First Images: Motto Chelsea Hotel Opens in New York

As the battle still rages for the soul of the legendary/infamous Chelsea Hotel just around the corner, at 113 W. 24th Street has just opened what surely represents the new paradigm of hotels for the neighborhood. After all, this part of the city doesn’t really call for a Park Hyatt or Ritz Carlton – rather, the Motto by Hilton New York City Chelsea pretty much just wants you to chill out, maybe get a little work done, and mostly just have a good time.

With 374 total of what Hilton refers to as “travel-size” rooms, there will certainly always be plenty of fellow guests with which you could possibly accomplish exactly the latter. Also, there are 19 sets of connecting chambers (up to three total can be combined), so you can bring your most favored friends along for the party. Most importantly, clever use of space (lots of hooks for hanging belongings, platform beds with storage areas underneath) gives the rooms a sense of effortless style and airiness – and that’s hardly a surprise, as interiors are by venerable local design firm Stonehill Taylor, previously responsible for the NoMad Hotel, TWA Hotel and Ace New York and Brooklyn.

But here it will be as much or more about socializing than sleeping; and Motto Commons will act as a malleable public gathering place, complete with terrace, coffee bar and “sunken conversation pit.” Event and meeting space is also exceedingly flexible, allowing for small groups to reserve just a board table, or for anyone with 150 close associates to invite them all along.

Most of the buzz, however, will be at the hotel’s stylish Bar Cicchetti, a cool, contemporary eatery with a pronounced Venetian soul. Overseen by beloved culinary personality Fabio Viviani (who is actually originally from Florence) of Bravo’s Top Chef, it serves well-curated plates of salumi and formaggi, house made mozzarella with assorted selections of prosciutto, and Italian classics like ricotta gnocchi with oxtail sugo, Mediterranean lobster ravioli, raw eye round of beef carpaccio, and tonno e uovo, which is actually a soft boiled egg with tuna sauce (the menu suggests wine pairings for each, a thoughtful touch). A separate bar/lounge is perfect for kicking back with a glass of prosecco or rosati.

The Motto brand is actually just in its baby phase, and is also still just a strictly Northeast Corridor phenomenon, with only Motto Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square and Motto Washington DC City Center preceding the NYC property. But if our very memorable stay at the Philly property is any indication, Motto Chelsea will soon be making a scene on W. 24th Street. We’ll see you there.

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