Paris, north of Madison Square Park

(New York) — Just north of the vibrant Madison Square Park, the NoMad area is really taking off. Starting with the resurgence of MSP, 11 Madison and Danny Meyer’s faithful vision, then jump started by Eataly and the hopping Ace Hotel, the whole area feels like it about to explode. The NoMad hotel opened late this spring. Designed by one of my favorite hotel designers, Jacques Garcia, the NoMad brings a feel of Paris to this bustling part of town, still teaming with the Rag Trade, a mosque and all the bric-a-brac gift shops of the neighborhood. the Ace is just a block away, with all its hipster vibe, but the NoMad is like an Ace for grownups, European grownups.

Perfection. With a gorgeous restaurant by the same people behind 11 Madison, the entire hotel brings something different to NY boutique hotels. With nooks and crannies and a different feel in each corner of the restaurant, it has the same feel and vibe as Garcia’s long-running hit, the Hotel Costes in Paris (also one of my favorite hotels I’ve stayed in). We had an incredibly memorable meal, each dish a surprise and a twist from the menu description.

The rooms — not posh in an obvious way, until you look closely — are built around a beautiful claw foot bathtub, right there in the middle of the room. What a statement. Then there’s the ingenious red velvet (a signature Garcia touch) screen that builds out of the original closet, secreting a private WC. It’s a magical combination. I never take a bath. A took a bath (actually three).

What makes it all even cooler is the incredibly (and genuinely) friendly staff, from the doorman to the front desk to the sweet housekeepers. They ask your name when you check in and remember it throughout your stay. And when you come back from traipsing the streets, they welcome you home.  With the look and feel of the place, you’d expect the staff to be too-cool-for-school snooty like the Standard, but the people are some of the nicest I’ve experienced.

Here’s a great article from Monocle that I first read and then knew I had to go.





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