I was looking for a hotel that was close to the Javits Center in New York: clean, comfortable, and affordable. I didn’t want to spend a fortune. And, I wanted to be able to walk to the Javits and walk or take the subway everywhere else.
Enter YOTEL. Yes, YOTEL Midtown Manhattan. Hotel with a Y.
A newer international chain based in the UK, YOTEL has hotels in New York, Boston, Singapore, San Francisco (opening 2019), and Istanbul Airport (landside – opening 2019).
YOTEL AIR features hotels at or very near international airports in Amsterdam, Paris, London Gatwick, London Heathrow. Opening in 2019 are Istanbul , and Singapore Changi Airport.
YOTEL PAD has locations in Park City, Utah (opening 2020), Mammoth, CA (opening 2021), and Miami (opening 2021). PAD is YOTEL speak for condo. Condos come fully furnished and equipped with bed linens, kitchenware and a large screen TV and Italian-made furniture.
YOTEL Midtown Manhattan
The YOTEL in New York is conveniently located in Midtown Manhattan on 570 Tenth Avenue at W 42nd Street. Guests can walk to the Javits Center, Times Square, or the subway station on 42nd street in about ten minutes. Rooms for two people are between $100 and $200, depending on time of year, specials being run, and whether you belong to the YOTEL membership club. For New York City, YOTEL is indeed a bargain.
The word my wife used in describing the hotel was utilitarian – in a positive sense. YOTEL takes pride in optimizing every square inch of each room and the public spaces. Our room was small without lots of extra space, but the SmartBed was comfortable, the rain shower roomy and modern, and the large screen smart TV was a nice touch. And importantly, there was a small work desk with numerous charging points and fantastic Wi-Fi!
Amenities at Yotel Midtown Manhattan
The theme of YOTEL is “giving you everything you need and nothing you don’t.” I found this to be true – we lacked nothing we needed, and didn’t have to pay extra for space and expensive touches that did not add value.
The onsite restaurant on the 4th floor, Green Fig, offers a fusion of Middle Eastern, North African and Southern European cuisines. Green Fig serves Breakfast, Brunch and Dinner, and features a sharing menu with a combination of unique flavors and spices. For those guests who are on a time crunch to make it to a nearby theatre on time, Green Fig also has a special Pre-theatre dinner menu from 5pm – 7 pm daily.
There is also Komyuniti, a small café where guests can get a cup of fresh brewed coffee, a variety of pastries, and food to go. The terrace on the 4th floor is one of the largest in New York, and is a great place to relax, socialize, dine – or just sit back and enjoy the magical New York City skyline.
Perfect Midtown Manhattan Location
YOTEL was the perfect place to stay for my recent trip. After a great night’s sleep on a comfortable mattress and a refreshing shower, I grabbed a fresh brewed cup of coffee and a pastry at the 4th floor café. I had an easy walk to and from my travel writers’ conference at the Javits.
One night we had a 7:00 show at the Hirshfield Theater to see Kinky Boots. A quick dinner at a close by restaurant and a short 10 minute walk had us in the lobby in plenty of time for the opening curtain.
During our stay at YOTEL, we walked through Times Square down past Macy’s and to the Empire State Building. We shopped, dined at some of the countless restaurants, and hopped on the subway at the convenient 42nd Street stop to see the 911 Museum and Memorial. The location for our visit could not have been better.
Follow the Locals to Izakaya Mew
With thousands of options on the New York dining scene, one sure way to find the best restaurants is to follow the locals. At 5:30 on a Saturday night, Izakaya Mew was already full and bustling with happy diners, with people already lined up waiting for a coveted table. Located at 53 W 35th Street Basement, Izakaya Mew gives diners a true taste of New York Japanese cuisine.
Our waiter, Ken, was very polite, conscientious, and prompt. He patiently explained some of the dishes to us, and promptly brought out our order, fresh and hot from the kitchen. I loved the spare ribs, tender and seasoned just right, and the flavorful eggplant and roasted red peppers. My wife’s Orange salmon was also delicious, and the crab roll was well done. Other popular dishes include the Omusoba, Kimchi Cream Udon, and the Yellowtail Carpaccio. We finished off our meal by sharing a wonderful cheesecake with ground pistachios.
HAND Hospitality is the organization behind Izakaya MEW. With seven locations throughout the New York area, HAND has been very successful in bringing authentic ethnic food to the city. They are especially excited about the opening of their newest restaurant in Flushing, Queens, in April of 2019.
“HAND” stands for Have A Nice Day, the most common goodbye they hear from customers. The foundation of every project HAND undertakes stems from the basics. They keep the basic, and make it different.
Ka Yee Chan, a marketing manager for HAND, says:
“Izakaya Mew is a gem hidden in the basement of the busiest street of midtown. We combined the flavors of traditional Japanese cuisine with the dynamic trends of New York’s food culture, adding in our own twists to create Japanese-style tapas that would serve a wide range of palates.”
The 911 Museum and Memorial
On this trip to NYC, at the top of my list to see was the 911 Museum and Memorial. I had not been to New York in over 10 years, when I had seen the grim views of Ground Zero, footprints of the proud Twin Towers after they had fallen. I was excited to see the new World Trade Center and the 911 Museum and Memorial on this trip.
The subway station on 42nd street at the Port Authority Bus Terminal takes you directly south to the World Trade Center, the last stop on the subway in lower Manhattan. Admission to the Museum is $24. It opens at 9 am each day, and closes at 8 pm Sunday – Friday, and 9 pm on Saturday.
The exhibits are very well done. The museum and memorial are sad and moving, as they chronicle the events of that terrible day on September 1, 2001. Allow 2 – 3 hours to have time to explore the many exhibits. Visitors can go at their own pace, or they may purchase additional tickets for guided tours.
Reflection and Hope
As a proud former Navy Officer, it’s hard to describe the mix of feelings brought out by this recent visit. Pain, with memories stirred by the photos, videos, and exhibits of lost loved ones. Sadness, for all the family, friends, and neighbors of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. Anger, for the cowardly and barbaric acts of 17 individuals who somehow saw taking the lives of over 3,000 innocent victims as heroic. Pride, from the heroic actions of the police, firefighters, and other heroic souls who came together this day.
And Hope, for among all the evil and repulsive actions of the terrorists, rose the strength, the power, and the courage of the American spirit.
Above all, the 911 Museum and Memorial, and the One World Trade Center, stand as vivid reminders of the resilience and fortitude of the American people.
New York City is always a great city to visit, with energy and excitement around every corner. Next time you plan on an adventure in the Big Apple, make YOTEL your lodging of choice. You’ll be close to everything. You just need to decide which adventures will be on your agenda!
Planning a trip to New York State? These articles on MilesGeek referencing New York might be of interest.