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New York hotels: the next wave of micro hotels

Stylish, innovative design characterizes these tiny hotel rooms

Pod Hotels’s Williamsburg outpost.
Courtesy Pod Hotels

Micro hotels aren’t exactly a new trend, but the format—itty bitty rooms that are good for sleeping and not much else—is constantly evolving, with a new breed of tiny lodgings emphasizing good design and plush perks as a way of luring travelers.

And in the next few months, New York City will see an influx of these, as established brands seek to open new properties—see Pod Hotels, which launches its first Williamsburg outpost this year—and emerging ones get a foothold in the city. Here’s what you can expect from this next wave of micro hotels in NYC.

Pod Hotels

The Pod brand was one of the first to make inroads in New York City, and this year, the chain—which has two outposts in Midtown—will expand even further with two new hotels. Its first Brooklyn hotel, Pod Williamsburg, is due to open in September, bringing 249 tiny, modular hotel rooms to the neighborhood. Each one measures around 100 square feet, but comes with plenty of storage and tech-friendly in-room features. There’s also 10,000 square feet of “public space” (since staying in a tiny room for too long is bound to get claustrophobic), including the first Salvation Taco location outside of Manhattan.

Pod’s other new venture is a Times Square hotel that’s slated to open sometime in the fall. This particular property will go a step further than previous hotels by offering extended-stay rooms called “Pod Pads,” along with more normal-sized rooms.

Arlo Hotels

Arlo staked its claim in the New York hotel market last year with the debut of Arlo Soho, which has 325 rooms, none of which are larger than 350 square feet. (And that’s for the fanciest rooms, sporting a terrace and city views.) Arlo Nomad followed later that year, with 250 hotel rooms that are all under 300 square feet.

One of Arlo Soho’s king-sized rooms, which measure 150 square feet.
Courtesy Arlo Hotels

And these aren’t uninspired, hostel-like sleeping quarters. AvroKo, the firm behind many a fancy Manhattan restaurant, designed both hotels, so rooms are kitted out with luxurious beds, walnut furniture, and swanky fixtures. Many also have huge windows, helping them feel less coffin-like.

Like the Pod brand, Arlo is also hoping to offset its small rooms with a bevy of amenities, like a 24-hour “bodega” with coffee and snacks at each property, along with plenty of communal spaces, rooftop bars, and buzzy restaurants.

Moxy Hotels

Marriott’s millennial-focused brand, Moxy, will open its first New York City hotel in Times Square this fall, and while it’s not a micro-hotel per se, it does offer affordable rooms that fall on the tiny end of the spectrum. Normal-size suites and rooms are available, along with twin bunk rooms, and ones referred to as “crash pads.”

The hotel itself has serious design bona fides: Yabu Pushelberg is behind its 612 rooms (known, in Moxy’s brand-speak, as “bedrooms”), which will have “flexible furniture,” huge showers, and other plush amenities. Some of the communal spaces, meanwhile, will be designed by Rockwell Group, including the enormous rooftop bar that’s been described as an “urban amusement park.” (What that means: it’ll have “giant custom fun house mirrors, a rotating carousel-inspired lounge seating, and blown glass balloon pendant lights,” apparently.)