The fashionable Arlo SoHo is a four-pearl micro-hotel in trendy Hudson Square, between TriBeCa and SoHo. It has bars, lounges, and work spaces -- and 325 rooms -- yet still manages to feel intimate and puts a focus on all things local. Artisanal goods are available in the Bodega, and locally-owned Joe slings great coffee. The restaurant, Harold's Meat+Three is a bustling spot serving great Southern fare, and free classes are available with local gyms, like boxing at The Dogpound. Yes, rooms are tiny -- even for NYC -- but they're sharp and bright, and feature free Wi-Fi and bespoke bath products. The best have Lower Manhattan views and spacious terraces. Alternatively, travelers who'd prefer to be in Midtown should check out their sister property, the Arlo Nomad.
On-trend micro-hotel with local ethos and sharp interiors plus a lively, social vibe
The cliche goes: New York never sleeps -- and with the constant comings and goings on the lower floors of this hotel, that adage seems to hold true. In the case of the Arlo SoHo, that's a fine thing, as it seeks to embody all things local. While this isn't a small hotel, there are so many common areas that it still manages to feel intimate. Of course, the tiny rooms only add to that impression (for better or worse), and the package as a whole is a chic interpretation on the micro-living trend that's currently sweeping NYC. Boutique style is almost everywhere, from the potted succulents to deliberately disordered bookshelves, Edison lightbulbs, and sharp blue, brown, and gray color scheme. There's vibe to spare, too, with jazz bands and other entertainment in the bar during the locals-in-the-know happy hour in Arlo Liquor Bar. Don't expect to see that many families here, as the tiny rooms mean couples, business travelers, and pairs of friends are the most frequent guests.
In Hudson Square, between SoHo and TriBeCa, near the Hudson River
New York's middle name is "up-and-coming" and Hudson Square is one of the city's newly birthed neighborhoods that's rapidly filling up with cafes, boutiques, galleries, and condos. As such, there's lots of buzz around here, particularly during the workday. Weekends and evenings are more sedate, though there are plenty of bars and restaurants within a five- to 10-minute walk. The Hudson River is a five-minute walk west. High-end shopping in SoHo is only 10 minutes away on foot, while the even tonier boutiques of TriBeCa are equidistant. It's also a 15-minute walk along Canal Street to reach the bargain shops and authentic restaurants of Chinatown. Getting farther afield is easy as well. The Christoper Street station on the 1 train is five minutes away on foot, and the A, C, and E trains at Canal Street just one minute farther. From either line, expect a 10-minute commute to the World Trade Center and Financial District, and around 20 minutes to Times Square and the Theater District. JFK is a 75-minute commute by subway, or up to an hour by cab, while Laguardia is a 40-minute drive (depending on traffic). Newark Liberty is at least a 30-minute cab ride away, though traffic -- again -- is a variable.
Tiny rooms with fresh, bright style plus big flat-screen TVs and bespoke bath products
First things first: Rooms here are small -- even for New York City. That fact aside, they are a stylish continuation of the on-trend style found elsewhere in the hotel, rendered in restrained palettes of white, gray, taupe, and wood. Our favorite rooms have pod-like wooden bed enclosures, as in the King City View that we visited, though the rooms with bunkbeds are a playful (and popular) alternative. Expect fluffy white duvets and crisp linens, inverted metro tiling, twee pegboard hanging racks (in lieu of closets), and boho pendant lighting or black matte desk lamps. Otherwise, decor is minimal. All rooms come with drop-down desks, large 42-inch flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, drawers for storage, mini-fridges, electronic window shades, and Bluetooth soundsystems. Upgrades score furnished terraces with great skyline views. Some are surprisingly spacious and even include outdoor showers. Bathrooms may leave something to be desired, despite the bespoke local bath products and rainfall showers. They're separated from rooms by frosted glass panels and sliding glass doors, which isn't the most private arrangement given the already close quarters.
Popular bars and happy hours, buzzing Southern restaurant, local coffee shop, and fun events
Plenty of New York's most storied hotels serve as social hubs for tourists and locals alike, and the Arlo is no different. The hotel has two buzz-worthy bars, with a popular happy hour taking place nightly at the Arlo Liquor Bar, on the hotel's ground floor. Office workers and travelers both gather for reasonably priced drinks and entertainment like live jazz music. There are tons of seating areas, so you can have lively or secluded meet-ups depending on your mood. The Library -- another social space -- has books, board games, and even record players, plus an outdoor terrace in warm months. Good Story, the hotel's second bar, has a terrace with Lower Manhattan views. Movie nights and wine tastings are also a common occurrence. For food, Harold's Meat+Three slings down-home southern fare and serves the hotel's breakfast buffet (though that's not included in rates).
Joe, a local coffee chain, has an outpost in the reception area, which does triple duty as the Bodega, selling NYC-centric artisanal gifts and Arlo swag. There's even a wall of sticky notes where former guests can leave future guests tips on secret NYC finds. Continuing that in-the-know ambience, the hotel offers free classes like yoga and boxing with local gyms and outfitters, including the Dogpound. Bikes, locks, and helmets are also available for free from the hotel. Meetings and other events can be booked in the Studio, Library, or any other spot. There is no proper business center, but Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel and there are plenty of places that double as workstations on the hotel's ground floor -- we spotted lots of guests and locals on their laptops almost all day when we visited.