THE CHELSEA HOTEL IN ATLANTIC CITY – Retro at it’s Finest
When reading this post please play “Summer Wind” on repeat mode:
A couple weeks ago Aly Green, and Jared Poe of Raven Records, invited me down to shoot the behind the scenes of rapper Azizz and his new video “Let’s Go, Let’s Go” and they put me up at the cool new chic Chelsea Hotel where they were doing the shoot.I was more than excited, not only to shoot the video stills, but it gave me a chance to check out the one hotel that I’d been hearing all the buzz about…Last year Philly’s social peeps were all about Margate, Avalon and other shore points. This year it was like the turning of the tide and alls I kept hearing about was The Chelsea. As the summer approached Philly’s social population dwindled on the weekends and headed down the shore bringing back with it tails of The Chelsea (Which I kept thinking, the NYC Chelsea has a sister hotel in AC; far from it as this Chelsea is a showplace.)
Although The Chelsea opened last year the buzz really started humming around the time that The Chelsea owners tapped Premiere Hospitality Group, Justin Fine and Michael Steinberg along with Anthony Sembello re-launched the “Fifth Floor” this past spring. The Fifth is the entertainment and nightlife destination within the Chelsea Hotel. Located on the fifth floor, The Fifth has options for all tastes and all hours of the night including the Living Room, the Cabana Club, C5, and Chelsea Prime. These elements combine to make the most fabulous destination for all of your nightlife desires. Sip champagne and cocktails in the Living Room, dine at Chelsea Prime, lounge with friends at the Cabana Club, and dance until late night at C5. I first wrote about the Chelsea Pool Party when I came to AC to cover Kristin Cavalleri at Dusk down the street at Caesars in July. (I’ll be at Dusk this Friday night too for the Cashman & Assocs. Party with Mya!!).
Well at that time I made a point of stopping by the Chelsea Pool for two reasons, mainly to steal a few shots of my “It Girl” Sabrina Tamburino celebrate her bacherlorette party weekend, and also to see what all the hype about “The Chelsea Pool.” I was impressed with what I saw, and was excited to return to capture the whole scene.
The Chelsea Hotel is a resort, it’s remind me of Club Med. There’s a daytime party by the pool. A bar set up, food, servers to wait on your every need, A F’king DJ to get you in the grove, a great pool and people to mingle, oh an occasionally a little dancing in place.
There’s also private Cabana’s where you can hang out with your friends, relax, watch TV, yeah that’s right, you can go to the pool with your girlfriend/wife etc and while she’s working on her tan you can watch the game in your private Cabana. Talk about escaping the stresses of the day.
and eye candy too.Inside the hotel, I think they call this the C5 part, you will find a pool room with this very funky light fixture, as well as original shots of the hotel from it’s inception which was actually two different hotel’s a Holiday Inn and a Howard Johnson’s. I remember when I had stopped by weeks earlier it was this space that got me thinking what was this place like in the evening, and having stayed at Philippe Starck’s Hudson Hotel I had a feeling it had the same hip vibe.
I love when entertainment spaces think outside of the box. I remember reading of it’s opening last year and hearing that their target audience was NYC. Well NYC already had a lot of cool hip places to call her own, and then the summer crowd headed to the Hampton’s. Philly was starving for a place like this at the beach. A one stop shopping resort party zone, especially for the younger set, because even though the decor may reflect your parents generation, or even your grandparent’s, there’s a good chance you’re not going to find them here. It’s young, fresh and energized. I really loved can you tell.
The Living Room on the Fifth Floor. Behind the curtain is a balcony that runs the length of the 5th floor. Great for lounging and looking at the ocean, at night great for chatting and enjoying the crash of the waves.Yet another Stephen Starr creation, Chelsea Prime I had the pleasure of chatting with Stephen the other day, and well was tongue tied as I am such a huge fan of his eclectic vision of restaurants. I can’t think of anyone else that has so many variations in conceptions and food. (I had no idea that he had another restaurant in the same bldg downstairs, the very cool retro Teplitzky. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m down there.)
