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“Best Hotel for NYC Junkies”
Review of Pod 39 Hotel

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Pod 39 Hotel
Ranked #191 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 May 2013

I come to NYC a couple times a year mainly to eat, see friends, go to the MoMA or catch a show. I can honestly say that as often as I have come to this town, I have ZERO hotel loyalty – I have literally bounced around, trying out different places to see if ANYTHING sticks. I mean, in this city – just about every room (in a boutique hotel) is small, every room only has a shower, and most rooms are right around the same price point no matter where you are in the city, so I have bounced. Over the last two years I have stayed at Ace, Dream, 6 Columbus, Hudson, and a few others – I have bounced. In the mix of these, I can say in absolute honesty that Pod hotel 39 does not stand out as one of the swankiest or coolest or trendiest for any of the more obvious reasons (even though it is all of those things in its own way) – but I can say that this is the hotel that I will ALWAYS recommend and ALWAYS try to book when traveling to NYC. And, I think given the fact that I have been around the block – that should say something.

The rooms are modern with a very clean contemporary feel (white and red tones are used throughout) and they look like they came straight out of a CB2 catalogue. The one thing you should be aware of is that the rooms are beyond small – even by NYC standards. I actually came with a friend and we had a room with a bunk bed, but I have to say – the designers of this hotel could give the Germans and the Swiss a run for their money when it comes to efficiency and quality use of space. Yes – it is small, but there is sufficient space to store your bags (you will NOT be able to unpack them – but you can hang those few items that absolutely need to be hung) and there is a safe for your valuables. The bathroom is spacious despite the small rooms – which, from a design perspective, is very smart (especially when you share a room – because this is likely where you will be getting dressed). If you need space – you should consider staying in New Jersey.

The rooms and the hotel are also BEYOND clean – as in you could eat of the floor clean (although I wouldn’t suggest it). That is something I could not say about anywhere else I have stayed in this city. Another nice little feature about the rooms, each bed is equipped with 2 power outlets, USB, VGA outlets + audio, HDMI and even S-VIdeo / Audio ports and your own TV – at least with the bunk beds (with the ability to plug in your won headphones). Wifi is also pretty decent as far as hotel wifi goes – and it is complimentary. Oh, and the windows OPEN!

When I stayed, the hotel had just been open for two weeks, so the gym and lobby restaurant/bar were not yet open – but the rooftop bar was, and it is has a FANTASTIC view of the city – plus it’s a fun place to grab a drink (or two or three) – the bartenders are GREAT. If you're a fan of elevated views, you really can't beat the view from the top of POD 39 hotel on a nice day. Situated right there at the top of Murray Hill with a slightly obstructed view of the Empire State Building to the west and the East River to the, well... east - it's a lovely place to relax and have a few drinks. When I was there, the rooftop was open at all times (even when the bar was closed)– hopefully this is still the case. As you walk to the rooftop, there is an inside sitting area that is very bohemian and whimsical, with Moroccan style pillows and lamps. The floor had vintage black and white tiles – overall very pleasant and well thought out, so after enjoying the view outside – if the weather wasn’t amenable you could easily enjoy yourself in this cozy nook (assuming a group hasn’t already beaten you to it).

The front desk was nice but not what I would call exceptional – which is really on par with most of what I have experienced in NYC. They do have a concierge on hand to provide suggestions and iPads in the lobby. The iPads, as one can imagine, are very very popular – and a great touch.

Architecture and design junkies should know that Pod 39 is occupies a former Allerton club hotel. The 17-story landmarked building, designed by Arthur Loomis Harmon. It has a Northern Italian Renaissance style facade with arched windows, terra cotta details and varied brickwork. The roof garden with arched openings flanking a central colonnade remained largely untouched and really is the most beautiful aspect of this hotel. Even if you don’t stay here – you should venture to the bar during the early hours just to check this out, it really is quite stunning – as are the glass elevators and the lobby fitted with classic Eero Saarinen egg chairs and a whimsical mural. Do not let the “budget” price fool you – this is a really great hotel where the details were impeccably well thought out.

The location of the hotel (Murray Hill/East Midtown) really cannot be beat - 3 blocks south of the Chrysler building, 3 blocks south and 1 block east of Grand Central. What more could you want? There are also plenty of food, drink and grocery opinions within a few minutes walking distance.

Despite the very budget friendly price point, I would never describe this place as a budget hotel – it is the furthest thing from it. Pod 39 is simply way too stylish, way too thoughtful, way too everything to be relegated into that realm. It is simply the best un-kept secret. It is the coolest un-pretentious spot that offers all that you could ask. It is modern efficiency that offers everything that it is without pretending to be anything more or less – and because of that, it is exceptional. And because of that, it is one of the harder properties to book. My advice – if you are interested in staying here – if you see availability, book it, because like a great love, someone will snatch it up by the time you decide you wanted it.

Booking tips – I have found that the Pod website generally offers the most competitive rates.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank pinxitluc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 May 2013

We've just returned from a 5 night stay at Pod 39. The hotel has a very hip & trendy feel to it and it's perfectly positioned to explore the sights of NYC. Grand Central Station is less than 5 min walk away, Empire States is around 10 mins & Times Square is around 15 mins away. We preferred the bars & restaurants around Union Square & the Village so didn't try many places nearby.

