Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.