La Dolce Vita meets So-Cal cool at NoMad Los Angeles, the dashing new resident of downtown’s Giannini Place, built in 1923 to house the Bank of Italy. The building’s Neoclassical façade has been preserved, but its interiors given a thorough refit courtesy of French designer Jacques Garcia, who took inspiration from the colours of the ornate ceiling in the lobby. Its shades of gold, white and blue are echoed in art deco light fittings, Terrazzo floors and patterned upholstery in a handshake between design old and new. Drinking and dining are an equally sumptuous affair, coming under the direction of powerhouse dining duo Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, the men behind NoMad New York and Eleven Madison Park.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $209.10, excluding tax at 14 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 1.695% per room per night on check-out and an additional resort fee of $28.50 per room per night on check-out.
Room rates don’t usually include breakfast, which starts at $20 a head.
The hotel’s artwork was conceived by Paris-based design studio be-pôles, who sourced vintage works from antique stores around Italy, placing them alongside photographs taken from the Portraits de Villes photography book series. Every room has a unique selection.
At the hotel
Rooftop terrace, lounge area, 24-hour gym, laundry and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, bespoke bath products by Susanne Kaufmann.
Our favourite rooms
Atelier rooms have freestanding pedestal bath tubs with a golden tray, giving you somewhere to rest your book (or glass) while you soak. If you really want to stretch out, opt for a Corner Suite, which has a sitting area and several windows, making it particularly bright.
The rooftop pool commands a 360-degree view of the downtown skyline. A Gardens-of-Bomarzo-style stone sculpture pulls a face at sunbathers from one end of the pool, and a café and cocktail bar are just off to the side; the latter two make this the social hotspot for sunny afternoons and balmy evenings.
Your most stylish swimwear for lazy, cocktail-filled afternoons by the pool.
All of the public areas are wheelchair accessible, and there are several specially-adapted rooms.
If you’re in the Mezzanine, choose one of the tables close to the railing, allowing you to gaze down on the lobby below.
Pay homage to the building’s history with fine Italian threads.
The hotel’s restaurants are helmed by chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, the pair behind the original NoMad and Eleven Madison Park, two of New York’s most celebrated restaurants. At the Mezzanine, the hotel’s formal restaurant, diners can expect an experience that’s tinged with as much old-world glamour as the ornate ceiling above their heads – but that’s not to say that the menu isn’t accessible and forward-thinking. On the floor below is the Lobby, a more casual (but no less impressive) option for long lunches and informal dinners.
Sitting just off the lobby, refined Giannini bar is named in honour of Amadeo Giannini, the building’s first resident and the founder of the Bank of America. The cocktails are set to be a particularly sound investment thanks to maestro mixologist and bar director Leo Robitschek, a man who’s taken New York’s cocktail scene by storm. The hotel also has a Venetian-style coffee bar backed by antique mirrors – these slide back after dark, turning the space into a second, more intimate bar.
The finishing touches are still being made to the menu, but room service will be available round the clock.
The hotel straddles the corner of 7th and South Olive Street, putting it at the heart of downtown LA.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is a 30-minute drive from the hotel. The Smith24 team are on hand to arrange flights and transfers; call anytime, day or night.
A mile from the hotel, Union Station is California’s rail hub. Amtrak services arrive there from all over the country, and Metrolink connects the city with its surrounding counties, including San Diego.
The car is king here, so you may want to think about hiring one unless you plan to stick to the downtown area. A valet can park your ride at the hotel for $49 a night. All the major rental firms are available at LAX; the Smith24 team can arrange your hire.
Worth getting out of bed for
Starring alongside James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, the Griffith Observatory is steeped in almost as much Hollywood lore as the sign a little further along the hillside. Fans of silver-screen classics go for the history, but the art deco icon also commands a sweeping view across the Los Angeles Basin, allowing you to see all the way to the beaches of Santa Monica and San Pedro Bay. Hidden beneath the old United Artists tower is another piece of Hollywood history, the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. Founded by some of the biggest stars of the industry’s golden age, this 1,600-seat movie palace has a three-storey lobby, elaborate ornamentation and a ceiling fitted with thousands of mirrors to catch the light. State-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment were added during the refurbishment, allowing it to play host to all manner of performances – musical, theatrical and otherwise. For art of another kind, you’ve got The Broad, a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue. There are more than 2,000 works in the gallery’s permanent collection, and it regularly plays host to internationally-significant exhibitions. For fitness buffs looking to branch out beyond the hotel's own fitness centre in search of classes and a lap pool, free passes to LA Athletic Club (just across the street) are available at reception.
Sitting atop the US Bank building, modern-American restaurant 71above could be said to be the crown of downtown. With a geometric sculpture hanging from the ceiling and curved panels of white oak between the window panes, it would be an impressive space even if it were on ground level – but it just so happens to be 71 storeys up, with panoramic views that stretch away across the city and over the Hollywood Hills. A block from the hotel you’ll find The Exchange, which sits inside the Freehand Los Angeles hotel. Designed by New York-based firm Roman and Williams, the wood-clad interiors are lined with long banquettes, lending a laid-back and sociable atmosphere. The food celebrates the city’s multiculturalism, showing particular influence from Israeli cuisine. Those with a palate for all things South East Asian should try Little Sister on West 7th Street, a Vietnamese fusion restaurant with European-accented dishes. The flavours are bold and the atmosphere is lively thanks to an upbeat soundtrack and friendly service.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Downtown Los Angeles and unpacked their photographs taken from Griffith Observatory, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside NoMad Los Angeles…
The team behind NoMad New York have gone intercoastal, settling on the City of Angels as the site for their second hotel. Wise enough to know not to meddle with a winning combination, they’ve re-joined forces with interior designer Jacques Garcia, chef Daniel Humm, restaurateur Will Guidara and bar director Leo Robitschek – an all-star cast that most hotels could only dream of snagging. Eschewing Beverly Hills and Hollywood for the vibrancy of downtown, the hotel is settled in the former headquarters of the Bank of Italy, a building steeped in 1920s grandeur. Showing real appreciation for the building's history, Garcia’s art deco interiors recapture Golden Age glamour using sumptuous materials and sculpted shapes. And with two destination restaurants, an award-winning cocktail team, a rooftop pool and a location that puts Gallery Row, the Fashion District and the Historic Core within easy walking distance, NoMad Los Angeles has done all it needs to draw eyes away from the hills, putting them firmly back on the city centre.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The NoMad Los Angeles’s Guestbook below.
Everything! This place is truly amazing. Simply everything. The staff was unbelievable friendly and service minded. I will certainly come back. It felt like home away from home. Just better.