“The first time I saw the building, it reminded me of something very Parisian and Haussmannesque,” says NoMad owner Andrew Zobler of the 1903 limestone former corporate HQ, and this first impression largely informed the style of the hotel. The meticulously restored copper cupola will house the bar of a rooftop restaurant, opening this summer.
Zobler enlisted Jacques Garcia, known for designing celebrated rue St-Honoré A-list crash pad, Hôtel Costes, to evoke the opulent interiors. Original features in the public spaces, such as elaborate ceiling moldings and mosaic-tile floors, have been meticulously restored. In the entry hall and lobby, elements such as distressed embossed-leather wallpaper and Art Nouveau light fixtures, found in Paris’s Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt, evoke the belle époque.
With its plush seating, shaded wall lamps and framed pressed botanicals from venerable French natural-history trove Deyrolle, the hotel’s formal dining room has the air of a decades-old institution—and Eleven Madison Park duo Daniel Humm and Will Guidara provide an impressive culinary pedigree.
The glass-roofed atrium, originally an interior courtyard, is an airy spot for breakfast or other meals.
An ornate marble fireplace, imported from a chateau outside Paris, adds historical heft to this intimate nook off the atrium.
In the stately library, you can sip cocktails while dipping into tomes curated by design-oriented booksellers Juniper Books. A 200-year-old spiral staircase, shipped from the South of France, provides access to the mezzanine.
The 24-foot-long mahogany bar, complete with decorative elephants, dispenses cocktails created by Leo Robitschek and an exclusive Brooklyn Brewery beer (Le Poulet) that goes well with the restaurant’s roasted chicken.
After seeing a photograph in a design book of a Paris apartment Garcia occupied in his twenties, Zobler encouraged him to bring the same lived-in bohemian style to the hotel’s guest quarters. Vintage Heriz rugs soften the weathered maple floor, salvaged from a 1905 factory. In keeping with the residential aesthetic, the wall concealing the loo and shower cubicle is dressed up as a damask “screen.” Many rooms feature old-fashioned claw-foot bathtubs, and the exclusive argan-oil products were supplied by provençal perfumer and lifestyle brand Côté Bastide.
The distressed leather club chairs have been painstakingly reproduced from an original in Garcia’s old flat. Each room has its own art collection, built on the theme of travel, comprising photographs, sketches and correspondence amassed from French antique shops.
Ten of the suites, behind the building’s curved corner facade, feature circular bedrooms.
A block south of hipster hub the Ace Hotel, the NoMad, now accepting reservations, heralds what may finally emerge as a bona fide ’hood: North of Madison Square Park. Both properties, which share a developer, are self-contained microcosms that encompass destination dining and cult retail. While the Ace’s eateries were devised by smoking-hot duo April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, the NoMad has its own food-and-beverage dream team, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, of Michelin-three-starred Eleven Madison Park. Just as the Ace bagged a branch of NYC-fashion-insider favorite Opening Ceremony as its in-house boutique, NoMad scored the first stateside outpost of Parisian concept store Maison Kitsuné. But in contrast to the raucous bohemian vibe fostered by the Ace's eclectic vintage-industrial decor and music-industry links, the refined MoMad evokes a traditional grand hotel crossed with a chic Parisian apartment. With two cool-hunter magnets rising above the cheap perfume and luggage stores on this shabby stretch of Broadway, perhaps the NoMad nabe designation will stick. 1170 Broadway at 28th St (212-796-1500, thenomadhotel.com). Rates start at $395.