered a cocktail each from the bar. I was a bit disappointed at the limited choice of cocktails, especially since the bar is open to the general public. The cocktails were average priced at Euro12 and we enjoyed them but they weren't good enough for us to bother staying for another. We enjoyed sitting out in the seating area which offers a brilliant skyline view in the background. The whole area was relaxed and ambient music was being played adding to the experience.
The restaurant in the hotel is actually a privately owned Sushi restaurant called Dohyo. We didn't actually have an evening meal there but had read positive reviews about it and found it an attractive looking restaurant. The room rate included a breakfast which is a free coffee and muffin. This involves going down to the restaurant between 07:00 and 10:30 and claiming the free stuff. We only bothered with this once as we tended to get a proper breakfast outside the hotel, but when we did try it the muffins were fresh and tasty with various types available.
Because the hotel is in the Hells Kitchen restaurant there are plenty of choices of restaurants nearby. We ate in Marseille which is a French restaurant and Becco an Italian restaurant, both of which were located within 5 minutes of the hotel and were both very good. We also dined at Nios which is on 46th street between 6th & 7th Avenue and would highly recommend this restaurant which was our favourite meal of the holiday. And our final meal was at Gordon Ramsays restaurant 'Maze' located within The London Hotel. This was ok but not worth the money we paid.
Due to the electronic check-in system we rarely dealt with any staff during out stay. We did use the reception desk to check out and this was a swift process and the staff member who dealt with this was efficient and polite. We also noticed that the reception desk was open 24 hours every day so there would always be someone around to help. The lady working on the terrace bar was also efficient and polite. I was also pleased with the email correspondence before I stayed where I was asking for a higher floor room etc, the replies I received were quick, well written and polite. The place always felt well staffed but it felt as though the staff blended in well and I mean that in a positive way. They were never in your face but you knew where to find them.
The hotel had a very unique luggage storage system in the lobby called "Yobot". This is literally a robot that will store your luggage in a secure compartment and issue you a unique ID and you can then return when you like to collect your luggage and Yobot will find your bags when given the ID number. When we checked in the room was ready so we didn't require this service, however on check-out at 11:00 we had a whole day ahead of us therefore we used Yobot and found it to be very convenient and reliable, and also very fun to watch and use.
Because the hotel is so tall you do rely on the lifts and we never experienced any problems or delays. There are 4 lifts which go from the lobby to the fourth floor (where reception, the bar and restaurant are) and these lifts can be used by the general public to access the bar. You then have to get out and access the hotel lifts which take you to your room. In order to do this you must swipe your key card which ensures that none hotel guests cant access the rooms (although it is still possible if you jump in the lift with other people)
There is a small gym in the hotel which includes basic machines and loose weights. We didn't actually use the gym but can imagine it would be useful if you were staying on business and wanting to keep a routine going.
When it was time to go back to the airport we enquired on reception about getting a cab and they said just to go down to the lobby and say we want a taxi and they will get one straight away. When we went down there were two guys working down there who we had never noticed before and their main job is to hail down cabs for hotel guests. We told them we needed a cab to the airport and at the time there were already a few taxis waiting outside the hotel so he asked one of them and then put our luggage in the boot for us and we were off. This was a nice service and saved us worrying about hailing a taxi down off the street.
We loved this hotel and found it perfect for our city break. There was everything we needed and everything went smoothly and made exploring the city very easy and convenient. For what we experienced the hotel was extremely good value and I don't believe there is another hotel in New York quite like this one, it truly is a unique experience.
570 Tenth Avenue
Tel: +1 646 449 7700