Chambers Hotel

nr Central Park, Midtown NYC, United States Book from US$365

Reviewed by Antonia Short
Boldly stylish hotel near Central Park and MoMA, boasting an impressive modern art collection and generous communal spaces
It’s lucky there’s a doorman to welcome you to the land of Chambers, for these mighty carved portals are truly Wizard-of-Oz-sized. Inside is a David Rockwell-inspired world suffused with modern art. Plantation-style woven woods warm the lobby, offset by colourful flashes of '50s America in furniture influenced by nearby fashion houses (Gucci, Prada, Armani). Throw in a few Turkish rugs, a bespoke iron fireplace, Zen drapes, and a selection of the owners’ art collection, and the result is intriguingly eclectic. Head upstairs to discover unique art installations on each landing: definitely worth visiting all 14 floors to peek at.

For a hotel so style-conscious, it’s a relief to find their priority is welcoming comfort. Business travellers will love the large glass desks in the rooms, and the thoughtful extras (pin boards, cordless phones). There are plenty of communal spaces (bi-level lobby, lounge, bar) and an inventive French-Vietnamese Má Pêche restaurant. Staff are friendly not formal and can procure massages, manicurists, yoga instructors, make-up artists, babysitters and more; Central Park and MoMA just a short stroll away.

Highs

  • Central location close to Central Park, Fifth Avenue shopping, Broadway’s theatres, and Midtown’s galleries and art centres (Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Centre)
  • Over 500 pieces of modern art in the hotel, with fun bespoke commissions on the landings
  • Nice extra touches include flip-flops, magnetic pin boards, extensive minibar, postcards and scribble pads
  • Lots of communal spaces, and excellent conference facilities on site
  • Complimentary day passes to the New York Health and Racquet club

Lows

  • Some may find the ‘downtown loft’ design too utilitarian (exposed pipes, stark ceilings, that sort of thing)
  • Limited counter space around the washbasins
  • Some rooms on lower floors facing the back have less than inspiring views, but are quieter so will suit some
  • Breakfast isn't included in the rates, but that gives you freedom to explore New York's culinary delights elsewhere

Best time to go

New York is happening all year round, but spring and autumn provide the most clement weather, as it can get very hot in summer and snowy in winter. The autumn also sees some great events such as the NY Film Festival, Food and Wine Festival, Columbus Day Parade, Halloween Parade, NY Comedy Festival and Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Many come here for the excellent shopping, whether for Christmas or the January sales.

Our top tips

Bring comfortable shoes for hitting the street and walking (the best way to travel Manhattan), sunglasses and sunscreen in summer, snow boots and layers in winter and (for the ladies) as many Sex and the City heels as you can cram in your suitcase…but watch those grates in the pavement!

Great for...

City Style
Family
Foodie
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 77
  • Restaurant, walk to restaurants
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

“Bohemian downtown artist’s loft meets uptown luxury” was the vision for Chambers’ chambers, and the result is an eclectic mix of quirky chic (exposed service pipes, bespoke pulley lamps, wood and glass) and creature comforts (brushed upholstery in pale gold and royal purple, Tibetan wool carpets, underfloor heating, 300-thread count linens). Rooms are a good size for Manhattan, with unusually high ceilings, some are a little worn in places, but there are no quibbles about the spec.

There's all the technology you could wish for - flatscreen TV, WiFi, dual line cordless phones, CD/DVD players and iPod docking stations - plus some extras you wouldn’t expect (sketching paper, baseball hat, shopping bag, magnet wall) and, in the excellent little minibar, Saratoga spring water, Dean & Deluca delights, city guides and cameras. Check the wardrobe for umbrella, safe, iron and board. If you’re still missing something, call reception, who have desk mirrors and all kinds of helpful amenities up their sleeve.

Chambers Queens have a small seating area with an armchair. The Terrace Queen and Corner Kings are slightly larger, and Deluxe Kings larger again, with swanky city views.

Studios come as either Kings or Doubles; Studio Kings have a Japanese soaking tub and an additional double sofa bed, while Studio Doubles have two double beds.

The hotel’s Terrace Suite has a large terrace, while the other suites range from a Studio Suite (great views from the 15th floor) to a massive Duplex Suite (over two levels, with private terrace).

