NoMad Hotel, Los Angeles

A luxurious new property in a historic downtown building

Push open one of the heavy metal doors on 7th Street to enter a sun-filled court lounge filled with fresh flowers and tropical print fabrics. There, behind the host stand for the lobby restaurant, sit chairs covered in jewel-toned velvets. Look up to see the fully restored Italianate ceiling of the original Giannini Place that originally opened to house the Bank of Italy in 1923. This lavish array of dramatic architectural features, layers of textures and colors, and an abundance of art define the visual story of the newly opened NoMad Los Angeles. The lobby and mezzanine level restaurants and bars feel both opulent and inviting with interior design by Jacques Garcia and colorful fabrics by Nina Campbell and Matthew Williamson. The lush flower designs of tropical and Mediterranean blooms in the Palm Court and throughout the hotel are by Flowerboy. Jono Pandolfi created custom ceramic pieces for the restaurants and hotel décor.

With the NoMad Los Angeles, the Sydell Group continues their relationship with be-poles, commissioning original photography and art to display throughout the hotel—from the guests rooms to public spaces. The curated art collection includes vintage photos, maps, ephemera, and art pieces that help tell their story connecting California to Italy.

The Sydell Group team honors the history of an Italian bank built in downtown Los Angeles in the 1920s by carefully restoring the building to be enjoyed by the guests of their new hotel. Even the massive Bank of Italy safe remains in place on the bottom floor as a doorway leading to the women’s restroom. Frames have been hung to show the jewels and treasures of the time the bank was open.

When the NoMad New York opened, the Vincent Mercier’s photographs of Los Angeles taken for be-poles Portraits de Villes books series were featured throughout the hotel. Now at the new LA hotel images from three Portraits de Ville city books, Rome, Naples and Cannes, connect Italy and France to their new Southern California location. Near the valet entrance to the guest lobby a large photograph hangs just inside the door. NoMad Brand Manager Kristen Millar points out a dark noir image of a house with a car parked in front on a wet street at night. “Australian photographer Tom Blachford came to LA last winter when there were torrential downpours,” she explains. “He did not take any photos for five days. He finally went out to start shooting images in the rain and ended up capturing the light reflecting off of the road. It is so beautiful.” Blachford (a CH favorite) also took photographs in Hancock Park, the Palisades, and Beverly Hills aiming to capture images of the city beyond palm trees and the Hollywood sign. Work by photographer Megan McIssac brings a sense of California nature with images of the deserts, mountains, people, that capture intimacy and community. Original drawings by Mathew Rangel focus on the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a connection to Los Angeles being one of the city’s water sources. Rangel layers topographic field research onto his work.

In addition to the art collection in the public spaces, each guest room has a custom collection of art pieces that have been hand-placed to respond to the shape of the room to tell a story together. “Composing each room, nothing is random,” says Millar. “Virginie Boulenger with be-poles starts with a commissioned art work and builds around it.” Themes and shapes emerge from several framed pieces. In one room is the Hollywood bowl, an old theatre in Venice, with more curved shapes and trees that are densely clustered together on the wall to give the room a warm residential feel. Rooms at the NoMad Los Angeles feature Bellino linens, a marble writing desk, and colorful flower print sofas with corresponding customs dyed rugs. The bathrooms have walk-in showers with terrazzo floors. Many rooms showcase a freestanding bathtub visible from the bedroom. The closets are lined with custom wallpaper made in France by Alexander Pouillon.

Food and beverage options range from a cafe on the first floor to a more formal dining space on the second. The opulent coffee bar on the Olive Street side of the hotel is filled with gold leaf and a red Italian glass chandelier that echoes the look of the 300 year old Caffé Florian in Venice. They serve Devoción coffee, a milk and honey tea latte, and light fare including several croissants by pastry chef Mark Welker—including classic almond and chocolate to carrot and cappuccino. At night, the space transforms into a cocktail bar.

For the library and lobby restaurant, chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara from NoMad New York have created an all day menu with items like vibrant fava bean hummus with whipped ricotta and a nod to street food with their bacon wrapped “Hummdog,” with celery and black truffle.

The mezzanine restaurant on the second floor offers a more formal, but still relaxed, dining experience which overlooks the action on the first. Humm and Guidara feature local ingredients and have created the west coast version of their Fruits de mer “Le Grand Plateau” with delicate bites of uni, crab, tuna, scallop, and abalone. The radicchio salad pairs buffalo mozzarella with apple and basil. The signature NoMad roast chicken for two is on the menu made with black truffle and brioche stuffing served with baby turnips. The Milk and Honey dessert from New York, composed of ice cream, shortbread, and brittle drizzled with honey, leads off the sweets menu.

The cocktail menu by Leo Robitschek also offer some favorites from NoMad New York as well as offering new West Coast-themed offerings like the tart and balanced Gimme a Beet, with rye whiskey, aged aquavit, chambery dry vermouth, beet, strawberry, jalapeno infused agave, vanilla and lemon. Sakura Maru is made with Genever, pisco, aged cachaça, green tea, and sheep’s milk yogurt. And new local creation, the Pico & Robertson Robitschek combines coconut-infused bourbon, with yellow chartreuse, punt e mes, blanc vermouth, and sea salt.

Walking down a hallway on the third floor, Millar stops by a frame drawing of an ornate architectural detail. They commissioned artist Charles Villeneuve to draw buildings in Italy that have cupolas, to create a visual link between this new Los Angeles home with their cupola in New York. “We wanted to have a connection here to the NoMad New York,” she says. And even with 3,000 miles between the two hotels, the story of two properties is being told beautifully.

Hero and third images courtesy of NoMad, all others by Cool Hunting