Pros & Cons: A Staycation at YOTEL

When it comes to New York City life, it’s easy to be swept away by the bustle of playdates, meetings, and extracurriculars—both yours and your kid’s! If you need to step away for a little vacation but don’t feel like leaving your city or kids too far behind, YOTEL offers a cost-effective, tech-savvy space perfect for an overnight stay. Though its rooms are small, its Midtown West location is just minutes from Broadway: Perfect for rediscovering the city like a tourist.

The hotel is incredibly tech-forward. You check in on a tablet—there’s staff upstairs in case you have an issue, on the Mission Control floor. YOTEL is not unlike a spaceship, and it leans into that theme. Rooms are cabins (and small for that), outfitted with Smart TVs and multiple charging ports. The bed itself is a Smart Bed, so if you like a little incline when you sleep (or to see the TV better) the room is perfect. The purple light—which can be turned off—that highlights the room is a specifically noticeable touch.

Plus, if you’re looking to store bags after you check out and while you explore the area, the YOBOT is there: Kept behind a glass case, the “world’s first robotic luggage concierge” lifts your luggage with its robotic arm and stores it safely away. You won’t be able to miss it—it’s the focal point of the hotel’s entrance.

YOTEL also offers a slate of bars and restaurants to enjoy from the main floor and the rooftop. Their Green Fig restaurant is open for all meals, including a pre-theater dinner and a la carte breakfast, and serves up a blend of Middle Eastern, North African, and Southern European cuisines. The Terrace, on the rooftop, can be used for receptions and events but is otherwise open for guest mingling, whether it’s open-air in the warm season or enclosed for the chill in a heated area. Grab a drink and look out over the Midtown view as you kick back or enjoy a meal.

There’s also a Club Lounge with coffee bar and treats designed for those who want to get a little work done, although when I visited the tables were closed off. As many amenities as YOTEL houses, there are quite a few issues with relying upon them or even expecting to experience them all.

The price point (sometimes as little as $100 for a two-person room) is what truly makes YOTEL a great option, but like everything, you do get what you pay for—my own room had a ripped, puckering headboard and the furniture was scuffed. The TV had a greenish cast. The multiple bars and activities within the YOTEL looked appealing, but on the night of my visit, most were booked for private events. This may be something you’d like to look into before you book a room. It was far easier to venture out to find food and entertainment, but YOTEL served as a great home base.

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