I'm amazed at the reviewers who are claiming that the rooms are too small, what were you expecting?! Space comes at a premium in New York, and the clue is surely in the name 'POD'. Even if you didn't pick up on this, a quick look at the pictures available should make it clear. If you want big rooms you will have to pay a big price. The rooms themselves are small but perfectly functional, with some excellent space saving ideas such as the space for luggage under the bed. The safe was free of charge, a luxury we're not always used to in Europe. However, there are a few things to be aware of or that could be improved. My wife and I stayed in a Queen Pod and the only mirror available was in the bathroom, not a major problem as we just worked around it. The bathroom is separated from the bedroom by a sliding glass door, so there's not a great deal of privacy if you're staying with anyone other than loved ones! Other than that, the room was as expected, small but workable.

The staff in the hotel were very friendly & although we didn't have the need to speak to her personally, the concierge seemed incredibly knowledgable and was recommending restaurants & booking tickets for some of the other guests. The staff working at the rooftop bar & the Salvation Taco restaurant/bar were a bit hit & miss - some were very friendly & chatty and others clearly preferred dealing with the American clients. The tacos were small but very tasty - perfect for a late evening snack, although some were expensive for what they were. Both areas were extremely busy on Friday night, with a queue of locals waiting in the lobby for the rooftop bar.

I would definitely use this hotel again & would recommend to family & friends.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Michael W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

I lived in Manhattan in the 1980s in a tiny studio; my stay at Pod 39 made me feel right back at home. Manhattan is a frenetic place, and it was key to have my own private little spot to return to at the end of the day to be alone and quiet. Little is the word here -- my single room at Pod 39 (where I am sitting right now prior to check out, using the excellent free wifi) is about 8x8, with a little bathroom on the side. Things that I liked: location, location, location; noise level okay; windows that open!; efficient wooden shutters that do a great job of keeping out light; clean; nice design. There are many small things, though, that management could think about changing. I truly dislike design that ignores function: so perhaps a soap dish or even small divot somewhere for the soap would destroy the clean lines of sink and shower, but really, what the hell am I supposed to do with the quickly dissolving glycerine soap that was provided? (I finally started using a plastic take-out coffee lid.) And what hotel anywhere in the universe now doesn't provide an explicit way for the towels not to be laundered daily? I figured the usual "remove if on the floor, don't touch if hanging" would do the trick, but that worked only once. Maybe they think they should wash the towels daily because they really are pretty thin.

I did not spend much time at the hotel at all; it looked like there was a pretty active party scene going on when I got home at night, but thankfully I didn't hear any of it from my 7th floor room. The web site clearly aims for a hip 20s-30s crowd, but this 50ish woman did not feel out of place or unwelcome. I did not eat in the restaurant -- per usual in Manhattan, there are many less expensive and quite excellent breakfast choices around the block on Lexington.

I'd certainly consider staying here again -- it's not as cheap as I hoped I would find, but it's very convenient. And I like having my own private pod to hide in from the fabulous craziness that is Manhattan.

1  Thank Asmaradana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

It's true the room is tiny. But it is clean, functional and relatively quiet. There is a bar downstairs which is quite nice, they serve interesting cocktail. Didn't try the food though.
But the nicest thing of the Pod 39 is its rooftop terrace with a gorgeous view on the Empire State Building. Apart that, the hotel is well located, at about 5mn walk from Central Station.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Martin J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013 via mobile

Spent one week in NYC for holiday. Hotel is walking distance from Grand Central so it makes easy to move everywhere in Manhattan. Room was clean but pretty small. Nice lobby services including a cheap and efficient transfer to airport. Amazing terrace bar with landscape on Manhattan. Nice bar and restaurant at ground floor. Not really cheap but in line with NYC Average.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank storelli64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2013

Stayed a week in May 2013 the room had two bunk beds with individual television screens, the rooms were clean BUT very cramped for more than one person, the hotel had a bar on the roof which had great views. Location was good short walk to Central Station, plenty of food establishments within short walk, laundry was only a short walk away up a side street.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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Thank adcmelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2013

We have just returned from a 3 night stay at Pod 39, the hotel is in a great location for visiting many of the must see sights. Hotel was very clean and good value for money. Sadly a number of niggly issues, no long mirror or mirror outside of the bathroom. The air conditioning system was noisy. Some staff were very helpful although a couple let the hotel down where you got the impression you were putting them out. All in all great location and value for money!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank OrangeMonkeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pod 39 Hotel

Address: 145 E 39th Street, New York City, NY 10016-0913
Region: United States > New York > New York City > Midtown , Manhattan , Murray Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #191 of 473 Hotels in New York City
Price Range: £68 - £187 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pod 39 Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 366
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pod 39 Hotel offers hip, convenient, and personalized accommodations for the stylish and savvy traveler. Located in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Midtown Manhattan, we're close to all of the action but away from the hustle and bustle. Just steps from Grand Central Terminal, five subway lines will transport you all over New York City. There's a Pod for every person, and endless possibilities! ... more   less 
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