American Airlines Admirals Club New York JFK
LAN Business Class: New York to Lima
LAN Economy Class: Lima to Cusco
LAN Economy Class: Cusco to Lima
Radisson Decapolis Miraflores
SUMAQ Lounge Lima
LAN Business Class Lima to Easter Island
LAN Business Class: Easter Island to Santiago
LAN Neruda Lounge Santiago
LAN Business Class: Santiago to Lima
LAN Business Class: Lima to New York
Yotel New York City
American Airlines Transcontinental Business Class: New York to Los Angeles
I was originally going to have just a day-long stopover in NYC, just enough to grab lunch with a friend in the city, before hopping on a transcon later that evening. However, with my love for the city and a good weather forecast, I Skype-called AA from Chile to see if I could extend my stopover.
Since JFK was my North American gateway on this AA award (the city in which I enter North America from another continent), I could potentially extend this stopover until a year from my ticketing date. As long as I kept LAX as my destination, it would be a free change. I found a weekend late-afternoon departure in business. Awesome! Not only that, but it would be a dinner flight. I haven’t flown AA business before, but I’ve read consistently that dinner transcon flights are much much better than breakfast/lunch/midnight snack flights.
While I have friends I can stay with in NYC, I checked out Hotwire and Priceline just in case, seeing a great deal for a 3.5-star hotel on Hotwire for 80% off. I decided to book 2 nights there, finding out later it was the Yotel NYC. Hmm, this would be interesting. I’ve read reports about airport Yotels in London Heathrow and Amsterdam airports, but not the city one in NYC.
The Yotel NYC is located at the corner of West 42nd Street and Tenth Avenue, in the new MiMa building, with its entrance on 10th Ave. In true New Yorker fashion, the friends I met up with didn’t understand the hotel’s location, seeing as how “there are so many more things on 9th Avenue, you’re far from that.” Yes. One whole avenue. The 42nd Street Station/Port Authority Bus Terminal is only 2 blocks away, so it wasn’t too bad of a location. Yotel advertises their location as “Times Square West,” which is true, but it’s 3 avenues west of Times Square. This could get confusing for uninformed tourists who want to be at Times Square.
Check-in is supposed to be an automated task – you simply walk up to an airline-style kiosk and check-in. There are plenty of hotel staff members around to help with the process. I walked into the hotel at around 10:30am when check-in was empty. An employee pretty much did the check-in process for me, giving me the chance to only type in my last name. A key card was spit out at the end.
From the lobby, one would then head up to “Four.” The 4th floor feels more like a hotel with a concierge desk and “Mission Control” as you exit the elevators. If you head toward the left, you’ll find a bar, lounge area, and meeting rooms, as well as the entrance to the gym.
If you head to the right, you’ll find a bank of computers with internet access, elevators to the “cabins,” an outdoor bar, an indoor bar, and the Dohyo restaurant. I came down to Happy Hour one night and had some of the best salmon rolls (well, best $4 salmon rolls).
The hotel card isn’t a swipe card, but rather one with Near Field Communication (NFC), that new-fangled technology finding its way into more and more mobile phones. To use the elevator to the cabins and to open your door, you have to tap the card against the receiver. That also means that you can place it in the back of your wallet and simply tap your wallet against the receiver. Less fumbling around in my wallet for my keycard.
The room is a bit small, but designed to maximize space. Pictures are below but I’ll write my short review here – I got this room for a sub-$80/night rate on Hotwire, which was fantastic seeing as how other hotel rooms in Manhattan were running for hundreds of dollars and no points rooms were available. I wouldn’t pay the $249/night rate Yotel asks for on their website, though.
This room is good if you are a single traveler. If you are with another person, it can get a little awkward, seeing as how the only separation between the bed area and the bathroom is a curtain. Even with the curtain pulled, one can see the outline of the person in the shower. Awkward, unless you’re extremely comfortable with the person you share the room with. I’d also make sure the window curtain in the bathroom is pulled before you enter, especially if you’re on a lower floor like I was. Wifi is free throughout, which is good, and the lounge/bar are pretty trendy. However, you don’t need to be a guest to use either.
Would I return to Yotel NYC? If I’m on the west side between 5-7pm and in need of Happy Hour, yes. Those salmon rolls were delish and priced just right. If I’m booking blindly on Hotwire/Priceline and see a good-rate for a hotel in Midtown Manhattan, yes. Otherwise … meh.