See inside NYC’s first Virgin Hotel, now open in Nomad

April 12, 2023

All photos courtesy of Virgin Hotels New York City unless otherwise noted

Nomad is becoming a hot spot for boutique hotels, from the newly reopened Ned Nomad to the new Ritz-Carlton New York, Nomad and the Ace Hotel. And this tiny neighborhood north of Madison Square Park is where Sir Richard Branson has opened his first New York City hotel. It joins Virgin’s U.S. hotels in major cities like Chicago, Dallas, and Las Vegas. The Virgin Hotels New York City property occupies the entire block between 29th and 30th streets and Broadway.

Sir Richard Branson cutting the ribbon at Virgin Hotels NYC. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Steck

“We’re in close proximity to the Empire State Building, giving our guests stunning views. Rich in history, restaurants, and entertainment, Nomad is the place to be for a quintessential New York experience, and is a quick walk from Herald Square,” Candice Cancino, general manager of Virgin Hotels NYC, said.

The hotel opened with much fanfare this month with a red carpet and Branson himself on hand to officially cut the ribbon. Opening a hotel in the city is something that has apparently been on Branson’s mind for some time.

“Sir Richard Branson has wanted to open a hotel in NYC since Virgin Atlantic first flew here in 1984 – the brand has had so many milestones in this city, so it feels for it to be our newest home,” said Cancino.

Lidia Ryan for ©6sqft

On opening night, the glass hotel was alive with pops of red against a cloudy evening. A flight attendant in Virgin’s iconic red suit arrived as VIP guests wrapped around the block waiting for a peek at the neighborhood’s newest hot spot. A London taxi donning a shiny coat of red paint parked outside the entrance while guests posed against the step-and-repeat.

Up on the third floor, a live band played while a woman on stilts wearing a disco ball as a hat walked around — not to be overshadowed by a knife juggler or a woman inside a large champagne coupe glass. The night also featured a performance by Colton Ryan, from the cast of the Broadway musical “New York, New York.”

Developed by Lam Group and designed by Stantec, the glass structure stands out in a sea of concrete. The hotel has 460 guest rooms, categorized as “chamber” rooms and suites as well as “Sir Richard’s Flat,” a two-bedroom duplex on the 35th & 36th floors overlooking Manhattan.

Nigel Sussman’s “Where’s Richard?” mural hangs in the hotel lobby

And speaking of views, with its central location, the skyline peeks through all the room’s windows. The hotel’s interior is designed in a somewhat mod style, but with a contemporary twist. And it doesn’t take itself too seriously with pops of color and over 100 pieces of vibrant artwork. In the lobby, you’ll find the “Where’s Richard?” mural by Nigel Sussman that depicts a Virgin-themed version of “Where’s Waldo.”

The hotel’s largest 2D piece is “The Sweat of Disco” by artist Joeggu Hossmann, “which celebrates the city’s history, icons, and party scene; the hotel’s collection is a nod to both the legacy and future of the Virgin brand, as well as to New York City,” said Cancino.

The interior was designed by New York-based design firm MARKZEFF, who also designed Virgin’s Nashville hotel.

Everdene is found on the third floor of the hotel

The heart of the hotel is Everdene, a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, lounge, and bar with an indoor-outdoor rooftop. Everdeen’s first floor is decorated in rich, jewel-toned fabrics and light wood-paneled walls. Glass doors lead out to a large terrace with couch seating as well as a dining area dotted with brightly-colored upholstered chairs.

Lidia Ryan for ©6sqft

Virgin’s signature red staircase connects the third and fourth floors, leading to the rooftop where a turquoise bar with whimsically ornate wallpaper and bubblegum pink bar terrazzo tables greet visitors. Outside the rooftop pool is lined with black and white lounge chairs where guests can enjoy a reprieve from the heat under the watchful gaze of the Empire State Building.

“New York City was our main inspiration behind the interior design, fusing that together with signature Virgin touches throughout, while maximizing views throughout accommodations and public spaces, subtle design elements reference nearby Madison Square Park,” Teddy Mayer, the creative director/vice president of design for Virgin Hotels, said.

“We like to create a playful and authentic vibe for each city we’re in while simultaneously delivering the luxurious hospitality standards that we’ve pioneered for decades.”


All photos courtesy of Virgin Hotels New York City unless otherwise noted

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