Check-In: Before we even got to the front desk, we were greeted by the doorman, who asked if we were going to the restaurant. When we said, no, we were checking in, he welcomed us and left his post to escort us to the front desk, where he relayed our name and waited while the clerk there checked us in. Charming!
There was no too-cool-for-school attitude from the front desk either, and even though we'd arrived around 1 p,m. and our room wasn't ready, we were offered a free upgrade to an Atelier room. Why, thank you. The front-desk agent also offered to make reservations at the restaurant, since its list was filling up. (We declined, preferring to keep our options open.)
Our doorman then offered to take our carry-on bag and escorted us up to the fifth floor. He was super friendly and knowledgeable about the hotel, explaining when we stepped into the room that designer Jacques Garcia had modeled the look of the hotel on his own Parisian flat. (Yeah, we know this is on the hotel's website but still--we were impressed.)
Room Reaction: Love at first sight. For real. It totally looks like the website photos and is one of the chicest, most comfortable rooms we've seen in a long time. It's both masculine and feminine, without being too much of either. With its wooden floorboards and vintage-furniture feel, it reminded us a lot of the Greenwich Hotel, only a little more glossy and detailed.
Here, for example, the travel theme is evident from the overall feeling that you're on a grand ocean liner, to the trunk containing the mini-bar and the vintage tickets and other travel paraphernalia in frames on the walls.
Amenity Madness: We had never heard of the Argan brand of soaps and bath amenities stocked at the NoMad, but we loved them at first whiff. Very fresh, very French. The only problem: there was no moisturizer. Just soap, shampoo, conditioner and shower gel.
Wi-Fi: Free, with a password provided at check-in. Fast enough. Only worked with one device at a time.
What We Loved: The overall Deco vibe and travel-chic design, including the leather armchair and the surprisingly comfortable little desk chair. (The desk may not suit business types who need to spread tons of paper out everywhere, but we did some manuscript revisions perched there and it was totally functional and pleasant.)
We loved the comfortable bed, the allure of the freestanding tub, and the Argan amenities. (We wouldn't have had a tub if we had gotten the Classic room we'd initially booked.) We also loved the unpretentious, friendly service of the staff. (Oh yeah--the front desk called to see if we were happy with our room soon after we'd arrived in it, and the doorman saw us later and asked how we liked everything. He was a total doll the next day, too.)
What We Didn't Love: The lack of privacy if you were traveling with someone you don't want to take a bath or shower with or in front of. The toilet is tucked away with its own door and ceiling (minimizing noise), but it still felt less than totally private for some reason, probably because it's located behind the screen/wall that also houses the flatscreen TV.
While not a surprise, the room service menu was pricey so we abandoned thoughts of having breakfast in bed and strolled one block up to the Ace Hotel to hit up Stumptown Coffee for an espresso and croissant instead.
The Bottom Line: We paid an introductory rate of $295 a night plus tax, making the total $342. For a special night, we'd happily pay the same again.
[Video and photos: Rebecca Wallwork for HotelChatter]