Named “the rest stop for rare individuals”, Hotel Chelsea is probably the world’s most iconic hotel. This had nothing to do with the decor, design, branding or marketing: it was simply because of its people. It is the notable residents that made it a landmark of New York City’s counterculture, perhaps the most hipster-haunted location in the U. S. of A.
222, 23rd, Chelsea Hotel Legacy is not trying to recreate history but is inspired by the dynamics that created that piece of cultural Rock n Roll. The semi-permanent residents mixed with the travellers, the hotel not being a cultural “desert island” anymore but the centre of a strong, bohemian and decadent community.
When applying to stay at Hotel 222, 23rd, you are given the option of staying for a couple of nights or 6 months. The weird, the eccentrics and otherwise unwanted are not only welcome but financially encouraged to stay longer, live, work, create and contribute within the walls of the hotel. The first floor provides the space and the equipment to do so: library, work space, recording and art studios carefully balanced.
The ground floor is where the social mixing and mingling takes place; a hub for the locals, travellers and perma residents with a large event stage taking place at the back of the building; think gigs, art exhibitions, European Movie Nights all together. There is no reception, just a sofa where you take a seat whilst your room or apartment is sorted out. No concierge, just a knowledgeable barman. The bike lab allows locals to come in and fix their bikes whilst guests can pick one up to tour the “hood”.
And what about an urban stargazing bar at the roof terrace? Raise your heads up to the sky and feel just like Arthur C. Clarke when he spends all his evenings at the Chelsea looking through his telescope whilst writing 2001: A Space Odyssey.