This story first appeared in Vacations & Travel magazine, winter 2019, issue 111
Incredible views and greenery at every turn make this a great option in the Big Apple.
Entering a hotel through a florist is both beautiful and bewildering. At first it feels like you’ve stumbled into the wrong address, but what a pleasant, confusing surprise.
From floor to ceiling, the walls are alive with plants and flowers, and a young woman is trimming stems of roses as she creates hand-tied bouquets at a cart-cum-wheelbarrow stamped ‘Putnam & Putnam’.
“Am I in the Moxy?” I ask, and she nods and smiles warmly, despite probably fielding this question 20 times a day.
It turns out Putnam & Putnam is no ordinary florist – its clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Bergdorf Goodman, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar – and Moxy Chelsea is its first retail location, by no coincidence in Manhattan’s Flower District, on a street where you’re almost tripping over pots and posies to get down the sidewalk.
This botanical beginning sets the tone for the rest of the hotel, which has plenty of pockets of greenery and unpredictable touches around every corner. The lobby is just through the glass doors, where friendly check-in staff hand me a token for a free glass of bubbly at Bar Feroce upstairs. It’s a gorgeous, buzzing space with huge windows, a vertical garden, a long bar and a co-working area for people on laptops (the WiFi is free).
There’s also the Feroce Ristorante and Feroce Caffe, from the Tao Group and renowned chef Francesco Panella. These are lovely, Italian-inspired venues to wine and dine, especially in the garden terrace. But it only gets better at The Fleur Room: on the 35th floor, an elegant lounge offers panoramic views of the city skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building. Don’t miss it at night.
The bedrooms, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, are small and minimalist, yet feel spacious thanks to three-metre-high ceilings and wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows with more incredible views. A folding chair and table hang on the wall, so you can choose whether or not to take up space with furniture. The bathroom is also compact but not cramped, and the bed is super comfy.
Groups and families can stay in playfully designed bunk rooms. For a luxury option, the Mondo Suite stretches 70 square metres, with two bedrooms and a wet bar.
Moxy Chelsea is a great green haven in the concrete jungle of New York, at a surprisingly reasonable price.
Rates start at US$159 (about A$225) per night.
Find out more: moxychelsea.com