Sarah Daniell stays at Moxy Chelsea, a new micro-hotel in the heart of Manhattan.
In the heart of the Chelsea Flower District. We took an Uber from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, via the Holland Tunnel, and we inched along, taking about half an hour, in peak congestion. It cost around $57. So the smart money is on the subway.
Check-in experience: We enter through a flower shop and head to the check-in kiosks which are four butcher blocks (a nod to the nearby Meatpacking District) suspended from the ceiling. Check in with Sean is like an Off Broadway experience. "Hey guys, I have some bad news for ya — we're ready to check you in!" We hop in the lift and JayZee is jammin'. The Moxy Chelsea has 349 rooms, ranging in size.
What's in the neighbourhood? Flowers and exotic plants all along 28th St. We are also a 10-minute stroll from Korea Town; for shopping, the Chelsea Market is an indoor sprawl of 40 vendors selling goodness from handmade jewellery, to famous Amy's Bread. There's the High Line — a converted railway turned public walkway and a must during the warmer months; MoMA was a 25-minute walk from the hotel and an absolute highlight — seeing the masters is a moving and meaningful experience that will stay with me forever. But just take a stroll along Broadway, take a selfie where it connects with 42nd St, and check out the Rockefeller building.
The room: Our King View is about 18sq m. A small room with a big view. From the bed, I can look out at the Empire State building. On the street below, yellow cabs look like toys, but the sounds are real and loud: sirens, beeping horns, helicopters. Very New York, y'all. The bed is sumptious, with four big fat pillows. I like slim pillows, but that's just me. I still slept like a baby.
There's a decent flat-screen TV. It's a perfect marriage of form and function. There's foldaway furniture, such as a chair or luggage rack and a small writing desk. An under-bed safe, where we left our passports . . . and nearly forgot them.
Bathroom: There's a large mirror, over a bench and a deep basin inside the door. And frosted glass walls hide a walk-in shower with a massive monsoon showerhead, and a cute tiled mosaic that says LUST. Next door, the loo has WANDER. There's no kettle or tea- and coffee-making facilities but head downstairs to the Feroce Caffe for that. It's playful and minimal.
Food: The hotel is home to Feroce Ristorante, Feroce Caffe, and Bar Feroce. On the 35th floor is the Fleur Room at the Moxy — New York's highest rooftop bar. It's worth going for the view alone.
Noise: Sometimes the noises from the streets far below would drift up. But they were hardly invasive.
When we were ready to return to our room after hours of exploring the city, it was a peaceful, zen-like space that felt welcoming. Small and perfectly formed.
Wi-Fi: Complimentary for guests.
Exercise: I never went there but there is a gym. I walked and walked around the New York streets and, honestly, that seemed enough.
Price: Rates starting from $240 per night.
Contact: 105 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001 (at 6th Ave). Online, they're at moxychelsea.com.
What's so good about this place? Small does not mean inferior. The Moxy seems to have nailed the concept of affordable, yet very glamorous and beautifully designed rooms and communal spaces. It feels very intimate, rather than corporate. It's ideal for the Manhattan experience, and the staff are delightful.