From the moment you approach the massive portal of the Chambers Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, you feel as if you’re about to embark on a mythical journey. The entranceway, complete with bronze canapé and woven door handles, prepares you for the massive fireplace and vaulted ceilings that seem to reach further north than you eye can make out. This is the how Chambers Hotel welcomes you — with impressive height and smarter details that reflect, very much, the excitement of New York City itself.
Two Great Passions – Hotels and Art
Chambers Hotel’s space is grand yet terribly unassuming. The hotel staff is warm, inviting, and eager to acclimate you to the city with familiar comfort nibbles from Momofuku Milk Bar, such as their famous confetti cookies or even just a bottle of water. Even more thrilling and laidback is the seemingly secret collection of art housed in this 77-room boutique property.
Thanks to Chambers Hotel owners Ira Drucker and Richard Born — well-known art enthusiasts in New York — this modest hotel houses close to 500 pieces of original art. The Artwork ranges from up-and-coming to some of the greater known artists, such as John Waters, Bob and Roberta Smith, Sheila Pepe, and many more.
A breathtaking moment is when you enter the hotel lobby and gaze upward onto Jay Davis’s incredibly psychedelic piece adorning the mezzanine above the fireplace. The painting is beautiful yet edgy with classic imagery mixed with something very technical. It’s a landscape of sorts, but also very graphic and otherworldly. For me, this piece sets the tone for the artistic journey through the property.
As you move upward through the hotel, you discover different works of original art or installations adorning the hallway on each floor. ?For example, on the 8th floor you are greeted by a colorful pastoral garden with enormous birds, flowers, and butterflies by John Newsom. Newsom’s hallway theme is carried through into the guestrooms on that floor, making you feel you are living as part of the piece, instead of merely observing it.
Original artwork at Chambers Hotel is showcased in every single guestroom and hallway. The style of each work ranges considerably. One room may house a stark black and white photograph while in others you could find a retro homemaker inspired installations such as Lael Marshall’s “Butter”— that showcases a square of butter poised in the air. Each stay at Chambers Hotel offers a different discovery.
One of my personal favorite pieces is on by the multitalented John Waters. Tucked away on the 15th floor, you’ll find a colossal photo of human feet straddling colorful tape marks on the floor. The photo series is hung low to the grown to give guests the sensation as if they are part of the artwork.
Overall, the sensation of being at Chambers Hotel mimics the thrill of being at the home of a private art collector. The pieces come together to evoke both an exhilarating and calming force inside the space, inviting you to contemplate the motivation for choosing each piece. I would say, if you’re an art lover, a stay at Chambers Hotel is not to be missed.