The economy can wax and wane, and the costs of travel may rise and fall. One thing you can safely bet on is that New York City shall always be one of the world's most expensive cities, and arguably the priciest in America. Enter the GEM Hotel Chelsea, which opened inside a smartly transformed former residential hotel with a prime location along a stretch of 8th Avenue that may have more gay-popular restaurants, bars, and shops than any other thoroughfare in New York City. The hotel is also a block from a major subway stop on the A, C, and E lines. You can book online here.
The GEM is part of a mini-brand of three moderately priced yet stylish New York City boutique hotels. The others are the GEM Midtown West (which is by the Javits Convention Center, a neighborhood with far less interest to leisure travelers, although it's midway between Chelsea and the Theater District/Hells Kitchen), and the GEM SoHo, which is an outstanding option if you want to be near not only hip SoHo but also the trendy-gay East Village and Lower East Side.
Again, the location is stellar - as lively and fun as this neighborhood is, it's short on lodging options. The GEM within a few blocks of numerous cool restaurants and bars. The hotel five-story hotel is compact, and its rooms pretty cozy (by Manhattan standards, that's a bit smaller than average, but by general U.S. standards, they're actually tiny). This is only a problem if you're seriously in need of lots of space to kick around in, and in Manhattan, you're going to find that only by paying a lot more or staying somewhere decidedly less appealing.
The GEM Chelsea is highly appealing. Rooms are smartly designed with high-quality beds and linens, decent-size wardrobes, wide-screen flat-panel TVs, free WiFi, coffeemakers with Wolfgang Puck java, Gilchrest & Soames bath products, robes, irons and boards - in other words, all the basics you'd expect of an upscale business hotel. Yet the 81-room property is intimate, the staff personable and laid-back (much more so than at many larger Midtown hotels). There's a small but attractive sitting area in the lobby, and you've also got access to an exercise room and business center. The GEM is keen on welcoming GLBT travelers, and they've come up with a number of promotions and deals.