In the lobby, I walked up to a desk behind a half-window wall next to a few trash canisters, with no seating.
The lobby at the Bowery Grand Hotel was one room with a front desk hidden largely behind a half-glass wall, which I thought looked like many of the barrier guards I’ve seen in delis and cafes around New York.
I looked around and was surprised that the lobby didn’t have any seating, decor, or furniture, either, other than several trash bins. I’m used to seeing a lobby with a waiting area when I visit a hotel, even at budget hostels where I’ve stayed in the past.
I gave the clerk behind the counter my name, and he looked up my reservation.
The clerk told me there was $20 deposit required for my room key, and that the deposit would be returned to me when I checked out the next morning by 11 a.m.. I paid cash for the $20, and the hotel clerk printed my receipt and handed me the room key, which was a physical key on a small keychain.
He also unrolled and handed me about four feet of toilet paper to use for the shared bathrooms, and pointed out on the receipt I could find the free Wi-Fi network name and password.