Fodor's Expert Review Riff Chelsea

300 W. 30th St., New York, New York 10001, USA See on Map

Formerly the Chelsea Star, this hotel has a rich music history (Madonna crashed here) and rock-star inspired design with bold graphics and colors that mimic the energy of the ‘80s. An outdoor courtyard with bright red cushions and umbrellas is a comfy gathering place. Freebies include Wi-Fi and morning coffee or tea.

YOU SHOULD KNOW This hotel does not have an elevator—it is set in a four-story walk-up building and all rooms are reached by climbing the stairs. They make you walk up stairs here. Sorry.


Geometric patterns and bold stripes in black, white, and gray decorate the small but tidy rooms. In addition to the "cool style," rooms have all the basics covered including wall-mounted flat-screen TVs and air-conditioning, plus quirky extras such as free board game rentals.

There is a Group Suite available that can accommodate 8 to 12 people and is a great option for larger groups or families.


Some rooms have private en-suite bathrooms while others have shared bathrooms in the hallway (these rooms offer great value).

YOU SHOULD KNOW Repeat, some rooms don't have their own bathrooms.


Located on the 2nd floor, the lobby nods to the hotel’s musical history with guitars on display and large, artistic photographs of musicians (Madonna!). An outdoor courtyard adds common space and has a lounge area with bright red cushions and umbrellas.


There is no full-service restaurant on-site, but they've got that sweet (free) coffee and tea available in the morning.


Getting Around

Located on West 30th Street and 8th Avenue, this hotel is at the northern edges of Chelsea, with the neighborhood’s many galleries and boutiques in easy walking distance. Landmarks of Midtown Manhattan are also a stroll away. Subway service is available nearby at 34th Street and 8th Avenue (A, C, and E trains). Taxis and Uber are widely available in the neighborhood, but traffic congestion can be a problem depending on the time of day.


New York has countless places for a quick slice of pizza, but not all are created equal. One of the best is Pizza Suprema (1-minute walk), opened by an Italian immigrant in the 1960s (unlike other pizza places, this one has comfy seating in the back). Chef George Mendes is behind Lupulo (8-minute walk), a Portuguese restaurant with a big central bar and pretty blue and white tiles (try the salt cod croquettes). The Pennsy (6-minute walk) is an upscale food hall at Penn Station with 8,000-square-feet of options including steak sandwiches from master butcher Pat LaFrieda and Italian bites from Mario Batali.


Beer, wine, cocktails and an impressive whiskey collection are on offer at American Whiskey (2-minute walk), a large bar with good snacks. The Breslin (10-minute walk) may be known for its lamb burger, but it’s also a perfect spot to relax over craft beers.


Bold décor brings the ‘80s back to life at this Chelsea hotel. We love the music paraphernalia, the comfy outdoor courtyard, and the combination of style and affordability.




Phones: 212-244–7827

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