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by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | June 22, 2016

Cheryl-Anne SturkenGuess what happens in the hotel world when Euro design chic hooks up with Manhattan street cool? You get the 313-room Innside New York NoMad, Meliá Hotels International's first U.S. flagship hotel for its urban lifestyle brand. From the moment you stroll up to this 18-story new-build's entrance on West 27th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, you catch that ever-so-subtle fresh vibe that somehow demands attention. It certainly got mine earlier this week, when I attended a swanky media-only event, complete with escorted tours by the hotel's general manager, Alex Spektor.

Rendering of a suite at the new Innside New York NoMadA hotel in Gotham by Spanish chain Meliá has been a longstanding goal. "We have been looking for a very long time to make our entry into New York City, but the market is extremely tough," Jurgen Stutz, vice president, sales, for the Americas, told me as we chatted about the brand's global expansion. "We knew we wanted to do it right. A conversion was out of the question for this brand. It had to be a new-build in the right area, and so, here we are now. What do you think?"

I said I would circle back after I had taken the house tour. The hotel has a sleek but inviting design, with a muted palette of soft grays and warm lighting. Natural light is plentiful, too, and that includes the two meeting rooms, loaded with cutting-edge technology like smartboards that allow attendees to upload comments and questions from their smartphones. That technology-centric design carries over to the guest rooms, which feature flat-screen TVs with separate Bluetooth and USB panel connections, so guests can download movies from their laptops directly to the screen. But there also are the softer touches, like a well-stocked complimentary minibar loaded with juices, soft drinks and water, as well as a Nespresso coffee machine.

If it's a suite you're after, head up to the 18th floor, where the Lifestyle suites feature private outdoor terraces with stunning views of the Empire State building. And, yes, they can be rented out as hospitality suites, which makes for a very nice private option for small groups looking to unwind after a day of meetings. The centerpiece of this newcomer, however, surely is its stunning Italian-inspired restaurant, Impero Caffe, helmed by celebrity chef Scott Conant of Food Network fame, where he is a constant judge on the long-running series Chopped. It's his first foray into the world of hotels, despite numerous overtures from other chains. Conant, who also manages the lobby bar, created the in-room dining menus and curates all meeting breaks and banquet dining.

Back at the terrace, where the crowd has grown exponentially since my tour, I beeline back to Stutz to complete our conversation just as another tour is heading off. "Well?" he asks with a smile. I raise my wine glass to his and reply with complete honesty, "I am glad you waited. You have a stunner here."