This New Manhattan Hotel Is Getting Ready To Riff On 1980s Nostalgia
Shhh. There’s a new hotel – or hotel chain – gearing up to hit Manhattan, but it’s preparing under the radar. Why? Our best guess is that they don’t want any riff raff hearing about it.
Or any raff, at least. Riff is just fine – fitting, in fact. Because the chain will be called Riff Hotels, and the first property – opening next month – will be Riff Chelsea, a “musically-inspired” 44-room hotel at W30th St and 8th Avenue.
The creative theme is in its genes – formerly the Chelsea Star (indeed still the Chelsea Star for now – it’s remaining open, while being converted room by room, and will be officially rebranded in August), it was a pulling point for artists in the 1980s. Madonna stayed here, and
the hotel rumor has it that Lucky Star was inspired by the hotel.
The Chelsea Star looks pretty non-descript right now, but as the Riff, the hotel will be channeling the 80s: the lobby will house pictures of early New York Madonna by Richard Corman, there’ll be a performance space curated by artist collective Chashama, and rooms will be “retro-contemporary”, designed by Steed Hale, who worked on Studio 54. We don’t have pictures or even renderings yet, but you’ll need sunglasses at the ready if they’re anything like the hotel is promising:
Bold colors and eye-catching graphics will make every guest room different, with pop-art photography, edgy graphics, and bold, buzzy Jonathan Adler wallpaper.
But the best bit? Whirly Pop lollipops at turndown.
Rates will start at $225 – a leap from Chelsea Star rooms which currently start at $99. But then, they look a little different right now, and even then, they rise to $175 by the end of next week. No official word on when the hotel is set to rebrand, other than “August” – but if you book now, you can slip under the radar with Chelsea Star rates: $184 for 31 August, for example.
The next Riff is planned for Tribeca – Riff Downtown will be at 102 Greenwich St, with a black and white theme, but still an 80s influence. Let’s hope Calvin Harris' first hit will be the theme tune for the chain.
[Rendering: Riff Hotels]