If you want to be beside countless fantastic Manhattan neighborhoods, then you need to stay at one of the best hotels in Chelsea. Like most other New York neighborhoods, Chelsea was once industrial and more than a little rough around the edges. Then came the galleries and the gay scene, followed by the elevated High Line Park. Now the buzzy area is packed with nightlife, tourists, shopping and art galore. And don’t forget to sample some (or several) of the best Chelsea restaurants while you're exploring. Plus it’s within walking distance to the clubby Meatpacking District, the charming West Village, the bustle of Midtown—and right at the pinnacle of all the Chelsea girls.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best hotels in NYC
Best hotels in Chelsea
Perched above the High Line on concrete pillars, the Standard High Line’s super-modern rooms feature wall-to-wall windows, which ensure tons of light and stunning views of the city and the Hudson River. (The windows also allow outsiders a look in—perfect for exhibitionists!) The high-design Standard is one of the trendiest NYC hotels, with plenty of nightlife both nearby and inside—dine at the hotel’s Standard Grill and imbibe at the outdoor Biergarten. Play naughty at the clubby rooftop Le Bain, or drink in the exclusive views at Top of the Standard.
From the nautical-themed Maritime’s porthole windows, guests can gaze out onto the High Line, the Rubin Museum of Art and Chelsea Market…or out into the Hudson, in true boating style. The glamorous hotel was once home to the National Maritime Union. Now there are waterfall showers in green-tiled bathrooms, plus Mario Batali’s La Sirena and the flashy Tao Downtown in the building.
But a few blocks from Penn Station, the Eventi, a Kimpton Hotel, lends a bit of elegance to a bleak stretch of discount shops and wholesale vendors. It’s incredibly easy to get around the city from here, but you’ll want to make time for lounging in lush Frette linens in the hotel’s spacious rooms, gazing out the floor-to-ceiling windows, or sipping a cocktail at one of the chic lobby restaurants. The hotel also pays homage to the thriving Chelsea Arts District by constantly featuring collections of contemporary art.
This arty luxury hotel’s rooms are stocked with a great minibar selection, blackout shades, personal iPads and hanging fireplaces. In the warmer months, head to the 14th floor to take a dip in the pool and hang out on one of two outdoor decks. In winter, the pool becomes a hot tub. Feast on French food at The Americano restaurant (don’t be fooled by the name). It’s easy to get to the Javits Center or “Sleep No More” at the nearby McKittrick Hotel.
Are we in the future or are we in Chelsea? It’s hard to tell in the uber modern Dream Downtown, located directly behind the Maritime Hotel on the border of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea. The pool’s glass floor looks down into the lobby. There’s a 24-hour gym, a hair salon, a rotating art exhibition space, a fusion restaurant and a rooftop lounge where you can dance the night away, before collapsing into 350-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens.
If a big hotel isn’t your style, this cozy, 23-room urban oasis just might do the trick. The Chelsea Pines Inn staff is famous for its sincere hospitality—and the always-full bowl of chocolates. Located on busy 14th Street, the inn is situated perfectly for walking the High Line, checking out the Whitney and hopping on a subway to explore elsewhere. Fuel up on a lovely breakfast, which includes the proprietor’s homemade bread and fresh fruit.
It’s rare to find yourself behind the velvet ropes of the Soho House with their iron-clad members only policy. However, the exclusive Soho House club keeps 30 hotel rooms open to the public, and guests can shell out a hefty sum for rooms outfitted with velvet chairs, exposed beam ceilings and freestanding bathtubs. Hotel guests get access to the club space on the sixth floor, which has a restaurant, bar, modern art collection, and an all-day scene. Or take a dip in the rooftop pool and a lounge on the terrace.
The brick-and-glass Cambria Hotel is a sanctuary in the busy Flower District, starting with the lobby, full of wood and leather…and free hot chocolate. Cozy up at the lobby bistro, or head to the rooftop lounge for happy hour craft beer and views of the Freedom Tower. Bonus: prices are totally reasonable.
The 14 bedrooms in this historic 19th century townhouse are spacious, quirky and homey, with exposed brick walls. The Inn’s central, convenient location on 23rd Street means it’s but a hop to shop and feast at Eataly, or check out the Flatiron building and walk down to Union Square. Breakfast is served each morning in the library, where there’s a piano to play and plenty of reading material.
The NoMad Hotel takes its name from the surrounding neighborhood north of Madison Square Park, which is getting cooler by the minute. Vintage-inspired rooms are decked out in Persian rugs, old maps, clawfoot tubs and steamer trunks that double as minibars. The food and drinks from Chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park will blow your mind if you’re okay with shelling out some serious cash. They’re served in a maze of classy, gorgeous rooms and spaces, like a two-level library and a 24-foot-long mahogany bar.
Welcome to the Ace Hotel, an international hipster Mecca. The lobby is the place to work on your laptop during the day or dance to whichever DJ is spinning at night. Don’t miss the lamb burgers at The Breslin, the lobster roll at The John Dory or the cold brew at Stumptown. The rooms feature work by more than 70 local artists, and some come with turntables and Gibson Epiphone guitars.
Head straight for the top of Hotel Hayden and you'll feel as if you’ve magically travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to Greece. The rooftop bar and restaurant, Mykonos Blue, is all white stone floors and furniture, and is awash with Greek-style cocktails with ouzo and mastika. The 100+ rooms are artfully dicorated and kitted out with coffee machines and TVs. There's also a 24/7 fitness studio.
In a picturesque 1859 brownstone on a beautiful block in a great neighborhood you’ll find A Garden in Chelsea. The one-suite guesthouse backs onto a leafy private garden. Innkeepers Karen and Paul live upstairs and are happy to share their extensive knowledge of the neighborhood. (They’re also happy to leave you be.) The décor is simple, homey and comfortable, and it’s a quick walk to explore the Flatiron, Chelsea Market or Madison Square Garden.