Not far from Grand Central Station in New York City sits a striking, tall and thin 35 floor building with four distinct color strips on it. This is EVEN Hotel’s New York Midtown East location, one of four IHG have for the growing brand in New York.
You enter on the ground floor and are greeted (quite literally) by the doormat, before you head up the lift to the second floor to check in at the reception. Here, you’ll also find a restaurant and bar, which is open for breakfast and dinner, an outdoor patio (complete with games and a stunning mural) and a 24 hour fitness centre. If you’re a premium IHG One member you might even get yourself a free drink on arrival.
The hotel sits alongside two other EVEN branded towers to have opened in New York; with another in Times Square and one in Brooklyn; as well as one in Long Island City This location launched at the end of 2016, and it’s a hotel concept that is posed all around the idea of fitness and wellness – however the “EVEN” branding itself is cleverly embedded into the way the hotel functions , too.
For example, when you reach your floor, you’ll see a sign that says, “oddly enough, every room number is even.” And indeed, there are no odd room numbers, and I was greeted with a single hallway with about 10 rooms (counting up to 20); the circular lighting fixtures on the ceiling adding a nice ambiance to the small space.
The room I was provided was cozy, with the king bed taking up a lot of the room, and a large shower also proving be a welcome addition to the space. A particularly nice touch was the remote sitting next to the bed, which allows you to change the colors of the lights that come out from the bed, to “suit your mood”. And you can either choose one color or let colors rotate – something which is a first in my hotel experiences.
Smart lights also next to the bed that turn on when you get close to them, and off when you’re far away (and when you sleep there’s a switch to turn them off properly). You’ll also find USB and AC plugs on either side of the bed, as well as an iHome alarm clock, giving the space all the modern technological comforts any traveler needs. The black out curtains ensure you’ll get a good night sleep – though the small amount of light that does creep in, coupled with the blue paint added to the room, helps make the room feel brighter and more spacious than it otherwise is. It’s a great place to wake up in the morning.
But what ultimately separates this brand from its competition is its emphasis on fitness, which starts from the moment you turn on the TV – the first 15 or so channels are devoted to fitness, using the materials provided in your room.
The fitness equipment in the room includes a yoga mat, a Steadiball, a rectangular and round foam GAIAM unit, a yoga mat and the EVEN Hotel’s Trainer, which is essentially a built in pole that comes with stretchable handles you can run across it for stretches and other exercises. There are also two orange “squares” to use in your exercises.
If videos aren’t your thing, there’s a book to assist you, and Clorox disinfectant wipes to clean yourself off after. The floor is a wood floor too so none of that sweat will end up in any carpet, and they provide a complimentary reusable water bottle for each guest.
In addition to the fitness channels, the massive LG TV has hundreds of channels on DirectTV. The room has a coffee machine with pods, and even has an English breakfast tea pod for non-coffee drinkers like myself. And if you need anything else, there’s room service, and a 24 hour Duane Reade market and pharmacy next door, with the room providing an empty bar fridge in the room in case you want to fill it up with snacks and drinks.
With all this equipment and the desk space, with an ergonomic chair for your comfort, this does mean the room for exercise is very limited. But then you realize you actually have a bit more room than you expect. The workspace can roll away, and one of the benches can be folded up in the wall. So the area between the bed and the TV – which albeit is still not *much* – is just enough for exercise space for one.
The bathroom is also one of the room’s best features, with a massive shower and a large, bright sink. There are Beekman 1802 toiletries sitting permanently in the wall, with two types of gels and a shampoo and conditioners, while the body lotion and soap bar are of the usual portable variety. There’s two shower heads – a rain shower and a more traditional shower. Both have great pressure and it was an excellent shower to enjoy. I also liked the unique style of the sink’s tap.
Beyond this, you’ll enjoy the view of New York City from your room. I was about halfway up the building, and was provided something of a rooftop view of the surrounding city – and I can only imagine the view gets better on your way up.
The comfort of this hotel is unquestionable, with a stunning king bed and incredible pillows. As I touched on earlier – this room gave me an unquestionably wonderful sleep (as requested by my curtain), and the blue roof is a simple touch that works so well.
Those who are looking for a hotel which will help them stay active will find extra affinity to the space – though keep in mind the room to do said exercise will be limited in some rooms. There is a 24 fitness center near reception… though that’s also where the bar is, so you’d need a stronger constitution than my own.
This is tall, slim hotel that is managing to fit a lot into its stature, and they do a great job of it – without sacrificing the comfort of what is ultimately most important – a place to have a good sleep and a great shower. And the hotel provides both with flying colours. But in its attitude towards fitness, and wellness, it also encourages guests to do something that it’s often difficult to do when on the road – look after themselves. And for that, this hotel has more than a few attributes I’d love to see other hotels follow suit on.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Tea EVEN Hotel New York Midtown East is located at 219 East 44th Street in New York City, with nights starting from around US$200. For more details and for bookings, head to their official website.
The author stayed as a guest of the hotel for one night in 2019, when this article was originally published, and then updated in 2022 following a stay at the author’s expense.
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