Henn Na New York Hotel review! Japanese robot dinosaur, high-tech rooms & Gosuke restaurant, midtown Manhattan.

Henn Na New York Hotel robot dinosaur lobby sculpture

My bizarre travels around the world continue… Yes, that’s me with a T-Rex roboto at Henn na Hotel New York!

Have you heard of the quirky Japanese boutique hotel chain, Henn na? The new NYC location is full of high-tech surprises, and ideally located in Midtown right by Times Square. (Click here for my special discount rate for booking a room.)

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Henn na NYC has futuristic surprises throughout. In addition to a robot dinosaur in the lobby, the rooms have LG stylers (garment steamer closets) and Toto toilets. And the suites have balconies or window views that make you fall in love with New York City. (Longtime readers will know I used to live here, so it felt like a homecoming.)

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The hotel is also home to Gosuke Restaurant, run by a former Japanese woman pro wrestler! Read on for her story, and photos of the tasty sushi and tempura…

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For footage of the tyrannosaurus rex in action, come see my IG video here (the robot dino moves around and roars!)

From the moment we walked into Henn na New York and were greeted by the lovely staff, we knew we were in for an unforgettable stay. (Address: 235 West 35th Street, New York, NY)

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Henn na is a Japanese hotel group known for its remarkable robotos that greet guest when they check in. The various Japan locations have uncanny robot women, samurai, and lizard-dinosaurs manning the front desks (and there’s a Seoul outpost too).

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NYC’s Henn na has a ginormous T-Rex swishing his head and tail, baring his sharp teeth and roaring! Watch my NYC Instagram stories highlight to see and hear the dinosaur.

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Henn na Hotel New York is ideal for anyone who loves funky, artsy boutique hotels (which you know are my preference).

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And the midtown Manhattan location is perfection: just a few blocks away from Times Square, with easy access to Penn Station and Port Authority (where you can transit to the airports). Henn na Hotel is also close to my fav cheap / street eats including Los Tacos, Best and Liberty Bagels, Culture Espresso, Maman Cafe, and Joe’s Pizza.

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On the balcony attached to one of Henn na’s suites…. now that’s what I call a New York moment. (And I was having a good hair day!)

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Looks like I found a new Instagrammable photography spot in NYC. (All photos by Joey Wong.)

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I’m back to Y2K era… funny how styles come back around. Wearing a crochet knit bolero or shrug, and Windsor Store linen corset. (Windsor opened 5 stores in Ontario — their first locations in Canada — in May).

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My pants are Kuwalla Tee baggy cargo jeans — I’m transitioning to a mostly microplastics-free wardrobe, and loving it. My tan heels are Dream Pairs Shoes 

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The ground floor is home to Gosuke, which serves up authentic Japanese cuisine in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The laid-back space is fantastic for catching up with friends while you eat sushi, sashimi, and sake.

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Gosuke Restaurant is run by Itsuki Yamazaki, a former pro wrestler from Ieshima. She wrestled for All Japan Women’s Wrestling and was in the American WWF in USA, winning the Survivor Series match in 1987. As you can see from the album covers on the wall, Itsuki was an 80s idol as well!

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Itsuki opened Gosuke in order to bring the traditional dishes she enjoyed on her hometown island to the isle of Manhattan.

The lovingly prepared dishes include a chef’s choice (omakase) sushi platter, and amberjack (kampachi) with a jalapeno, tomatillo and ponzu sauce handmade by the chef.

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Sit at the long wooden counter, and watch the chef — who has decades of experience in Japan and NYC — meticulously slice sashimi in front of you.

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Generous portions, and the freshest cuts… Gosuke is a rising star among New York’s Japanese restaurants.

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And the vibe makes you feel as if you’re in Japan.

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Try the tempura — the crisp exterior contrasts wonderfully with the fresh vegetables, shrimp, and egg with a soft yolk inside.

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You can get takeout at Gosuke as well, and enjoy happy hour discounts.

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Thanks to Itsuki for the warm welcome — Gosuke is a smash!

