Yotel, New York City, New York $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Up-sizing its London airport capsule hotels for a by-the-night rather than by-the-hour crowd, Yotel colonized far west 42nd Street (at Tenth Avenue) in June 2011 with 669 rooms and one Yobot (a luggage-slinging robot in the lobby). As a lesson in design efficiency, retractable queen beds fold into a couch, an alarm clock is integrated into the desk, and cords for the 32-inch flat-screen TV tuck neatly within a built-in cabinet. A glass-enclosed bathroom (with rain shower) and a slice of floor-to-ceiling window make the 170-square-foot rooms feel almost airy. Rounded-edge furnishings, a tan-on-white color scheme, and purplish-blue mood lighting add a Virgin America–esque glow to the surroundings. The property draws an eclectic mix of independent budget travelers who don't mind the fact that—beyond fast, free Wi-Fi and a 24/7 coffee kitchenette on every floor—amenities, and staff, are sparse. A multipurpose central hub on the fourth floor, dubbed Four, has a tiny gym, abbreviated front desk, and expansive lounge space. It gets especially busy during the people-watching free-for-all of the complimentary muffin breakfasts (bananas, a buck each) and evening happy hours, when the gigantic outdoor patio (the largest of any hotel in Manhattan) thumps to techno music and fills with guests noshing on inventive, if uneven, Latin-Asian tapas from the on-site restaurant Dohyo.—Justin Ocean
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