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Historical Traveler Reviews Chelsea Hotel New York City
Something unique to appreciate and treasure
This is NOT a place stay while on a trip to NYC with your mother. Or your young children. Not even your wife (unless she's really, really, cool). This is a place to stay with your crazy girlfriend. The Hotel Chelsea is less than perfectly clean, smells kind of funky, and your window will probably have a crack in it. But oh what a place to come back to after a night of drinking out on the town. The mix of historic charm and bohemian ambience simply cannot be found anywhere else. I'll never forget the four nights I stayed here. When you get on the elevator, look over the door and you'll see that someone scratched "Sid Lives." Then laugh your sad drunken --- off like I did. It's that kind of place.
Old - But Interesting and Convenient
If you're from the burbs and are used to nice, updated Marriott hotels, this is not the place for you. If you're used to places in the city, where even when a room is clean, it can still look a little dirty, you won't mind this hotel at all. I stayed there Labor Day weekend and enjoyed myself, thoroughly. My room had a balcony overlooking 23rd street, which was very fun. The hotel was within walking distance to all the night spots my friends and I went to in Chelsea. Some of the people at the hotel, actually live there full time, which somewhat explains why other reviewers noted people wandering the hallways. Christina Ricci was staying there the same weekend I was, so the place can't be as bad as some make it out to be!
Everything I'd hoped and more!!
I, too, must chime in on some of these bad reviews. I had wanted to stay at the Hotel Chelsea for as long as I can remember, and finally got the opportunity to last night. It was amazing to just walk through the hallways. The place IS a little creepy, but mainly because it feels like you have stepped back in time. Our room was totally cool and while it did have a certain odor, it was not a bad one, simply the smell of a very old building full of history and culture. When we were in the room it was impossible not to dwell on who had been there before us and what their story had been. If you go take the time to walk around the place to admire the architecture, not to mention all of the cool art throughout. I felt like I was on a movie set while I was there. The people working at the desk were extremely down to earth and friendly (much more so then I've gotten at so called "luxury hotels" in the city), as well as efficient. As for stories of drunks in the hallways, I never saw that, though I did see a few patrons stumbling in late, but what hotel in NY doesn't have that?? I highly recommend this place to anyone interested in history, uniqueness and style. I LOVE this hotel and if an apartment were to become available there I would move in and stay there permanently!!!
A one-of-a-kind experience
I was shocked to discover the terrible reviews and felt compelled to write, recommending the Hotel Chelsea. However, I suppose tourists need to know that the Chelsea isn't, and shouldn't be compared to, say, the Waldorf-Astoria. This is the real s**t, the place to be if you want atmosphere and a real NYC experience. That's what my friends and I were hoping for when we walked into the Chelsea, that's what we got, and we LOVED it. The huge amount of artistic endeavours that have been inspired by and created here is staggering: songs, novels, poems, paintings, photographs, films, not to mention births and deaths. We stayed in the room where Clarke wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey", and Kubrick visited him there during the filming of the movie version. The memory of past guests embrace you: Sid&Nancy, the Warhol circle, Janice Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Milos Forman, Donald Sutherland, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Burroughs, Nabokov, the list goes on and on. There is history in every square inch, art on every wall, a story around every corner. Staying at the Chelsea isn't like any other hotel in the world; it is a destination in itself.
We needed a drink after being checked in...
History, art, culture, legend... these are the selling points.
My best friend and I checked in -- room one was so bad we were both afraid of showering. We had to light massive incense just to get past the smell... like someone had lived there for a decade and chain smoked the entire time.
We decided to go to dinner, have a couple of drinks and decide what to do ... our decision, talk to management... which went surprisingly well! He was shocked we didn't say something earlier! (acting? perhaps, but lies are better than bad attitude when dealing with a frustrated guests!)
We were immediately moved to a cleaner room, but still, for the money -- was not worth it! I was sooooooooooooooooooo disappointed. I had been looking forward to staying there since I was knee high to a grasshopper. I wanted bohemia, I got outdated grunge. The *vibe* everyone writes aboute was missing during our entire stay. Maybe planets were in retrograde universally... alas, we stuck it out... next time, we're staying in something less creative, more economical and perhaps, we'll just swing by to hang out in the lobby... which, by the way, is the only cool room in the joint!
Advice? Go without expectations! Stay high the entire time and spend little to no time indoors!
