Set in the immaculately restored former National Cash Register Company, The NoMad New York brings Broadway back to its golden days, both literally – note the gilded lobby – and figuratively. This enchanting beaux arts boutique hotel has it all: a top-tier restaurant, a cosy library lounge, a chic boutique and beautiful, airy rooms. The hotel may be named for its location (north of Madison Park), but designer Jacques Garcia ran with the idea, adding unique journey-themed touches to the rooms, which convey an ideal of maple-floored, old-world elegance alongside every modern luxury.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £237.41 ($310), including tax at 14.75 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $3.50 per room per night on check-out and an additional resort fee of $34.43 per room per night on check-out.
Rates usually exclude breakfast (from $12).
Pluck a tome from the dimly lit Library Lounge. The split-level literary haven features floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with volumes curated by rare bookstore Juniper Books. Grab a title, order a cocktail, then curl into one of the stuffed chairs to flip through.
At the hotel
Gym, Library Lounge, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, iPod dock, minibar, Côté Bastide bath products. There’s a stash of laptops and iPads to borrow.
Our favourite rooms
Suite 408 has two spacious rooms with panoramic views overlooking Broadway, plenty of light and a generous parlour space. Admire the montage of framed postcards from the deep claw-foot tub, set beside the windows in an Atelier room. Or go big on the Suite Royale. Set on the top floor, this two-level palace includes a dining room and a private roof terrace.
An old-fashioned valise will fit right in with the travel trunks and vintage postcards that make up the journey-themed decor.
Pets weighing up to 60lb are welcome for no additional cost, though guests must sign a waiver at check-in, and pay for any damage or extra cleaning.
Dogs weighing up to 60lbs can stay for free (although charged for any damages or additional cleaning may apply); dog bowls and beds (or various sizes) can be provided on request. See more pet-friendly hotels in New York.
Welcome, with free cots for babies, and rollaway beds for older kids (US$50 a night). There’s a children’s menu in the restaurant. Babysitting can be arranged with a day’s notice for US$40 an hour, with a three-hour minimum.
This city slicker keeps the environment in mind. After a long, intensive renovation, The Nomad was deemed New York’s first hotel to receive LEED certification in a refurbished building.
Take a table in the airy Atrium, under the pyramidal ceiling.
The restaurant takes inspiration from the grand hotels of Europe, showcasing the finest seasonal ingredients in dishes like seared scallops, truffle-roasted chicken with foie gras, and house-made garganelli with braised rabbit. The wood-panelled Parlour faces an open hearth where the kitchen bakes its own breads.
Leo Robitschek, who lures tipplers from around the world, is in charge of cocktails – both new and classic – at this dark, 24-foot-long mahogany bar. In the swanky Library Lounge, custom-designed cocktail carts let guests mix their own drinks tableside, using house bitters, fresh mixers and clever garnishes
Dinner winds down at 10:30pm.
Order from a menu of ham-and-cheese sandwiches, chicken soup, radicchio salads and omelets anytime, day or night.
The NoMad is situated on Broadway in Midtown Manhattan, near Penn Station.
The nearest airport to the hotel is La Guardia, which has flights from most major US cities. Newark and JFK (the biggest international entry point for NYC) are within an hour-long drive, too. Our Smith24 team are on hand round the clock to book your flights, if needed.
Penn Station, the hub for Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) and the Long Island Rail Road (www.lirr.org) is just a short walk from the hotel. Grand Central Station, where you can hop on the Metro North (www.mta.info) to Connecticut and beyond, is a short cab ride away.
New York can be a driver’s nightmare. If you arrive by car, stow it in a garage for the duration of the trip to avoid traffic and the near-impossible street parking. The hotel offers valet parking (US$55 a day for a car, US$65 a day for an SUV).
Worth getting out of bed for
The NoMad doesn’t have just any lobby shop: its boutique is the only Stateside outpost of Paris’s ultrahip Maison Kitsuné. Stock up on cigarette pants, sneakers and even fresh flowers (there’s a stall in the middle of the shop). Clad in the French-inspired attire, head out to see New York’s unparalleled collection of art. Visit theMuseum of Modern Art to see Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. If you’re hungry, pause at the museum’s exceptional downstairs restaurant, the Modern. If the NoMad’s in-house book assortment inspires, drop by the Morgan Library & Museum by Bryant Park to marvel at Pierpont Morgan’s lifetime collection of illuminated manuscripts, drawings and rare books (think Dickens, Poe and Byron). The Morgan holds not one, but three Gutenberg bibles, along with the manuscript and illustrations for the childhood classic Babar. Pick up a title or two from the shop to read during a lazy afternoon in Bryant Park. On summer Mondays, the park hosts Screen on the Green, a series of free outdoor classic films. Arrive early to snag a spot for a dinner picnic; the films begin at sundown.
Wander two blocks south to the stylized Korean gastropub, Hanjan, for shared plates spanning the traditional (kimchi and beef brisket fried rice) to the modern (Atlantic salmon sashimi salad) in this much-buzzed-about spot. The Lone Star state dominates the vibe on West 26th Street’s Hill Country Barbecue, where pitmasters carve hulking portions of tender pork and brisket to pair with Southern sides and cold beer. On a pretty day, stroll through Madison Square Park, just a few blocks south of the hotel, where crowds queue for a half hour to score Shake Shack’s diner-style burgers and thick concretes, a type of shake.
