Although YOTEL may be more well known in England and in certain urban airports, its 10th Avenue location in the Big Apple is worth knowing about since it’s a short walk from the Jacob Javits Center, only 0.4 miles from the Port Authority and 0.7 miles from Times Square. In other words, for business travelers and entrepreneurs on a budget who have a show at the Javits, it’s ideal since it’s a short walk and you can avoid those long taxi lines.
Its minimalist design and mobile features will appeal to millennials and techies but if you’re in the luxury minded, all frills and over the top service category, this isn’t your best Manhattan pick.
Let’s walk through our experience during our recent stay during the New York Times Travel Show, which was held at, you guessed….the Javits.
Call me old world, but I am more accustomed to human interaction upon check in. This futuristic, budget-friendly option has a lobby robot where you can check yourself in via a kiosk. If your room isn’t available, the screen will let you know and you can leave your bags with a bell captain on the ground floor, for a fee however.
There is a concierge on the Lobby Level and they call it Mission Control, there to help guests with anything they need during their stay.
What We Loved
First and foremost, we love it’s location if you’re doing a show at the Javits. Having attended conferences here for more than two decades, it’s so often a nightmare to find a clean and reasonable hotel when prices surge around big shows. YOTEL is a great option in this case.
There’s a rooftop terrace on the fourth floor as well which sadly we didn’t have time to try.
YOTEL calls their room cabins rather than rooms and they include YOTEL’s signature adjustable SmartBed with bespoke Serta gel mattresses. BTW, at first, I was thrown by the raised bed when I first walked in the door, however after a few days, I found it to be incredibly useful. Because rooms are small in most New York City’s hotels, including many 4 star hotels, the ability to adjust the bed to add more space when you’re not sleeping is a great idea.
We also love their rejuvenating monsoon rain showers (better than most NYC hotel showers I’ve experienced) and the real added bonus here is the view. Whoah, what a view! Below is a view from my shower on the 26th floor at different times of day and night.
They also have adjustable mood lighting and Technowall with smart TVs, multi power points and plugs in 3 locations, including by the bed, making it easy to charge all of your devices at the end of a long day.
They tout their ability to utilize compact spaces well and I would agree. A few creative ideas I loved was an open slider area where they store a wooden tray right next to the bed. You don’t need to get up to access it and it makes dining in bed that much more convenient.
Another thing I really love is their sinks. Despite the fact that it’s a modern minimalistic design, they didn’t go with one of those small circular raised sinks that splashes water everywhere. Those who have experienced this less than stellar design at so called trendy hotels know what I’m talking about. YOTEL’s larger than average rectangular sinks with ample room to put toiletries to the left (and right) was a genius idea. Beds are comfy too.
Although some rooms do have outdoor terraces, my room didn’t, so can’t vouch for the views from the terraces or the experience.
Another thing we loved was the quick and free WiFi. I can’t count the number of times I‘ve had to call front desk for the code because the first one didn’t work and then I have to reconnect every day — this one is free, automatically connects and you never have to think about it again. And, it worked flawlessly. Bravo!
There’s grab and go food and beverage which is handy in the morning. They also have heated towel racks which I didn’t realize until I found it in the website details afterwards – dang!! Note to self: read website details before a stay. It’s a great feature and it was cold enough to try out during my January trip. That said, the thermostats worked (unlike some NYC hotels I’ve stayed in) so I was toasty throughout my stay and being chilly in the room (or bathroom area) was never an issue.
Wellness & Meditation
Together, they have developed a fun, quick and instructional video series showcasing how one can easily relax and unwind while away from home.
The videos are featured on a dedicated YOTEL TV channel allowing guests to ‘wake-up,’ ‘motivate’ and ‘unwind’ through a morning, afternoon and evening routine, respectively. Each video includes a series of movements or positions aimed to help travelers be more mindful, healthy and ‘at home’ throughout the day.
What Wasn’t My Cup of Tea
Overall, my experience was great and I’d recommend this hotel stay, especially for the convenience, the great rates, the location, the free wifi and the awesome beds, showers and views.
That said, the robot lobby check in isn’t my cup of tea. My geekier friends and male traveler pals don’t seem to mind this at all nor do some of my Millennial friends. When I travel, I like a little more pampering but completely ‘get’ that robot check ins are a new hotel trend so if this doesn’t bother you, then this very well may be a plus on your list.
Like most NYC hotels, serenity and quiet can be an issue, so if you’re a light sleeper, be sure to bring ear plugs. I’d argue that this is the case with all hotels in Manhattan however.
While we heard from other travelers that they‘re not a fan of the open-plan and glass doors for the bathroom, I didn’t mind it at all. I tend to travel by myself or with my other half, so it’s not an issue, but if you‘re traveling with a friend and sharing a room, it may be a consideration. In my room however, there was a white cotton curtain between the bathroom and the sleeping area, so don’t see the issue there. I kinda liked the design.
The only other strange glitch was that the wall plugs were a little loose so my iPhone charger kept falling out. My guess is that this is likely not a situation with all rooms however, but worth asking about.
Lastly, there isn’t a ‘real closet’ so there is limited space to hang clothes, which I always like. That said, my stay was short enough (3 days) that it wasn’t a big issue for this trip.
I think that their overall concept is a great one however and love that they’re trying to provide a boat load of convenience for the modern busy traveler into one hotel. In order words, I’d stay here again so do check it out.
YOTEL: Other Stuff to Know
Each floor has a fridge and microwave for guest use. Other amenities include a gym, a lounge with private cabins, and the rooftop terrace I mentioned above.
There’s YOTELAIR, which I’ve yet to try – think major city airports. Conceived for busy international travelers, YOTELAIR hotels are within global transportation hubs with hot drinks and free WiFi. Guests may choose exactly what time they would they like to check in and out, giving total flexibility to travelers in transit, staying the night before an early departure or to freshen up on arrival before a meeting in the city.
YOTEL currently operates four airport hotels under the YOTELAIR brand in London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris, Charles de Gaulle airports; and three city hotels, one in the heart of Manhattan, New York, Singapore and one in Boston’s innovative Seaport district.
YOTEL is expanding with seven new hotels under development globally, including another YOTELAIR in Singapore Changi Airport (2019); and six new city hotels currently under development in Singapore, San Francisco, London Clerkenwell (2018), Amsterdam (2019), Miami (2019) and Dubai Business Bay (2019).
570 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10036
Note: I was hosted by the hotel but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.