• April 2012

Cubism Reigns at New York City's Pod Hotel

You are in New York City. And if you aren’t sleeping, why would you want to spend hours in your hotel room? That’s why we recently booked a room at the very geometric Pod Hotel.

My daughter and I were showing the Big Apple to the lovely French foreign exchange student staying with us, and I thought it would be the perfect place to review for our “living the life of your dreams” issue.

After all, who doesn’t want to spend as much time as possible at hotels that are swank—in a European way. In fact, The Pod’s funky art, small but functional and very clean rooms, provide the perfect place to plop down your belongings, and at night your head, in between treks through the city.

Below you’ll find the details. For more information, visit www.thepodhotel.com.

A Room With a Review:

1. The lobby: Hip and modern are the words that pop to mind when you enter the lobby of The Pod Hotel, located in the heart of Manhattan’s Midtown East neighborhood. Formerly the Pickwick Arms, this small, efficient auberge is actually a great gathering spot for travelers from around the globe.

In fact, guests are invited to plug into the Pod community before arriving via the Pod Culture Forum. This online offering gives guests the opportunity to set up drink, dining, shopping, and actual dates, as well as swap stories, trade itineraries and ideas, and get to know their fellow Pod mates. Think youth hostel with an urban techno twist.

2. The restaurant: Just off the lobby is a tiny cafe where guests can fuel up on a continental breakfast of coffee, juice, organic yogurt, and baked goodies (fresh muffins, bagels, and scones). And in the afternoon, there’s wine and beer.

A long table, with plenty of plus for your laptop, is a great spot to sit, eat, and meet fellow travelers—such as the trio of European attorneys in town for a conference at the United Nations, whom I met over a latte. Our chat reminded me of the trip I took through Europe after college. Truly enchanting.

Also lovely is The Pod’s outdoor cafe, a seating area just off the lobby, which is open for breakfast from May through October.

Of course, you are on East 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, so finding a restaurant is not a problem. All around The Pod Hotel are nice options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whether you are in the mood for sushi, Thai, Indian, French, pizza, bagels … all are within a stone’s throw of The Pod.

*3. The room: Clean is the best word to describe these sleeping areas, which vary in size. From the singles to the bunk-bed rooms, to the suites, which sleep four, each is compact, but spacious enough to feel comfortable. The bathroom is also efficient and tidy. No complaints at all.

4. The service: Just as with everything else at The Pod, the staff is efficient and friendly enough. Don’t expect gooey sweet, but they get the job done.

5. The extras: Weather permitting, do ride the elevator to the rooftop, which offers a great view of the city. Cocktail can be ordered in the evening, providing a lovely opportunity to wind down after a long day of sightseeing.

6. The price: Definitely affordable—depending on size of room, how far in advance you book, and whether you log in when the hotel is offering a special rate. Booking online is best. On average, rooms run from $89 (for the Single Pod with shared bathroom) to $349 for a suite that sleeps four. Other options include the Double Pod, Bunk-Bed Pod, and the Queen Pod.

7. The bottom line: Worth the stay. Clean, efficient, friendly enough, and affordable. Plus, you are in a great location in fabulous, frenetic NYC. For the price, you can’t ask for more.

Inkandescent rating = 8 bulbs out of 10

Click here to read what other guests have to say.