RIU Plaza Times Square and INNSIDE New York NoMad, new hotels from Spain
This year marks the Spanish Invasion in the NYC hotel scene. Since March, three new hotels from Spanish brands have opened in NYC. Better known for their beach resorts or overseas city properties, RIU, Melia and Iberostar have all made their first forays into the NYC hotel market. More are on the way.
In July, I inspected the new RIU Plaza and INNSIDE New York NoMad. Here’s what I found.
Both hotels are well located near major NYC attractions, several subway lines, and offer visitors spotless, modern facilities with a focus on design.
RIU Plaza is actually on Restaurant Row, with a prime location for Broadway theater access, and is a close enough to Times Square to be exciting, yet more easily accessible with fewer crowds on the sidewalk. The hotel’s tower is visible from 8th Avenue, but its position on the side street means less street and subway noise. The hotel’s aim is to bring the RIU resort feel to the city.
As Sales Manager, Juan Sepulveda lead me through the hotel, he pointed out the design elements like large murals in the lobby, art in the rooms showcasing Brooklyn as well as Manhattan, and the popular bar/restaurant off the lobby. Now serving buffet breakfast, soon it will offer an Executive Lunch that guarantees neighborhood office workers will be in and out in an hour. As we toured the guest room floors Juan pointed out the wood floors and hallways with painted walls, to prevent bedbugs, who are attracted to the glue used to install wallpaper.
The hotel uses energy saving features and floor to ceiling windows that make even the inside rooms appear spacious. Guests of RIU beach resorts will recognize the signature purple accents, which bring elements of the beach to the city.
All rooms feature flat screen TVs, desks, air conditioning, laptop sized safes, large closets, and plush looking beds. Most rooms have showers only, but the suites have bathtubs. The hotel also features accessible rooms. There is currently no room service. At some point in the near future, there will be a lounge for RIU Members on the 20th floor.
There are 4 meeting rooms of various sizes. An enclosed back patio area is also a great space for small events. There’s also a grab and go cafe with a street front entrance.
The facilities fee is $12/day and enables guests to connect up to 4 devices to wifi, receive 2 bottles of water per day, gym access – and baggage hold until 9pm. The concierge service in the lobby speaks 6 languages.
Currently, most guests are European and Britain. Latin American guests are their 2nd largest demographic. As the hotel gets on the radar of more Americans, these percentages could change.
Melia’s INNSIDE New York NoMad is on a rapidly changing street on the northern reaches of Chelsea – heading toward the hip NoMad area. Once a gritty block in the wholesale district, this whole neighborhood is changing and will be unrecognizable in the next couple of years. I actually live a few blocks away in Chelsea, and my very neglected gym is also on the block. Located a few blocks from Penn Station or Madison Square Garden, across the street from Fashion Institute of Technology (and the Mega Bus stop), and a few blocks from the NoMad restaurants, it is surrounded by things those in the know about downtown NYC will want to visit. Madison Square Park, Times Square, and the High Line are also relatively close.
If your bucket list includes a view of the ball drop on New Years without standing for hours in Times Square, the balcony rooms on the 18th floor can grant this wish. Just book early.
Contemporary rooms are spacious by NYC standards, well designed and offer a full amenities package. Laptop sized safe with outlet inside for charging; complimentary wifi; free replenished minibar with bottled water and soft drinks; robes; and a Nespresso machine with coffee pods. Desks or tables and air conditioning, of course.
Scott Conant, noted NYC restauranteur (Scarpetta) and of Food TV fame runs Impero Caffe in the hotel. All-day Italian dining and Italian coffees are offered in the inside restaurant, and chic patio tables with cushy banquets in front of the hotel.
The hotel also features a large back patio for lounging. Event and meeting space includes a brainstorming room that was being used by hotel executives when I toured the hotel with Nathalia Sosa, the Senior Sales Manager. There’s also a gym with an outdoor terrace.
While these hotels remain off the radar of most NYC travelers, rates are great. As new builds, their rooms are more spacious with larger windows. Why not consider 2 brand new hotels instead of opting for the boutique hotels everyone knows of or old standards that could be in need of an update?
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