Hotels everywhere are embracing what the Japanese have done for decades—crunching rooms down to smaller-than-200-square-foot pods. Nine years ago, Midtown Manhattan’s Pod Hotel ushered in the era of the “microhotel” with the mainstream U.S. debut of minimalist rooms: Luggage was stored under the beds, bathrooms were tub-less. In 2015, Marriott launched Moxy in Milan with tiny but gorgeous guest rooms in dark wood and cream leather. Two Roads, which owns Destination, Joie de Vivre, and Thompson hotels, will open the “lifestyle microhotel brand” Tommie in Hollywood in 2018. Smaller rooms are cheaper, of course, and faster to build.
The developers of a 249-key Pod Hotel slated for Williamsburg, Brooklyn, say they’ve saved six months by using modular construction without compromising design. At two new AvroKo-designed Arlo properties in New York, rooms average just 150 square feet, and they actually look good with flip-up desks, open closets, and huge windows that make the most of the tight quarters. Not that you’ll feel cramped: The Arlo Hudson Square has two bars, a Southern restaurant from Daniel Boulud protege Harold Moore, and coffee by Joe, a local favorite. And when you’re in N.Y.C., how much time do you spend in your room anyway?