New York is a wonderful city to visit, and staying in a convenient place is a must.
When my daughter and I spent a few days in New York last year, we decided to stay at the YOTEL New York.
As it seemed like a pretty cool place, I decided to write up a review, from the point of view of staying with a child. As far as I can tell, this is the only one.
So here is my YOTEL New York review, with additional child-related observations and facetious additions.
New York City is not a cheap place to stay, and finding somewhere reasonable in the city (we wanted to be in Manhattan) is something of a chore. We wanted to be near Midtown, and as I was travelling with a seven-year-old, I wanted it to be safe. And no shared bathrooms. (That is a thing in cheaper hotels. No bloody way.)
YOTEL New York is in a really fantastic location, only three blocks from Times Square. It’s certainly a funky hotel too. As to price, I can tell you that anywhere half-decent is going to cost you. YOTEL New York would have been out of our budget, BUT I found a 20% discount code in the airline magazine on the flight over. So it just about snuck under the line of our budget.
Our Premium Queen room was the second smallest and most basic available. You can stay in a big corner room with a view and a round bed, but we didn’t. And if you could afford to do you it’s highly unlikely you’d be reading this.
So like I said, it’s a fantastic location.
We arrived in the city at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is also just three blocks away. You could get a cab if you have a bunch of heavy bags, but we decided to walk, and even with bags it took less than ten minutes. Plus it was a good opportunity to get our bearings.
As a side note, I have to tell you that Greyhound buses are amazing. They cost almost nothing, and are super comfortable. Best way to travel in the US if you’re not driving and not in a huge hurry.
One thing about YOTEL New York is that it is kind of tech-y.
You can read its slightly wanky description here, which explains why it dispenses with things like a check-in desk or concierge.
It does, however, have a bicycle hanging from the ceiling. Maybe they’re trying to demonstrate they are not all about the screens and electronics. Or maybe they’re going for the hipster market.
Anyway, you can see there are several lifts, but you need a room key to access them. And how to you get your hands on one of those?
By using this nifty automated check-in.
It’s like the check-in at the airport. There’s a screen, you follow the instructions, which includes putting in the credit card with which you booked, and it spits out a couple of key cards.
Really, it’s super-easy, Little C wanted very much to do it by herself, so I let her. What the hell, it’s only my credit card. It worked perfectly.
So with your key you can access a lift, and up you go to whichever floor your room is on.
I don’t actually have a picture of the hotel corridor, but I can assure you that purple and white feature heavily in the decor.
Something to remember about hotels in New York City.
Rooms are small. Really small. Space is at a premium, so don’t expect a lot of space to move around.
This is a Premium Queen room, which is 16 sq. m. Don’t let the ‘Premium’ thing fool ya, it’s one up from their basic ‘Solo’ room which is for one person only and is 10.5 sq. m.
This is the view from the door, though without the child. You can get this class of room with a skyline or river view, but frankly, really not that bothered, it’s not worth the extra money. Go outside if you want a view.
YOTEL New York has been pretty clever with the limited space available.
This is the bag rack/hanging space/drawers just to the right of the door.
Of course there’s not a ton of room for clothes, but the assumption is that you’ll only be staying for a few days max, so no need to go crazy unpacking.
We just heaved our bag on the surface and got stuff out as needed.
Now, just a heads-up, if you’re crazy about privacy in the bathroom, this is not the hotel for you.
This is the sink area. So far so good.
You have all the handwashing stuff, kleenex, more hanging space, and even an iron and ironing board. The one thing that’s missing is a minifridge. So if you want cold beer, you’ll have to fill the sink with ice.
So far so good!
There’s the loo.
Right next to it is the shower. Now that’s OK, normal, right? There is even soap, shampoo, and conditioner, in those big refillable pump bottles that you can’t steal.
You can’t see too well, but there are curtains on the other side of that opposite shower wall. On the other side of those curtains is the bed.
The door you can just see on the left?
That closes off the shower, or it goes the other way and sort-of closes off the bathroom section.
But it’s all glass – curtains and patterns notwithstanding – and it sure as hell isn’t soundproof.
So if your travel buddy is someone you don’t mind having right on the other side of a glass door when you poop, all is well.
Also, the shower is superb.
So here’s the bed (and you see the curtains to the shower?)
This is a really cool bed. But it looks pretty short, right?
Well, YOTEL New York has a very neat way of making sure the bed doesn’t take up so much room all the time.
