When visiting NYC, you have hundreds of hotels to choose from. You can use any number of criteria with which to decide where you would and would not want to stay. I chose the Gem Chelsea based on its location and its relative value for the cost.
When booking a hotel, I look for a few key things:
- Free wifi
- Hotel bar
- Early check in / late check out (whichever I'd need)
- Location, ease of access
This hotel met all four, although upon arriving early I found that my room was not actually ready. No matter, though, because the hostess at the front desk assured me that I could store my luggage with them and get it back when I officially checked in later that evening. When I did return that evening, I picked up my luggage at the front desk and took it with me to my room. It did occur to me that it would have been awesome for them to have it waiting for me in my room, but no matter, after all I did appreciate them allowing me to store it in the first place.
The room itself surprised me: very small! Any solo travelers should have no issue, neither should couples looking for some time to spend with each other, because with more than one person there would certainly be a lack of personal space. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, I think it is just something to keep in mind when booking. The room does have a window, and the black out shades work like a charm. Despite near perfect weather during my trip, I would wake up each morning unsure of the time as they effectively blocked out the sun. The television had okay reception, although most channels did not appear high-definition and the cable package did not offer any pay-per-view. After a long and busy day and staying in a hotel, I rather enjoy renting a movie 'on demand', usually a recent release or one I haven't yet gotten from Netflix. So the television was overall a bummer. The bathroom was surprisingly big for the room, with a privacy door built into the wall and the comfiest towels you have ever seen in a hotel.
Be careful of the bed. As soon as you lay down you will fall asleep. It is very comfy, and the linens only make it more so. I woke up so rested I could not believe it. Usually I have difficulty with my first night of sleep on a trip. At this hotel I fell right asleep and never had difficulty.
The only unusual thing which occurred during my stay happened on day two: my towels weren't replenished. Where as the cleaning person took any towel which appeared used or dirty, he/she did not replace them, so I ended up with an odd assortment of whatever had not been taken. In essence I had one body towel, one hand towel, and one wash cloth; so my hand towel became my foot towel and I would then dry my hands with the body towel. It just seemed like an unusual oversight because cleaning a hotel room properly requires method, and the towels must be part of that.
I'd go back. Chelsea is somewhat off the beaten path, so depending on my location needs I might end up at a different Gem next time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Free Wifi. The GEM Hotel Chelsea is ideally located in "your corner of the world." We provide an intimate, boutique atmosphere and offer our guests elegantly designed rooms with luxurious amenities. This New York City boutique hotel is conveniently located in the neighborhood of Chelsea. This trendy Manhattan neighborhood is filled with chic art galleries, night club hotspots, world-famous restaurants, shopping and more. Guests are within walking distance to Penn Station and world-famous Midtown Manhattan attractions such as Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Macy's/Herald Square, the campus of New York University (NYU) and the Empire State Building. The hotel is one block from New York City's subway system. Surrounding neighborhoods include Greenwich Village, the Flatiron District, Union Square, Midtown and the Meat Packing District.The GEM Hotel Chelsea offers a wide array of amenities and services that add value. For no additional charge, guests can enjoy wireless internet access, premium bottled water, nightly turndown service with our signature pillow mist, and shoeshine and concierge services.All guest rooms are smoke-free and boast LCD televisions with HD channels,iPod docking stations, cordless telephones, paraben-free bath amenities, bath robes, down pillows, plush towels and Wolfgang Puck coffee. Standard room amenities include coffee makers, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards. ... more less
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