- Small, low-ceilinged rooms can feel dark
- Slow elevators
Reliable chain hotel with small rooms, but a central location
It's no hot spot, but this 23-story, 226-room Holiday Inn is a straightforward and dependable starting point for tourists exploring the city. Its 175-square-feet rooms are small even for New York, but they have a couple of amenities -- like flat-screen TVs with DVD players and iPod docks -- to help compensate for their tiny dimensions. In the basement, there is a small gym and a 24-hour business center -- both are basic, but free. The elevators are a bit slow (housekeeping shares them with the guests). But for leisure travelers who don't plan on spending much time in their rooms, the hotel is a great deal.
The hotel is on a semi-quiet street near art galleries, flower warehouses, and two subway lines.
Running from 14th Street to 34th Street on Manhattan's west side, Chelsea is the center of both Manhattan's gay community and, with over 350 art galleries, its contemporary art scene. It's also home to an eclectic mix of home antique stores, design boutiques, and endless sample sales (including the famous Barney's Warehouse Sale), not to mention the Chelsea Market, a former Oreo cookie factory turned foodie paradise chockablock with bakeries, restaurants, and gourmet goodies.
Within Chelsea, the Holiday Inn is located in an area sometimes called the Flower District; it's where wholesale florists hold shop, but you won't see the flowers out on the street. It's a pretty low-key, mostly residential neighborhood (compared with the bustling tourist centers like Times Square, 16 short blocks north). The downside is that it takes a little bit of effort to go anywhere. The closest subway lines (the N and the R) run along Broadway -- the spine of Manhattan. But the station is on 28th Street and Broadway, about a five-minute walk from the hotel. From here you can launch uptown or downtown, but the station is considerably less connected than areas like Times Square, which is a connecting hub for about a dozen lines.
Free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs with premium cable help make up for tiny room sizes
At 175 square feet, the 226 rooms are very small, with just two feet of space between the bed and a work desk. Lots of natural light and strategically placed mirrors (including a full-length one) help keep the space from feeling claustrophobic; a realtor might call the rooms "cozy," with one of the beds in the Standard Double Room almost directly beside the window. On the nightstand, there's a coffee machine oddly placed on a shelf near the ground. There was obviously no room to put it elsewhere. Rooms all come with flat-screen TVs with premium cable (including HBO), iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi with a strong in-room connection. Bathrooms are proportionately tiny.
There are only two room types: Standard King Room (with a king-size bed) and Standard Double Room (with two double beds). Street-facing rooms near the 23rd floor overlook the neighborhood and have a view of the Financial District and the Hudson River.
A full-service restaurant and bar, small basement gym, and 24-hour business center with free copying, printing, and faxing
Located in the lobby, Amore Trattoria serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks, and also provides room service.
Near the gym, the 24-hour business center is an enclosed room with two PCs and a printer/copy/fax machine, which can be used for free.
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