You push a button and the bed slides out!
How fun is that?
This gif has been sped up by the way, it actually takes around 30 seconds from upright to flat.
So, despite the fact that there is barely any space at the end of the bed once it’s fully opened, it does mean the room has more space than it might otherwise have with regular bed.
Plus it’s really fun to play with! There is a good chance your child will spend a great deal of time fooling with the bed.
If you’ve had a tiring day exploring the city, it’s nice to flake out and watch TV. This bed is perfect for that, because the back of the bed acts as a cushion to lean on, rather like an adjustable hospital bed.
The bed is big enough to sprawl on with plenty of space for snacks. (Watch out for crumbs in the bed though.)
Speaking of watching TV, the ‘media wall’ is right opposite the bed.
Media Wall is a wanky way of saying it’s a Smart TV on the wall.
Unlike many hotels, YOTEL New York does not offer any TV service at all.
Instead it offers free high-speed WiFi and invites you to stream to the TV.
They’re working on the assumption that you have Netflix/Amazon Prime etc. and a device from which you can stream. If you don’t have any of these things then you’re out of luck, You’ll have to sit and read a book like a grownup.
But let’s assume you do.
It took a bit of fiddling around to figure out how to cast to the screen, and that QR code didn’t work at all. But eventually I figured out how to get my phone to cast.
It’s actually quite nice to be able to sit and watch whatever you like, rather than the usual awful selection of random hotel cable channels. The WiFi works perfectly, we had no issues with connection or speed.
This was especially useful on our second night, when we were too tired to go out in the evening. We got takeout, came back to the hotel, and sat and watched My Little Pony.
That wouldn’t have been my personal choice, but hey, it was on Netflix and Little C loves it. And she’s not old enough for Arnie movies.
Oh, and in the spirit of all things electronic, there were no fewer than FOUR usb charging ports by the bed. So even if there’s two of you with phones and tablets, no-one’s going to miss out on charging their precious device.
Overall I think the room is well designed, and they certainly make the most of the space.
YOTEL New York opened eight years ago, and I could see some things were looking a little worn . There were a few scuffs and dents, and some of the foam bed surround had some chunks missing. There was also a big scratch on the TV. It didn’t affect how it worked, but didn’t look great.
They also go big on the purplish theme. The low lights in the room are purple, which is fun. (You can see them in the bed opening gif above,)
Now, there are a couple of things of which I completely failed to get a picture.
There’s a very nice roof terrace, which is great in sunny weather. I would say, though, that it was a more adult space.
YOTEL New York isn’t child-unfriendly, but I’m not sure you would want toddlers charging around out there. We saw a lot of adults outside and no kids, and it definitely had a ‘grown up’ vibe.
Regarding food, there are several restaurants and a bar onsite. But breakfast is not included in the room rate. You can either go downstairs and get slightly pricey coffee and pastries in the little cafe area, or go out for breakfast. (We went to the Theatre Row Diner just around the corner. Excellent waffles.)
Oh, and there’s a gym as well. Yeah, I didn’t visit that.
If you want to leave your bags after checking out, there is a very cool ‘robot luggage concierge’ called the YOBOT. It’s this huge robotic arm that lives in a glass room in the lobby, and takes bags and puts them in lockers. I’m still kicking myself for not getting a picture or video of the robot, because it’s really amazing. Never mind, just google it.
So, I have to say that this was a very pleasant place to say.
The location is amazing. I know Midtown is very touristy, but it’s very convenient. We took the subway, walked a ton, including to and from Central Park, and saw some sights.
This Queen Premium room is fine for two people, if they don’t have huge issues with bathroom privacy. There are also rooms for three or four, with a little more space but of course they cost more. But they do have bunk beds.
The rooms are small, but you can hypnotise the kids with the TV, or let them play with the bed some more.
If it’s in your budget, and you can exhaust your kids enough during the day so they aren’t doing the Wall of Death every night, parents and children would be snug but happy.
As for the price, well, with the airline discount it was a little over £400.
OK yes, I know, that’s a lot for three nights. BUT, this is New York City. I didn’t find many other places much cheaper, and certainly none anywhere near as nice or in such a great location.
If you’re spending a couple of days in New York City, either as a couple or a family, YOTEL New York is definitely worth a stay!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to pin this for later. Leave a comment, and let me know if you have any fantastic places to stay and visit in New York City!
There’s also some parenting stuff here.