Rooms without en-suite showers share communal facilities
Rooms are small and many have air-shaft views
Lower-floor rooms on 23rd Street can be loud
Located right on 23rd Street, in the heart of Manhattan's vibrant Chelsea neighborhood, this Catholic guesthouse has been welcoming visitors of all faiths to its clean, simple rooms since the 1920s. Rooms are small and straightforward, without frills, and the renovated ones have en-suite showers. A healthy and affordable breakfast is served each morning for a nominal fee, a backyard garden offers a welcome place to rest after a day out, and laundry facilities are available. One of the most reasonably priced lodging options in Lower Manhattan, the Leo House is a great option for those who want to explore the city from a prime location.
Simple Catholic guesthouse in an historic building at a prime tourist location
Set in a well-maintained building from the early 20th century, the Leo House has been in operation since 1889, though it moved to this location in the 1920s. Despite being a Catholic guesthouse, it's open to guests of all faiths, though it certainly doesn't attract lively partiers. The staid guest lounge, school cafeteria-like breakfast room, and back garden provide seating for tired tourists to rest their legs and plan the day's excursions; they're meant less social gathering spots and more as spaces to compensate for the lack of square footage in the bedrooms. It's also worth noting that the guesthouse is a non-profit organization with nuns on staff, and that it regularly hosts members of the clergy.
Right on bustling 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues, the guesthouse is located right in the heart of Manhattan's trendy and safe Chelsea neighborhood. The SVA Theater –- popular for movie premieres and a venue for the Tribeca Film Festival -– is directly across the street, the High Line is a block and a half west, and the Flatiron and Madison Square Park are within walking distance. Chelsea's myriad restaurants, bars, and shops are all minutes away on foot. The C/E subway stops just down the block, and the 1 line is only a block further, offering easy access to nearly anywhere in the city.
Small and spartan, but comfortable, some with communal showers
The Leo House's small rooms fit just a bed (or two) and a desk or chair, but little else. The bed is notably comfortable and rooms are uniformly clean. Those that have yet to be renovated sport a spartan 1980s style, with padded headboards and stained-oak desks set against a muted color palette, while those that have been more recently updated have more modern furniture and a fresh coat of paint, in addition to clean and modern en-suite showers. Rooms without en-suite showers share three clean, communal showers per floor. All rooms have small flat-screen TVs. They also all have crucifixes, which isn't everyone's cup of tea. Many rooms have windows facing air shafts, and those on the lower floors over 23rd Street can get some street noise.
Common areas, business center, Catholic chapel, and breakfast for a fee
With the small rooms having little extra space, the guest lounge room and back garden patio are welcome areas to lounge in between excursions; as food is not allowed in the rooms, these are also the perfect spots to have an afternoon snack. A buffet breakfast of homemade breads, yogurt, fruit, and cereals is served in a cafeteria-style dining room for a reasonable fee. Laundry facilities are available in the building, useful if you're on a longer trip, and, in addition to the free Wi-Fi, a modern business center has several computers with Internet access. For Catholic guests, there is a chapel in the building that offers mass.