Luxury boutique hotel NoMad Hotel Los Angeles has just opened in renovated “Giannini Place” on the corner of Olive and 7th in Downtown LA. Commissioned for the Bank of Italy, founded by Amadeo Giannini, which became Bank of America, the building was completed in 1922. It was designed by architectural firm Morgan, Walls & Clements, renowned for landmarks such as the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood and the Adamson House in Malibu.
The Sydell group restored and transformed the vacant and dilapidated twelve-story building to create a distinct experience on par with their award-winning flagship hotel, NoMad New York. I was intrigued to visit because my friend, Phil Pavel, who was formerly the general manager at Chateau Marmont, was nabbed by the Sydell group to be the General Manger at NoMad Los Angeles. Three weeks after opening, the beautifully repurposed space is already bustling.
Much of the building’s Neoclassical style, such as the stunning gold and blue Italianate lobby ceiling, the Doric and Corinthian columns, and the marble floors, have been preserved, including the original bank vault. French architect and designer Jacques Garcia used those existing details for inspiration. It may only be four miles from Larchmont Boulevard, but the moment you enter NoMad Los Angeles, it’s like you’re in a faraway magical land.
The grand lobby and mezzanine, decorated in lush jewel-toned velvets, houses five separate restaurants and bars, plus three private dining rooms perfect for hosting a milestone birthday party, a corporate lunch (AV equipment for business presentations is cleverly concealed), a dinner party, or a fabulous night out on the town. While it’s perfectly situated to venture to other downtown restaurants and attractions, NoMad offers so many delightful options, there’s truly no reason to leave. Chef Daniel Humm, Executive Chef Chris Flint of EMP and NoMad NY, restaurateur Will Guidara of NoMad NY, Made Nice, and Eleven Madison Park, and general manager Jeffrey Tascarella of NoMad New York, have created a spectacular culinary experience throughout.
The Lobby is divided into sections defined by color schemes. The all-day Lobby Restaurant, designed with red hues, serves American contemporary casual food.
As Events Coordinator Kathryn Gillan explains: “It’s great for a group of friends. You can come here, get food to share, have lots of cocktails and just have fun.”
The blue-toned and beautifully appointed Library portion of the Lobby is reserved for hotel guests until 3 p.m. – both of these spaces are serviced by the Giannini Bar. There are more than forty classic and seasonal cocktails on the menu, crafted by Bar Director Leo Robitschek, from NoMad Bar in NY, which this year was ranked #3 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list and #1 in North America.
Also on the lobby level is the Coffee Bar, which was modeled after 300-year-old Café Florian in Venice. In the morning, Chef Mark Welker offers fresh pastries and coffee drinks which are served inside at standing tables, outside in café seating, or to go. There’s a light lunch menu, casual arperitivo later in the day, and then the mirrored walls slide back to reveal a full bar in the evening, transforming the bright ornate space into an intimate aperitif/digestive cocktail bar.
Up the marble staircase, overlooking the Lobby, and mere feet from the centerpiece blue and gold ceiling, is the reservations-only Mezzanine, where they serve a more formal menu created by Chef Humm, who was at Eleven Madison Park when they received their 3rd Michelin star.
“It’s really amazing to see what he’s done with the seasonality out here. Everything is so different than in New York. It’s new and exciting and he’s having a lot of fun,” Gillan says.
The Mezzanine also has a plush intimate bar with an incredible view of the action below, where Mezzanine guests only can dine or have a cocktail before being seated. I ate at Mezzanine and the Lobby and enjoyed cocktails at the Giannini Bar and all were sublime.
The Rooftop, which is set to open in April, features one of the best views of downtown, a gorgeous, landscaped pool, AV equipment, and menus designed by Humm, Guidara and Flint. This is where you’d throw a wedding, or a large office or birthday party. Or where you’ll sunbathe, swim, and relax if you decide to check in for the night.
There are 241 luxury rooms beautifully decorated by Garcia, all with king beds and fully appointed with the requisite amenities, so if you don’t have room for out-of-town-guests, you can be assured that they will be comfortable at NoMad. It’s also ideal for a romantic “stay-cation,” especially the rooms that feature a freestanding pedestal bathtub.
Even without the pool, there was so much to do at NoMad, I was thrilled to enjoy it for a full 24 hours (and was sad when I had to leave). Aside from the insane beauty of the space itself and the delicious food and drinks, what really stood out was festive friendly atmosphere and staff. It was like everyone – including myself – was thrilled to be there. It was infectious and can be felt throughout the hotel. When you’re there, it’s hard to believe it’s so close to home.
NoMad Los Angeles
649 S. Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 900014
Rooms start at $315+tax.
For a limited time, they are offering a lower “Welcome Rate.”