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Downtown LA’s swanky NoMad hotel is luxurious and hip

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Inside the former Giannini Bank building, it opens this weekend

The restored, original coffered ceiling above the lobby area.
Frank Wonho Lee

The former Bank of Italy building at Seventh and Olive reopens this weekend as the NoMad Los Angeles, the Los Angeles location of the posh New York brand from Sydell Group, which opened the Freehand Hotel in the Commercial Exchange building in June.

The old bank was designed by Morgan, Walls, and Morgan, and opened in 1923. Long vacant, it’s been under construction for about two years. Killefer Flammang Architects has been in charge of the architecture and adaptive reuse.

Though the structure had been neglected until recently, elements of its early days were remarkably well-preserved and are now part of the hotel, including the striking coffered ceiling over the lobby the intricate coin-themed detailing around the three main doors off Seventh Street.

Courtesy of Benoit Linero

Entering the NoMad through those doors on Seventh, visitors step into an open and towering lobby area, broken up into several nooks and bars.

Jewel-toned velvet is everywhere in the lobby—from the towering grassy green curtains in the corners of the lobby to the cornflower blue seating in the “library,” a cabinet of curiosities-inspired space for hotel guests—and it is fantastic. Interior design is by Jacques Garcia, who also designed the NoMad in Manhattan.

Flanking the central area where the Lobby restaurant holds court is the Giannini Bar (named for the bank’s founder Amodeo Giannini) and a coffee bar that converts into an alcohol bar at night (mirrors behind the bar counter retract to reveal the booze). For more on the hotel’s food and drinks, head over to Eater.

Courtesy of Benoit Linero
Courtesy of Benoit Linero

The upper floors of the 12-story building are devoted to the 241 guest rooms, laid out in seven different formats, from the basic “classic” room to a variety of suites.

Many rooms boast large, freestanding bathtubs, a little bar nook, and a row of large windows with wide sills that can comfortably function as a seat. Fancifully embroidered sofas, hand-dyed rugs, and sculptural light fixtures give the rooms a cozy feel.

Standard rooms start at $315 nightly. An Atelier room, which has that luxurious tub, starts at $425 per night.

The NoMad Los Angeles officially opens on January 21, but one crucial part of the hotel won’t be open at that time: the rooftop. Up there, a saltwater pool and bar are planned. That space is still under construction, but is expected to open within a couple of weeks.

The exterior of the Bank of Italy building in Los Angeles. The facade is tan with columns on the front of the building. Courtesy of Killefer Flammang Architects