New York City’s art-centric Chelsea offers plenty to see and do, including the neighborhood’s top hotels. Boasting themes from fashion to maritime history and features like destination rooftop bars and a glass-bottom pool, the best hotels in Chelsea are attractions in themselves.
Encompassing the Flower District and Fashion District, and sitting on the border of the ultra-hip Meatpacking District, gallery-filled Chelsea is one of Manhattan’s cultural hubs. Its western edge has sweeping views of the Hudson River and beyond, and the neighborhood is brimming with equally impressive hotels. Here are Culture Trip’s picks of the best.
With its stylish porthole windows and dark wood decor – not to mention its trendy on-site restaurant, TAO Downtown – The Maritime Hotel epitomizes this fashionable neighborhood. Housed in the former home of the National Maritime Union, the hotel plays up its nautical history with beautiful Hudson River views and appropriately themed furnishings.
Dream Downtown is true to its name. As striking inside as it is out, its ship theme makes it feel distinctly otherworldly. Surreal porthole-style windows are found throughout, from the rooms (providing cylindrical views of the Manhattan skyline) to the floor of the pool, which creatively doubles as the ceiling of the lobby bar. You can also sip a cocktail at Dream Beach, a seasonal poolside bar complete with soft white sand; dine on fancy dim sum at Philippe Downtown; grab a coffee from Natura Café, which has cold brew on tap; or head down to a subterranean Brit-themed bar for a beer.
If the architecture of The Standard – a glass-and-concrete marvel perched on stilts – doesn’t dazzle you, then its views from the rooms certainly will. Every one has floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Hudson River or the city, combined with equally impressive time-bending decor. Rooms are subtly designed, with wooden walls that curve to meet the ceiling, mid-century furnishings and a monochromatic color palette punctuated by earthy burnt-orange tones – at once vintage and futuristic. This hotel knows how to throw a party, and there’s in-house entertainment by the bucketload. You’ll find it at The Standard Biergarten, complete with beer steins and bratwurst, and rooftop venue Le Bain, where there is a plunge pool on the dance floor, which stays busy until the wee hours.
The High Line Hotel feels like one of New York’s best-kept secrets, sitting incongruously in an area filled with sleek skyscrapers. Housed in a Gothic-style red-brick seminary from the late 1800s, the hotel serves up lashings of old-world charm. Odes to its former owner – Clement Clarke Moore, author of Twas the Night Before Christmas (1823) – are scattered throughout, such as in-room novels and typewriters. The whole thing feels like a hotel-and-antiques emporium, although there are carefully selected modern touches among the vintage furniture, such as black lacquered doors. Visit the hotel’s British-pub-style lobby bar for pre-dinner drinks, or nurse a few cocktails in the verdant courtyard that feels very Parisian.
Sitting at the junction between the Fashion District, Flower District and the mod-ish Meatpacking District, Hotel Hayden feels quintessentially NYC. Rooms have a city-slicker vibe, all muted tones, geometric lines and leather furnishings. The best of the city’s dining is on your doorstep, but you shouldn’t overlook the in-house gastronomical options. The rooftop bar and restaurant Mykonos Bleu feels like a holiday within a holiday; the Greek taverna-style restaurant has whitewashed walls, stone floors and a cracking menu of Greek meze and cocktails.
From the moment you step foot into Kimpton Hotel Eventi’s living-room-style lobby (occupying an entire city block), you are immersed in a futuristic world curated by the hotel. Here, you can enjoy complimentary use of iPads and MacBooks, while shared spaces entail a 15,000-square-foot (1,394-square-meter) plaza with a 30-foot (nine-meter) multimedia art screen. From its state-of-the-art fitness center to its spacious screening room, cutting-edge technology is a permanent guest at this Chelsea hotel.
Cambria Hotel New York feels modern and sleek, with decor that’s all about mahogany furnishings and leather touches. Equipped with a business center, gym and bistro, the hotel scores points for convenience, and at a lower-than-average price for Manhattan. The real reason to stay, however, is the rooftop lounge and bar, which has killer views over the skyline – all the way to One World Trade Center – and serves New York-brewed craft beer. It’s the perfect place to lounge with a sunset drink before exploring the city that never sleeps.
Part industrial building, part flower shop, Moxy fuses elements of the nearby Flower District with the area’s architecture. The result is a glass-cased hotel with a greenhouse vibe – filled with fresh greenery and flowers. Room interiors are fashionably pared back, with blonde wood, floor-to-ceiling windows and vintage factory-style furnishings. Comparatively, the public spaces – such as the conservatory and The Fleur Room (the perfect place for an after-dark cocktail) – feel modernist and mid-century with geometric light fittings, brushed metal touches and contrasting textiles.
Situated just down the road from the Empire State Building, The Paul NYC has some of the best views of the major landmark. Its rooms are wallet-friendly for being in the heart of Manhattan, making it an ideal spot for those looking to save on price without scrimping on location. The Paul Rooftop Bar is an informal open-air space offering sweeping city vistas – the perfect place to kick off your visit to the Big Apple and get your bearings. While the in-house restaurant serves up a delicious, health-conscious menu, you’ll also be within walking distance of ultra-high-end dining institutions such as Eleven Madison Park, and popular casual brunch spot Sarabeth’s.
As the first USA outpost of this rapidly growing, millennial-focused brand, Selina Chelsea seamlessly blends into the Chelsea Arts District and shows a selection of artwork (which is for sale) by Latin American artists. Rooms are minimalist in style to keep attention on the art, with brushed concrete floors, pod-like wooden beds and lofty ceilings. The hotel hosts a range of events and tours, such as life-drawing classes and music nights, helping you delve further into the creative scene of this artsy area. After a long day of moseying through the nearby galleries, you will have more than earned a cocktail or two on the hotel’s rooftop bar, with its dizzying views of the surrounding skyscrapers.