Convenient to Madison Square Garden, the Empire State Building, Macy’s, and Madison Square Park, the picturesque neighborhood of Chelsea is a central, safe, and art-filled place to stay in New York City. Here are 8 of the area’s best high-value hotels.
Opened in 2015, the 135-room Cambria Hotel & Suites New York-Chelsea is a modern, bright, boutique-style hotel that caters to business travelers and tourists. Its bistro-style restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, and the rooftop bar and lounge offer great views that stretch to the Freedom Tower. The fairly spacious rooms are tastefully decorated in an urbane style, with glossy dark-wood furniture that includes wardrobes, desks, platform beds, dressers, and nightstands. Some rooms include sofa beds, and suites have separate sitting areas and floor-to-ceiling windows. All rooms come with microwaves, mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms run small (even for N.Y.C.) and views of the city skyline vary by floor and room location. The hotel has a small fitness center, laundry facilities, and valet parking as well.
Chelsea Pines Inn is an urban bed-and-breakfast oozing with personality. It opened in the mid-80s, and it has become well-known for its genuine hospitality, thanks to owner Jay and his staff -- perhaps the friendliest hotel crew in N.Y.C. 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. Free Wi-Fi and a free European-style breakfast spread featuring neighborhood specialties add to the value. Travelers looking for an elevator, on-site fitness center (Chelsea Pines provides passes to a nearby gym), or in-room coffeemakers might prefer Cambria.
This mid-range Hampton Inn near Madison Square Park is a credit to the chain, with modern, stylish common spaces and fresh, clean rooms. It's a great affordable option in pricey New York City, and the free Wi-Fi, free coffee and tea in the lobby, free evening cookies and free hot continental breakfast (there are even to-go breakfast bags for those who can't sit down) make the value even greater. But this is still a chain; travelers who prefer a homey vibe and personal hospitality will do better at Chelsea Pines.
Smack in the middle of Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, this hotel attracts budget-seekers of all stripes: recent college grads, artists looking to survey the neighborhood's hundreds of galleries, groups of girlfriends in town for a shopping spree, mature solo tourists, thirtysomething couples on a weekend getaway. All are looking for (and getting) the same thing: a clean, relatively inexpensive room in a convenient location, plus a few modestly luxurious touches like flat-screen TVs, rainfall showerheads, iHome clock radios with iPod docks, and fresh orchids in the hallways. At these prices, some sacrifices are to be expected: The rooms are small, even for New York, and there's no dedicated concierge, room service, or on-site restaurant. But as a place to lay your head for a few nights, it can often be a solid deal.
When a good bed and a little desk space are all you need, the 158-room Four Points by Sheraton delivers, and then some -- freebies include hotel-wide Wi-Fi, printing, and fitness and business centers. The hotel is located near Chelsea art galleries and restaurants, as well as ample subway lines. But be sure to compare rates to the comparable Hampton Inn Manhattan-Chelsea, which offers free hot breakfast and free beverages and evening cookies in lobby.
This branch of the Hilton Garden Inn chain is located in up-and-coming northern Chelsea, near the Empire State Building and Penn Station. It has all the free extras associated with the brand -- free Wi-Fi, free morning coffee, free afternoon baked goods -- plus a good (if pricey) cooked-to-order hot breakfast and a bar area. Rooms look like all Hilton Garden Inn rooms (the ones at Four Points are snazzier), though some have nice skyline views.
The 226 rooms here are particularly small, but they have flat-screen TVs (with HBO), free Wi-Fi, and comfy beds, making the hotel a solid value. The on-site gym, restaurant and bar, and 24-hour business center are big pluses for the price. Cambria Hotel & Suites New York, another Flower District hotel, also has reasonable rates, but far larger rooms.
The 43-room Riff is a budget hotel in Chelsea, a two-minute walk from Madison Square Garden. This low-frills property's best feature is its funky 80s-music theme, but there are few extras here -- the lobby has a nice, long work table with outlets, and the courtyard is trendy with plenty of outdoor seating -- but that's about it. Funky rooms have en-suite or shared bathrooms, plus flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, but wear-and-tear, cleanliness, and broken items can be issues. Still, for budget-minded guests who want to avoid hostels and spend most of their time exploring the city, this option can be a real money-saver. Bump up to a three-star hotel nearby, like the Holiday Inn NYC, and it could cost twice as much.