The new high-tech Yotel in New York’s Times Square employs a “Yobot” (bag-checking robot) to do it’s heavy-lifting. Essentially a 20-foot robotic arm parked in the lobby stores luggage in lockers for guests pre- and post-check-in/out (no Johnny 5-like bot qualities, unfortunately). And the techie fun doesn’t end there. Instead of a front desk manned by clerks, guests check in via airport-style kiosks that pop out key cards and receipts. Most rooms are dubbed “cabins” for their petite proportions (170 square feet) but their smart ergonomic design, thanks to aircraft designers, makes great use of the mini space, with convertible beds, glass-enclosed bathrooms (with towel-warming racks), built-ins, and big windows. Swish suites come with hot tubs, mechanical beds that transform into sofas, and a “technowall” with TV/music pug-ins. Eatery and lounge Dohyo has hydraulic tables that sink into floor after dinner to make room for cabaret performances and dancing patrons. Best of all, Yotel, one of the largest new city hotels with 669 rooms, has going rates for just $180/night, including free Wi-Fi, domestic calls, yoga, and breakfast muffins and coffee. Note to NYC locals looking for an outdoor drinking spot: Yotel has the largest hotel terrace in the city. www.yotel.com
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