Renaissance Chelsea New York Marriott Hotel

There are numerous hotels in New York. Choosing one is frequently influenced by loyalty programs and geography.

For visitors to the trendy Chelsea neighborhood, this frequently means tall, narrow, limited-service hotels like the Hilton Garden Inn.

But there’s a new kid on the street who provides a more premium experience with less of a cookie-cutter feel.

With its well-designed suites, excellent public spaces, and above-average gym, the Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel promises to shake up the neighborhood alternatives.

Would I make an extra effort to stay here? Never. But if I needed to be in the region for work or vacation, it’s a great place to stay.


I could have used Bonvoy points for the room because it was part of the Marriott portfolio. The hotel is a Category 6 property, which means it would cost between 40,000 and 60,000 points per night under Marriott’s off-peak and peak-pricing structure.

Travel to New York was already slowing, so I booked the ridiculously low AAA rate of $152 plus $54.61 in taxes and the resort charge. I don’t suppose the hotel’s creators meant to charge $206.61 all-in for a night here. I charged the room to my Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, which earns me 6 points per dollar spent (on eligible purchases at Marriott Bonvoy partner hotels).

I returned to the hotel, had a drink at the bar, and reviewed a few other items before collecting my belongings and headed uptown to see my family. So, despite testing the shower pressure, lying down on the bed, and using the desk, I did not stay the entire night at the hotel or eat any of the food. (We hope you’re getting out of your hotel for a couple delicious dinners while in New York.)


There is no perfect place to stay in New York City. You may want to be close to the Broadway plays. Other journeys may need staying near Wall Street.

However, for Marriott fans who need to be close to Chelsea or the Flatiron District, the Renaissance is an excellent choice. West 25th Street is located between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Madison Square Park is a five-minute walk away, and there are numerous restaurants and pubs in the surrounding area. Two blocks away, on 23rd Street, are subway stations.


When I arrived, the hotel was mostly empty; polite staff members informed me of the different hotel services and thanked me for my commitment.

The lounge was not yet ready when the hotel opened at the beginning of 2020. So I was given the option of a breakfast voucher or 750 bonus points. (The main restaurant wasn’t open yet, so they catered in a modified breakfast buffet.)

I was given a “king view” room upgrade. The view was excellent for an urban hotel, but it wasn’t something to brag about.

My only complaint about the arriving process was the elevators. To select your floor, you have to hold the key card down while also utilizing a touchscreen. It appeared to be simple enough, but everyone, including myself, seemed to struggle with it.

Resort fee

I despise resort fees, sometimes known as “daily destination fees” here. This is one of those troubling hotel trends that does not serve guests.

Having said that, the rate for this accommodation was as reasonable as one could hope for.

The features I found most useful for the $25 charge were the $25 food and beverage bonus and the $20 for dry cleaning (drop it off by 9 a.m.; pick it up that night).

Tourists may also appreciate the free hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus ticket. It was simple to obtain: I walked to the concierge desk and was given a preprinted ticket.

I went to the bar because there wasn’t yet a food option for my $25 food and beverage voucher.

The biggest letdown about the charge was that there was no substitute benefit for the “enhanced Wi-Fi.”

As a Bonvoy Platinum Elite member, you usually get the fastest Wi-Fi for free. Marriott’s loyalty program required hotels to charge such a fee in order to provide a replacement bonus for elite members. The front-desk workers, as well as the manager on duty, were unaware of such a need.

After my stay, I emailed Marriott’s customer service team and was eventually awarded 1,000 points as a thank you for the error.


My room on the 26th floor was clean, well-appointed, and spacious for a Manhattan hotel. Most importantly, it didn’t feel like one of those cookie-cutter chain-hotel rooms I’ve spent far too much of my time in.

There were funky jacket hangers and amusing desk lights. Yes, there was no traditional closet, but I suppose that most guests here are only visiting for a night or two and only need a few items to hang.

The bathroom appeared to be much larger than it was, thanks to the abundance of natural light.

On the nightstands and at the desk, there were plenty of outlets.

The hotel did not yet provide room service, but it did have a menu of cuisine that could be delivered by a third party. None of it looked particularly inviting, but in Manhattan, there are plenty of delivery alternatives for anyone stranded in a hotel.

But it was the Aveda bath products that really piqued my interest (yeah, it is the simple things). I first encountered the brand 18 years ago in a New Orleans hotel. At home, it’s now my go-to brand.


Somewhere Nowhere, the 38-story-high rooftop pool bar, was not yet open but boasts fantastic views and is expected to become a popular summer hot spot in the city.

The lobby and restaurant areas are well-designed and, once again, break free from the stuffy mold into which most hotels tend to fall.

There is a modest seating area outside the front door, and the hotel provides large, oversize umbrellas for those walking through the city on a rainy day.

The huge (by Manhattan standards) gym may be the true find for road warriors. It’s in the basement and doesn’t get much natural light, but it has enough free weights, treadmills, and other equipment to accommodate most workouts.

Overall impression

This isn’t the kind of hotel you’ll come home and brag about to your friends.

However, it is an excellent choice if you need to be on Manhattan’s West Side in the 1920s. It is also accessible to multiple metro lines, making it an ideal location for tourists.

It’s a well-designed hotel with enough distinguishing features to set it separate from the hundreds of other establishments in the city.

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