Visitors to the University of Oklahoma campus during home football games who choose to stay in town overnight—as well as other visitors to OU and Norman throughout the year—now have a new choice that’s both convenient and elegant.
The NOUN Hotel opened on Sept. 22, and was met with praise from members of both the town and gown communities.
Scott Lambert, NOUN general managing partner, recalled how the unusual name for the new, independently owned boutique hotel located on OU’s historic Campus Corner came about.
“Chris [Christine Lambert, NOUN shareholder/concept and design coordinator] and I shared ideas on names for weeks!” he recalled “One night while drinking red wine, Chris suggested NOUN, like SoHo in New York, and standing for North of University. We immediately knew that was the name, and after another glass of wine we realized that ‘NOUN’ also includes OU, and our location and inspiration have the University of Oklahoma at the very heart! The name stuck, and we couldn’t be happier.
“The NOUN stands for North of University and is about People, Place and Ideas,” he added.
Beside Scott and Chris, the other member of the NOUN leadership team is Ronnie Krodel, general manager.
At the invitation of the NOUN Hotel leadership team, I (with my niece and Cleveland County City Lifestyle writer/photographer Lindsey Davies and her 5-year-old son, Liam) enjoyed an overnight stay in one of the hotel’s bedrooms. The fourth-floor space offers a nice day and night view looking down University Boulevard to Boyd Street and beyond.
Some of the amenities we especially enjoyed was the complimentary valet parking, the comfortable beds and location on Campus Corner, with its many shops and restaurants, and the beautiful OU campus, known for its Cherokee Gothic-designed historic buildings as well as its many sculptures, fountains and gardens.
Scott notes that all 92 of the hotel’s guest rooms are furnished with Smart TV technology, handmade artwork, walk-in showers and luxurious Italian linen. Guests may choose from two suites, 24 king bedrooms and 66 double queen bedrooms.
Oklahoman-centric art subjects, such as the state's animals, the bison and the scissor-tailed flycatcher, are found throughout the hotel, and every guest room has a crimson touch as a reminder that “There’s Only One Oklahoma.”
The NOUN Hotel boasts over 3,900 square feet of stylized community spaces, including patio seating for outdoor events and meeting rooms with 14-foot ceilings—perfect for weddings, business gatherings and special occasions of all kinds.
“Our lobby is three times the comparable size for a hotel that has 92 rooms and was designed as such to bring people together to share ideas and celebrate life over ample space,” Scott said. “We want the NOUN to be a place where everyone feels comfortable and welcomed.”
Overnight guests as well as visitors can avail themselves of the NOUN’s two cocktail destinations and one culinary concept.
The Supper Club, a bistro-style dining destination located off the lobby, is open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. It serves up refined American dishes that celebrate bold flavors alongside craft cocktails.
During our visit, my I ordered the Coq au Vin, a tasty concoction of roasted heirloom chicken breast, red wine, mushrooms and pearl onions, served with a Pistolet loaf. Lindsey ordered Potato Gnocchi—braised oxtail, scallion and fontin—off the appetizers list. Also off the appetizers list, we ordered the Summer Flatbread: asparagus, ricotta cream, boiled egg, fontina, arugula and balsamic vinegar.
The dinner menu features a nice selection of soups and salads as well as appetizers; next time I visit, I plan to try the Heirloom Tomatoes, made with bread-and-butter pickled garlic, shaved fennel, parmesan crumble and Banyuls vinegar. Entrees include dishes featuring salmon and striped bass, pork chops, duck, steak and short ribs, offering something for just about anyone. Additionally, the Supper Club offers two “Plates for Two” specials: a 40. Tomahawk ribeye and broiled salmon.
The Supper Club is helmed by Chef Greg Lopez, who has worked in a variety of locales around the world. In 2018, he served as an executive chef in China, developing and introducing Western food to a culture that had yet to experience it. He was executive chef at Hyatt Hotels in Seattle from 2003-2014.
Guests and visitors may unwind at ONE Bar, a late-night lounge and restaurant overlooking campus on NOUN’s second floor. Featuring 14 televisions, four outdoor fire pits, a TV wall and patio seating, ONE Bar is the ideal locale to catch a game or enjoy bites and beverages.
The vision of the NOUN’s leadership team, says Scott, is to offer a level of service, programming and comfort that is unmatched in the metro area, and to get increasingly involved in the immediate surrounding community.
“The first-of-its-kind NOUN Hotel focuses on down-home hospitality through its employees' integrity and a hospitality experience that concentrates on dissolving boundaries between the new and old,” he stated.
“Our short-term goal is to weave hotel programming into the community and introduce NOUN as a home away from home for not only Norman travelers, but a mainstay destination for locals. Long term, we are seeking to establish NOUN as a pillar of the community, and by providing the highest-quality product and service in the area, help elevate the University of Oklahoma to better compete for the best and brightest in all categories—furthermore putting Norman, Oklahoma, on the map.”
As I looked down from out fourth-floor room overlooking Campus Corner and OU, where I earned two degrees and worked for 25 years, I felt like I’d returned home, but a home with an upgrade or two!
542 South University Blvd.
Norman, OK 73069