Since I was traveling by myself, my mother made me promise to stay in a hotel and not in a hostel. I agreed with her and thought my safety was more important than to trying to save a few dollars. I started looking on travel websites and scoured for a good deal. I’m super glad that my New York friend Emily suggested a couple of hotels, one of them being the Desmond Tutu Center.
Right in the heart of Chelsea, the Desmond Tutu Center is in a great neighborhood. It’s close by subway stops and also on a main street so it was extremely easy getting a cab. I was surprised how affordable the rates were and how nice the rooms looked. Then I found out that they had AAA discounts. I was sold. While the other hotels cost way more than $200 a night over the July 4th weekend, the Desmond Tutu Center only charged about $180 a night.
The Desmond Tutu Center is actually home to a seminary too (although the divinity school students were on summer vacation). I totally felt like I was walking into Harry Potter’s Hogwarts or like an East Coast college campus. The building had a beautiful garden and really cute sitting area.
When I checked in, they upgraded my room from a queen size bed to two beds for free. Apparently, each of the 60 hotel rooms are all different. Our room was HUGE and super clean. I also greatly appreciated the central air conditioning and free water, tea and coffee in each room. Wifi was also included too!
What I appreciated the most was the security. When I came back past midnight, I had to ring a doorbell in order to be let into the building. There’s always someone working at the front desk who can easily buzz you in. My mother would have been proud.
More pictures after the page break.