Chelsea Prime is Stephen Starr’s fresh and youthful take on a steakhouse in a setting evocative of a 1940s supper club with options for both indoor and outdoor seating. The cocktail lounge with a curvilinear bar and a timeless white grand piano are complimented by an incredible cocktail menu and energy flow from the adjoining Living Room. Chelsea Prime is filled with classic black and white photographs of 1940s Atlantic City and surrounded by elevated Hollywood-style booths and sweeping ocean views. While Chelsea Prime classically authentic in design, its style, food, and energy are modern and glamorous. The restaurant is the perfect place to begin a night of fabulous socializing at the Chelsea or end of day of sun and cocktails by the pool.
The Fifth Floor, get there early
’cause around midnight this is what it looks like. The night I was there the place was at capacity and no one else was allowed in after about 1AM, even if you had bottle service. The Fire Marshall means business, so make it your business to get there on time.
Pool party in full swing. Bottle service is available and encouraged, but for the best VIP experience you have to hook up with the Cabana service. If you thought the Cabana service was off the hook during the day, check it out at night; still furnished with couches, tables and a TV, but now you have your own little party going on, in the middle of an already rocking party.
A few readers of PhillyChitChat that I never met before, Dustin Steiner, Dana Brajer, Mindy Rosen, Erica Kaplan and Jared Kahn. (Thanks)
I gotta feeling that tonight’s gonna be a good night
That tonight’s gonna be a good night
Tonight’s the night
Let’s live it up
Fill up my cup
Look at her dancing
Lets paint the town
We’ll shut it down
Let’s burn the roof
And then we’ll do it again
Aly Green, Lauren Beloff, Michael Spain Smith and Fox 29’s Nefertiti Jáquez
Al Puggi and Cindy Caccuro
Shah Herman, Diane Bekhor, Brett Rosenbloom and Mandi Rosen
Elvira Pyanova, Thurna Pyamova, Asu Kamara, Stacey Kracher, Chris Prabhu and Anne Nikolaus (Sorry if I butchered your names, it was dark)
The outdoor bar
Lauren Beloff and Anthony Sembello
Brett Rosenbloom, Sgt. Ray Evers (He’s single, I get a lot of google searches on that topic), guest, birthday Boy Justin Wineburgh, guest and John Westrum (who I owe a photo to and if it wasn’t 3am I would look for it right now)
Ironically it was about 3am when I took this photo too, and the place was still rocking.
Kim Lenetsky, Rachael Frank, Melissa Carbman and MRS. Jill Jacobsen
As you can see there are many great nooks, crannies and seating areas for you to catch up with oldfriends, chat with new ones or just hang out. That was another plus I liked about the place. They are bringing it, and the rest of it is up to you to make your fun, enjoy the music and have a great time.
For me it was time to go, but I left plenty of people behind to enjoy the fruits of branding labor by Justin Fine, Michael Steinberg and Anthony Sembello, and whoever had the initial concept to build such an ground breaking “house party” hotel in Atlantic City. Also I want to give a shout out to Brett Perloff and Scotty Buck who I heard had awesome parties. I never made it down for those, but impressed with their promotion, week after week I knew what was going on at The Fifth Floor. Check out Perloff’s Strongbox’s opening in Philly next week 9/10/09. I’ll be in NYC for Fashion Week, but I hear Brett has a few surprises in store for opening night.
But for now hurry on down to the Atlantic City and enjoy The Chelsea and all it has to offer before the first frost is upon us. But don’t worry long after the beach towels are washed, and the beach chairs are put away, The Chelsea will still be buzzing along, did I mention they have three fireplaces on The Fifth floor. The party maybe a little more chill, but the music doesn’t stop there. Check out their website to see what they have planned for the coming months.
Final Note: As I said in the beginning of the piece I will be down at Dusk on Friday night (RIP DJ AM), and was planning on a return trip to the Chelsea Hotel Fifth Floor for some fun the next night, but my house plans fell through for Saturday night, but I will try and stop by the day pool party. So all those folks I promised to shoot Sat Nite, take a few snaps for me and perhaps I can do a final summer wrap up next week. Send me a few stories too. Enjoy, I Gotta A Feeling it’s gonna be a Good Night!!