This New York City conference center is in the heart of Chelsea, where narrow streets lined with historic townhouses intersect with broad avenues brimming with restaurants, shops, clubs, and cutting-edge art galleries. Like Chelsea itself, the Desmond Tutu Center is a blend of the old and the new. Beautifully restored Gothic Revival buildings are arrayed around a parklike courtyard. Meeting facilities are high-tech, guestrooms offer modern comforts, and an energy-efficient geothermal system heats and cools the property.
Amenity highlights: A complimentary Continental breakfast buffet is served in the gorgeous Refectory, which dates from the late 1800s. Original architectural elements include an ornate, working fireplace; tall, stained-glass windows; and a high, barrel-vaulted ceiling painted in an intricate gold, red, and blue pattern. Breakfast includes three types of sweet pastries, a savory pastry, fresh fruit, juices, fair-trade organic coffee, and teas.
Complimentary wireless Internet access is available throughout the center.
Insider tip: Best known as the author of “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (“The Night Before Christmas”), Clement Clarke Moore (1779 – 1863) was also a developer, a scholar, and a professor at the General Theological Seminary. Moore spent most of his life on his family estate in Chelsea and donated a large parcel of his property to the seminary, which today shares its campus with the Desmond Tutu Center.