None of my usual hotels were available on my last trip to NY, so I opted for a last minute surprising budget option- The Arlo. Welcome to the future. There is so much to like about this hotel. The location on East 31st Street in NoMad is great: my favorite ‘hood of the last couple of years to stay in and an easy walk or subway to anywhere in Manhattan. The initial way I judge a hotel is: How do they handle the lobby and front desk experience? Arlo does great. It’s staffed by young and cheerful people who are genuinely welcoming and helpful. The rooms are quite small, but so well designed, that my normally-grumpy travel self didn’t mind in the least. It’s as if they hired a boat designer to do them. The in-room lighting can be made bright if you like, and each identical room has a big window. There is a large high-ceilinged, highly-functional library work area on the second floor which is much more Soho House in vibe than the normal grim hotel work areas. The hotel has single speed bikes to lend (charming). The week we were there the lobby was busy with hip 20-somethings from China, which always makes me feel like I am connected to the future. Travel tip: get quick, cheap but super-yummy eats around the corner on 28th Street at Made Nice. It shares a kitchen with the glorious NoMad hotel, so you are essentially getting the same dishes, but at a massive discount. The best $15 meal you will ever have in NY. Arlo NoMad reservation here.