Hotelier Gets Claustrophobic With Tomb-like Rooms

pod hotel Hotelier Gets Claustrophobic With Tomb like Rooms

Creepy or cozy?

We are as fond of baby animals and those brightly-colored mini food erasers as much as the next person. But our affections are decidedly more muted when it comes to small hotel rooms. Certainly there’s something cute about the teensy spaces, but it’s one of those you-won’t-know-until-you-try-it kind of things. And we’re not sure that we want to try it.

That said, tourists will have more opportunities than ever before. BD Hotels, the developer responsible for opening the first tiny hotel (or pod—if you want to put a positive spin on it) in Manhattan in 2007, is opening up a new location in Murray Hill, reports The New York Times. The 366-room hotel, Pod 39, will be slightly larger than its Midtown East sibling, Pod Hotel, and it will have more amenities.

“When we built the original Pod Hotel, we had a nice communal lobby and garden, but we realized it was just too small for the capacity,” Richard Born, a principle of BD Hotels told The Times. “In every corner was somebody sitting cross-legged with a backpack and laptop.”

Perhaps residents found their rooms too small?

Pod 39, however, will have about 4,500 square-feet of communal space, Mr. Born said, and will include a lobby, marquee, ground-floor restaurant, and a lounge with a bar, library, pool table, tennis table, and a fireplace.

“We’ve learned that our customer really wants to be out of their room in a public environment with other hotel guests,” he added.

Inn-deed!

Mr. Born told The Times that one of the reasons why they chose Pod 39’s location was for its size. The new hotel, which has 17 stories and includes a rooftop garden, is located in a former Allerton club hotel that still has its original Italian Renaissance style façade.

The new hotel will have other perks, like private bathrooms for every room (the Pod Hotel has some rooms with shared bathrooms), and more rooms with two single beds and bunk beds. But the hotel’s main draw, of course, is the price. With rates going at $100 to $200 a night, guests almost won’t mind pretzeling themselves into their chambers.

jschiewe@observer.com