Rising 35 stories high into the New York City skyline, Moxy NYC Chelsea, the micro-room, macro-amenity hotel, developed by Lightstone and part of Marriott International’s experiential Moxy Hotels brand, officially opened its doors on Valentine’s. Inspired by the surrounding Flower District, the hotel blends a botanically-influenced design with Italian romance and a touch of playful wit.
Creating an environment that appeals to both today’s modern traveler and locals, Moxy Chelsea was developed with a collection of public spaces designed to meet the community’s dining, drinking, and co-working needs—while providing guests access to New York City at a neighborhood level. The 349-room hotel marks the second collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg, Rockwell Group, and architects Stonehill Taylor, the designers behind Moxy Times Square and three of the industry’s most admired firms.
The newly-constructed building’s architecture riffs off the neighborhood’s retro-industrial style and feels harmonious with its location, in the heart of the Chelsea Flower Market. The hotel blends into the lush flower shops that surround it, with a soaring three-story glass atrium revealing the vertical gardens within. Guests enter through the overgrown Putnam & Putnam Flower Shop, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, which is envisioned as a “botanical library,” with planter boxes suspended from the 15-foot wall, reachable by a wheeled ladder. The shop is run by husbands Darroch and Michael Putnam, whose couture approach to floral arrangements over the years has made them a staple at celebrity weddings, including the recent nuptials of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk. Just beyond the flower shop, a bright yellow neon sign spelling out the words “MEET” and “GREET” beckons guests into Moxy’s take on the check-in area. Four butcher blocks, alluding to the nearby Meatpacking District, are dramatically suspended from the 12-foot ceiling above, acting as check-in kiosks. Members of Marriott’s recently renamed Loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy; replacing Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards; can also access keyless entry through the Marriott Mobile App. Just beyond check-in is the Moxy Digital Guestbook streaming videos and images taken within Moxy hotels or tagged #atthemoxy for visitors’ pre-elevator amusement.
The bedrooms are drenched in sunlight and feature floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. For the design, Yabu Pushelberg replicates the clever functionality they created for Moxy Times Square, leavened with wit and humanized with a sense of craft. In all three room types — King, Double/Double and Quad Bunk — the furniture, which includes a writing desk and chair/luggage rack, can be folded up and hung up on Moxy’s signature peg wall when not in use. Other space-saving gambits include under-bed storage and a lava-stone sink and vanity area placed outside the bathroom. Tiles in the shower stalls are printed with cheeky phrases like “SOME REGRETS” and “WILD THING,” while a bulldog-shaped beer bottle opener hangs on the door. Additional bedroom features nod to the Flower District, like reading lamps that resemble garden lanterns and faucets that recall hose reels. Unique to Moxy Chelsea is the over-the-top MONDO Suite, an entertainment suite located on the 32nd floor. With soaring, double-height 18-foot ceilings and a wall of industrial-style windows looking out onto the Empire State Building, the room is equipped for entertaining and socializing. The suite can be combined with one or two adjoining king rooms to create a place to party and sleep.
Dining and drinking concepts for guests and locals alike
Lightstone teamed up with Francesco Panella, owner of Antica Pesa, the legendary trattoria in Rome and its celeb-favorite counterpart in Brooklyn, and TAO Group to create new dining and drinking concepts for Moxy Chelsea that will appeal to guests and locals alike—Feroce Ristorante, Feroce Caffè, and Bar Feroce. The menu at Feroce Ristorante embraces both traditional dishes and modern interpretations utilizing ingredients from historic brands and small producers across Italy, as well as local purveyors in New York. In front of the restaurant is Feroce Caffè,with glass airplane hangar-style doors that can be raised all the way up, opening the space entirely to the sidewalk, as in Italy. It also features a vintage doughnut machine that wafts tempting aromas onto the sidewalk, luring locals in off the street. The hotel entrance has its own dedicated window counter connecting to the caffè, so guests can pick up fresh-baked doughnuts and coffee as they come and go.
Panella also created the menu at Bar Feroce, an Italian snack bar and lounge offering a modern twist on traditional Roman comfort dishes, oven-fired pizzas, and classic cocktails. On Bar Feroce’s all-season, alfresco garden terrace, The Backyard, a terra cotta oven turns out gourmet Roman-style pizzas and features a made-for-Moxy bocce drinking game.
When designing Feroce, Rockwell Group worked closely with Panella to capture his vision and energy. As a result, the space has a theatrical quality, from the overscale terrazzo floors to the Brooks Brothers custom-designed waitstaff uniforms, to the grappa cart roving the dining room.
Rockwell Group was also responsible for Moxy Chelsea’s second-floor lobby, which unfurls as a series of spaces with multiple uses that change with the rhythm of the day. The Conservatory occupies the three-story glass atrium on the building’s front façade; on one side, greenhouse-style windows overlook the sidewalk, while on the other, a vast living wall teems with plants, Little Shop of Horrors–style. During the day, sunlight flows in, refracted by multicolored glass screens and reflected kaleidoscopically on the terrazzo floor—an ideal spot for working or reading. At night, a DJ shifts the energy from day to evening, transitioning the space seamlessly into a cocktail lounge.
The lobby atmosphere is enlivened by a design that reflects Moxy’s trademark cheekiness, such as classically sculpted figurines making unexpected poses, like twerking, taking selfies, and wearing sunglasses. A life-size, toga-clad Roman statue rests on a column, one arm extended so it can hold a guest’s phone and pose with them for a selfie. Throughout the lobby, ample seating options invite co-working and socializing, including modular meeting studios that morph seamlessly from daytime workplace to evening social space.
TAO Group and Rockwell also collaborated on The Fleur Room, Moxy Chelsea’s rooftop lounge, topping off the hotel on the 35th floor with panoramic 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building. The design features a copper-clad bar, glass chandeliers that resemble giant water droplets, and a massive disco ball salvaged from the notorious 1980s L.A. nightclub Vertigo. The real showstopper: The lounge’s glass walls descend at the touch of a button, transforming the space into an alfresco sky veranda.
We’ve all read about how the modern traveler wants to satisfy their curiosity with unique experiences and personalized, insider access,” says Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. “Nobody really expects that at the Moxy price point. With Moxy Times Square, we proved we could flip the script; and with Moxy Chelsea, we’re taking it to the next level: We’ve doubled down on that formula—affordable rates, rooms with character, distinctive public spaces—and made it even more personal, more local, more genuinely New York.”
“With the opening of Moxy Chelsea, the Moxy Hotels brand continues to boldly reinvent the hospitality scene,” says Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Service Brands, Marriott International. “When you walk into a Moxy, you know you’re getting a killer bar experience with fun, playful programming; an in-the-know Crew; stylish and functional bedrooms; and experiential moments you’ll want to share with friends during your trip. Moxy Chelsea offers all of that, with a distinctly bold, New York twist.”
Moxy now has 30+ experiential hotels open across North America, Europe and Asia. Moxy is expected to open 20+ more hotels in 2019, in destinations including Paris, Nashville and Boston.
Moxy Chelsea is located at 105 W 28th Street (at 6th Avenue). The hotel has opened in preview and launches officially March 8, 2019.