The historic Beaux-Arts building at 88 Madison Avenue in New York City hasn't exactly had nine lives, but we count — at the very least — three significant ones. Built in 1904, it operated as the moderately priced Hotel Seville for nearly 85 years. Harpo Marx, rumor has it, worked here as a bellhop, and rooms with shared bathrooms went for $1.50 per night. In the late 1980s, it was renovated and transformed into the Carlton Hotel; a decade later, superstar architect David Rockwell redesigned its lobby. The newest incarnation of this brick and terracotta landmark comes in the form of the new The James New York - NoMad. Entirely reimagined, this 337-room luxury boutique hotel is incredible, from the location of the lobby to the dining options (including a hip speakeasy-style cocktail lounge), to the orientation of the rooms, this classic Manhattan address feels right in step with the bustling, fast-evolving neighborhood that surrounds it. Here's our review.

What You Need to Know

The Look of The James New York – NoMad

With all traces of the old Carlton Hotel banished from the building, the new look inside the James is a contemporary riff on Midcentury Modern. Designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, rooms feature muted grays and are punctuated by bright, geometric patterned throw pillows, curvy side chairs, and a gold-toned minibar unit reminiscent of a radio or TV cabinet. Abstract paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Justine Hill hang on the walls. 

The Vibe of The James New York – NoMad

You'll be as likely to encounter locals as fellow travelers during your stay, especially thanks to the hotel's restaurant. The hotel’s lobby is a bustling, social public space with morning coffee, evening happy hour, live music, and frequent activations with local brands and creatives.

Who Will Love The James New York – NoMad

If you're itching to stay in a Manhattan neighborhood in the midst of an energetic revival but is still utterly central in its location, this property is spot-on. You'll feel like you're mixing and mingling with real New Yorkers, and you'll have easy access to the city's most famous sights. Dog (and dog lovers) will also love this hotel. The James NoMad teamed up with luxury pet patisserie Lord Jameson, an organic dog treat brand that is committed to providing your pup with all-natural, delicious treats. Just let them know you have a pet ($150 one-time fee applies), and the hotel can furnish your guest room with food and water bowls, organic treats, maps of local dog parks, in-room pet menus — and even arrange for daycare, walkers, and sitters upon request. 

Who Might Not Love The James New York – NoMad

The NoMad neighborhood, situated between the Empire State Building and the Flatiron Building, is exploding with new shops, eateries, and hotels. You may need to battle crowds — or at least endure a wait — for dinner, both in the neighborhood and in your hotel.

Best Amenity at The James New York – NoMad

Beyond the hotel's stylish design, we also enjoyed having dinner at its ground-floor restaurant, Scarpetta. This Italian restaurant is a New York City standby for excellent pasta and wine. We recommend the yellowtail crudo, the short rib and marrow agnolotti, and the restaurant's simple-but-satisfying signature, the tomato and basil spaghetti. Seville, the hotel bar, gives a nod to the property's original name and is a great place to grab a Manhattan while waiting for a table.

Money Matters

What's Included at The James New York – NoMad

Coffee, tea, fresh fruit, and an afternoon wine and cheese reception are complimentary, as is wifi and use of the fitness center. Also, book directly with the hotel to enjoy the best rate guaranteed, suite upgrade, and special perks.

Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About at The James New York – NoMad

You'll pay a mandatory $40 hotel facility fee per night, plus taxes.

How to Get a Deal at The James New York – NoMad

Always check the hotel's website. Its special offers section details additional savings. Another tactic is to stay when the weather cools off. January-March are slow months for New York City travel, and hotel deals abound. 

Getting There

In the Neighborhood of The James New York – NoMad

The hotel's location at the corner of 29th Street and Madison Avenue is a six-minute walk from the Empire State Building or an eight-minute walk to the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park. From here, you can get burgers at the original Shake Shack, take in some public art in the park, ride the elevator up to one of the neighborhood's many rooftop bars, or shop in a selection of stores along this more affordable stretch of Fifth Avenue. It's also within easy walking distance of popular sites like Eataly, Madison Square Garden, and Union Square.

Nearest Public Transit to The James New York – NoMad

The 4/5/6 and N/Q/R/W subway lines are within a few blocks of the hotel and can quickly whisk you to Times Square, the museums of the Upper East Side, and sights in lower Manhattan like Wall Street and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The Bottom Line

For a New York City stay that hits all the right notes — sleek design, a central location, a great restaurant — The James New York – NoMad delivers.