Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

The Carlton Arms

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“Art hotels” have been popping up more and more these days, and I couldn’t be happier. One of the originals in New York is the Carlton Arms. Full of junkies, drunks and hookers in the early 80s, the hotel’s manager at the time, Ed Ryan, decided to switch gears and make the hotel a happy place- rather than a home for the destitute. He began hiring artists as front desk employees, who asked him if they could paint murals throughout the five story hotel- and thus the idea was born. Since 1984, the Carlton Arms has literally changed from squalor to living art installation, thanks to the rotation of artists who have passed through its 54 rooms. (and of course the foresight of Ed Ryan).


With installations down to the skeleton in the lobby, the hotel feels a bit like old New York still- complete with grit and a little bit creepy. It isn’t shiny and new, but welcoming and clean and actually “Bohemian” (not that any of us who were children or still ideas in the 80s truly know what that means), making you feel a part of something just by sleeping there. The rates are probably amongst the cheapest in New York, especially surprising since it is only a few blocks from Gramercy Park.


I spy a WK Interact piece


What: The Carlton Arms Art Hotel

Where: 160 E 25th St

2 Responses to “The Carlton Arms”
  1. Pam Avoledo says:

    I’d love to stay there. The third photo is like staying inside a Dali painting.

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