Asylum ambience with an air of death
Sketchy, freaky, scary, obscene, filthy, stinky..... any of these words would perfectly describe hotel Chelsea. It is disgustingly overrated and overpriced. Check out their website and you will see more than you ever need to of this dump. Drunks roam the halls, the elevators rank with a fishy odor and the staff are either high on drugs or simply don't care about customer service. When my school group of 45 arrived in early March, they had NO IDEA which rooms were ours, and simply didn't care. We had to search floor to floor for available rooms, and then left behind with NO room keys. Notices of a wake for a former long term resident were plastered everywhere. And from the stench you wonder if the body was still in the building. One of us could not sleep one night because a drunk was camped outside his room!! Instead of 3 to a room, as we'd reserved, we were crammed 4-5 in each room. My room had to ASK for toilet paper. Stay away!!
A special experience for the in the know
A legend ... plain and simple. You will feel the ghost of decades of alternative cultural figures who have stayed here .... the energy late at night still has a spooky special vibe. You do not stay here for the room ... big, run down, scary yellow walls in the room I stayed in. But the lobby, the artwork in the stairwell, and again the energy. Great Chelsea morning views.
Dirty, and a little scarey, I was
With tax it cost $175. Much too expensive for what you get. The room was basically an old studio apt, with a motel bed. My girlfriend and I almost turned around and walked out. I have driven across the country several times, staying in motel 6, and "roughed" it so to speak on many occasions, even curling up in an area rug one drunken night at UVM, but this place wasn't even as nice as my dads tool shed. Dirty walls, crap decor, luckily we didn't catch anything. I certainly do not recommend.
You feel like you could be robbed in the hall or in the middle of the night. Seriously.
I almost feel bad writing a negative review about the Chelsea, especially since I was so looking forward to staying there. I was taken in by stories about Bob Dylan, Burroughs, etc. But you could do a lot better for the money. Here's my major beef: they charged my charge card (which is actually my checking account card) 3x the amount they were supposed to!! I wound up getting fined by my bank for the overdraft. I had no money in my bank account and was stuck in NYC w/no accountability on the Chelsea's part for stealing my money for a day. What was their response? I was told, in barely uderstandable broken English no less, "Oh, well we still have the hold on the room from when you came in and then we charged the account when you left. We'll take the hold off when we close our accounts at the end of the day." I think it's illegal, but they're so half-****** there. The rooms are filled with ashtrays, giant moths await you in the bare-bulb closet filled w/ bent mis-matched coat hangers, no hairdryers, and no irons (you can as to use the one they have at the desk which is meant to service the entire building). At the front desk a fan sits atop a microwave... just in case the desk staff need to cool off while heating a burrito. Realize that many of the bohemian legends or stars stayed at the hotel out of necessity. It's not a bargain anymore, and it's still pretty gross and unprofessional, despite magazine articles about how they've cleaned up the place. I can take a lot of grossness and I'm actually not picky, but don't mess w/my bank account.
Chelsea hotel is great
I went to hotel Chelsea for a week in 2000. It was a great experience as I always wanted to go there. It's a quiet, stylish, arty hotel and it's got some special, relaxed and feel-at-home atmosphere. The room was very clean and big. And old but this makes it really historical. The neighbourhood is great too. If you want to feel free and have a feeling like living in Manhattan for a week, rather than staying at a hotel, you got to go to the chelsea. :-)
TripAdvisor Reviews Chelsea Hotel New York City
Travel Blogs from New York City
... it will be worth the trouble, but we do stay and amuse ourselves in the line by looking at the naughty books and toys. When we eventually do get inside, it is really nothing like what I expected. It's all a bit silly really. They have one floor totally dedicated to Linda Lovelace, one floor for silly games with sexual innuendo (for example, a small jumping castle with blow-up titties, a dark mirror maze with a 'g-spot' at the end, etc). At the end of this section (at least all ...
... built when we were last here.
The Americans certainly don't do anything in small measures - in a massive building which still shows the footings of the towers they have preserved everything possible, what everyone said, did, ...
... house for a party to meet baby number three and everyone was forced to remove their shoes so no germs were traipsed across the carpets. When she decided to leave she discovered they had vanished. The friend offered to reimburse her for the shoes until she found out how much they cost. She told Carrie she couldn't afford that because she has 'real responsibilities' now. After some thinking Carrie tallies up how much she had spent celebrating ...
... taking the stroller on our adventures. Whenever I go overseas I am reminded of two things; 1. That everything in Australia (well NSW at least) is regularly maintained and updated so that everything feels new. Everywhere else in the world I have visited has really old and dirty airports and trains stations - with the exception of Hong Kong. 2. That there are very few accommodations for disabled or stroller wheedling people. We had discussed that taking a stroller would be near ...
... onto times square. We caught the subway down to the flatiron area, talked about that building and then caught the subway up to the Rockefeller building. Here we walked about the Rockefeller center including its history. Then the tour ended. From the Rockefeller center i walked back to times square, went into the hard rock cafe to use the toilets, then went back to 42nd street and along to the hotel. At the hotel, in my room i did some reading and went to bed.