The Chelsea Hotel

me looking out chelsea hotel

Widely known as The Chelsea Hotel, The Hotel Chelsea, number 222 on West 23rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenue, is a part of art, literature, music and pop culture history.

Over the years, it has been home to many a writer and musician.  Brendan Behan stayed there for a bit, as did Mark Twain and Dylan Thomas.  The most well known long-term guests to check in with a guitar were Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell.  All of Andy Warhol’s motley crew stumbled up to the Chelsea address at some point in the late 60s early 70s, no doubt a little worse for wear.

chelsea hotel lobby

The Hotel Chelsea has been around since 1905 as a hotel.  Joseph Gross, Julius Krauss, and David Bard took ownership of the hotel in 1946 as a three-way partnership management team in 1946.  When Joseph Gross and Julius Krauss passed away, the job of hotel manager was handed to Stanley Bard, the son of David Bard.  Stanley was the manager from the early 1970s, up until 2007, when the board of directors asked Stanley Bard to step down as Hotel Manager.  The descendents of the Krauss and Gross families are now in charge.

Myself and Niall were only short-term guests, when we spent our last two nights in NYC staying at The Chelsea Hotel.  The changes brought about by the new management were evident in a few subtle ways.

Things such as the absence of the legendary elevator man, the lack of leftover spray paint on the walls of our room, and the notable discontent by still present long-term residents, such as our neighbour in the next door room who had a big sign on his window facing the street and over his front door saying “Bring Back The Bards.”  All this seems to signify an on-coming consumerism of the establishment.

bring back the bards small

No doubt the new management want The Chelsea Hotel to become a hotel for rare individuals as well as a place to stay for some regular punters.  The room that we stayed in was lovely, but free of any individual traits that we might have liked, such as a graffiti message from a past guest for example.

What has remained is the amazingly friendly staff, the visibility of some of the long-term residents and their eccentric ways, and the fantastic art work displayed on every available space in the hotel outside the  rooms.  We had the most wonderful stay in the hotel, taking photos out of our balcony, wandering around the hallways looking at the art, having friends over in our room to drink the cheapest vodka available and generally soaking up the history of the place.

It’s very reasonably priced, situated in a very central location and the room was crisp and clean.  Bascially we had everything we needed, and I’ll definitely be staying there again.  Unless the new management take down the art work.  Which is highly unlikely.

Here are a few choice pics.

chelsea hotel outside
chelsea soaps
chelsea room

Our room in The Chelsea Hotel. Note the lack of graffiti, general chaos, and the massive telly.  Hey, don’t get me wrong, I loved it.  Perfect digs for two nights at a relatively cheap price of $160 a night.

stairway with painting big

up the stairsdown the stairs

black and white pics chelsea hallrabbit and woman painting hall

multi coloured acrylic paintingoil painting yellow

yellow and red paintingweird crow and monkey painting

top of the stairs stencil artstrange hanging puppets

So, stay there.  And let me know what you think.  I thought it was great.

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  1. quality…..

    but will there be a post re your visit to Belfast ….hehehehe

  2. Hey Manuel – I don’t know if the Encore deserves a post but it was very nice indeed. We actually grabbed dinner in 2Taps which looked like a fairly shoddy tapas bar but I have to say it was quite all right – we were starving and everywhere else was full and their sangria was like jungle juice so that may have had something to do with how much we enjoyed it!!

  3. so close….so very very close……

  4. Ha ha! Do you mean you work close by there? In the cloth ear perhaps? We were trying to get in there but it was full up.

  5. Why not learn more about the Bring Back the Bards campaign.