Featured Hotel: Chelsea Pines Inn

Jay Lesiger in front of his Chelsea Pines Inn

GC New York editor JJ Keyes recently paid a visit to Chelsea Pines Inn, the landmark hotel in the center of gay Manhattan. Here is his take the Inn and its place in local queer lore…

The hotel was initially built as a private home back in the 1850s and turned into a predominantly gay guesthouse in 1980s. Chelsea has changed radically over the years; gone are the lions, tigers and bears (and hookers) of the late night meatpacking district (well the bears are still there, now mixed with travelers from around the globe, and a few hookers, too). We’ve noted a shift from our beloved shifty West 14th, where Florent was always open and the club kids rocked the night out at Hell. Now the meatpacking district is a haven of more low-key daytime fun: foodies head to the Chelsea Market to rub elbows with Top Chef hopefuls, crunchy granola boys stroll along the new Highline eyeing each other, while dazed and confused consumers gawk at shiny iPads at the gleaming Apple Store or the latest Prada at Jeffrey store. Likewise the great catwalk of 8th Avenue is growing and rising with all sorts of new shapes and colors: from the stunning new luxury residential condominium at One Jackson Square to the eye candy hanging out at Gym Bar. In the midst of constant neighborhood evolution rests the Chelsea Pines Inn, whose brick exterior seems frozen in time, in a good way.  

Chelsea Pines Inn’s interior renovation does not lose the down to earth style that has greeted thousands of gay visitors over the years. Guest rooms and common areas have been decorated with original film posters from the Golden Age of Hollywood (Rally Round the Flag, boys!). Standard Rooms include a comfortable queen sized bed, private bathroom with luxurious Gilchriste & Soames amenities, a flat panel TV (LOGO and HBO included, no need to miss True Blood while you’re away). Make sure to raid the cookie jar before you check out.

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  • Anonymous

    It is a beautiful and small with lots of character and personality. It is located just meters from the metro and the best restaurants in town. The rooms are spacy and clean the staff is always available as and aid.

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  • John Mulholland

    A wonderful place, with a tremendously helpful staff. Friends stayed here recently. Can’t imagine ever again staying anywhere else in NYC, they said. Everyone so warm and welcoming, the rooms and conveniences excellent.

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