webby honoree

New York City hotel tax is 14.75 percent plus a daily $2 per room occupancy fee. Our site lists the starting low season rack rate for each hotel, but prices rise and fall depending upon the season and demand, like airline tickets; use these rates as guidelines. Prices are lowest in January and February and highest in September and October.

It’s easy to find reviews on our site. If you know the name of the hotel you want, type it into the Keyword Search box and hit GO. If you’re looking for a hotel in a particular neighborhood, want a place that’s hip and allows pets, or crave a spa and free WiFi, check the proper criteria. For a master list of all the hotels we’ve reviewed, click Hotels A to Z. And if you don’t see the hotel you want, check in again. We’re adding new reviews every week.

New York City has more than 200 hotels in its five boroughs, and we’ll review as many as we can to help you choose. We’re independent, with no ties to hotels, booking agencies or travel agents. We pay when we eat and stay (and never mention we’re writing a review). Visit us often; we’re adding and updating reviews all the time.

To reach us, contact info@overnightnewyork.com

Hotel reviews A to Z

Search by keyword

OR Search by criteria


  gym   bar   brunch
  pool   free wifi   pets
  spa   dining   kids

The Pod Hotel (Pod 39)

145 East 39th Street between Lexington and Third avenues

New York,, NY 10036

212 865-5700

212 865-5701





The Pod Hotel (Pod 39)


Updated: Apr 14, 2015


id: hip budget hotel

size: 365 rooms

luxury level: luxury level 25

atmosphere: buzzy

‘hood: midtown south

room windows open: yes

parking: no

price: from $150

cool detail: glass elevators that display their gears

hotel photo

By Terry Trucco

At a glance: When you have a winning formula, why stop? That seems the thinking behind Pod 39, a clever budget property that opened in 2012 on East 39th Street and follows the blueprint of Pod 51, the original Pod Hotel on East 51st Street.

Here’s the template. Choose an aging building – in the instance the Allerton, a 1916 brick tower that was once a men’s residential hotel. Create a restaurant and lounge that are big and buzzy. Add a roof bar. And don’t sweat it if rooms are small – clever décor is amazingly forgiving.

Pod39’s rooms are clever, indeed, and unlike Pod51, each has its own bathroom. But where the hotel scores big is its public spaces. On the ground floor, Salvation Taco, a restaurant and bar that attracts locals as well as hotel guests, melds with the guest lounge – an upbeat playspace with squishy sofas, a ping-pong table, a modest library and communal tables for laptops or snacks. Best detail: the whimsical Chinese art on the walls. A great spot for hanging out, in other words, if your shoe-box size room upstairs feels too snug.

Bonus: the open-air roof bar looks straight onto the Empire State Building, a nice coincidence since Arthur Loomis Harmon is the early 20th-century architect behind Pod 39’s building and the Empire State Building.

Rooms: It’s the Pod, not the Plaza, and rooms typically are a mere 10 by 8 feet. But as in the original Pod, these are clever little cells, the work of designer Vanessa Guildord who created the compact, ship-shape cabins at the Maritime hotel. And unlike the original Pod where half the rooms use shared baths, all Pod 39 rooms have private facilities, as mentioned above.

Rooms are color-coded floor by floor, with white-walled rooms accented in red and honey maple designed to energize, blue and darker maple to sooth or teal and walnut for visual warmth. And though the clever built-in furniture is similar throughout, rooms shapes differ to accommodate single, double, queen and bunk beds.

Every inch is used, from the under-bed storage to the air space in rooms with bunk beds. Expect small luxuries, like dimmers on all the lights and high-definition TVs.

The compact white tile bathrooms feature rain showers and stainless steel fittings.

Food and drink: Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Salvation Taco is a long, narrow, high-ceilinged room that’s buzzy, informal and fun with playful hints of Mexican décor just this side of kitschy. Behind its small-plate offerings are April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, the winning combo behind the Ace hotel’s Breslin Bar and the John Dory. I stopped by for lunch, scored a seat at a tall table in the bar area (it was crowded) and liked the look of what the man, typing on a laptop at the next table, had. So I had what he had, including an iced tea: tomatillo & market veg chopped salad with queso fresco ($11) and Mexican sticky rice tamale with chinese sausage & pibil rubbed pork ($10). Good choices.

There’s also an open-air roof bar with lively warm-weather drinks, less pricey than at many midtown hotels, and, as mentioned above, splendid views of the Empire State Building through early 20th-century brick arches that look medieval.

Amenities: Free WiFi; iPod dock stations; Hi-Def flatpanel TVs.

Surroundings: Midtown’s Murray Hill neighborhood is part residential, part office buildings with smattering of shops, more functional than fashionable. But Grand Central station is a short walk away as are the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, Times Square and Herald Square. Subways and buses are nearby making it easy to reach midtown, the Upper East Side and downtown haunts like the Lower East Side, New York University and the East Village. The area is also filled with restaurants in a range of styles and prices.

Keep in mind: For a so-called budget hotel, rooms get pricey during high season.

What We Saw:




Your Name: