Recent all too brief stay in New York at The Greenwich Hotel – I’ve stayed in the past and always loved the eclectic charm. Winging my way home through New York after 2 weeks in Europe, my hotel criteria was based on a close location to the Vuitton exhibit at the former American Stock Exchange, a cozy hotel for a potentially cold winter day, a great spa for working out the travel tensions after a 13-hour day of transatlantic travel,,, I instantly thought of The Greenwich and it more than provided all the necessary requirements.
A long day of travel impacted by an hour on the JFK tarmac and a two-hour slog into the city – Note to self: AVOID JFK for all future travel…I arrived at the welcoming and snug Greenwich Hotel in need of spa therapy – the Shibui spa in the basement area of the hotel is one of the most amazing spa and indoor pools of all the hotels I’ve visited. The 250-year-old bamboo farmhouse structure assembled over the steaming pool was constructed in the traditional nail free Japanese process. The walls are plaster and straw and the area is enhanced by dim lanterns. Even if you aren’t frazzled from a long Journey, the atmosphere induces instant relaxation, a little slice of heaven on earth, blood pressure drops on entering!
In the heart of hip Tribeca, close to posh shopping and restaurants, the Hudson River is visible from some rooms. The rooms have high ceilings and are all individually decorated with stunning hand-crafted Moroccan tiled bathrooms. Furnished with treasures from around the globe, it’s eclectic, but very stylish. Tibetan rugs, stone floors and wide plank wood floors, compelling art, mostly painted by owner Robert De Niro’s father, cozy velvet oversize chairs, mile long leather sofas flank the inviting fireplace in the hotel living room, a very sensory creature-comfort indulgent property.
Smallish by hotel standards, with only 85 rooms and a newish 2,800 sq. foot Penthouse. With three bedrooms, a loft like living room, the TriBeCa Penthouse envelops the entire roof top garden with a 4,000-sq. foot terrace with heated pool for the private use of the penthouse guests. A sanctuary garden with views of the river, secret outdoor spaces and multiple fireplaces. Designed in partnership by Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt and Japanese architect Tatsuro Miki, in close collaboration with the hotel’s partners Ira Drukier and Robert De Niro, the space is breathtaking and serene, providing a calming atmosphere from the nitty gritty city life. It is dark and moody, however, I found it much warmer than the online photos project.
Public spaces within the hotel are open only to hotel guests, I assumed the NY weather would be wintry, actually the gale force winds and rain prevented street walking! I invited my friends for a cozy breakfast in one of the guest only living rooms. A massive stone fireplace warmed us as we caught up over mimosas and nibbled on the fresh house made sheep’s milk Ricotta and a rich vegetable frittata. This friend and I attended the David Tanis cooking class in Sicily last summer, thus we know our ricotta! It met with high praise.
An outdoor garden terrace and the glassed-in conservatory would be inviting in summer; although the conservatory was very elegant, it didn’t pry me from the comfy deep sofas in front of the roaring fireplace. Decorated in the style of a European country home, the guest only spaces are decorated with book filled shelves, dim lighting and cozy areas to either unplug or work quietly with attentive wait staff in the background.
The well-known restaurant Locanda Verde is open to the public and has a dedicated following. Generous servings accompanied by olive snacks and toasted rough country bread, nosh through lunch or dinner in this practically all homemade urban tavern, serving tasty Italian dishes.
The Greenwich Hotel always satisfies, and on this brief visit, it was the perfect weary traveler cocoon, exactly as I expected!