Let's induct the Arlo into the fish-eye photo lens Hall of Shame. Look at their website, and you'd swear it is possible to actually walk around the beds in ther guestrooms here, or sit at the itty bitty desk while someone else opens the closet door. You can do neither, shocking in a building that was custom-built to be a hotel. Instead, these fishbowl-style rooms (both in size and in the fact that they have glass walls on three sides which, admittedly, gives them fab views) are outrageously cramped, even by NYC standards. A shame, since there's much else to like about this hotel, from its sleek, of-the-moment decor; to its location not far from the Empire State Building; to its Italianish restaurant (the chef is Filippino, so there's a lot of tasty fusion fare); to the handsome, and very useable second-floor meeting rooms which double as a lobby. Heck, we even think the fun extras they're doing—like "Haiku Happy Hour" on Tuesdays in the bar, when poets make up ditties about you on the spot) are more fun than hokey. If only someone had gotten through to the architect, who clearly doesn't know the average size of an adult human being.
- Pauline Frommer