This spring has been full of travel for me! NYC, Portland, NYC again, Portland again and again, right now I'm in San Jose, and coming up is San Francisco. With so much traveling, I try to be a thrifty and savvy as I can. When I was looking for places to stay in Manhattan that were centrally located and accessible without breaking the bank, I discovered the amazing Pod Times Square! A great alternative to regular hotels or AirBnbs, read on to learn more about these innovative hotels and how life changing it is for a traveling creative like me!
Location was a huge factor for choosing where to stay in NYC. As I would be traveling all around the city for shoots, events, and some sight seeing, I wanted somewhere accessible to a wide array of public transportation. Located in Hell's Kitchen on the very edge of the iconic Times Square, the pod hotel was just a quick subway or 10 minute walk away from Penn Station. The hotel is right across the street from the Port Authority bus terminal, as well as two blocks away from the Times Square subway station. Between these two huge transportation hubs, I could get just about anywhere with ease. There were countless restaurants, on and off-Broadway theatres, and shopping immediately in the neighborhood within walking distance as well.
Views from the terrace, Times Square and the Empire State Building!
They call themselves a pod hotel for a reason - the standard rooms are all 110 square feet! From their website they say:
"We call our room Pods because they are compact spaces that maximize efficiency and eliminate excess."
This statement is certainly true and was perfect for a minimal traveler like me. The room had the simplicity of a hostel room with the luxury and privacy of a hotel. As I was traveling with another person, we stayed in a double room that had a bunk bed, a personal TV per bed, a desk with a chair, several drawers, a hanging rack, and a private bathroom with a shower. It was exactly the amount of space we needed, as I was out and about most the day and only in the room to get ready for the day, catch up on editing, and sleep. Both of the beds had personal charging ports with both USB and standard outlets, shelving, and a reading light for those who like to work in bed (I'm definitely guilty). There are several room options for single travelers, couples, as well as larger groups with their "Pod Pads." The rooms also have stunning views of Midtown and lots of natural light to wake you up in the morning.
While the hotel claims to strip down excess, that doesn't mean they stripped away amenities and perks to staying with them. For the busy and on the go guests, they have a simple complimentary breakfast of croissants and coffee. For those wanting an immersive tour of different neighborhoods (perhaps to scout shooting locations for the creatives) they offer regular walking tours. Super cute public areas to work and hang out are sprinkled throughout the hotel as well, in addition to terraces and a new restaurant being built as we speak! Plus the staff is beyond friendly and accommodating for any question or request you may have.
My experience at Pod Times Square was everything I needed as a traveling creative. From the price, accessibility, location, and the hotel itself, I would recommend it for any creative visiting the city that never sleeps!
Would you ever stay in a pod hotel? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
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Karya Schanilec is a Seattle based photographer specializing in fashion, portrait, and performance photography.