|Aloft Hotel Bar|
It’s one of four cheap but design-conscious hotels targeted at travelers in their twenties and thirties that have popped up in Brooklyn and Manhattan in recent months, the Journal reports today. (The West Coast got these hip but affordable hotels earlier.)
Taking a cue from trendy discount chains, such as IKEA and Target, designers use clean lines and bright colors to create a hip feel even though they use cheaper materials. “We’re not talking about high design, but we’re not doing a four- to five-star hotel,” says Glen Coben, the architect who designed the interiors of the city’s first Tryp by Wyndham, which is set to open this fall.
Nearly every detail of the Tryp Times Square South was custom designed to cut costs, from the light fixtures to a breakfast buffet with shutters that conceal liquor bottles for the bar at night. (See photos of the Tryp and other hotels.)
Unlike the cookie-cutter design of a Courtyard by Marriot or Holiday Inn, each hotel has a distinctive vibe. Nowhere is the more evident than the futuristic Yotel at 42nd Street and Tenth Avenue in Manhattan, which plays off the aesthetic of an airport. The hotel features touch screens for checking in, a “Yobot” for lifting luggage and beds that fold into couches.
Still, these edgy designs win mixed reviews, especially from older travelers. “They’re trying to be the W, but realize the Ws have a certain price point. You can tell in their furnishings, that it is cheaper,” says Max Chao, a California lawyer in his early 40s, who stayed at the Aloft in Harlem. The bar, he says, can also get “raucous.”
“I’m probably at the point where I’m a little too old for it,” he says.
Of course, hotels outside of New York are also looking for new ways to pull in today’s travelers, as we wrote about recently. But these resorts have the space to add activities like zip lining and Frisbee golf.