This is part one of my review of the EVEN Hotel New York – Midtown East. EVEN is a new IHG brand which has not yet made it to Europe but you may want to consider it if you’re heading to the US. It is likely to heading our way soon.
I recently visited New York for several days as part of a group of journalists invited by Virgin Atlantic to try out their new Economy Delight offering. I will be covering this in future articles.
Following the flight, I decided to stay in New York for a few days instead of heading straight back. Rob asked me if I would mind taking a closer look at the newest and perhaps least known IHG brand – EVEN Hotels. I was happy to oblige, so Rob booked me three nights using his IHG Rewards Club points at a cost of 45,000 points per night. This compared to a cash price of around $350 plus taxes per night, making it a very good value redemption.
What is the EVEN hotel brand about?
There are currently eleven hotels in the brand, all of them in the USA. Three of them are located in New York: Brooklyn, Times Square and mine at Midtown East.
EVEN’s philosophy is based around minimising the disruption to your wellness routine whilst travelling.
All EVEN hotels are designed to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst on holiday or a work trip by encouraging you to ‘keep active, eat well, rest easy and accomplish more’.
All rooms are kitted out with fitness zones to enable you to continue your exercise routine in comfort. Staff are described as being wellness savvy and food and beverage offerings are promoted as heart healthy, good for you, natural choices.
I was staying in the Midtown East property which was one of the first EVEN hotels to open in November 2016. It is a newly built tower located just off 3rd Avenue on 44th East and has 230 rooms.
The location is very convenient for those looking to explore the classic Manhattan attractions. The Empire State Building, Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza are all within a 20 minute walk. The art deco Chrysler Building is just two blocks away. It is only a five minute stroll to Grand Central Station with access to several subway lines.
From the outside it is a fairly unassuming place, another tall building lost amongst the multitude of other skyscrapers.
The entrance corridor is pleasant enough with a living wall of plants to welcome you. There are two lifts which take you up one floor to the reception.
The reception area was small but clean and neat. At times over the three days I found it quite congested when a family or group were just arriving or leaving. Staff were friendly and check in was carried out quickly. I was given a room on the 11th floor.
I wasn’t expecting my room to be huge, this is New York after all, and on entering I found this to be the case. However, my first impression was that it was perfectly acceptable. Indeed it was much bigger than the boutique SoHo hotel I had stayed in with the Virgin team the previous night.
The room felt modern, new and clean with plenty of natural light. It had a fairly neutral colour scheme offset by a colourful carpet. There was just enough room to navigate around the bed.
The bed itself was very comfortable and I enjoyed a good nights sleep. The window was covered with a light net curtain illustrated with a tree which added a little flair.
There was also LED mood lighting built in above the bed headrest. This could be changed to ‘suit your mood (relax or energise)’ using a remote control at the side of the bed.
There was a small but powerful bluetooth speaker/alarm clock at the side of the bed which I appreciated and used to play music from my phone.
A small desk was located at the foot of the bed with a familiar looking chair. I’d seen exactly the same model in turquoise in the Hampton by Hilton in Bournemouth last year.
There were plenty of power outlets, both at the desk and either side of the bed. Above the desk was a 40” flat screen TV. Free wifi was offered throughout the hotel and was a very good speed.
In one corner there was a coffee/tea maker and several pots of Green Mountain coffee and English breakfast tea. Below the machine was a small (and empty) fridge. Above it was a small glass terrarium containing living succulent plants which I thought was a nice little touch.
The view from the window was nothing exciting – more blocks of offices, apartments or hotel rooms across the road. For a premium you can book a room on one of the higher floors, called an ‘Even Better City View’ room.
The bathroom, located on the left as you walk in, was relatively spacious with a large walk in shower and rain type shower head.
Toiletries were own brand products in dispensers. There were two shower gels – energising grapefruit and mint and calming coconut and vanilla. Both were fine. I don’t have a great deal of hair so cannot vouch for the sweet orange shampoo or citrus and geranium conditioner.
There was also a bar of grapefruit and mint soap and a tube of body cream by the sink. A hair dryer was located under the sink along with spare towels.
In between the bathroom and bedroom was a small open wardrobe with eight clothes hangers. There was also a shelf for your luggage. Below this was a good sized safe and below that were four wooden baskets which I assumed were replacements for normal drawers (there were no other drawers in the room).
As I mentioned earlier, the EVEN brand is all about wellness and maintaining that active healthy lifestyle that we all lead. And this is why my room also contained some quite unique items which I certainly had never seen before.
There was, weirdly, a stediball down one side of the bed. It didn’t get in my way but may have if a couple were staying in the room. It also didn’t get used during my stay.
Next to the desk was a host of fitness related paraphernalia! This included a yoga mat and block, foam roller and disinfectant wipes. None of this equipment looked like it had ever been used.
There was also a purpose built post with several ropes and a ‘superband’ hanging from it to perform particular exercises. I was not familiar with such exercises but thankfully there was also a comprehensive training guide to refer to! You could actually take it away with you for $150 ……
If the training guide was not clear enough, there were also 19 TV channels dedicated to working out.
Possibly the most bizarre item I’ve ever seen in a hotel room was situated above the exercise equipment. If you pulled down a wooden cover, it revealed a white board along with marker and wiper. I think this is intended to be used to plan your work out routine.
Yes, the hotel really does take its commitment to wellness seriously. Whether this is a ploy to attract more business guests I’m not sure. Most of the guests I saw around the hotel were clearly tourists like me.
The hotel also left a complimentary branded water bottle in the room which came in handy when walking around Manhattan in the sun. Next to reception there was a handy water station where you could fill it up with one of two different flavoured waters or just plain still water.
Part Two of my EVEN Hotel review – also published today and found here – looks at the dining, drink and fitness options at EVEN Hotel New York – Midtown East.
The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.
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