The first Cambria Suites in New York City, a Choice Hotels brand, opened at 123 West 28th Street in Chelsea’s Flower District. Cambria Hotel & Suites New York – Chelsea was designed by Gene Kaufman Architect (GKA). The project’s developers were the brothers Robert and Philip Chun of We Care Trading Company LTD.
For the first New York Cambria, GKA configured 135 suites ranging from 230 square feet to 400 square feet.
For the exterior, GKA designed a softly-curving façade that offers a contrast to the perpendicular fronts of the hotel’s neighbors, a Hilton Garden Inn next door and a Marriott Fairfield Inn across the street.
For this project’s interiors, the design group chose materials that recall the area’s industrial past and developed a unifying floral concept, realized in wall hangings, wall coverings and framed artwork that allude to the surrounding Flower District.
According to GKA principal Gene Kaufman, Choice Hotel invited the design firm to completely reimagine Cambria’s interiors. As such, the layout and design of both the common areas and the suites work together to maximize open space and deliver a distinctly New York sensibility.
GKA also designed a loft-like lobby. The reception, lounge/bar and dining areas flow into one another, the open space interrupted only by groupings of contemporary, custom-upholstered couches and sectional pieces (by Munrod) and streamlined lounge chairs (Nios, by Arcadia).
Enhancing the loft-like ambiance and recalling Chelsea’s manufacturing past are contrasting areas of concrete and raw-wood planked flooring, concrete wall finishes (by Get Real Surfaces, as are the concrete floors), fragmented mirror mosaics (by Mixed-Up Mosaics) and bronze-tinted glass. The overhead light fixtures (by Eureka and Marset) are reminiscent of the kind of industrial lighting that might have once been found in Chelsea factories. The table and floor lamps are by Vibia and Artemide, respectively.
Contrasting with the lobby’s tones are the jewel-like colors of the oversize floral wall hangings, handmade in felt by local artist Liora Manne using a needle-punch process. Reminding guests of the surrounding Chelsea Flower District are the images of giant flowers in full bloom, replicated in photo collages (printed by Koroseal) lining the hallways and in framed artwork in the suites.
Each of the rooms, which range in size from 230 square feet to 400 square feet, has a sleeping area; a functional work space; a bathroom; and guest seating. Custom wardrobes and dressers are available. Plank flooring, sliding glass shower doors and, in many of the suites, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in abundant natural light, create a feeling of expansiveness.
Completing the picture is understated lighting and soft-toned bedding, wall coverings and carpets (by Shaw Hospitality Group) offset by gold-accented draperies.