Pop by Sweetgreen adjacent to the hotel, and power up with healthy and tasty organic cold-pressed juices, bright, made-to-order green salads and rice bowls to pack up for a picnic in nearby Madison Square Park. One block up, No 7 Sub fashions creatively delicious sandwich combinations featuring breaded zucchini parmesan with crushed barbecue potato chips, or Mongolian tofu with wax beans, which are similar to green beans.
After an afternoon shopping the Chelsea Market, pop down to its basement for revamped classics at The Tippler, where a frozen negroni (called the Snowgroni) or smoky mescal cocktails are an ideal pre-dinner primer. Across the East River on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Maison Premiere recreates old New Orleans with a raucous oyster bar and classic cocktails refashioned to incorporate a heady dose of anise-scented absinthe.
As the founder of an emerging fashion label, the first position I hold is not of designer, creative director or even CEO, but rather as Head Hustler. In this role, I cover off on everything from wheeling and dealing with clients to sourcing materials and branding opportunities, and my inner-hustler is at its height when in an Empire State of mind.
That said, trips to New York are beyond rushed, and my Google calendar builds its own towering skyscraper of stacked and overlapping blue scheduling squares. Meeting-filled days turn to event-packed evenings that flow into playing email catch-up at sunrise over espresso.
I can’t slow down even if I want to – this city’s high gets me every time. And before I know it, I’m crashing in an airport-bound cab to catch my flight home to Chicago (for a much-needed rest).
My latest trip for fashion week began no differently. In the taxi I got right to work on the backlog of iPhone messages that attack post-flight. Time flies when you are having fun on iMessage, so when the cab driver declared that I was at my destination, I was irritated at the interruption.
My tech-induced haze quickly lifted though the moment I stepped foot inside the NoMad hotel, conveniently placed just north of Madison Square Park. With the trellising ivy vines and dark entryway, if ever I was at the doors of The Secret Garden, this would be it. I was overcome with nostalgia over my favorite childhood novel about whimsy, fantasy and the promise that everything will turn out alright in the end.
My label focuses on luxury, differentiation and confidence. My garments are handcrafted in limited runs to ensure exclusivity and super detailing, and I strive for mindful, modern opulence. As I was swiftly ushered through the NoMad’s dark and mysterious passageway entry into a lobby styled with a palette of rich black cherry and deep gold, I felt a shared vision surrounding me here.
This would be the perfect backdrop for my solo mission that included creating the fashion week 2015 mood board, material sourcing excursions to the Garment District and the list of shops on my agenda (several of which were within three blocks of the hotel).
The creative director in me tried to pinpoint the interior’s era and inspiration. It wasn’t Ralph Lauren-classic and it certainly wasn’t Maison Margiela-modern, but there was an unspoken visual balance – contemporary, yet timeless.
I absorbed the layered textures and graphic details in everything from the elegant room divider screens to the Hollywood Regency-style ceiling lights. As someone who covets the unpredictable, the entirely unique design was refreshing indeed.
I made a quick survey of the ground floor and entered a gorgeous drawing room that flowed into an inviting dining room. I explored the nooks that led every which way, and happened upon a cozy den with a massive fireplace (six times the average size). I envisioned it as the hero of the most perfect Instagram shot with my feet (clad in Del Toro for Moda Operandi Emoji smoking slippers) propped up in the foreground on the deep-red velvet couches.
I continued on into the clubby main bar (which I noted as the ideal future setting for meetings with colleagues and friends), and into a library. It was the epitome of modern grandeur with Chesterfield sofas, two levels of books and floor-to-ceiling geometric windows framed in deep mahogany.
The best discovery was yet to come, though: my Oversized King room. I entered through a dramatic framed archway with a long hallway trimmed in black cherry wood millwork. The first point of curiosity was the number of doors in the room which led into the drawing room, massive bedroom, vanity and the bath. If my husband had been traveling with me, we would have certainly retained our own sense of space, a key element that’s usually lost in the average hotel room.
The true beauty of the space came from the soft lighting along with a well-curated, offbeat collection of furnishings and accents that mimicked the aesthetic of the ground floor. None of it contrived or expected.
I slipped into the plush Frette house robe and slippers, hung up my spring/summer 2015 wardrobe and prepped for the night ahead. On the agenda: an opening reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Bartholomeus Spranger exhibit curated by one of my clients, followed by a performance and gala at Carnegie Hall.
The artistic spirit of my first evening was quickly lost the following morning when the business portion of the trip took over. In an effort to retain my sanity, I held meetings in the spacious and sun-filled library. I closed my parade of back-to-back appointments with a private client and invited her up to my room so that I might fully seduce her – with a fitting and styling session, of course. It worked.
I had another night full of activities and dinners, but the homebody in me craved nothing more than an evening spent in my robe, snacking on room service and working right from that royal bed.
It wasn’t to be that night, but for every moment spent there, the NoMad was my stuff-of-fantasies home-away-from-home. Not for one second did I feel that I was in the confines of just another luxury hotel, but rather my own personal flat in this magnificent city. It's true, this is one NoMad that could tempt any world-traveler into settling down for good.