We have just returned from a 6 night stay at the Chelsea Lodge and I have nothing but positive things to say about our stay.
The accomodation was clean, traditional and felt very homely. Our room on the 2nd floor didnt seem small as other reviews have stated, we took 2 bags rather than suitcases and had enough drawer space to unpack and put the bags under the bed out of the way. The bed was really comfortable which was a welcome relief after a long day sightseeing. The shower and the sink in the room worked well and we never had a problem with the shared toilets, there was 2 on our floor and they were spotlessly clean and always free. We only saw one or two other guests during our stay so going to the toilet in the middle of the night didnt cause any problems either. We didnt hear the pipes banging as some people stated maybe we were lucky and the hotel room was warm and cosy which was needed as it was bitterly cold out and about during the day.
The room had everything you need with a small Tv with enough of a selection of cable channels as you relaxed in the evening, complimentary toiletries and clean towels provided everyday. The rooms dont provide safety deposit boxes but I cant imagine there would ever be an issue as all the staff were so friendly and had all worked there years, we kept our valuables locked in our bags and this worked well for us.
James on reception was helpful and patient in answering all our queries and gave some useful advise where to shop etc.
We stayed here with my parents who are in the 60's and they enjoyed it equally as much as we did.
The hotel has an excellent location only just over a 5 min walk to 2 different metro stations we also walked most of our time and it took just over 35 mins to walk to Times Square. We found walking the best way to experience New York and so easy to follow the roads as they are all at parallels, just get a good map before you go and you wont get lost.
Be warned however on arrival at the airport as there was 4 of us we decided to get a taxi, dont go with any driver who approaches you inside the terminal as they arent insured generally, the offical taxis are outside and it cost us 70$ including tolls to get to the the Chelsea Lodge. If there are 2 of you travelling you can get the Newark Air Transit from Newark for 15$ per person single journey then a taxi from Penn station to Chelsea Lodge was 5$ although the taxi journey on arrival took about 30 mins (not much traffic when we arrived) and the train took closer to 1hr 30mins and harder work with luggage when we left.
Getting around New York is so easy, we walked everywhere during the day as mentioned and would take a metro back in the evenings. You can get a 7 day unlimited metro card for 25$pp, a single trip is 2$ which has to be used within 2 hours of purchase or a 4 ride ticket for 7$ which has to be used within 24 hours. We felt perfectly safe wherever we were and only took a metro home at night as we had done som much walking during the day. Taxis if there are more than 2 of you travelling would work out just as cost effective as they were also inexpensive however it took us a while to flag one down during rush hour and the metro would get you to your destination quicker. Make sure you get the right train from the right station as not all trains go from all stations, the lines available are shown at the top of the steps to each metro station, once you go in and purchase your ticket you have to swipe it to go through the turnstiles, your ticket is then used for that trip so if youve bought a singe trip ticket and you find you are on the wrong stations its invalidated. Also make sure you know if you need uptown or downtown so you dont end up on the wrong train - seems obvious I know but it can be disorientating on arrival.
Sightseeing: we went to Top of the Rock, fantastic we did this during the day, its not as cold and the Empire State Building as they have plastic sheeting all round - doesnt spoil the view, its on 3 levels and gives you 360 panoramic views its was about 19$ pp entrance and we didnt queue for long. We visited the Empire State Building at dusk, its a such a beautiful building and as it went dark the night skyline is amazing, it was very very cold so we didnt spend long but I would recommend a visit again entrance is about 19$pp. We visited the New York fire museum in Soho 278 Spring Street its only small but has some fascinating artefacts and a seperate room dedicated to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in 9/11, entrance was only 5$pp. We took the free Staten Island ferry to see the statue of liberty, you get close enough to get some really good pictures as well as some great pictures looking back at the Manhatten skyline. Central park is an oasis of calm amongst all the madness, we spent 3 hours just walking round enjoying its serenity, visit Strawberry fields and the John Lennon imagine memorial placed by Yoko Ono, this is just infront of the Dakota Apartments where he lived and was shot outside. The zoo is only small but a nice place to spend half an hour, its only 8$pp. The World Trade Centre visitors tribute was particularly moving again its only a couple of small rooms but crammed with artefacts from the twin towers and photos of all those who died as a result of the terrorist attacks entrance was 10$ donation, you could have a guided tour with a survivor or a relative for 25$pp which lasts about 1 hour and is meant to give a more personal insight into events.
Shopping - fantastic allow at least one day just to shop, when going to Macy's and Bloomingdales go to the visitors centre on the balcony level with you passport for 11% discount cards. Macy's souveniers in the basement, had great price jeans and wasnt as expensive as you'd expect. M+M world Times Square, you wouldnt believe what merchandise you could get over 3 floors, Disney store was really magical as was Build a Bear, even if these arent your usual places to visit they seem special because they are in New York. We found Footlocker good for trainers/timberland boots etc one large store in Times Sq and one opposite Macy's. Virgin megastore in Times Sq also had some real bargains. Cheaper clothes shop was Old Navy although some of the styles were abit unusual great for tops/jumpers etc.
One piece of advise try and get a list of as many restaurants before you travel, when you are tired from a long day shopping the last thing you want to do it walk around looking for somewhere to eat. Eat in Chelsea we found it was at least half the price as anywhere close to Times Sq. We had breakfast at Toasties on 7th ave between 22/23rd which was really cheap (doesnt look great from outside but food it amazing) and empire diner 10th ave 22nd, other recommendation Galaxy diner 8th ave 19th. In the evening we ate at Dish a couple of times literally 2 mins just on 8th ave from the hotel prices are really resonable choice is good and food excellent and also at a Lasagna ristorante mainly lasagnas food was really good but abit more expensive. Also found great rib house/bbq close to either 18th/23rd metro sorry didnt write down address but excellent food good prices but gets very busy so was abit noisey. Starbucks are really cheap for a warm drink to refuel during the day but dont have much seating - avoid the toilets as they arent particularly clean. There are very few public toilets so its a case of finding them is shops - Bloomindales are 5* or small coffee shops etc.
The Chelsea Lodge is ideal as an excellent value for money homely base to see New York, I wouldnt hesiste to recommend it and we are planning to go back in a couple of years and would definatly stay there again.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me, we had the most amazing time New York is fantastic just make sure you allow enough time to do everything, we had 6 days and it was just right.
- Also Known As:
- Chelsea Hotel
- Chelsea Hotel New York City
- Chelsea New York City
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chelsea Lodge is located in the heart of the historic Chelsea district in New York City.Our 22-guest room European-style hotel is conveniently located to all of New York City, but still gives a sense of being away from it all. The secure, private, and quiet Chelsea Lodge provides a clean and comfortable environment at reasonable rates for our guests. ... more less