In Manhattan, the borough names offer a clue about the area and its history. Nolita, now a stylish boutique-driven neighbourhood, was once unimportant and unrecognised, merely a grid of streets to the north of Little Italy.
Coming from the more frantic and commercial Midtown, I felt at home among the independent boutiques and atmospheric eateries of Elizabeth Street. The personality and charm of Nolita is infectious and it soon became my favourite area, both to explore and to experience New York life. The Nolitan captures the energy of the surrounding streets, and elements of the hotel pay homage to the Little Italy heritage; the red and white theme throughout the hotel reminds you of the familiar tablecloths in Italian restaurants. This cute colour scheme is paired with a punky modernism, the uber-chic lobby and the neon signs fit in aesthetically with the nearby boutiques.
As in most hotels in Manhattan, the rooms at The Nolitan are not big, but simple clever design makes the most of the precious space. Our room was chic and homely. The design is a mix of ultra-lux sleek materials and grungy industrial features, juxtapositions which are satisfying cool and effective. A glass balcony offers spectacular views of the city, and creates a sense of space in the room. The Queen size bed dominates the floor space, with a small desk and armchair for practicalities. The open plan bathroom means showering is an exhibitionist activity though there is a curtain for those who desire a little privacy. Organic toiletries come from Red Flower, high quality products which smell delicious too. I noticed a yoga mat in the cupboard, and was delighted to receive a special gift voucher from Tory Burch, a designer collaboration between the shop and hotel.
There are generous free perks for Nolitan guests including appetising Sips and Savouries (wine and cheese) served Monday – Saturday early evening. Check-out is thankfully late at 1pm, plus speedy Wifi and local calling is all included. The hotel’s fleet of bikes and skateboards are also available for complimentary use, so you nip around town with ease. A small shop downstairs displays the Nolitan merchandise, including branded clothes and bags and the supersoft red cashmere blankets that cover every bed.
The restaurant, Cantine Parisienne offers seasonal French cuisine in a lively casual dining environment. This engaging eatery is popular with guests and locals, a lovely addition to the Nolitan brand. Breakfast is served here or can be ordered in your room.
For downtown hipster accommodation, this hotel ticks every box. With cool design and detailing, I fell in love with everything about the place.
More information and book here: www.nolitanhotel.com