Earlier this month I was in New York City to speak at the New York Times Travel Show. I extended my stay to spend a full day checking out five of the newest business class hotels in town, packing along my camera and notepad. It was an exhausting day, but I loved every minute of it.
There are many more than five new hotels in this burgeoning market, so I chose only among those that opened in 2015… and those that I thought would appeal most to TravelSkills readers.
Here’s a look at the fourth of the big five…I’ll post all of these in a series over the next few days. Enjoy!
Here’s the fourth:
The EVEN Hotel Times Square South (The name is a stretch– it’s located at 321 West 35th St between Penn Station & Javits Center)
Since the EVEN Hotel was the brand-newest hotel in New York (opened Nov 2015), I decided to stay there during my four days in the big city. But that was not the only reason… there are several more factors that swayed me.
First, this 150-room, 25-story hotel is just a ten-minute walk to Javits Convention Center where I was speaking. Second, it’s a block away from Penn Station, which is where the train from Newark Airport arrives, making the airport-to-hotel portion of the trip a breeze. (See our trip report: SFO-EWR on United) Since opening, the EVEN hotel has remained in the top 10 best hotels in NYC on TripAdvisor.
Then there’s an even bigger factor: My rate at the hotel was only $115 per night! Plus, I earned IHG Rewards points for the stay. That $115 is a pretty amazing rate for a brand new, brand-name hotel in Manhattan, but I was there over a weekend during the “dead weeks” of early January, which is the slowest time of year in New York. (Currently the lowest rate at the EVEN hotel for mid-February is about $169.)
The EVEN is one of several smaller name-brand hotels that have bloomed in the Penn Station area in recent years. There’s a similar phenomenon going on in the Herald Square area where the big brands have jumped into nondescript neighborhoods near Midtown with tall, skinny hotels on small footprints. My room was on the small side, but thoughtfully appointed with super clean cork floors, big bright bathroom, a big comfy bed, free and very fast wi-fi. Downsides included a very small closet and a noisy hallway. Be sure to ask for rooms above the 20th floor to get the most natural light, views and avoid construction noise.
EVEN is IHG’s newest brand and it’s focused on health and wellness– and helping guests stick to exercise routines when they are traveling. They do this with some inventive ideas such as standup desks, yoga mats, exercise balls, rollers, resistance training straps and even mood lighting in all rooms. There are three different flavors of ice water at the front desk for arriving guests. Hotel staff wear uniforms from the outdoor store REI. The hotel general manager periodically leads an easy jog along a three-mile loop through the city’s “midtown west” neighborhood. There is fresh squeezed orange juice, smoothies and kale salad in the hotel’s limited service restaurant.
Hotel website: EVEN Hotel Times Square South, 321 West 35th St between 8th and 9th Avenue
In case you missed our previous posts in this series, here’s a look at all of them:
1 Hotel Central Park (Midtown)
The Baccarat (Midtown)
New York EDITION (Flatiron/Madison Sq Park)
The EVEN Hotel (Near Penn Station/Garment district)
The Knickerbocker (Times Square)
NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: Boeing 747 nearing its end? + “Targeted” for an upgrade? + 5 newest biz class hotels in New York + TSA PreCheck is exploding + Bargain hunters travel guide for 2016