Tried & Tested
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.