New York’s latest boutique hotel launch to create a buzz all over the city is the NoMad Hotel. And if you’re wondering where NoMad is exactly, it’s realtor speak for North Madison Square Park (FiDi - the Financial District - was a new label also getting a lot of chatter on our visit, much to the amusement of residents).
On arrival you’ll see why the area needed a jazzy new name to attract custom. It’s the no man’s-land between Flatiron and Gramercy Park to the south, Chelsea to the west and Midtown to the north. Outside the hotel there’s a parade of shops selling real hair and office blocks whose workers complain of having nowhere to eat lunch. Pah, try swathes of London. It’s not glam, you may even go so far as to pull your handbag a little closer to your side, but for the complainers, the NoMad hotel’s arrival puts it firmly on the map and this being Manhattan, you are but a block away from a different scene.
Once inside it’s a different story, NoMad’s mix of French-sourced furniture and salon-stacked pictures creates an interior to provoke frenzied Instagraming. The rooms and suites are as handsome as they look in the photos. All 168 feature a giant bed, roll-top bath, writing desks and tres French Côté Bastide products.
But it’s the restaurant and bar which has generated the most press coverage. Chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara of triple Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park have made The Atrium restaurant a place to see and be seen, as well as the Bar and its neighbouring Library, and surely the soon-to-be-opened rooftop too where you can feast on the five-course tasting menu. It’s not cheap (boy is it not cheap) but it’s sensational fare.
- The inspirational decor
- Feeling as if you’re at the hot spot
- The menu and resulting dishes
- The down-at-heel block
- The over-zealous door staff who are that bit too eager to earn tips
- It’s a hot and a not: You need to feel comfortable bathing in front of your companion
Need to Know: The NoMad Hotel
Number of rooms: 168
Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 12 noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: No
Spa: There’s no spa but there is a 24-hour fitness centre
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: The Atrium is the hotel’s swanky and impressive restaurant and there are numerous rooms and hidden corners in which to conduct an illicit affair.
Near to? It’s located right between Flatiron and Gramercy Park to the south, Chelsea to the west and Midtown to the north; not the prettiest of locations but you’re just a short hop from the best of Manhattan's shopping districts and, of course all the sights.
Getting there: Depending on traffic, a yellow cab from JFK or Newark would take around an hour and costs around 50 dollars (plus tolls and tips).