Hotel Review: Moxy Chelsea provides guests a cozy, masterfully designed stay in the Big Apple

A stay at a Moxy Hotel is always a unique experience; it’s a boutique brand that does well to bring in inspiration from its surroundings. Their Chelsea, New York, location – which opened in February 2019 – is no exception.

A garden engulfs you as you walk through their cozy lobby, the smells of plants covering the space, thanks to the overgrown McQueens Flowers’ Residency – an on the nose homage to its Flower Market location, which sees Botanical elements extend through the whole building. Look up and you’ll even see a Little Shop of Horrors-inspired Conservatory towering over the street. It’s already a vibrant experience – and we have barely stepped into the building.

As you move to check-in, two manned counters sit in the lobby, with a neon sign behind them that says “Meet / Greet” and screens on the roof asking you to do things like “Shake It Up”. There’s a playful nature with language used throughout the whole building – even in the guest bathrooms (which we’ll get to in a moment).

A staircase to the left of check-in leads you to the second floor Bar Feroce and hidden Roman pizzeria, Feroce Pizza & Bocce, which is open to 11pm (Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays), and their glass-enclosed rooftop bar The Fleur Room is open to “late”, Wednesdays to Saturdays, on the 35th floor.

Express access to the rooftop is available via a dedicated lift that you’ll find on the second floor, and once you’re up there you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of Manhattan, and a giant water droplet chandelier that continues the hotel’s botanical themes.

They offer free coffee for guests in the morning and à la carte breakfast items at the Feroce Caffè on the ground level.

The hotel features 350 bedrooms, designed by Yabu Pushelberg. Yabu also designed the Hotel Entry and Check-in, while Rockwell Group were responsible for the Restaurants, Bars, and Lobby. This partnership was also responsible for the Moxy Times Square, which I reviewed in 2019, another vibrant entry for the Marriott owned chain.

Like in the Times Square location, Yabu has focused on making the most of the size constraints that are typical of a New York Hotel. Unless you’re in one of their MONDO suites, you’re looking at 185-195 Sq. Ft. (about 18 square metres), with King, Double and Bunk rooms available. But the design ensures you have everything you need, with custom designed furniture (e.g. a chair/luggage rack and a folding desk), easily folded and hung on wall pegs as needed.

It’s a incredibly well designed space that is made to feel spacious – in spite of the fact it’s incredibly cozy. Features like the hooks, the incorporation of the sink into the room and drawers under the bed, do ensure you have plenty of room to do what you need. And the temperature control of the room is great too, I might add.

There’s wall-to-wall, full-height windows, which is impressive given the 10-foot ceilings – giving the room plenty of natural light, and also an impressive view from your window. Here’s what I was greeted to out mine – and yes, that’s the Empire State Building on the right.

That was the view from the 29th floor – so of course not every room will enjoy such views, but I certainly lucked out there.

As I alluded to before, further to the unique design of the space, the sink sits in the main room, along with all the things you’ll need to dry off – hanging in a container underneath. There’s towels, a hair dryer and even a handheld steam cleaner. Two bottles of Fiji water are provided which cost $5, or there are cups you can use to drink the tap water. Which is more than fine to do these days in New York.

The massive, walk-in rain shower is amongst the best I’ve ever experienced, sitting in a dedicated space with a sliding door, with “Wander” on the wall in tiles. The toilet is also in a separate space, with “Lust” on its wall, sitting against the white tiles. Other hotel rooms will provide variations of this including “Grow Up”, “Some Regrets” and “Get Wild”.

The King bed was wonderfully comfortable with lovely Hypoallergenic pillows, covered in plush European-style duvets, and Egyptian cotton linens. On either side of the bed, there are master light switches, with multiple USB and AC plugs – a sign of a well designed room for the modern times.

There’s also well designed lights hanging, with massive bulbs, and something best described as an artwork hanging against the back of the bed. And on one side of the bed there’s an old school telephone, with a button to listen to bedtime stories (a nice touch you’ll find at all Moxy hotels, I do believe!).

On the wall opposite the bed, you’ll find a 43” Samsung flat-screen smart HDTV with full cable access and personal screencasting, and a bunch of hooks you can use to hang your own clothes (they even provide hangers for you), in what is a great use of the space. You’ll also find the foldable table and chair here, which you can bring down to use for meals or work if you need it.

Hanging on a clipboard are their events and a map of the area with some ideas of things to do. And an artwork sits in the top corner, adding a bit of gravitas to the room.

The TV, It’s worth mentioning, has lots of built in apps, like Netflix YouTube and free HBO Go, or you can watch live TV. It has your name on the menu and is in as you walk in the room.

There are other great little touches to the room too, like a flipable window on the door in lieu lieu of a peep hole, which has a bit of a prison vibe I can get behind. A metal bulldog sits beneath that which I didn’t understand but I’m sure has some relevance.

In addition to a normal do not disturb sign, they have a hanger you can leave on the door letting staff know you’re okay to not have the room cleaned for 3 days – and in exchange they’ll either plant a tree for you (again with the botanicals!) or give you Marriot Bonvoy points. It’s all part of their green initiatives.

And sitting right near the 28th Street station, you’re a short walk from the Empire State Building, and Penn Station at 34th Street. Walk just a bit further and you’re at Times Square! It’s an excellent location, to say the least.

Final Verdict

From the moment you walk into the Moxy Chelsea Hotel, you are enveloped in botanical sights and smells – a nod to its Flower Market location, but also a wonderful way to make guests feel comfortable and at home.

That comfort extends to all the facilities on site, and most importantly the bedrooms which are masterfully designed – engineered to provide you with everything you need in a relatively small space, while maintaining a spacious feel. And then there’s that view… you gotta love it.

In a city like New York, a hotel like the Moxy Chelsea is everything you could ask for, and more.

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Address: 105 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001, United States
Official Website:
http://moxychelsea.com/
Starting Rate: Rates starting from $159/night.

The guest originally stayed as a guest of the hotel in March 2020. The article has been updated with the most up to date statistics and all information is correct at the time of printing. Photos by the author, except the headline image, check-in and The Fleur Room photos – the first three of the article – which were provided by the hotel.

COVID-19 Notice: This article has been written as advice for domestic North American travellers – At this time of printing, Australian travellers cannot currently leave the country for non-essential purposes. Please refer to local and international COVID-19 rules and restrictions as you look ahead to future travel.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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