The Hotel Chelsea

222 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011, USA

+1 212-483-1010

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At a Glance

One of New York’s most storied properties rises again after 11 years of renovations to feel like the coolest hotel in the city right now, also thanks to super buzzy dining and bar options

Indagare Loves

  • The delicious French-American fare at Café Chelsea–a popular draw for locals, visitors and guests alike.
  • The sexy Lobby Bar, where the excellent people-watching is matched by a globally-inspired cocktail menu and bar bites.
  • The feeling that you are staying at the hippest hotel in New York right now, living up to its storied and historic reputation.


Few hotels in New York, if any, have the same storied history as the Hotel Chelsea. Even walking into the completely redone lobby (reopened in 2022 after 11 years of renovations) feels weighty and nostalgic, like the partying ghosts of Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan or the intellectual ramblings of Mark Twain are still in the building. The list of notable guests is long–Madonna shot parts of her Sex book here. At one point in the 1880s, the Chelsea (at 12 stories) was the tallest building in the city. Wrought-iron balconies and other protected elements from this era remain. And yet, thanks to the renovation by the team behind other NYC hotel hot spots (that have since faded) like The Jane, The Bowery, and the Maritime–everything is designed to make it feel of-the-moment, and it delivers–the Chelsea is probably the coolest hotel in New York right now, also thanks to its excellent, super buzzy restaurant and bar.

When you walk into the completely renovated and restored lobby, guests are having coffee in various corners on colorful velvet-draped pieces; there is an historic fireplace and original architectural elements. Your eyes are drawn to the room keys hanging behind the marble-topped front desk, a Wes Anderson-like hotel feature. Staff interactions on a recent visit were funny and engaging and as helpful as could be.

Many of the 155 rooms are small; even a level up from the entry-level category room is tight. But the renovation has brought top-quality finishings across all room categories (including 30 suites)–brass, marble and mirrored elements, plus soft bedding. If light is important, request a room on a higher floor and ask which way it faces.

The three excellent dining options are the century-old Spanish El Quijote just off the renovated lobby; the Lobby Bar, with chandeliers and sexy corners where you can stay all night and have a club sandwich and globally-inspired cocktails; and the French-American Café Chelsea (think steak frites but also lemon spaghetti and burgers), which is one of the buzziest restaurants in New York right now and you can't help but have fun with a backdrop of warm lighting, tiled floors and banquettes. Guests have priority booking to the restaurants, but it's not guaranteed, so book ahead. They do leave space for walk-ins each day. During a recent stay, it wasn't hard to snag a seat at the Lobby Bar at 4:30 p.m., but it became impossible by 6 p.m. as it filled up.

The most recent addition to the property is the penthouse-level Spa with six treatment rooms (on offer are facials by Dr. Barbara Sturm), a Swedish sauna, steam showers and ice baths.

Even with its hot spot status, and delicious dining and gathering spots, the hotel is located on a less-than-charming, busy stretch of 23rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, a main thoroughfare. There is a cash-for-electronics shop; a barber shop; a bakery called Big Booty Bread. Still, you're right between two prime subway lines (the red 1, 2, 3 and blue A, C, E) and within walking distance to some of New York’s most appealing neighborhoods like Chelsea and the High Line, the West Village, Union Square and the greenmarket and the great shopping on Fifth Avenue between 14th Street and 23rd Street. 23rd Street is a slightly gritty, industrial stretch with an element of city soul that New York residents find themselves on regularly, darting between neighborhoods. And now, the Hotel Chelsea provides a new soft landing for meeting a friend for a drink in the area.

A few rent-controlled apartments remain for the long-term residents of the property–one friend called it "vicious fighting" between these residents and the developers of the hotel as the construction unfolded, with residents filing a lawsuit complaining of hazardous living conditions. A tale as old as time in New York City, and the real estate developers tend to win. Here, it does feel like a win to preserve the historic soul while elevating it for a new generation.

Who Should Stay

Couples, friends and solo travelers who like being in-the-know and staying at the buzziest hotels. Guests should be aware of the slightly industrial but completely central location on busy 23rd Street. Families and those who like a more serene vibe should look elsewhere, though the rooms are soundproofed and feel removed from the lobby bar and restaurants.

Written by Annie Fitzsimmons

What's Nearby
Indagare employees walking up stiars

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