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And now it’s here! The Chelsea Star is no more; the hotel silently riffed into its new incarnation earlier this month (no big statement opening? Not very 80s). All rooms are now renovated, and they’ve even installed a (temporary) 12ft high Santa in the courtyard. The verdict?
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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.