New York, early September.
The inner city heat, though waning, is still intense.
The leaves are on the turn and Starbucks is heaving at rush hour.
For all of its iconic stature and chaotic beauty, for those all at once banal but mesmerizing moments glimpsed in the grid-like streets, Manhattan can be quite an overwhelming place at times, for both tourists and locals alike.
Love it or hate it, amid all this back-to-work madness, one might be hard pressed to find some little oasis of calm, affordable luxury at this rather beautiful but busy time of year.
You could be looking for a place from which to do business in relative peace before hitting the town with your colleagues; you could be after a base from which to explore this glorious city that would allow you breathing space and downtime between each excursion.
As a local, maybe you simply need a change of scenery for the evening.
Lodged conveniently between 6th and 7th in the Chelsea district of mid-town Manhattan, lies the tall, slick INNSIDE Nomad hotel.
From the airy, spacious bar and restaurant seating area, spilling out from below the towering glass facade of the building, there is instant reassurance that this modern build will offer up such a convenient and tranquil space.
Without a moment’s hesitation, I breeze into the air conditioned lobby, which is fridge-like in sweet contrast to the heat trapped between the buildings outside.
Bright, efficient reception staff hand me the room key, which discreetly bears the passcode for the free Wi-Fi access, and within seconds, my bags have been taken to my room.
The shiny white elevator shoots me up to the 17th floor.
Being in a place of height when in somewhere like New York is very special; if you do a rooftop bar or go to the top of the Rockefeller Building, you’ll be looking down on those very buildings that make up that heroic skyline, that seem so brooding and imposing from the street below.
You get that intoxicating sense of power and appreciation of scale.
I am therefore enchanted by the fact that, from the floor-to-ceiling windows at the end of my room, I have a wonderful view of the Empire State building, which towers proudly to my right, seemingly within touching distance.
Making an entrance at INNSIDE New York NoMad
This brilliant white feat of architecture stands solidly against a great expanse of blue sky, which in turn provides the back drop for a host of yet more classic sky-scraping Manhattan builds.
If you fear heights, you’d be brave to look down to the street below, where the glass window is a transparent barrier a mere few inches thick: minute figures mill about; the gridlocked traffic is a line of toy cars.
Chic modernity pervades every feature of this deliciously private glass pod that seems to float in effortless style above the hot, busy street.
The minimal furniture fits perfectly - note the sleek white writing desk and neat bedside units; the compact but surprisingly roomy cupboard space; the sliding doors, big mirrors and spacious vanity cabinet of the ample bathroom whose shower is separated from the main room by a frosted pane of glass.
The INNSIDE Nomad manages to cram in every possible convenience but somehow not at the expense of space, of which there seems to be an awful lot.
So removed am I from the manic city life, now that I am hovering contentedly above the world below in my quiet little retreat, I am reminded occasionally that I am indeed still in the Big Apple by, obviously, the enormous landmark buildings to be seen from my window.
A room with a view at INNSIDE New York NoMad
There are however other touches that constantly reinforce the urban apartment feel.
The shower condiments, with their designer style packaging, with a drawing of the city skyline and an ‘Anti-pollution’ tag line, are very generously provided, calling out to be used in abundance to cleanse oneself after a busy day in town.
The soft, grey ‘hoodie style’ dressing gowns, complete with hood and drawstring are also a nice touch that seem to beckon, come here and wear me, city boy.
The large flat screen television overlooks the absurdly comfortable bed, allowing time to catch up on the US general election coverage: those gripping and terrifying Clinton and Trump campaigns - what a time to be in America!
Views over the Impero Caffe
I’m beginning to unwind, feeling more like I am in a swanky block of flats than a hotel, as I idly make my way over to the Nespresso machine and make myself a coffee.
Indeed, I am beginning to feel very at home in this little city pad.
The sun is setting and the lights outside begin to twinkle.
I dim the lights by casually waving my hand over the desk lamp.
I have a Patrick Bateman moment, who, needing some time away from his apartment in the Upper West Side, has invited a colleague over for some pre-dinner drinks at his yuppie style pied-a-terre, in between doing some dry cleaning and returning of videotapes.
Cue some INXS…
I get that traveller’s rush of libertine feeling, the city outside is mine for the evening and my safe haven here is fabulously appointed right in the middle of it.
What to do this evening?
Perhaps I could wander downstairs and have dinner at the Impero Caffe, the hotel restaurant that offers luxury dining it is on my doorstep after all.
Or maybe I could invite a few friends over and have a cocktail at that breezy bar in the lobby before going out on the town.
Whatever excitement the evening will bring, I am completely and utterly sold on this smart city base from which to explore.
In its modern, ingenious design, shimmering coolly over a warm, dusky Manhattan, the INNSIDE Nomad ticks all the boxes for work, rest, or play in this gorgeous urban mess.
Views over New York from INNSIDE New York NoMad
Meliá Hotels International launched its first urban lifestyle hotel, INNSIDE New York NoMad, located in the heart of New York, earlier this year.
The 313 room new build, 20-storey hotel boasts spectacular views of the New York’s skyline, the Empire State Building and Freedom Towers.
Find out more on the official website.