NEW YORK—Moxy NYC Chelsea recently opened its micro-room, macro-amenity hotel developed by Lightstone and part of Marriott International’s Moxy Hotels brand. Inspired by the surrounding Flower District, the 35-story hotel blends a botanically-influenced design with Italian romance and a touch of playful wit.
Moxy Chelsea was developed with a collection of public spaces designed to meet the dining, drinking, and co-working needs of both guests and locals. The 349-room hotel marks the second collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg, Rockwell Group, and architects Stonehill Taylor, the designers behind Moxy Times Square.
The newly-constructed building’s architecture riffs off the neighborhood’s retro-industrial style. Through a three-story glass atrium, passerby can see the vertical gardens within. Guests enter through the 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” leads guests into Moxy’s check-in area. Four butcher blocks, alluding to the nearby Meatpacking District, are suspended from the 12-foot ceiling above, acting as check-in kiosks. Members of Marriott’s recently renamed loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy 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.
Guestrooms have floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. For the design, Yabu Pushelberg replicated the functionality created for Moxy Times Square. 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 a 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 MONDO Suite, an entertainment suite located on the 32nd floor. With 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
Lightstone teamed up with Francesco Panella, owner of Antica Pesa, the trattoria in Rome and its 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. It also features a vintage doughnut machine that wafts aromas onto the sidewalk. 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 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 includes a made-for-Moxy bocce drinking game.
Rockwell Group was 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 living wall teems with plants. During the day, sunlight flows in, refracted by multicolored glass screens and reflected kaleidoscopically on the terrazzo floor, providing an environment for working or reading. At night, a DJ shifts the energy and transitions the space into a cocktail lounge.
The lobby atmosphere is enlivened by elements like 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 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 includes 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 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,” said 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,” said 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.”