For Affordable, Posh NYC Nights: Yotel

Staying in NYC always sends a shiver up my spine. While I love the people and the culture, the sticker shock from accommodations always leaves me freaking out. This summer, however, I had an event to go to that needed to be near the pier. I needed safe, clean, and affordable room options that didn't make me feel like I was roughing it.

Yotel popped up as an option, and I was immediately fascinated by the balance of affordable rooms and decent amenities. The photos looked decent, and I had heard that it was as close as you could get to a business-level hotel stay under $300 a night. I booked 3 nights and hoped I had made a good choice.

I arrived way too early for my room check-in and wasn't expecting to be let in early. They didn't, but did offer to take my bags. I was hoping to see the giant "robot" arm take my luggage and store it, but a guy came from the back and checked them instead. (I later learned it would be an extra fee for this service.)

Later, when I arrived to check in, I used the kiosk and headed up to my room (referred to as "cabins" by hotel staff). The small elevators were enough for me and a few other people, but could barely handle the rush that would arrive later. I got up to my room and was eager to see if the room met my expectations.

It did.

Clean, plush, yet tiny, it had everything I needed. The bed was super-comfy, changing into a couch sitting with an electric button. The desk was small but adequate -- with all chargers working (a first for me.) The TV was large and working. The best part, however, was the bathroom. Staying with someone else might have been awkward; the glass shower stall seemed abrupt in a room shared with others. By myself, however, it allowed in a good amount of light while still offering privacy. The water was hot, the shampoo/body wash fragrant, and the towels warm. (I was surprised that the warming rack actually worked.)

My stay at the hotel was rather uneventful -- just as I would like it. Upon the third day of my stay, however, I lost my cell phone. I tried calling out with the hotel phone and got no tone. After reaching the front desk, they told me to dial out starting with a nine. This ended up with my dialing a 9, then 1 and another 1... you can guess what happened next.

After I reached emergency services, I assured them it was an error. The hotel desk called just moments later to check on me, and I was able to admit to the goof. Nothing bad came of it, and it was good to see that hotel security takes things seriously. I did also get my phone back from a kind conference goer who found it on the sidewalk later that day.

I would happily stay again at the Yotel. While the rooms are a bit too cramped to spend too much time in, they are spacious and clean by NYC standards. As a Midwestern girl who is used to large corner rooms and lots of privacy, the stay met my needs and didn't require a second mortgage to pay for it.

The overall theme of the hotel screams of someplace trying to attract a hip, younger clientele. The neon, the club music, even the marketing lingo used throughout the establishment all say that they want to be the trend in NYC stays. I think the price and cleanliness are what will bring me back, however. I saw people of all ages staying there, so it's definitely something that appeals to everyone with an eye for value and the need to feel safe when staying in New York.

Staying in New York City this year? See our review of the NYC Yotel. It's mix of value and comfort are surprisingly real.

Learn more about the NYC Yotel here.