Hotels, Hotels - Design, New York

The Nolitan Hotel, New York City

The Nolitan is the first boutique hotel to arrive in downtown New York’s up and coming Nolita neighbourhood.

An urban, concrete-luxe landmark, The Nolitan is a world apart from the district’s romantic six-storey walk-up buildings yet somehow it just works.  The minimalist, industrial-chic style comes courtesy of Grzywinski+Pons, the ultra cool design group behind Hotel on Rivington and other residences.

The Nolitan boasts the perfect downtown location on the corner of Kenmare and Elizabeth Street – in the heart of Nolita, just a few blocks from SoHo, Little Italy and the Lower East Side.

When we arrived we were checked in by Ben, a friendly fellow Northerner who moved to New York for the love of a good woman (a cool New York story if ever there was one).  The lovely Kevin then took our bags and showed us around our room.

The Nolitan has just 55 rooms and three room categories with different design features – Neighbourhood, Cityscape and Suite.  We were given a Cityscape room with a balcony on the seventh floor, with fabulous views over Nolita and the Manhattan skyline (the top of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building were in sight).

The room was a mix of textures – concrete ceiling and walls, stripped wooden floor boards and fuzzy wool furnishings.  The floor to ceiling glass sliding doors filled the room with natural daylight and the open plan bathroom gave it an airy feel, making good use of the space.

Despite the minimalist leanings of the room, it was filled with some great amenities.  There was a 37-inch flat screen HD cable TV, iPod enabled stereo system by Vers, interesting artwork and an affordable mini bar with stylish aluminium bottles of Coke for just $2.

We were also provided with three different types of glasses on Nolitan-branded coasters, two red Nolitan yoga mats and a stack of glossy mags including Vogue, GQ and Time Out New York.

The Nolitan is generous with the complimentary features, offering guests free wifi, access to the nearby 24 Fitness, free skateboards and bikes to hire, use of a Wii, Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, free local calls, shoe shine and a continental breakfast included in the room rate.  Unlike most hotels, check-out is at 1pm and staff are happy to arrange a late check-out without charging a fee.

The Corian accented open-plan bathroom features a rainfall shower, light-weight bathrobes and bright red Nolitan slippers and Moroccan Rose bath amenities by Red Flower and some cute Nolitan-branded boxes containing shower caps and cotton wool.  But there’s no forced exhibitionism rule, as you can section off the glass bathroom with a large curtain and there’s a separate toilet room.

The queen-size bed was extremely soft and dreamy, the kind that you could easily set up camp in, were the sights of New York not calling.  At turndown, we were brought a weather card and the cutest parcels of chocolate and peanut brittle clusters.

When we visited, The Nolitan was in the process of planning a new restaurant to replace Ellabess, but this made way for an even cooler dining concept.  The Nolitan has teamed up with 15 esteemed local restaurants and cafes to deliver dishes from their full menus straight to your room – genius!

Most excitingly, Cafe Gitane was among those listed and judging by the queues on a sunny Monday lunchtime, you might want to avoid the scrum and get some of their Orange Blossom Waffles or Chicken Satay to eat in peace on your own private balcony.

A complimentary continental breakfast is a real perk of staying at The Nolitan and they do it very well.  We enjoyed some delicious honey granola, toasted bagels, mini pastries and brioche buns filled with crème patisserie, fresh juice and a selection of teas.  They even provide take-out cups, so you can grab one for the road or have a quick breakfast on the go.

The Nolitan really goes out of its way to make the hotel a ‘home away from home’.  They even offered me the use of the reception computer to print off our boarding pass before checking out.

The T.A.I.L.S Pet Program welcomes furry friends with a goodie bag and offers services to make them feel as pampered as their owners.  Guests can also customise their stays with in-room spa treatments, specially selected pillows and a packing and unpacking service – nothing is too much for The Nolitan.

The Nolitan has the downtown lifestyle locked down and everything is aimed towards the comfort of the guests.  The style of the building has been a hot topic among residents, but never have I seen a hotel make so much effort to integrate with the local community.  With affordable starting prices, thoughtful touches and an enviable location, The Nolitan is the smartest choice for design-conscious travellers.

Rates start at $143 per room per night.  For more info and booking, visit:

Chérie City was a guest of The Nolitan

All photos by Chérie City

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