Lonely Planet Writer

Why tiny rooms hotels are going to be a big trend in New York City

Said to be the first micro hotels in the US with four-star design, Arlo Hotels is the new kid on the hotel block, just having opened the Arlo Hudson Square this month and the Arlo NoMad following in its little micro-size footsteps in late October/early November. Can a new hotel brand make it in New York? If it can make it there, it can make it anywhere.

A room in the new Arlo hotel.
A room in the new Arlo hotel.

Micro hotels are right on trend with a philosophy of providing only what is needed in terms of private space—think small rooms—but more than enough public space, the theory being that, millennials in particular, want lots of open areas to work, meet, meander and chill with a cocktail—one of the reasons lobbies are no longer “lobbies” but “livings rooms.” Other players in this category are YOTEL and CitizenM, both of which already exist in NYC.

Micro hotels are on the rise in densly populated cities.
Micro hotels are on the rise in densly populated cities.

So what sets Arlo Hotels apart? According to Oleg Pavlov, the founder and CEO of Quadrum Global, one of the hotels’ owners, why New York and why now? Pavlov explained that the company analysed consumption patterns in Manhattan and found that many guests cared more about a hotel’s service and amenities than the square footage of their rooms.

A family room at the Arlo hotel.
A family room at the Arlo hotel. Image by: Arlo Hotels

He commented, “Arlo Hotels provide a unique experience that is a more authentic ‘local’ setting than that of the traditional large-scale hotel brands commonly found in NYC. Our strong belief is that travellers today are more ‘informed urban explorers’ choosing hotels very much for the local experience, and a desire to immerse themselves into the style, taste and smell of the particular place or city.” With Arlo Hotels, the communal spaces reflect the character of the city, providing a refined, warmer feel than the techy minimalist design of YOTEL and the playful cheery style of CitizenM.

The front entrance of the Arlo hotel.
The front entrance of the Arlo hotel. Image by Arlo Hotel

The first hotel to open, the 325-room Arlo Hudson Square, has a destination kitchen run by Chef Harold Moore (Harold’s Meat + Three serves a customised meaty main and three sides) and hip amenities and programming – like boot camp classes, pop-up product demos, crowd-sourced art projects and live music.

The Arlo rooftop at night.
The Arlo rooftop at night.

Hotel fans will appreciate the cool factor of perennially hip Blind Barber toiletries, a general store curated by a small-batch food purveyor supplying “indie snacking bundles” for grab-and-go, the bespoke uniforms by Hudson Square-based designer Miller’s Oath and family-owned coffee brand, JOE Coffee, for quality java juice. The compact rooms have perks like a fold-down desk and closets with adjustable hanging pegs, along with walnut furnishings and rain showers.

The salad bar inside the Arlo hotel.
The salad bar inside the Arlo hotel.

Close to the Empire State Building, Arlo NoMad will have 250 rooms and it is anticipated that the design and amenities will closely follow that of Arlo Hudson Square. The signature restaurant here will be the Italian(ish) Massoni. Rates begin at $199 at Arlo Hudson Square and at $209 for Arlo NoMad.