I like being a tourist in New York. I get to pretend I live in this great metropolis by day and stay in great hotels by night. NYC hotel rooms may be small on average but they’re a lot nicer than I would be able to afford as an apartment if I lived there. My most recent trip to the city found me at the Nomad (1170 Broadway at 28th). And it has taken a spot at the top of my list of favorites.
Small and very European in both decor and customer base, the rooms are spectacular with wooden floors, old fashioned push button light switches, marble and penny tile bathrooms, duvet covered king size beds, antique inspired furnishings, framed letters, photos and french adverts as art.
A five night stay will get you a complementary bottle of wine with a personal greeting from the manager. And comparing notes with my equally enamored travel companions brought the realization that every room is unique. Mine had a deep dark brown hallway with beautifully detailed doors and an upholstered screen as a TV stand. Another had an inviting little office nook with a charming desk and velvet settee. And yet another had flowing white curtains as an entrance to the bedroom.
The restaurant at the Nomad is quite the scene. As a guest you get preferential seating but I prefer to venture out. Just down the street at the Ace Hotel (another favorite that I refer to as an adult version of a mall with its hip shops, array of restaurants and coffee shops all encircling the free WiFi lobby) is my most favorite restaurant in the city — The Breslin. English pub fare by chef April Bloomfield in a comfortable atmosphere. Once upon a time you could cozy up to the bar for hours and eat & drink to your heart’s delight. Now finding a seat at that bar is a bit more difficult. But breakfast, lunch, dinner or pudding (that’s English for dessert) it’s worth the wait. Favorite dishes: Caesar salad, flank steak & eggs, lamb burger & thrice cooked fries, baked 3 cheese sandwich with egg.
Practically in the Nomad is SweetGreen (1164 B’way) for locally sourced salads. This is a DC place that’s recently gone New York and I could eat there every day. In fact, I nearly do. Perfect if you just want to grab something healthy to eat in front of the TV in your room.
Numpang (1120 B’way) for Asian influenced sandwiches and salads made from quality ingredients is just down the street and another option for casual eat in or to go fare.
Indian food perhaps? Just a few avenues East is the fabulous Pippali (129 E. 27th). Indian classics superbly done in a neighborhood spot that is always buzzing.
I’ve grown to love this strange little part of town sandwiched between the flower district and a collection of seedy discount jewelry fitting stores. The Flat Iron district is just a few blocks away — home to Eataly. There is easy subway access right across the street from the hotel that will take you to the theater district, mid-town shopping, or further downtown and into Brooklyn. Restaurants and shops are moving in every day. Not your typical choice of where to be as a tourist, but I say give it a chance. You’ll love it.