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Although my favorite thing to do in NYC is walk around all day, I was just as delighted to come back to my enormous room at Henn Na Hotel. (Here’s a special rate for booking a stay: the hotel has many types of rooms including singles, doubles, and suites.)

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The elegant, minimalist Japanese decor puts you in a Zen state of mind.

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Rooms are well-equipped for work (with large desks, WiFi, etc), and come with embroidered robes and slippers.

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And how about these picture windows overlooking Midtown Manhattan!

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The suites also have LG Styler closets, which are a rarity outside of Asia. These devices — which open up like a fridge — use state-of-the-art steam technology to sanitize garments, much like dry cleaners.

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The bathrooms have everything you need to pamper yourself, including mirrors with beauty lights, high tech Toto toilets, and large bathtubs (they’re a Japanese hotel, after all).

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Henn na Hotel New York is great value: the rooms are luxe and have a boutique aesthetic, but are affordable.

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I’d love to stay at their other properties in Seoul and all over Japan.

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“Henn na” means strange, but also conveys change in a positive way — which sums up my fabulous experience here! Would you stay at this extraordinary New York hotel?

Find a room here (with my discount code / rate!)

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For more of my Goth Y2K outfits and NYC travel tips, check out my Instagram @lacarmina.

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All photos by Joey Wong. We were also traveling around Europe, and have tons still to share with you.

PS: Some new travel writing… I did an Osaka, Japan travel guide for, which includes my recommendations for subculture / heavy metal bars, street food, and more.

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Have you been to the Big Apple? If so, what are your favorite places to visit here?


Kawaii BC: Vancouver Hello Kitty Cafe & Miffy clothing! Victoria Fairmont Empress Sunset Sips, Malahat Skywalk.

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Welcome to my Miffycore era! I’ve recently been enjoying the warm weather (nod to #TheCollapse) and a variety of cute activities in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. Read on to see my coverage of the opening of the Vancouver Hello Kitty Cafe, sunset cocktails at Fairmont Empress Victoria, the Furiosa press premiere, and a slide down Malahat Skywalk!

It’s fun to see younger generations getting into Miffy, as I’ve been stanning her for years. These days, I see more people sporting character goods featuring the Dutch bunny — like this adorable t-shirt from Miffy UK shop (which I cropped)!

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I can’t get enough of Dick Bruna’s round, minimalist, kawaii designs (although Miffy is from the Netherlands, not Japan — she predates Hello Kitty!)

I styled my Miffycore outfit with accessories sent by Miffytown in Williamstown, Kentucky. I hope to visit Miffytown one day: it’s an interactive experience where you can play, shop, and explore her whimsical world.

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I paired my black-and-white outfit with this glamorous Eugenia Kim Mirabel hat. Perfect for a luxe beach getaway, the Mirabel is a wide-brim sunhat with a dramatic retro-glam downturned brim and ivory satin ribbon with tail. Eugenia Kim is known for her hand-crafted, high-end millinery: this is made from lacquered straw and has UPF 50+ protection.

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The Eugenia Kim Mirabel sun hat comes in various colors (see below), but I love the black one because it channels the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in iconic photos!




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As temperatures rise, I’ll need to drink lots of water — and this metal water bottle from Miffy UK shop helps me stay hydrated in style. (Plus, it doesn’t contain any microplastics, my current nemesis.) Their “Hey” grey Miffy tshirt is also a delight, and the cotton fabric is light and cozy (and plastic-free).

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I’ll be carrying around these Miffy accessories in my large Miffytown tote bag — isn’t she a beauty? It is by DutchTapestries; they preserve the ancient art of weaving through modern jacquard designs, like this beautiful carryall bag. (Miffy photos by Joey Wong.)

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Speaking of cuteness… the Hello Kitty Cafe in Vancouver opened at last! BC’s new Hello Kitty Cafe invited me to a private preview before the official opening on May 17. Look who greeted me at the door — the Japanese mouthless cat herself.

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We Goth girls represented Kuromi (the Sanrio devil character) at the press preview. The Vancouver Hello Kitty Cafe has two floors of kawaiicore decor, special merch, and the cutest sweet treats.

