Chelsea Pines Inn Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Chelsea, Manhattan, New York City

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Urban 23-room bed & breakfast oozing with personality
  • Perhaps the friendliest hotel staff in NYC
  • Excellent Chelsea base from which to experience the Big Apple like a local
  • Special surprises such as resident cat Charlie Chaplin -- a member of the family!
  • Movie and theater buffs will like the collection of original posters
  • Bountiful European-style breakfast spread (free!) featuring neighborhood specialties
  • Free refreshments, espresso, and baked goodies available throughout the day
  • A charming sunroom and peaceful outdoor garden
  • Rooms have flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and 300-thread-count sheets
  • Updated bathrooms with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries
  • Free Wi-Fi and a business center with printing
  • Day passes available for a nearby fitness center

Cons

  • A five-floor walk-up without an elevator
  • Those with mobility handicaps or severe cat allergies may want to look elsewhere
  • No coffee/tea facilities in the rooms (though available in the kitchen 24/7)

Bottom Line

This urban, 23-room bed & breakfast has an understated entrance located at the crossroads of three distinct and cool NYC neighborhoods -- Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village. It opened in the mid-80s, and it has become well-known for its genuine hospitality, thanks to owner Jay and his hand-picked staff. A film theme pervades, and guests will find original movie posters -- some perhaps strategically designed to distract guests from the five-floor walk-up (there's no elevator) -- classic movie-star-themed rooms, and a cat aptly named Charlie Chaplin. Free Wi-Fi, and an impressive breakfast spread with Jay’s homemade bread, and baked goodies in the afternoon add to value -- and to the homey, personal vibe.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A colorful mix of couples and business travelers from all over the world

From the outside, a simple and understated forest green awning and red brick facade hardly stand out, and the somewhat obscure front door is down a few steps and requires a buzzer to open. Once inside, though, guests should prepare to get charmed by whomever is assigned to work the front desk that shift. Even jet-lagged or fatigued individuals will often find themselves talking up a storm and helping themselves to a piece of chocolate from the bowl -– the staff are self-proclaimed chocoholics -- while luggage is taken up to the rooms before guests have to worry about lugging it up to one of the five floors themselves.

Couples (straight, gay, and of all ages), diplomats, Google employees, artists, Europeans, and young Australians flock here for the reasonable rates, authentic homey touches, and prime location. The main front desk area leads into a hallway lined with movie posters from Ken Burns, and then to the kitchen area, where guests will find a self-serve spread of refreshments and treats during the day, as well as breakfast each morning. (Keep an eye out for Charlie Chaplin, the resident cat.) Guests can also relax in the charming garden, with its ivy-covered walls, potted flowers, and bistro tables when the weather is nice.

 Location

A prime neighborhood location near Chelsea Market and The High Line

Situated on busy 14th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues, guests have prime access to three distinct neighborhoods: Chelsea, for hip restaurants and art galleries; Greenwich (and West) Village for NYU culture and nightlife; and the Meatpacking District for designer shops and trendy hot spots.

It’s a great location to experience NYC like a local, while still having access to other areas via nearby subway lines. There are CitiBike stations nearby, allowing guests to peddle along the Hudson River Park path in either direction. For less exertion, The popular High Line park is ideal for a relaxing stroll, especially around sunset.

Restaurants are plentiful -- ask for the list displaying thoughtful staff recommendations from the front desk. Foodies should take time to explore Chelsea Market from where many of the inn's goodies are fetched on a daily basis.

The owner, Jay, and his former partner, who is now deceased, bought the building in 1983 and have seen the neighborhood change immensely through the years, and he is more than happy to talk about it. It's like having a live-in historian.

 Rooms

Colorful and modern, each room is based on one classic movie star

This converted row house property should satisfy anyone who has ever wanted to live in NYC but never had the chance. The 23 rooms are situated on five narrow floors (there is no elevator), and each hallway and stairwell features original movie posters from the owner’s personal and ever-expanding collection, which should help distract guests from their hike upwards. (Jay’s father owned movie theaters in Brooklyn -– hence his long-time passion.) The gold star on each door indicates the star for which the room is themed, and the large piece-de-resistance poster above the bed is a fun reminder. Those worried about lugging up their luggage will not need, as it will be whisked away by staff.

Rooms, like the rest of the property are colorful, spotless, and well-maintained. Some rooms have extra space and a day bed for a third person -– great for small families -– as well as large bathrooms with dual sinks and spacious showers that come with a seating area for shaving. All room types have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and mini-fridges. There is free W-Fi throughout.

 Features

Quiet outdoor space and a standout breakfast

The staff members have an endless supply of local insider information, including plenty of restaurant recommendations. Guests can ask for a copy of the lists -- there are three: one for local suggestions in the surrounding neighborhoods, one for vegetarian options, and one for special occasion restaurants. An informative daily newsletter written by the staff is also delivered to guest rooms each day.

The kitchen area has coffee and tea facilities available at all hours for guest use, as well as a microwave. Breakfast is not to be missed and the self-serve spread can be enjoyed in the kitchen, sunroom, or outdoor garden with flowering plants. Gourmet items are stocked throughout the morning, including fresh juices, local specialty items from the neighborhood (these change daily), and homemade bread by owner Jay. Baked goodies are also available here in the afternoons.

Though location puts guests in close proximity to CitiBike stations and the High Line park, those who want to stick to their fitness routines can ask for a free pass to the New York Sports Club a few blocks away.

Wi-Fi is free and reliable throughout.

 Bottom Line

This urban, 23-room bed & breakfast has an understated entrance located at the crossroads of three distinct and cool NYC neighborhoods -- Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village. It opened in the mid-80s, and it has become well-known for its genuine hospitality, thanks to owner Jay and his hand-picked staff. A film theme pervades, and guests will find original movie posters -- some perhaps strategically designed to distract guests from the five-floor walk-up (there's no elevator) -- classic movie-star-themed rooms, and a cat aptly named Charlie Chaplin. Free Wi-Fi, and an impressive breakfast spread with Jay’s homemade bread, and baked goodies in the afternoon add to value -- and to the homey, personal vibe.

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Hotel Features

Pool: N/A
Spa: N/A
Cribs: N/A
Kids Club: N/A
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
Casino: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Chelsea, Manhattan
Address: 317 West 14th Street, New York City, New York 10014, United States
(See Map)
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