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Hotel The Nolitan Hotel 4 star
30 Kenmare Street New York, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Any hotel whose reception desk bears a jar of Smarties is an instant hit with us. There are two reasons for this: firstly it makes you smile which is absolutely the reaction guests should have when they wander into a hotel lobby; and secondly it shows that despite being a trendy property, The Nolitan doesn't take itself too seriously as so many of its competitors do. Slap bang in the middle of Downtown Manhattan, the hotel is perfectly placed for exploring this more human side of the city. The standard rooms may be on the small side but their design is flawless and they are well-appointed and have some stunning views. With a phenomenal rooftop terrace and an exciting new eatery on its way, The Nolitan is one of the hottest places to stay in New York right now.

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    • Hotel The Nolitan

      The Nolitan   -   © IGOR LUBINETSKY/EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel The Nolitan

      The Nolitan   -   © IGOR LUBINETSKY/EASYVOYAGE

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    Location 5.32 /10

    Being right in the heart of Downtown Manhattan, guests at The Nolitan couldn't ask for a better base from which to explore some of the cities most vibrant neighbourhoods. Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, the Bowery and the Lower East Side are all pretty much on your doorstep, while the East Village, the Brooklyn Bridge and FiDi are within walking distance. You'll find all kinds of independent stores in the vicinity as well as cute places to eat and drink. Despite staying in a hotel, you'll feel part of the neighbourhood - a completely different feeling to that experienced staying in a large Midtown property. JFK is 18 miles away, La Guardia 10 miles and Newark 13.

    Accommodation 9.20 /10

    55 rooms for us is the perfect size for this type of hotel. They are spread over seven floors meaning that with a relatively small number of each floor, intimacy and discretion is afforded. There are several categories to choose from which are differentiated by height up the building, presence of a balcony and view (either of Kenmare/Elizabeth Street or the cityscape). All rooms boast hardwood oak floors, Venetian plaster walls and exposed concrete columns and ceilings, giving a true industrial loft feeling which is typical of the neighbourhood. All bathrooms are open plan (although there are curtains around the showers for privacy) and the large picture/floor-to-ceiling windows ensure abundant natural light. The standard size rooms (which are available at every level of the hotel, with or without balcony) are admittedly a little pokey, however you'll forgive this flaw when you consider the design and amenities. They have queen or king beds dressed smartly with 300-count sateen linens and a vibrant red plaid. The solid wooden bed frame has storage space within it while the bedside tables house an iPod compatible radio alarm clock, telephone and snack tray. The room features too a long wooden work space with that classic DSW chair by the Eames brothers as well as another, more comfy looking armchair. Other amenities in the room include a wall-mounted flatscreen television, safe, minibar, umbrella and bathrobes and slippers. The open plan bathroom comprises a long, white vanity with sleek fittings, Red Flower toiletries and make-up mirror. There is a large walk-in monsoon peekaboo shower and the loo is separate.

    For a tad more space go for a corner room with its floor-to-ceiling windows and separate monsoon shower and free-standing egg-shaped bathtub which looks out onto the city. However, for the ultimate in luxury city living, opt for the Nolitan Suite which boasts a separate living space, Zepplin sound system, iPad, extra furniture pieces with art, decorative objets and books and a glass-walled bathroom with separate tub and shower.

    Guests in all rooms are offered an unpacking service as well as a Wii, Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 upon request.

    Overview 8.20 /10

    We're tempted to instruct you not to look up at the purpose-built structure that houses the hotel before you enter as the real treat is looking out from it however that would actually be a shame as a lot of thought has gone into it, especially in terms of how to allow as much light in as possible. The left half of the exterior is partially covered in a layer of black tiling which gives a pixilated effect, while the right side is pretty uniform with a checkerboard of balconies. Upon entering the high-ceilinged lobby with its bare concrete columns and floor-to-ceiling windows, the very first thing you see is the reception desk (bonus points for that) with its jar of Smarties on one side and bowl of badges portraying burgers, bicycles and other NoLIta-esque trademarks. Look up and you'll spot an enormous mirror above the desk while also looming overhead is a mobil-like chandelier as well as the balcony of the floor above. To the left of the entrance is a sunken seating area featuring tan coloured Chesterfield banquettes either side of a bulbous red and black coffee table placed on an animal skin rug: the perfect spot to flick through the collection of Phaidon lifestyle books lined up on the shelves behind. Over to the other side is another seating area, this time with an L-shaped blue and white candy stripe sofa and Chesterfield ottoman. The restaurant, which is a work in progress, is just the other side of the aforementioned bookshelves.

    While the hotel does not have any on-site fitness or wellness facilities, it does offer its guests complimentary all access passes to a local gym.

    The Nolitan is a pet-friendly hotel and as such has created We ?T.A.I.L.S., a pet program which pampers animals with a basket of toys and treats to keep them occupied while their owners are out in the city. There is a $100 charge for this which also covers cleaning costs of the guest room post-departure.

    The hotel as a whole is kept clean and tidy and is in great condition. The corridors are wide and light and finding your room is not a complicated affair. There are a couple of lifts serving all floors of the hotel.

    Food and drink

    The Nolitan is preparing for the opening of its new restaurant in the autumn, therefore at present it is not offering lunch and dinner options on-site. It has, however, teamed up with a host of local restaurants to bring guests take away menus from which they can order 24 hours a day. Eateries delivering to the hotel include Café Gitane, Wild Ginger and famed French restaurant Balthazar. For breakfast, a complimentary continental affair is offered every morning in the lobby. Check back soon for more news on the opening of the restaurant.

    To know

    The hotel is owned by property developer Edmond Li and was built from scratch. It opened in August of 2011 and was designed by Grzywinski+Pons of New York. For the moment the hotel's restaurant is being revisited and should be unveiled in the autumn of 2012 so watch this space. Guests can rent bikes, skateboards and even frisbees in the summer months!


    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      keep fit, spa

    • Animals allowed

      ($100 per stay fee applies)

    • Safe


    • Downtown location
    • Views
    • Architecture/design/décor
    • Art/book collection


    • Currently no restaurant
    • No on-site fitness/wellness facilities

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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