This hotel has unusual architecture and an interesting history.
it was originally built in the 1960s by the National Maritime Association, mainly as lodging for sailors on leave from the nearby docks on the Hudson River. The architects chose round, porthole type windows throughout on the assumption (probably wrong!) that the sailors would prefer to be reminded of their ships even when ashore. The docks fell into disuse years ago and the building was taken over by Covenant House, a catholic charity that provided housing to runaway children. The priest who founded the charity, Father Bruce Ritter, first won national fame for his outstanding work, then national notoriety for his sexual abuse of the runaway boys there. Ritter resigned in disgrace, Covenant House ran into financial problems, and the premises were sold a couple more times. Finally in was taken over in 2001 by a hotel company that did a beautiful renovation of the old property and an extension that featured more of the signature porthole windows.
It's a great place to stay -- quirky and elegant, with an understated maritime theme throughout. The rooms are on the small side but beautifully organized and decorated. The hotel staff are top-notch and the food is excellent. Prices are quite reasonable for Manhattan. The location is good -- in Chelsea and within easy walking distance of the West Village with all its restaurants and other attractions. It's a few minutes by cab or subway to just about anywhere in midtown or downtown Manhattan. I've stayed here before and will gladly stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel resembles white cruise ship with portholes overlooking Ninth Avenue - West Chelsea neighborhood - 4 blocks to Chelsea Piers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Maritime Hotel New York City