Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
An open atmosphere and great nightlife
The Out NYC advertises itself as an "urban oasis," and it delivers. Rooms are clustered around three open courtyards: the Great Lawn, an Astroturf-carpeted space with bean bag chairs and regular film screenings; the Secret Garden, a bamboo-fringed oasis with a long common table for group meals; and the Sun Deck, with lounge chairs for catching rays in the summer. The hotel's unique layout is conducive to socializing, and guests include a mix of both gay travelers and straight European couples.
The Spa Atrium is one of the hotel's most notable features, and guests get free access to the whirlpools, saunas, and steam rooms. The full spa menu includes massages, facials, sugaring, and spray tans.
While the hotel offers many opportunities for relaxation, it also offers a trendy nightlife scene. The ground floor XL Nightclub is one of the city's largest gay dance clubs, with one of the most advanced sound and lighting systems in the world. There is a different cabaret show, DJ, or theme night each evening, and weekend lines often stretch around the block. Celebrities such as Cyndi Lauper and Ru Paul have been known to make on-stage appearances.
On a charmless block just off Times Square
The Out NYC is located on a busy but bland stretch of 42nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues by the West Side Highway. Cop cars line the block, thanks to a nearby NYPD precinct, and a CVS Pharmacy next door is open 24 hours. The hotel is two long avenue blocks from Times Square, and several blocks south of the heart of Hell's Kitchen, a lively district with restaurants and bars. Though the hotel advertises its location as the "epicenter of gay life," you're more likely to find tapas restaurants and Irish pubs than chic galleries and swank nightlife, except in the hotel's own XL Nightclub.
Contemporary rooms with modern technology and varying levels of privacy
Rooms have contemporary decor in shades of white and gray, and come with modern technology features such as Internet-equipped TVs and MP3 docks. Most guest rooms are clustered around one of three outdoor courtyards. Rooms with a courtyard view receive some light, but leaving your curtains open may invite unwanted peeks from passerby. More preferable are the rooms with a city view, which tend to be brighter and more private.
Noise can sometimes be an issue; be sure to request a room away from the nightclub for more peace and quiet. Like the nearby Yotel, The Out NYC contains a number of shared bunk-style rooms, which can be handy for large groups and solo travelers.
Rooms start at around 200 square feet and come with a king, queen, two double, or bunk-style beds. The Luxury Quad Bunk Rooms are geared toward groups of friends, and have four separate full-sized beds, each with a cubby, personal 22"-inch TV, and privacy curtains.
Guests get free access to the whirlpools, saunas, and steam rooms.
No kids allowed
Given The Out NYC's adult orientation and risqué features, the hotel only accepts guests over the age of 21.
Modern American cuisine in a sexy setting
KTCHN is an upscale restaurant from the owners of Hell's Kitchen hot spot Eatery and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Executive Chef Dale Schnell prepares modern American cuisine; sample menu items include updated classics such as the Akaushi Beef Cheddar Cheese Burger; "Sexy Fries" with salt, vinegar, smoked paprika, and garlic; and oysters of the day. Communal dining is available in the back room, though the white-hued street-facing side of the restaurant has a much cooler ambience, particularly during the day. Food and beverage service is also available in the three hotel courtyards.
Meeting spaces, free Wi-fi, and communal Mac computers
The city's largest gay nightclub, with events every night of the week
The 14,000-square-foot XL Nightclub is one of New York's biggest gay nightlife destinations. The club, run by nightlife veterans John Blair, Beto Sutter, and Brandon Voss, offers events such as cabaret shows, DJs, and theme nights seven days a week. The nightclub includes a bar (of course), elevated VIP area, a massive dance floor, and a sleek unisex bathroom (which is a sight to be seen).
The Out NYC opened as one of New York's first hotel specifically tailored for gay travelers, but it has rebranded to broaden its appeal. Indeed, the 105-room boutique property hosts guests of all orientations, including many foreigners drawn by the hotel's central location, sleek design, gorgeous common areas, and hot nightlife. Business travelers also appreciate its proximity to the Javits Convention Center. Rooms are small but filled with features such as natural beauty products, Internet-enabled flat-screen TVs, and absurdly comfortable beds. You won't, however, find any closets -- a cheeky reference to the fact that no one needs to be in the closet here.