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Even the bathroom is done up Kitty-style. If you’re a lifelong Sanrio fan like Mujitsu and me, get over here! (Adress 1274 Robson Street at Jervis in downtown Vancouver.)

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Please watch our Instagram video of the Hello Kitty private preview. You can see what the space is like, and what’s inside our gift bags.

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So many pink spaces for photo ops. The Vancouver Hello Kitty Cafe sells special edition Canadian merch as well, such as clear folders, magnets, and crop tops.

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You can nom on Hello Kitty themed sweets like taiyaki ice cream, cakes, and lattes. Would you visit the first Canadian Hello Kitty theme cafe, in Vancouver?

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Then, I hopped over to Victoria, BC with my friends Sancho and Drew for a long weekend. We went to the Fairmont Empress Hotel to try Sunset Sips: playful cocktails served in teapots at golden hour!

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The Fairmont Empress Victoria hotel is known for its elegant afternoon tea, and Sunset Sips feels like the Mad Hatter took over the Lobby Lounge for the night.

As you watch the sun dip into the harbor, nibble on tuna tiradito, blue Qualicum cheese, BC smoked salmon and other fine snacks on tiered plates.

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We adored the original cocktails made by the award-winning bar, like Tiffany’s Breakfast (Empress 1908 gin with chamomile and marmalade infusions). The staff even concocted an older recipe, The Concord, special for me (above — it contains mezcal, Giffard creme de violette, Luxardo maraschino, and lemon juice).

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What a treat to enjoy tea-inspired craft cocktails and desserts at this classic hotel overlooking the water.

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Would you try this intoxicating twist on afternoon tea? Sunset Sips at The Fairmont Empress in Victoria “ate!”

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My friends and I also drove 40 minutes north for an amazing outdoor adventure at Malahat Skywalk. Take an accessible TreeWalk through the forest to a 250m tall spiral tower… and then dare to slip down the long spiral slide!

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On the way, Sancho and I spotted driftwood critters like the contestants did on The Amazing Race Canada, which filmed here. (Watch my video on IG @lacarmina about our Malahat Skywalk adventure, including footage of me whizzing down the metal slide!)

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From the top of the open-air tower, you get stupendous views of Vancouver Island, the surrounding water, isles and mountains… reminding you why the West Coast is the best coast.

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Malahat Skywalk also has a SkyWalk Shuttle with direct transport from downtown Victoria, making it a perfect half-day excursion. I hope you get the opportunity to come and take in these sweeping nature views from up high.

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Finally, I was honored to be invited by Warner Brothers Canada to the press preview screening of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. As a #WBPartner, I got to see the film several days before the release date in downtown Vancouver’s Scotiabank Theatre — a real treat, as Mad Max: Fury Road is my all-time favorite flick!

Not surprisingly, I was literally the only one at the Furiosa advance screening who dressed up… “Into the gates of Valhalla, you shall ride eternal. Witness meeee!”

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The WB Canada team provided us with gifts. There’s a Wasteland cowl or snood inside the box.

Furiosa was an exhilarating successor to Fury Road. The 2.5 hours sped by as director George Miller took us on a deranged ride through the Wasteland – the war boys and their hot wheels are back, shiny and chrome! – and young Furiosa’s quest for revenge against a savage yet charismatic warlord. Chapter 3 particularly blew me away when the War Rig revs through the desert as motorcycles lay siege… Let’s just say there’s nothing “Mediocre” about the road warrior action!

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The new Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga lived up to my high expectations, and paints a fiery picture of our Collapse future (or present, IYKYK). Will you watch the blockbuster action film? Thank you Warner Brothers Canada for inviting me. #wbpartner

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What’s next for LC? I’ll be heading to a few new destinations in June — including my seventh world wonder. The photos are going to be next-level so buckle up, buckaroos. (Above is a throwback to Havana, Cuba.)

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Do you have any adventures planned for the summer? Will you be checking out any films, cute cafes, or local attractions like I did?

Keep up with my friends and me on our global adventures on @LaCarmina Instagram — there are new posts and stories almost daily!