No Boarding Pass Needed: 3DEN's 'Urban Lounge' at Hudson Yards NYC
There are two types of people. There are those who get to the airport with just enough time to check in, pass through security and make their way to the gate, and those who arrive hours early for the sole purpose of relaxing and pampering themselves in the lounge. There are even some with no intention of stepping foot on a plane. With gratis food, free-flowing cocktails and speedy Wi-Fi, who can blame them?
When I heard that there was a startup bringing the airport lounge concept to New York’s newest neighborhood, Hudson Yards, I was excited to see how it would stack up. The lounge, named 3DEN (pronounced Eden), is based on the idea of the "third place." It bills itself as a place to recharge, work and unwind, targeting those who need a space between meetings or to freshen up after a flight. The company plans to eventually open up 40 locations in New York City, with four of them slated to open this year. Here's what I found.
3DEN is tucked away in a corner on the fourth floor of The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards. Its entrance is nowhere near as flashy as the Neiman Marcus and Dylan's Candy Bar directly across, but you can spot it by its giant living plant wall.
3DEN is open daily from 7am to 10pm. No club membership, credit card or level of elite status will get you in. Access is pay-as-you-go only — $6 for every 30 minutes you stay. There are no day passes or memberships available. First-time visitors can get their first 30 minutes free by using the code BENJIS2T74 when registering.
To enter, you need to download 3DEN's app, set up your account and hit "Generate Pass." You'll be asked if you're bringing any guests and then given a QR code that an agent will scan when you check in to the lounge. The clock ticks from the moment your code is initially scanned to the moment it is scanned when you check out. The credit card linked to your account will then automatically be charged at the end of your visit. Since 3DEN visits do not code as travel spending, you'll want to use a card that gives you a high return for everyday spending.
Stepping into the lounge felt as if I had entered another world. It was an oasis of quiet bliss that felt miles away from the craziness of the crowded mall. Not having any TVs in the lounge definitely helped set the tone (take note airport lounges).
The space is tastefully decorated, filled with plants and natural light. Large windows overlook the Hudson River and The Vessel, the 150-foot public sculpture wrapped in copper-colored steel, that visitors can climb using interconnected stairs and landings.
The lounge is essentially a hybrid between a co-working space and a coffee shop. There are many types of seating, with options for those looking to do work, lounge and everything in between.
My favorite seating option was definitely the hanging swings that were scattered throughout the lounge.
Surprisingly, many seats don't have their own power outlets so anyone who needed to juice up their electronics had to sit by a table.
On both ends of the lounge are several soundproof phone booths. Each one was equipped with a desk, chair and dedicated power outlets.
Separated from the main room is a relaxation area, complete with Casper nap pods, yoga nook and more plants.
The Casper nap pods are definitely the most exciting amenity in the lounge. They can be booked for 45 minutes at a time and cost $10 to use (in addition to the fee to enter the lounge). As a point of comparison, the same pods at Casper's Soho "Dreamery" cost $25 per 45 minutes.
The relaxation area has yoga mats, and floor pillows are provided for meditation. Every Tuesday at 7:30am, 3DEN hosts complimentary yoga classes in partnership with Y7 Studio.
The lounge also has private shower suites that can be used for no additional fee. They are equipped with both wall-mounted and hand-held shower heads, as well as towels, slippers and toiletries by Seed Phytonutrients. There was no hair dryer in the men's shower suite I visited.
The main bathroom area had some more amenities, such as toothpaste, bobby pins and LOLI beauty products. Noticeably missing were toothbrushes and shaving kits.
You can reserve the shower suites and nap pods before you arrive through 3DEN's app, and I highly recommend doing so if you plan on using them during peak hours. Unlocking the door to my shower suite was as simple as the scan of a QR code.
Scattered around the lounge was a very random mix of products available for sale, ranging from Inkbox temporary tattoos to pet leash and collar sets. Phone chargers were available to borrow free of charge.
As expected, the Wi-Fi worked great. A speed test showed 6 ms ping, 39.7 Mbps download and 11.7 Mbps upload.
Food and Beverage
The one area I thought 3DEN fell short was in the food and beverage department. Complimentary refreshments were limited to coffee and tea airpots and a dispenser for flavored still and sparkling water. For an otherwise high-tech lounge, I was surprised there wasn't an automatic coffee machine. Cold-pressed juices, CBD-infused water, fruit cups, protein bars, salads and sandwiches were available for purchase. When I was there, guests needed to see a host if they wanted to purchase something, but 3DEN plans to streamline the process by making checkout available via its app. Although prices for the for-purchase items were fairly standard, a complimentary light snack such as trail mix or whole fruit would have been a nice touch.
If you're in the Hudson Yards area and need a quiet place to kill some time or freshen up, 3DEN will do the trick. The physical space is gorgeous and had all the necessary amenities, albeit scarce power outlets in some areas of the lounge. My only real complaint is with the lounge's soft product. I tried to get in touch with 3DEN prior to my visit to ask a question, but struggled to find any contact information. I was able to locate an email address via the app, but it seems like that address is only to report issues with the app as my inquiry went unanswered. Other simple enhancements like toothbrushes to accompany the toothpaste in the bathrooms, hair dryers in the shower rooms and an actual coffee machine could also go a long way. Although I don't know how much demand there really is for a facility like this, overall, 3DEN seems to have a lot of potential and I look forward to seeing how the company develops in the future.
All photos by the author.