Want to take a quick trip to NYC, circa 2028? Stay at YOTEL, where the future is now — and the future is hyper-efficient, very purple, and comes with robot bellhops. Let’s repeat that last one for emphasis: Robot. Bellhops. It sounds like a potentially very nerdy concept, but it really isn’t; this is a sophisticated take on high-tech, albeit one with a strong sense of fun. If you and your special someone want a novel place to stay in the city, you won’t find a better spot.
The Japanese aesthetics hit you right away, from the moment you first see the bubbly font of the “YOTEL” sign in Midtown, just a stone’s throw from Times Square. The guest rooms’ compact spaces and neat little efficiencies owe a lot to Japanese design ideas, too, but the cool designs are wedded to a cheeky astronaut theme. Walk into the purple-lit lobby – sorry, “Ground Control” – and check in at an ATM-like kiosk. At this point, out come the robotics: Put your suitcase in the kiosk bin, and watch the crane-like arm behind the glass pick up your case and slide it into the wall, where it will be whisked away. Don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy: Ground Control crew members are there to help if you have questions. Just look for the “Calling Major Tom” shirts.
Go to one of the 669 cabins (guest rooms), and you might actually gasp at the majestic view through your floor-to-ceiling window. Everything inside is smooth, sleek and very compact, but it’s so cleverly laid out, you don’t feel the least bit cramped. With the flick of a switch, the beds move halfway into the wall to make more space. Later this evening, you’ll be pumped about the Techno Wall – a flatscreen TV that turns into a stereo – and in the morning you’ll be downright giddy about the monsoon shower. But for now, there’s plenty more to explore.
Including, but not limited to, a chill-out lounge on the bottom floor for shooting pool and playing Legos, and FOUR, the hotel’s source for delicious food and drink. As the sun starts to sink, you’ll be drawn to FOUR’s huge outdoor terrace. Step outside and grab an evening drink as you watch the lights of the city come out to sparkle.
YOTEL is keen to make sure guests get out and experience the city – it even provides suggested tourist itineraries, written by locals – but you can do some fine dining right at your hotel, too. Settle into your table at the wall-less East & West restaurant, and order one of their fun Asia-meets-America cocktails, like the Japanese maple – starring Japanese whiskey, maple syrup, apple, and lemon. Keep the theme going with some edamame, spicy tuna roll… and a mushroom Swiss burger, complete with truffle mayo. A delicious fusion of Far East style and Western fun, much like YOTEL itself.