Chelsea closed in 2011. It’s not been easy to turn it into what it is today, having had several different developers during the reconstruction process and been halted by an array of legal procedures from the remaining tenants who have lived in the property for decades who resisted its gentrification. The current owners, Ira Drukier, Richard Born and Sean MacPherson – who bought the hotel in 2016 for $250 million – are well-regarded NYC hoteliers known for other trendy boutique hotels like the Bowery and Ludlow. Thankfully, the hotel was able to open again to the public in spring 2022. It is a soft opening since the 2nd floor installation continues, so not all the rooms are available yet. The hotel includes a gym, spa and an events room downstairs next to the restaurant available for public gathering. Recently, they held an event for the mayor of New York for fundraising and charity auctions. In addition, the elegant Lobby Bar is a sumptuous spot with a first-class cocktail menu, and the restaurant El Quijote, arguably offering the best cuisine from Spain in New York, is the perfect place if you fancy channelling Warhol over some croquetas, chistorra, and Rioja.
The hotel has accommodated practically all the iconic artists from the mid 20th century. We asked the hotel for a record of their guests. Some of the tenants of the hotel include Iggy Pop in room #126, Patti Smith room #204 where she wrote Just Kids, then she moved to room #1017 where she lived with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in 1969. Brian Jones lived in room #206, Bob Dylan lived in room #211 for a period in 1964 while working on the album, Blonde on Blonde. Tenants Andy Warhol and William S. Burroughs dined together in room #222 as seen in the documentary Arena. After his divorce with Marilyn Monroe, playwright Arthur Miller lived with his daughter, Rebecca Miller – wife of Daniel Day Lewis – in room #614. Leonard Cohen lived in room #424 who, while staying in this room, apparently had an affair with Janis Joplin who was just down the hall (the tryst allegedly took place in her room). Jimmy Hendrix lived in room #430, Jerry Garcia in room #620, Jim Morrison in room #722, Jackson Pollock in room #902. Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Chelsea too.