Review by James Dunford Wood, published 17th September 2016.
The Chambers is, externally, an unassuming hotel. Squeezed into a row of offices and stores on 56th Street, a stone’s throw from 5th Avenue and Tiffany’s, its entrance is marked by tall, wooden double doors leading directly off the street, next to the discreet entrance to one of New York’s hipper eateries and bars, Momofuku.
Once inside, however, the cosy lobby is a haven of understated cool – both style and temperature wise. The hotel is often described by former guests as a hidden gem. The reception area is small but welcoming, (with complimentary water both here and in the rooms), and upstairs is a mezzanine level with a small library. To the left, the hotel has a private entrance to Momofuku, which serves top-notch dinners as well as daytime breakfasts, snacks and cocktails in the bar upstairs. But what the Chambers is really about, of course, are the rooms – a mixture of dark woods, glass and steel, with muted fabrics, super comfortable beds, and desks and sofas in many rooms. The showers are proper rainshower, a tea and coffee machine is provided, as well as a wifi speaker for slotting in your ipod, and blistering fast wifi. Streetside rooms have decent views. Above all, the hotel is quiet, and feels like an oasis of calm.
In the weekdays this is primarily a business hotel, but at weekends they often have very good rates for visitors - the Chambers is great value considering the location, because you’d be hard pressed to find a better one: a short walk to Central Park, a block from Carnegie Hall, and in the middle of the best 5th Avenue shopping (did I hear Tiffany’s?). Two subway lines are a 5 minute walk away. Plus the service is exceptional – all day dining can be delivered to the rooms, and for art aficionados the hotel has a corporate card to the nearby Museum of Modern Art. Aptly, perhaps, given the hotel’s proximity to Museum Mile, the Chambers has an in-house collection of over 500 works of modern art, scattered around the 72 rooms, corridors and public spaces.
For eating out, 56th street itself has several good options, and a couple of great breakfast diners are within easy reach.