The Pod Hotel - Review

What if I told you I could get you a hotel room for - let's not say cheap, but instead let's use the word inexpensive or maybe two words low-cost? Interested? Yeah? What if I told you that hotel room was in America's most cosmopolitan city where the rents are high and hotel bills can be astronomical? Still interested? Good!

Last question, well maybe the last one, I can't make any promises when it comes to teasing you.  What if I told you that hotel room was under $100. And. What if I told you it wasn't a seedy dive or a youth hostel but a very modern high-style and tech savvy hotel in the heart of New York City? Would I have you titillated? A little eager to hear more? Possibly hanging on my every word? Yeah baby! That's what I'm talkin' about! Want more? OK, I'm all yours. I am ready to divulge an Ab-Fab (Absolutely Fabulous) secret known only to us insiders. It's called The Pod Hotel and it pairs low-cost with high style & youthful technology.

Queen Guestroom

Formerly the Pickwick Arms, located on East 51st Street the Pod Hotel has undergone an original and surprisingly offbeat transformation redesigning and refitting its 347 guest rooms with 21st century must haves (including iPod docking stations, free WiFi and LCD screen televisions, lights on dimmers to enhance relaxation). 

With rates starting at $89 per room, per night, the Pod Hotel appeals to travelers who'd rather spend their cash seeing the city. 'Our guest is the stylish spendthrift; the traveler who appreciates aesthetics, adventure and the experience of the city over a lavish hotel room,' states founder Richard Born.

Double Guestroom

The socializing sensibilities of the hotel's target audience 20 to 35 year olds and the intelligent use of space drove the Pod Concept. The hotel's existing blueprint dictated a streamlined guestroom resembling the berth of a sailboat. Crafted by Vanessa Guilford, the pod rooms were then ingeniously equipped and stylishly furnished.

Drawing inspiration from mass transit's clever use of space and intuitive design features, Guilford has incorporated space saving solutions found aboard trains, planes and even boats. For example the 152 guestrooms that have shared baths feature an in-room display that allows guests to easily distinguish if the shared bath is occupied.

Shared Bathroom

'There is a panel with the symbol for each bathroom,' says Guilford. 'When a person goes into a bathroom, they will slide a locking bolt, the way you do on an airplane. That will turn the light on the panel red. If the light is green, the bathroom is unoccupied.'

Dot fabric circa 1947

Guilford credits noted designers Charles and Ray Eames, the Los Angeles based husband and wife design team who modernized post-war America during the 20th century, with shaping her view of what the Pod Hotel should be. To that end, she used an interpretation of their signature dot fabric, circa 1947, on guestroom bedding and headboard upholstery and chose a reproduction of there 1951 metal mesh chair for guestroom desk chairs, among myriad other details.

Double-Double Guestroom

In the hotel lobby, Guilford sought to strike a modern and whimsical note through a combination of materials and textures. Among its many striking design features are an illuminated sea foam green resin reception desk, textural string molded globe lights, Florence Knoll sofas and club chairs with reproduction 1950' atomic pattern fabric and George Nelson designed light fixtures.

Private in room bathroom

The Pod Hotel's guestrooms are available in a variety of configurations: double, queen, townhouse-style studio suites and bunk bed rooms. All the rooms feature iPod docking stations, LCD-screen televisions with cable (in the bunk bed rooms there is one television per bed, free WiFi, air conditioning, telephones with voice mail and small safes conveniently built into the wall. Soon all rooms will have their own refrigerators.

Single Guestroom

Out of the 347 guestrooms, 152 have shared baths and 195 have private baths. Rooms with private baths feature bathrooms which are sleek and streamlined, with stainless fixtures, rain-style shower heads and glass shower doors separating them from their modern, well equipped living spaces. The shared bathrooms are a combination of shower, toilet and vanity sink also featured with streamlined stainless fixtures and rain -style shower heads.

Bunk Bed Guestroom

In addition to its 90 bunk bed rooms, the Pod Hotel has 117 double-bedded rooms; 50 queen bedded rooms; 64 single bedded rooms; and 7 spacious townhouse units. Ideal for families, the townhouse units feature a living room with 25' color cable TV, refrigerator, queen bed and sofa bed.

Rooftop View

Guilford, who also designed the Maritime Hotel in New York's Meatpacking District, has also updated the hotel lobby and added an outdoor garden and deck bar, and they are renovating their rooftop to enhance the space and amenities offered.

The Pod Hotel
230 E 51st St. NYC, NY 10022
US Toll Free: 800.742.5945


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