NoMI Kitchen ditched the white-tablecloth-topped tables for less formal wooden ones and added a glass-doored cheese cave near the entrance that had some dairy lovers peering in when we visited. To make it more homey, the restaurant tries to make it feel like you're in the kitchen. When you enter, there's an ocean bar. It's a similar idea to a sushi bar, but you see chefs prepping other seafood like oysters as well. Near the tables, there's also a station where the chef okays each dish as it goes out. Our favorite was the dessert island (see above). It's like an island you'd see in someone's amazing condo kitchen, but pastry chefs use it to craft sweets right before your eyes. When we were there, they were preparing a yummy-looking strawberry tart.
The NoMI Lounge got some new large black comfy chairs and a new flowing layout to lead to the restaurant. If you prefer to do your drinking outside, the NoMI Garden now has a 30-foot teak bar with a granite countertop.
The hotel's 24-hour gym got a makeover with all new LifeFitness equipment and the pool was spruced up too, with hand-cut glass mosaic tile lining the walls, new tiling in the pool and some teak accent walls. But the bigger change was NoMI Spa. It's small, with a tiny waiting room and only two treatment suites—one of which is for couples—that have steam showers, bathrooms and a vanity. The spa's menu plays off of NoMI Kitchen and pairs ingredients in treatments with its food equivalent. For example, if you get an facial with anti-aging products, you'll be served post-treatment grapefruit and avocado bites, to give you an extra dose of anti-aging in food form. Of course, if you need more than mere bites, the restaurant is on the same floor.
[Photos: Jennifer Kester]