Sleeping Around NYC: Arlo NoMad
By Shari Hartford
Just when you think a hotel is a hotel is a hotel, comes the new kid on the block…a micro hotel. While part of the lexicon in Europe and Asia, micros are relatively new to the U.S. market. Some are really glorified youth hostels and some are luxurious business and tourist hotels that are just, well, tiny. Such is Arlo NoMad, conveniently located on 31 Street just east of Fifth Avenue.
I recently took my small-size self to see what the [micro] buzz was all about. After a welcoming by the enthusiastic front-desk staff, I checked into room 2801, a king room with floor to ceiling windows affording a glorious city view. Was it tiny? You betcha!! The well-appointed accommodations were sleek and contemporary and lacking almost nothing…except perhaps moving around space. The bed was hemmed in on three sides and had a pull-out shelf underneath for nighttime storage of glasses or phones. There were plenty of plugs, outlets and lights, but the walled-in half of a couple would have to be pretty spry to leap over their partner for a nocturnal bathroom visit. Fortunately, the large windows made the room nice and bright and toned down the smallness of the space. There was also a small closet/wardrobe, a chair, a small shelf and the now-standard flat screen television, small frig and coffee maker.
Since you’re not here to stay in your room, this is where Arlo shines. Consider the rest of the hotel your living room, or living space. Throughout the public areas there are work stations, quiet corners and studios…all with plug-ins and Wi-Fi. The lobby boasts a 24/7 store called Bodega serving up coffee, snacks and light fare from the hotel’s restaurant. Additionally, you can grab some delicious ice cream creations. Or…head on up to the seasonal rooftop for cocktails and one of the best New York City skyline views.
I took a look at the menu for Massoni, the in-house Italian restaurant and I was hooked. I started with the seasonal snap pea salad with smoked almonds and lemon vinaigrette and had to use my self-control to keep from licking the dish. Next was homemade fettuccine with shrimp and corn. These two dishes should be on my food rotation for the entire summer…light, flavorful and satisfying. And tasting just like summer.
When I finally crawled into bed, I left the shades and drapes open. The city lights twinkled out and beyond and since the end of the bed was flush against the window, it was like I was perched in the sky. A wonderful way to fall asleep.
Since I had the opportunity to view several different types of rooms (the bunk bedded rooms are a hoot, with individual lights and televisions for each bunk), I would opt for the queen room…same floor to ceiling windows as the king but a scunch more moving around space. Nice. Another nice touch…the hotel apparently recognizes that the elevators are a tad slow so they have built into the walls next to the elevators a cool wooden and movable tic tac toe game. Just something to occupy your 30 seconds of waiting time.
Arlo NoMad is a hotel for everyone…business travelers will find plenty of work space in the public areas and tourists will find it a fun escape. (Did I mention the fitness/yoga classes on the roof?)
Good things come in small packages and Arlo NoMad is no exception.
Stay tuned for my visit to Arlo Soho, the NoMad’s sister hotel, coming this fall.
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Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.