The rush of traffic disappeared once I stepped into the James New York—Nomad. Despite its gorgeous beaux-arts building sitting on the busy corner of Madison Avenue and 29th Street, the hustle and bustle melted away. The lobby, which feels both luxurious—thanks to its beautiful velvet furniture—and airy, transforms into a wine bar once 5pm hits. Live music and glasses of wine poured out of the doors when they opened to me.
The operation resides in the former Hotel Seville, a 12-story plus penthouse hotel designed by Harry Allan Jacobs that was built between 1901 and 1904, was said to be where Harpo Marx worked as a bellhop. (His experiences there are said to have been incorporated in Marx Brothers skits.)
Despite its historic roots, the hotel maintains a luxurious vibe and a lively atmosphere, not only thanks to designer Thomas Juul-Hansen, but the hotel's commitment to offering more than just lodging to visitors and the community at large.
While guests lounge, read and chat in the lobby, from 5 to 7pm, it becomes more akin to a cafe or wine bar. During this time, the hotel offers wine and live music to visitors and those who find their way in. Despite this, those staying in hotel rooms have a clear shot to the elevators since they are to the side of the front desk and not a walkthrough area.
Its attractive hotel rooms have locally crafted and custom-designed furnishings that harken back to the past, like in the hotel's retro-inspired grated minibars, but serve the modern traveler. No matter what room you book—the standard, deluxe, the Jimmy Suite, the James Suite, or the penthouse—the stay is comfortable, clean and aesthetically pleasing. Rooms boast gorgeously hand-carved marble bathroom vanities and views of that Manhattan bustle down below.
Guests also have 24-hour access to the fitness center equipped with Peloton bikes, machinery, yoga equipment and more for those who feel the need to burn off the gorgeous meal they might've had at Scarpetta, the Italian restaurant accessed via the hotel lobby or from Madison Avenue.
Scarpetta, which originally opened in the Meatpacking District, is a perfect compliment to The James New York—Nomad as it offers decadent dishes, including its signature (and fantastically fresh) spaghetti tomato and basil, yellowtail crudo, and creamy Polenta as well as a menu of memorable desserts—we recommend the espresso budino made with salted caramel, chocolate biscotti and hazelnut gelato. For special occasions and celebrations, Scarpetta is worth booking. Below Scarpetta and the lobby is the hotel’s Seville cocktail lounge, which offers a speakeasy atmosphere with sexy vibes and live music. Drinks are Manhattan-priced but well-mixed.
A mix of fun programs at The James New York—Nomad are forthcoming, but already it has launched a new Insomnia Cart in the lobby each evening to help guests relax and sleep peacefully with samples and items for purchase by Standard Dose, a marketplace dedicated to carefully-vetted wellness products, including Moon Juice’s Dream Dust, Prima’s Rest Easy Powder and CBD tinctures to eye pillows, a weighted blanket and air purifier.
A stay at The James New York—Nomad is the chic Manhattan stay travelers desire and the comfortable staycation locals need. It doesn't hurt that it's near a multitude of subway stations and just a few blocks north of Madison Square Park and the Flatiron Building, and just south of the Empire State Building.
TIME OUT TIP: Visit the Poster House or Fotografiska, grab brunch at The Smith and drinks at The Broken Shaker at The Freehand Hotel nearby.