GEM Hotel – Chelsea, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member
What We Love
- The work by local artists on display in the lobby
- The unbeatable location—everything from energetic nightlife to NY’s best bagels is around the corner
- The light-strung roof deck with its romantic city views
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- Ask for an inner room to cut down on street noise
- Rooms are petite, even for New York
- The fitness center is small but has several good machines
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The combination of stellar location and reasonable rates make this Chelsea hotel one of the best deals in the city. Whether you’re an art nerd, a party-until-dawn type or a food snob, the neighborhood has a surfeit of cooler-than-cool options. Explore until you’re ready to drop, then head back to a compact and modern room, with white subway tile in the bathrooms and framed black-and-white silhouettes on the walls. The lobby is more colorfully chic, with patterned floor tiles and elongated yellow sofas that make a good place to relax with an espresso or a cocktail from the bar, which has a temptingly long daily happy hour from 4 to 8 pm. With its backlit shelves softly glowing, and blond wood stools lined up at the marble bar, this makes a great spot to pre-game before heading out on the town—or just heading back upstairs for a nap. No judgement.
In the Area
Staying in Chelsea is really spoiling yourself, since you can stuff yourself with delicious treats all day, then dance off the calories all night long. With the occasional cultural highlight in between, of course. The fabulous elevated gardens of the High Line are just an eight-minute walk away; you can snack at the vendors and cafes up here or grab one of the best bagels in New York from Murray’s Bagels, just across the street from the hotel. David Chang’s glorious fusion restaurant, Momofuku Nishi, is right on the other side of 8th Avenue; make time for dinner here. The world-class Whitney Museum of American Art is less than a mile southwest. If you want to go further afield, there’s a subway stop just a block from the hotel, and you can walk to Penn Station when you’re headed out of town.
How to Get There
My fiancé and I were in NY this past weekend. We are from Florida. We were having a great time and out of no where, the blackout happened on Saturday. We were staying in midtown. We had no idea what was happening and quickly left the area to Chelsea. After about an hour, there was no information on why it happened, and when or if the power would come back to our area (Marriott Marquis). We were panicked and searched online for a hotel, incase power never came back. We found this place (The Gem Hotel) and booked a room. After about another hour, the mayor of NY said power would be restored by midnight. We quickly tried to cancel our reservation and we were advised by booking.com that it would be up to the hotel on whether or not we would be charged.
We phoned the hotel and ultimately were told to email the general managers email address with our reason for canceling (booking.com sent them an email as well). After explaining what had happened, they still went ahead and charged us for the room and didn't care about the extreme circumstances, which caused us to book this room, just two hours before. The management at this hotel was not empathetic to our situation at all. We were tourists in a city with a history of terrible situations involving mass disturbances and casualties, by outside influences. We were very uneasy and thought we were doing the right thing at the moment, by booking this room.
We were very disappointed with their decision to stick the payment to us, even after what happened and only after booking and canceling within a few hours, during the timeline of the blackout.
I stayed in Gem Hotel Chelsea for 4 nights during Jan 2019 to attend a business meeting. It is central but overall terrible. I arrived midnight, the room was very small, no water to drink, no breakfast/restaurant, nothing at all. The toilet was even not flushed and it was dirty. I haven’t stayed in this type of a hotel before, I was really shocked as it was not cheap as well.
I stayed here for 5 nights in June and had the most wonderful holiday.
Upon arrival, I was given the choice between view or quiet. I thought, well I'm in NYC which isn't known for it's peace and quiet, so I'll go for the view.
Monday to Friday it was okay, but the weekend nights I had horns from cars and ambulance sirens at 02:00. No regrets though, it was a good room (420).
The windows didn't really open, or at least didn't stay open and felt precarious, which was a bit rubbish because it was 28 degrees outside. When I turned the aircon on it sounded like a helicopter was taking off.
On the whole though, the shower was reasonable and room clean. Breakfast was no good for ceoliacs, so I ended up going out for that. It's just pastries and fruit, and coffee or fruit juice.
The hotel is excellently located for 23rd Street subway and I walked up to Central Park a few times, and down to Greenwich Village. Getting over to Brooklyn was easy (subway) as was getting up to the American Museum of Natural History, becauses they're direct lines.
I was out all day, every day but the hotel was fine in the evening. Other guests were noisy though, I don't understand why people need to shout in corridors or slam doors, it's just basic manners not to.
The wifi wasn't brilliant so I tethered from my phone. That worked well! For the coffee sachets, just request milk from reception and they drop it up within 3 minutes. Excellent service!
On the whole, I'd stay there again largely due to the excellent location and friendly staff.
I'd call it good enough but I would not recommend staying more than a night or two tops. I easily would have bumped this up to 4 stars if I wasn't hit by the overpowering marijuana stench upon entering my non-smoking room. And while the front desk clerk expressed empathy, there were no other rooms available and the best he could offer was opening a window and spraying air freshener. All that being said, our stay was not terrible. Amazing location, yes it's a tiny room but perfectly adequate and clean. And you get what you pay for, I snagged an under $300/night via Hotwire.
Arriving at 12:30 AM, after a torturous taxi ride from Laguardia, all I wanted was a room. What I got was much more. I was greeted in a friendly, welcoming manner and elated to hear that I was upgraded to the penthouse. My day ended very well, but with an early meeting, I drew the curtains and closed the blinds so I could quickly hit the sack. The morning revealed a rather small room, but this was more than OK since it came with a great price of slightly more than $100 in New York! I got ready for the day, went downstairs to pick up pastries and coffee for breakfast, and returned to my penthouse. Opening the blinds and curtains of my room revealed a wonderful surprise, a large furnished patio with pleasant views of New York. The sunny, cool weather made breakfast on the patio a thoroughly satisfying experience. The pastries and coffee, by the way, were very good. Check-out later that morning was quick, and the very friendly service continued the very pleasant experience. The Gem is not the most comfortable hotel I’ve enjoyed, but it left such a pleasant impression that I would gladly return. It would certainly be very difficult to beat the price in New York, and the hotel was very close to my meeting place on Astor.