Stephanie Holmes checks into the Arlo SoHo in New York City.
SoHo and Lower Manhattan.
Check-in experience: We arrived late in the evening, jetlagged and a little frazzled after a delayed connecting flight from LAX. The bright lobby soon refreshed our senses, with welcoming staff, a 24-hour bodega (food-and-drinks stall) and brightly coloured self-serve candy bar. We were checked in promptly and given directions to our rooms. There's no bellhop service like other hotels, which on the down side means you have to deal with your own bags but, on the up side, means you don't need to immediately get your head around America's tipping culture.
What's in the neighbourhood? The hotel is walking distance to many must-see New York attractions. including One World Trade and the 9/11 Memorial, plus it's close to subway stations, parks, restaurants, bars and the Hudson River.
Price: A Queen bedroom courtyard room costs from $274 per room per night on Expedia.co.nz.
Room: Arlo Hotels are at the forefront of the new "micro room" concept that's so hot right now in New York. The idea is you're not going to spend a lot of time in your room, so why spend a lot of money on it? Accommodation is infamously very expensive in New York (an average of $406 per night according to Expedia), but micro rooms are changing all that.
Arlo SoHo and its sister property Arlo Nomad, feature small but smartly designed rooms, with high-quality beds, functional storage space and big windows so you get great views of Manhattan. Spend less on your accommodation and spend more on seeing the sights of New York.
The bed: Incredibly comfortable king bed, built in a nook in the window, above some storage space. It's a clever use of space - there's a wall-mounted LG flat-screen TV at the foot of the bed, USB ports and reading lights built in to the bed head, twin clocks so you can set the local time as well as the time at home, and a choice of black-out or sheer blinds, operated at the touch of a button.
Is more or less part of the room - a frosted glass box concealing the toilet and the shower, with the basin and mirror outside. If you're sharing the room with someone else, be prepared to get to know each other very well. It's all very functional however, with great water pressure from the rain-head shower.
Toiletries: Blind Barber, a high-quality range, made especially for Arlo Hotels using a blend of rooibos tea, wild lemongrass and coconut oil.
Wi-Fi: Free, unlimited and fast.
Food and drink: At Arlo SoHo, there are two bars - one on the ground floor, one on the rooftop with views across the Hudson River to New Jersey - and Harold's Meat & Three restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a focus on American comfort food.
Exercise: There's no gym, but there are regular fitness classes on the rooftop (with space inside if the weather is inclement). I did a 7am yoga class, which was $15 but well worth it to stretch out my long-haul weary body.
Noise: Surprisingly, nothing from outside, but the air conditioning was incredibly loud.
Extras: There's a full schedule of things you can do to stay entertained within the hotel (another reason the micro room doesn't matter), such as arts and crafts classes, working spaces, a movie room, courtyard, and cute gift shop. The whole place felt relaxed, comfortable and cool, without being pretentious.
Would I return? Please, can I?