Nanosized near infrared (NIR) responsive nanohybrids are synthesized by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) of N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) on gold nanorods (Au NRs). Transmission electron microscopy images demonstrate that the nanohybrids have a clear core/shell structure. Temperature-variable 1H NMR spectroscopy, quasi-elastic light scattering (QELS), UV-vis spectroscopy, and laser irradiation prove that the nanohybrids are both temperature and NIR responsive. Norvancomycin (NVan) loading and release experiments show that the drug release rate can be modulated by NIR irradiation. Such an intelligent drug-delivery system might find applications in non-invasive controlled drug release in future.