The best hotels in Chelsea, New York City

A bastion of queer New York, within a hair’s breadth of the iconic Stonewall Inn, Manhattan Island’s West Side district of Chelsea is a prime accommodation spot for any visit to the Big Apple. Edged by the Empire State Building and Flatiron Building, and home to the High Line elevated park and upmarket Chelsea food market, the neighbourhood also boasts 200 art galleries and more than a few gay bars. Convinced? Here are Mr Hudson’s top picks when it comes to the best gay-friendly hotels in Chelsea.

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Located just a couple of blocks from the Empire State Building, the stylish interiors of the five-star Kimpton Hotel Eventi have an old-world charm (marble-clad bathrooms, elegant furniture choices, and plenty of leather upholstery). This charm pairs perfectly with the contemporary nature of the building, creating a light and airy atmosphere at any time of year. There’s a large rooftop terrace from which to enjoy the city’s balmy summer evenings, and in-room spa service for lazy (or rainy) days, as well as a 24-hour fitness centre. A couple of blocks further south, and situated within a fully-restored Beaux Arts-period building, is NoMad. Restored to its former glory by designer Jacques Garcia, the interiors harken back to the turn of the twentieth century without appearing faux or oppressive. Rooms are decorated with the sort of classic style that never goes out of fashion. What’s more, each of the rooms has been custom-finished, with bespoke furnishings and artwork that meld with space as a whole. However, if the location is everything to you, then consider New York EDITION, which is on Madison Avenue only a minute from Madison Square Park. With some of the coolest rooms New York has going, neutral tones and uncluttered spaces rule the day, while ethereal lighting throughout this five-star masterpiece has been well-chosen to enhance the ambience rather than diminish it. Each of the rooms features oversized windows for making the very best of the views, as well as photography by native New Yorker Melvin Sokolsky (whose work has regularly appeared in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar) and bath products by Le Labo.


Closer to Chelsea Piers, The Maritime Hotel has a subtle nautical theme, boasting varnished woods and round porthole-like windows

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The Langham also has a world-renowned location, slotted into Fifth Avenue between Bryant Park and the Empire State Building. Exquisitely styled with contemporary works of art from the moment you enter the Art Deco lobby, rooms maintain a residential vibe that incorporates large windows gazing out onto the Manhattan skyline. As well as the Michelin-starred Ai Fiori restaurant, guests can take advantage of a state-of-the-art fitness centre, personal trainers, and sauna. Closer to Chelsea Piers, The Maritime Hotel has a subtle nautical theme, boasting varnished woods and round porthole-like windows rather than twisted rope and pennant flag. This could easily convince guests they were aboard the Queen Elizabeth at the height of the golden age of travel if it weren’t for the backdrop of skyscrapers. But that’s not to say rooms are anywhere near bijoux – they’re not. Each has a separate seating area, while many also have direct access to an exterior furnished terrace. Blindingly close to the neon lights of Times Square and New York’s Theater District, Casablanca Hotel by Library Hotel Collection sets out its stall with its personal touches, which include snacks throughout the day, nightly cheese and wine meet-ups (that are much less pretentious than they sound on paper), and Friday night piano recitals. Perhaps a little cluttered for some tastes, the rooms blend eastern decadence with New York straight-talking, giving guests the best of both worlds.

Photo: Colton Duke

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A similar distance from Times Square is the stunningly modernist LUMA Hotel. Delivering with aplomb the sort of contemporary stay which looks simple to master yet is anything but, LUMA treats it’s guests to fresh pared-back rooms with lovely designer touches, a lively bar, and amenities that include Frette luxury fine linen bedding, ETRO bath products, and 50-inch flat-screen televisions as standard. The ambience of Townhouse Inn of Chelsea on West 23rd Street couldn’t be more different, with an Edwardian-era grandeur and rooms uniquely decorated with genuine antiques by the owner. A considerable contrast to some of New York’s high-rise hotel offerings, the nineteenth-century building of the Townhouse Inn rises just five storeys, for a bespoke, personal stay. What sets apart the Cambria Hotel as one of the best hotels in New York’s Chelsea, meanwhile, are the extra amenities you get here, such as a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee machine. However, special mention should go to the general design of phenomenally clean lines, as well as to the expansive rooftop terrace. Guest rooms at Hyatt House New York/Chelsea also boast microwaves and an exterior rooftop terrace, while suites come with kitchenettes equipped well enough to allow for entire meals to be prepared (and easily cleaned up afterwards – there’s a dishwasher too). As a chain, rooms may feel a little corporate to some, but no one could quibble about its location in the very heart of Manhattan.

The NoMad | Photo: Benoit Linero

The NoMad | Photo: Benoit Linero

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