A NY girl, I nonetheless first learned that an area called NoMad existed, when Mary asked if I had had a chance to check out the buzzy NoMad Hotel. Developers hoping to revitalize this drab stretch in the garment district (once home to brothels and saloons) have apparently coined the term NoMad, aka North of Madison Park. The broker friendly, catchy label is a bit close to the neighborhoods’ past description, “No Man’s Land,” but the double entendre works well for the hotel. As a neighborhood, NoMad is undeniably centrally located, and boasts architectural treasures ripe for restoration and renovation. The NoMad is a beautifully restored Beaux Arts building with an interior design that is both elegant and cool; it’s the chicest recent addition in hospitality to the city and the bright light of this recent movement to imbue the area with character to match its situation.
A fusion of sorts, the NoMad combines downtown American style with European flair. The exterior is classic New York; the interior transports you to a chic and luxurious Parisian home. The decadent lobby, airy and light atrium, opulent library, and classic dark bar are all reminiscent of interior designer Jacques Garcia’s sexy Hotel Côstes in Paris. Yet there is a certain frequency that let’s you know you are rolling in NYC, not whiling the hours away in gay Paris. Less Marlboros; more laptops.
The NoMad showcases carefully selected partnerships, curating a “lifestyle”; and setting the stage for the modern urban society to come to life. Just as the always fun Ace (which is from the same developer, the Sydell Group,) helped transform the hotel into a scene, the NoMad is a new social venue as much as a place to stay.
Cool collaborations abound at the NoMad, where each detail has been carefully thought out: from the library curated and stocked by modern “librarian” Thatcher Wine, to the custom dinnerware line by ceramicist Jono Pandolfi. Paris based record label and fashion company Maison Kitsuné has also opened its first shop in the NoMad, so there is fantastic shopping to tempt as well. One of the loveliest aspects of the NoMad, is the charming artwork decorating the hotel walls as well as the rooms. The creative director of graphic studio be-pôles chose these reproductions from a book series, les Portraits de Villes, in which photographers illustrate the city they love most through a journal of pictures.
Rounding out the talent, Eleven Madison alums and superstars Daniel Humm and Will Guidara are running the fine dining restaurant at the NoMad. We did not try the delicious (and pricey) sounding menu but the food has already garnered rave reviews including three stars from the New York Times. There is also a tasting menu served at the elegant roof top upstairs; the atmosphere up there is a bit more subdued with a diners and hotel guests only policy. Lastly, the staff at the NoMad is both friendly and professional: whether helping us choose a Chenin Blanc, securing a comfy couch in the Library, or finding taxis at the end of the evening they didn’t miss a beat.
Ready for a trip to No Man’s Land yet? Moi aussi!