Tried & Tested

New York

Business Traveler (USA) - - INSIDE -

INNSIDE No­Mad, NewYork Kulm Ho­tel, St. Moritz

BACK­GROUND: Meliá Ho­tels In­ter­na­tional is a Span­ish ho­tel group that dates back to the mid-1950s. To­day it op­er­ates 374 prop­er­ties in 40 coun­tries un­der sev­eral brands, in­clud­ing Meliá, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá and INNSIDE by Meliá. The group launched its first prop­erty in NewYork City in March this year with the open­ing of the four-star INNSIDE No­Mad.

WHERE IS IT? The ho­tel is lo­cated at 132 West 27th Street be­tween 6th and 7th Av­enue, in the No­Mad neigh­bor­hood of Man­hat­tan, so-called be­cause it’s North of Madi­son Square Park. The prop­erty is con­ve­nient to a num­ber of Mid­town land­marks in­clud­ing the Em­pire State Build­ing, Times Square and Madi­son Square Gar­den.

Sur­pris­ing is the first word that comes to mind. Over the years, I’ve come to ex­pect slick high-de­sign Man­hat­tan ho­tel lob­bies with a pen­chant for cramped spa­ces, murky light­ing and lots of black gran­ite. So when my cab pulled up in front of the INNSIDE No­Mad I was as­ton­ished to be greeted by a sparkling, airy space with plenty of light and white. The sur­round­ings seemed to rub off on the staff as well, who were cheery and ac­com­mo­dat­ing (in a no-non­sense New York kind of way). The at­mos­phere also ex­tended be­yond the lobby into the restau­rant, and up­stairs into the hall­ways and gue­strooms. ROOM FA­CIL­I­TIES: The ur­ban life­style ho­tel is sit­u­ated mid-block on 27th Street and all the rooms face ei­ther up­town or down­town. That means the views out the floorto-ceil­ing win­dows are ei­ther of the Em­pire State Build­ing or south to­ward One World Trade Cen­ter. It doesn’t get more NewYork than this. My room con­tin­ued the light-bright theme with mod­ern neu­tral dé­cor high­lighted by splashes of color. The WiFi and mini­bar were both com­pli­men­tary, and the room had clever touches for con­ve­nience, like an out­let in the back of the lap­top­ca­pable safe.

In the bath­room, the en­tire shower wall fac­ing the ex­te­rior win­dow was frosted glass which al­lowed day­light in, keep­ing things light and open while still be­ing com­pletely pri­vate. One small gripe: The ex­cel­lent bath prod­ucts are INNSIDE’s own and are af­fixed to the shower wall in re­fill­able bot­tles to cut down on plas­tic waste. Ad­mirable, but ap­par­ently who­ever did the af­fix­ing was a lot taller than I, mean­ing it was an awk­ward reach. RES­TAU­RANTS AND BARS: The gen­er­ous down­stairs space off the lobby is Im- pero Caffé, the ho­tel’s in-house din­ing spot. In the morn­ing, it takes on the feel of an Ital­ian cof­fee­house with pas­tries and es­presso. For lunch and din­ner, it serves bistro-style Ital­ian cui­sine, in­clud­ing fresh pasta, risotto and seafood cre­ated by celebrity chef Scott Co­nant. Dur­ing my stay I never saw the lobby bar slow down; clearly since the ho­tel’s open­ing, it has be­come a fa­vorite of No­Mad denizens. BUSI­NESS AND MEET­ING FA­CIL­I­TIES: Two meet­ing rooms cater to dif­fer­ent meet­ings styles; one is set up around a typ­i­cal con­fer­ence ta­ble, while the other has a team-ori­ented, ca­sual ar­range­ment, com­plete with couches, high tech SMART boards and a mini-bar and cof­fee sta­tion. Of course, the two rooms can be com­bined to of­fer flex­i­ble space for gath­er­ings of up to 70 peo­ple. LEISURE FA­CIL­I­TIES: The ho­tel’s‘Well­ness Suite’is spa­cious by NewYork stan­dards – which is to say, not very, if you’re used to vast gyms and spas. But it’s more than ad­e­quate, the equip­ment is mod­ern, and best of all, there are win­dows, so you don’t feel like you’re work­ing out in a sub­ter­ranean grotto.

VER­DICT: The INNSIDE No­Mad has a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to what it means to be a ho­tel in Mid­town Man­hat­tan. This four-star prop­erty of­fers con­ve­nience, cheer­ful in­te­ri­ors, per­son­able staff and all the com­forts a busi­ness trav­eler could ask for.

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