Bathrooms are a little light on counter space, have 9" rainwater style showers (though no doors) and Red Flower toiletries. Floors are sealed concrete and walls are tiled, in keeping with the mix of modern and industrial aesthetic. All the suites have Japanese soaking baths as well as showers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Iron
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

Wander from the lobby to discover a milk bar with its own street entrance selling cookies and coffee, pies and shakes. Head away from the street to find the hotel bar on a mezzanine level (which is also where breakfast is served) and, downstairs, Má Pêche, Chambers’ partner restaurant, which serves French-Vietnamese cuisine bistro-style - this is one of the Momofuku group of restaurants. Chambers guests get priority seating, thankfully, as this is a popular eatery.

There’s something orchestral about the space here, in height and curvature, where epic ceilings and a dining mezzanine conjure space in the absence of windows, and beige and orange backlit panels bring intimacy. A style concerto that looks modern yet classical.

You can also order room service from Má Pêche and dine on signature dishes such as Beef Seven Ways in front of a twinkling backdrop of glittering skyscrapers. But if you’d rather hit the town, Nobu on 57th is the epitome of chi-chi sushi, and the nearby Carnegie Deli will remind you why New York is famous for its cheesecake. If you want to make your own tea and coffee in-room, kettle, tea bags and coffee machine can be added on request.

The simple breakfast menu has granola, cereal, oatmeal, French toast, fruit, bagel and bun, plus scones and breads, juice, coffee, tea or hot chocolate. The Full Breakfast is also on offer with a range of sides. If you're heading out for the day and pressed for time, just get take-out from the milk bar.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Milk bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • With Shakespeare in the Park, skating in winter or a picnic in summer, Central Park serves up New York magic all year round

  • Ogling classics and visiting exhibitions at the MoMA - it’s practically a must when you’re staying this close

  • High-end giants (Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Tiffany) and designer labels make Fifth Avenue shopping simply irresistible, even if it’s just to gawp at the window displays

  • You’re near enough Broadway to catch all the shows, but just far enough away to avoid its busy streets, and Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre are virtually on Chambers’ doorstep

  • For those who love visiting cathedrals, St Patrick’s is as dramatic as they come, so definitely worth a look

  • Venturing skyward to view the world’s most famous skyline is almost obligatory in NY. The Empire State Building has a cramped viewing platform compared to the Rockefeller Centre. At Christmas the Rockefeller tree is a must

  • Taking a walk to the end of East 57th Street will bring you to the East River and magnificent views of the 59th Street bridge

  • Take a subway ride to the lower west side (Meatpacking District and Chelsea) and explore the High Line

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are welcome and the location is great for families being so close to Central Park, Times Square and Broadway. There's a choice of nearby subway stations to help explore the city.

Baby cots, rollaway beds, and colouring books are available as are children's dressing gowns and slippers.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can take a baby cot, and a rollaway bed can be added to all rooms except the Queen categories. Studio Kings and Studio Suites have sofabeds. The Terrace Suite has a twin sofa bed in its living area as well as a double in the bedroom so is a good option for families, it also shares its terrace with the Terrace Queen, both can therefore be booked together for extended or larger families. The Duplex Suite, the hotel's highest category, offers the most space for families, and also has a sofa that converts to twin beds. Studio King, Studio Suite, Deluxe Suite, Terrace Suite, Duplex Suite rooms all have bathtubs.

Babysitting:

Available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

The milk bar downstairs is great to pick up snacks such as yummy cookies and pies, plus shakes and rolls. There are plenty of child-friendly options on the breakfast menu, and room service can be ordered. There are heaps of restaurants and eateries nearby, naturally Starbucks is on the corner!

Kids Activities on site:

  • DVDs at the front desk
  • Cable TV in rooms with options for new release movie rentals

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Central Park is two blocks away
  • Fifth Avenue for upscale kids clothes shopping is half a block
  • Broadway and Times Square are a 5-10 minute walk; take in a show
  • Older kids may be into modern art at MoMA, there's also the Natural History Museum and the Met
  • Ascend a skyscraper for the views
  • Visit Brooklyn for its museum, Prospect Park and family vibe
  • Take the subway to Coney Island in the summer
  • Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the world

Families Should Know:

The Duplex Suite has stairs

Distances:

  • Airport: 30 minutes (LGA) and 45 minutes (JFK) - traffic depending
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
  • Shops: 1 minute
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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