Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel, one of the tallest properties in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, has opened. Rising 39 floors, the brand’s first hotel in Chelsea is topped with one of the highest rooftop pools in the city, offering unparalleled 360-degree views.
Located on the former site of the iconic Antiques Garage flea market, the hotel, with 341 guestrooms and suites, pays homage to the site’s history and the area’s charming antique shops with a theatrical design concept by architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding neighborhood, spaces within the hotel are designed to tell a story.
“Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel encourages guests to discover this iconic location with a sense of reimagined curiosity,” said George Fleck, vice president of global brand marketing and management, Renaissance Hotels, in a statement. “This new hotel, coupled with our significant growth and renovation strategy in North America, further reinforces our brand’s global commitment to ensuring that guests experience the DNA of the neighborhood through our dramatic design and engaging guest experiences, ultimately leaving with a new appreciation of the destination.”
Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel is the latest hotel to debut under the brand’s growing North American portfolio which includes recently opened hotels in Philadelphia, Toledo, Reno, Dallas and Newport Beach, as well as renovated properties in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Palm Desert. Additionally, the brand is set to grow its New York City footprint two-fold over the next two years with anticipated openings in both Flushing and Harlem.
“Every detail of this hotel ties back to Chelsea’s renowned artistic and eclectic personality,” said Chris Rynkar, general manager of Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel, in a statement. “There is truly no other property like this one. Our guests have access to new, stunningly appointed amenities and accommodations, but also a connection to the neighborhood, which is an integral part of a Renaissance Hotels stay.”
Underscoring Renaissance Hotels’ unexpected design aesthetic, Stonehill Taylor created an escape that plays on the contrasting dichotomy of the hotel’s industrial, antique and floral market surroundings to create the illusion of walking through a secret garden. The hotel’s top-floor exterior features a sleek, modern glass facade, while the entrance embodies the look and feel of an English manor. Behind a stone-walled arcade entry lays a private, open-air courtyard studded with lush foliage and seating for guests to lounge.
Tapped to curate the hotel’s collection of artwork, art consultant Indiewalls led a massive two-story installation of antique knobs, locks and keys created by local artist Laura Morrison that takes center stage as the backdrop to the lobby staircase. As guests pass through the space, they are encouraged to touch and interact with these whimsical wares. Indiewalls also oversaw mixed media artist Liam Alexander’s creation of various video art moments throughout the hotel, reflecting inspiration from the flower district and flea market concepts in the surrounding locale, eliciting the feeling of a “living painting.”
Trellage-Ferrill Studio fabricated custom pieces like a collection of upside-down bird cages, as well as a large pendant at the elevator lobby inspired by a bird’s nest to pique the curiosity of travelers. Inside the elevator cabs, leather tiles made from vintage belts coat the walls, adding intrigue of the hotel’s overall design.
Earth tones dominate the color palette of the guest rooms and suites. Interiors are outfitted with wood-paneled printed wallcoverings and unexpected playful touches include gnome desk lamps and rabbit coat hooks. Guest bathrooms evoke a quaint garden shed with concrete sinks, porcelain tiles and mirrors etched with silhouettes of wildflowers. Suites on the fourth and 36th floors are distinguished by their 14-foot high ceilings. A focal point of each suite is a floor-to-ceiling framed wallcovering art installation of a magnified peacock feather, as well as an oversized mural of a woman’s silhouette comprised of fuchsia roses by artist Sara Byrne.
Chef Fabrizio Facchini is at the helm of the hotel’s restaurant, Cotto, set to open in the early spring. With 10-foot-high, floor-to-ceiling windows, the airy restaurant will feature an indoor family-style dining room and lounge as well as a 14-seat bar surrounded by a framed picture collection of vintage oddities.
In the lobby area near the bar, the hotel hosts Renaissance’s signature bar ritual four times per week, featuring a complimentary, locally inspired punch cocktail prepared by the hotel’s resident mixologist. Guests will also be treated to weekly activations and performances by local musicians and artists alike as part of the brand’s Evenings at Renaissance programming, providing them with an even deeper connection to the neighborhood.
The bi-level lounge and rooftop pool, Somewhere Nowhere, welcoming guests in the coming months, will offer an escape from the busy streets of Manhattan. The indoor lounge on the 38th floor will be accessible via a hidden, ground-floor passageway, a repurposed loading dock transformed with spray-painted murals of fireflies and mischievous gnomes, neon signs and old-fashioned lantern sconces, that leads to an elevator transporting guests to the 38th and 39th floors.