The spirit of an East Coast flagship is reborn in a West Coast hotel at the heart of the cultural renaissance in Downtown Los Angeles
Written by Jenn Thornton | Photography Courtesy of Benoit Linero
Rare in this city is the anticipated opening that does not come out of Hollywood. Nevertheless, the new NoMad Los Angeles hotel, which bowed last month on corner of 7th and Olive Street in Downtown, has a Hollywood story to tell. The hotel takes over the Giannini Building, which was originally built in the 1920s and the one-time headquarters of the Bank of Italy, which helped bankroll Walt Disney’s badly over budget Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Like that film, this one has all the makings of a classic: a building with much of its neoclassical character, veteran leadership at every level, the essence of its celebrated predecessor NoMad New York, and a sensitivity to the cultural, social and physical fabric of its local environ. How could it not be a hit?
It is ironic that a hotel whose name means wanderer may have difficulty getting travelers to leave, especially if already acquainted with the NoMad brand. Refined though refreshingly free of vanity, the hotel takes a laissez-faire approach to luxury, where, rather than assault one with ostentation, it nurtures a casual elegance, an atmosphere for socializing, where one can enjoy a cocktail or have a conversation in a series convivial public spaces. The hotel’s two-story lobby, in particular, was made for mingling, with a library, coffee bar, and more.
French interior designer Jacques Garcia was careful to preserve and reference the building’s Italian heritage while gracing interior spaces with the ease of the California coast. All 241 of the hotel’s rooms and suites are smartly dressed and feature a color palette that echoes the hotel’s spectacularly restored Italianate ceiling in the lobby—lush blue with gold accents complementing custom furnishings, Bellino linens, art curated by Paris design studio be-poles, and freestanding pedestal bathtubs.
It’s all so sumptuous, but streamlined to suit the feel of unfussy Southern California. The highpoint of all lodging is the Nomad Suite. Perched on the 12th floor, the 1,200-square-foot suite is larger than the average apartment. With more than enough space to receive—and impress—a sizable entourage, the suite soaks in a grand skyline view while embracing a living room, dining room and bedroom.
Dining at NoMad Los Angeles gets a major leg up from chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara. The duo behind the culinary program at NoMad New York as well as the Michelin three-star rated Eleven Madison Park, NoMad Los Angeles marks the team’s first foray outside Manhattan—and what an auspicious start.
Turning to local ingredients and the vibrancy of Downtown to create the hotel’s radiant dining and drinking environment, the menu is a reflection of diverse local tastes; cuisine is, like the vibe throughout, sophisticated yet simultaneously approachable. The second-floor Mezzanine is the culmination of the culinary program, with formal dining, a first-class wine selection and inventive cocktails.
Crowning the NoMad Los Angeles is its fabulous rooftop. With the Los Angeles skyline dramatically on show, the alfresco space is theater in its own right, with a café, chic cocktail bar and lavish pool, all designed by Jacques Garcia. Combined, these spaces further the hotel’s rich communal culture, with flexibility a primary attraction. Whether hosting a seated dinner or a swanky cocktail reception, the 5,178-square-foot rooftop has no ceiling when it comes to possible setups.
True to its roots as a building that once housed a bank, the NoMad Los Angeles has brought a bit more social currency—and a whole lot of uptown touch—to Downtown.
NoMad Los Angeles
649 S Olive St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
213.358.0000 | thenomadhotel.com