160 E 25th St, New York, NY | Directions 1001040.740153 -73.982610
Neighborhoods: Kips Bay, Midtown
Hostel – My experience was far different from those described before me: no private bathrooms available, extremely rude service, a padlock for my door, art in my room that looked like smeared fecal matter, and no blankets in November! Though the location is great, the room experience was totally uncomfortable in every way imaginable. The best part about this place was the adorable, obese cat that slept in a chair all day. When I told a local where I was staying, I was not surprised when he said it used to be a whorehouse.
The funkiest hotel in this funky town. – The Scene
Though this hostel-like hotel is relatively small, you could wander its halls and open rooms for hours, studying the floor-to-ceiling murals that chaotically run throughout the entire property. The clientele is mostly made up of artistic young travelers. In fact, students and foreign guests get a discount. This former welfare hotel at first seems slightly shabby, since the hall carpets are ripped and the lobby is messy. But once inside your guest room, you'll think differently.
Each uniquely and thoughtfully designed room is clean. There's no telephone or TV, but with atmosphere like this, who cares. Room 10B, for example, could be a tribute to Prince. It's completely purple--from the lights to the carpet to the ceiling--and boasts a bed on a three-foot riser separated from the rest of the room by hanging transparent linen. It looks like an altar of love. Many rooms have ceilings painted with the night sky. Not all rooms have a private bath.
Art Musuem & Motel in One – I stayed at the Arms during a trip in to see the Village Halloween parade w/my girlfriend. Because I was already in a "wild and crazy" mindset, the Arms was a perfect conclusion to the night. We were amused and fascinated by the nonstop paintings, murals, and paper mache creations adorning walls, doors, and ceilings. We had fun telling the stories to family/friends. If you fall into the 18-35 crowd, are not staying for business or romance, and would appreciate an alternative art museum inside your hotel, THIS PLACE IS FOR YOU! Otherwise, keep out. For the great value and unlimited art, you sacrifice creature comforts. The place is weathered and worn, the beds were old, squeaky (old steel and wire frame), and we had miniature towels and no blankets. But rather than be annoyed by these things, we took it w/a grain of salt and went with the flow.
Hotel Artsy! – The Carlton Arms is one of the most wonderful hotels I've had the pleasure to stay in. Great service, really comfy beds, and two lovely cats! The decor has to be seen to be believed. I will be back there next time I'm in NYC! Only drawback is no Cable TV!
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