It’s truly Nomadly
Virgin Hotel, New York
A millennials’ dream. This spanking new 476ft tall hotel is located in New York’s up-and-coming Nomad neighbourhood in Manhattan where everything is Instagrammable.
All of the rooms – sorry, Chambers - have floor-to-ceiling windows – and being able to watch the sun rise over the Empire State Building while you’re still in bed is pretty special.
It is the sixth Virgin Hotels property to open in the States, and the eighth worldwide, with others in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Super cool. The pet-friendly hotel has 460 guest rooms (sorry, sorry... Chambers), 39 suites and two penthouses spread over 39 floors.
They all have sleek white decor with playful pops of Virgin’s signature red on things such as the doors and the retro in-room Smeg fridges.
The space can be cleverly split in two to provide separate sleeping and dressing areas and the comfy custom-made beds are a joy.
Everything has been designed with today’s tech-savvy travellers in mind so expect giant TVS, lots of USB plugs, fast chargers and even faster wi-fi.
Yoga mats are also provided should you need to switch off – and you may well need them as a Zen mindset is required to use the cumbersome lift system.
The hotel is also home to more than 100 pieces of art. Look out for the Where’s Richard mural in the lobby – it’s a quirky, Virgin-themed version of Where’s Wally? (obviously you’re looking for hidden images of Sir Richard Branson — the founder of the Virgin empire).
FOOD AND DRINK
Funky Everdene, which spans the entire third floor of the hotel, is a hot spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
While the table service can be a bit hit and miss, the food is great – and the bar staff pour a mean margarita. The evening menu has everything from grain bowls to smashed cheeseburgers and the tagliolini deserves a special mention. Just wow.
There is live music most evenings and a popular drag brunch at weekends that often spills on to the wraparound terrace outside. A fine dining restaurant serving Italian cuisine is due to open on the fourth floor this summer.
The hotel spa isn’t quite ready yet but until it opens later this year, guests have exclusive use of The Pool Club. This fourth floor rooftop destination, overlooking Broadway, will make your Insta pals green with envy. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, grab a drink from the colourful cabana-style bar and soak up the amazing views of the Empire State Building from the terrace.
There is also a gym and fitness centre on the fifth floor which can be accessed 24/7.
WHAT TO DO
Pull on your comfiest shoes and head out to explore the city.
Nomad is in the heart of Manhattan’s lively Midtown and it’s best explored on foot. New York City may be vast but several landmarks are within easy reach of the hotel.
Times Square is just a few blocks away and you can also get to Grand Central Station and the Flatiron Building with ease.
And then, of course, there’s the Empire State Building…worth
getting out of bed for.
A DAY OUT
For a true sensory experience, you should head to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt – Midtown’s tallest skyscraper. This 1,401ft high building takes observation decks to new heights (quite literally) and combines astonishing bird’s eye views with trippy mirrored interiors and art installations. If you’re really feeling brave, you can even step out onto a suspended glass box, a dizzying 93 storeys above the ground.
Afterwards, join the locals to drink coffee in the sunshine at Bryant Park then head next-door to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building – better known as the ‘main branch’ of the New York Public Library. Tourists often overlook this historic site but it is widely regarded as one of the best free attractions in New York. Don’t miss it.
Seeing sun rise over Empire State Building while lying in bed is special