New York City is one of the most iconic destinations in the world, and many people have either been there or are planning to go in the future. Admittedly, a NYC trip can seem daunting to plan.. there are so many options of reasons to go, people to go with, and neighborhoods in which to stay! If you know what you are in the city to do, know the company you are traveling with, and know the neighborhoods and what they have to offer, you can narrow down your choices quite a bit to have some great options!
This past Labor Day weekend, I traveled to NYC with one of my best friends from high school (she lives across the country and we rarely get to see each other) for a super girls weekend in which the only agenda items were fun, food, spa, and shopping. Happily we ticked all those boxes, and even more happily, we stayed at the PERFECT hotel for us!!
The Greenwich Hotel, a Virtuoso property in the heart of TriBeCa, was such a great fit for our trip! First, I love this fashionable and desirable neighborhood because the surroundings are quiet, yet it is near all the action. In about a 10 minute walk, we were shopping in Soho, but yet so happy to retreat afterwards to our urban oasis at The Greenwich. And The Greenwich Hotel is exactly that.. a five-year old urban oasis of understated luxury owned by Robert DeNiro. This hotel feels more like an upscale home than a hotel, and that is exactly how they want guests to feel. With materials curated and gathered from all over the world, 90% of the artwork belonging to the DeNiros personally, and none of the 88 rooms being alike, it is safe to say that this is no cookie-cutter hotel. It manages to have both a worldly and urban feel at the same time, which to me, really gives it a sense of place. You really FEEL like you are in a boutique property in NYC, not a generic box hotel that could be anywhere. Some unique design points include:
- Mirrors throughout the hotel are made from antique glass salvaged from NYC’s landmark Flatiron Building.
- Re-claimed wood is found throughout the hotel, including ceiling beams which were rescued from a Civil War era factory, slated for demolition
- Turkish Travertine is used throughout the hotel’s outdoor spaces, including guest room balconies and the courtyard
- The terracotta and marble floors were made in Italy and inspired by flooring found in a 14th century palazzo
- Each room has a one-of-a-kind Tibetan silk or antique rug
- The Moroccan tiles in the bathrooms were all placed by hand
- Every piece of furniture was custom-made for the hotel
Our room, #401 Superior Greenwich room, was very spacious with a king bed and chic tiled bathroom. The shower was uniquely positioned surrounded by tiny sunflower yellow tiles and a warehouse-style window on one side. The two shower heads (regular and rain) were awesome- and yes, I do judge hotels by the water pressure of their showers. Each room in the hotel has a complimentary basket of candy and snacks for its guests, because as I mentioned, The Greenwich really wants guests to feel at home, and just as you would reach for a snack at home, so can you at The Greenwich.
I also saw a Corner Suite which has a fireplace, dining table, and closed off bedroom. This room can be locked off with a Greenwich Superior room to create a great space for families.
Only the lobby of The Greenwich is open to the public. Behind that is the Drawing Room, a warm space with rugs layered haphazardly, an inviting fireplace, and a small bar for hotel guests only to enjoy. The Greenwich likes to call it a living room for their guests. Just beyond that is the beautiful open courtyard, filled with potted plants and a mish-mash of wicker and wooden chairs and tables. I am sure that very few New York hotels have an outdoor space dedicated to their guests such as this. It was the perfect place to have an evening cocktail as well as breakfast in the morning.
And I cannot talk about The Greenwich without talking about Locanda Verde, the AMAZING “neighborhood Italian taverna” that is adjacent to the hotel and also owned by Robert DeNiro. You may enter it through a door on the side of the Greenwich lobby, and it is a buzzy, very popular neighborhood spot which can be difficult to get a reservation for. They do try hard to fit in their TriBeCa neighbors as well as hotel guests (we did reserve about a month in advance though anyway). The atmosphere was lively, the lighting dim, the service efficient, and the food- DELICIOUS. On a recommendation from the Greenwich, we shared the sheep’s milk ricotta appetizer served with little toasts, that was simply to die for. Whipped up to a light & airy perfection and drizzled with olive oil, it was the perfect starter for our squid ink linguini and corn ravioli. And if we were staying in Mr. DeNiro’s house, this experience felt like we were guests in his kitchen. The best part was being able to box up our leftovers for our room’s mini-fridge. Locanda Verde also serves breakfast, with a menu equally as innovative and tasty, and can be ordered as room-service or enjoyed in the Drawing Room or courtyard of The Greenwich. A Virtuoso benefit is breakfast for two and trust me.. you do NOT want to miss this breakfast!!
Because of the neighborhood The Greenwich is located in, and the privacy of its spaces, it is said to attract a celebrity clientele. I have colleagues who visited and saw notable people there, so naturally, I expected to also. I had this in my head so that I was immediately suspicious of every good-looking person or guest with their head bowed down a bit in the Drawing Room.. in fact, we saw one gentleman several times with longish hair who we would swear was in a band, but really, we had no idea. But in those evenings we spent in the dimly lit Drawing Room nursing pre-dinner cocktails, trying to figure out if indeed Mr. X was a celebrity.. we caught his eye a couple of times and it actually crossed my mind: maybe HE should be wondering who WE are! Because honestly, that is how The Greenwich makes you feel- like you are a celebrity as well! The staff was so attentive and discreet that we felt really special staying there. The sales manager did share with me that they have many guests celebrating special occasions at The Greenwich- anniversaries, honeymoons, babymoons, you name it. I believe it, what a PERFECT hotel to enjoy a celebration of any kind (even just best friends getting together!)
The Greenwich’s Shibui Spa is an Asian oasis of calm with a large indoor pool and calming treatment rooms. I enjoyed a facial and my friend enjoyed a massage. One of the Virtuoso benefits is a $100 spa credit, which you must use while there! We had such a relaxing and enjoyable afternoon while gearing up to go out for our last night in town.
Honestly, we shopped in Soho and went out in Meatpacking, and there are plenty of other great properties there in which to stay, but for us, those areas get so hectic and it was just nicer to visit them and then come “home” to The Greenwich in TriBeCa. And really, we did feel like guests in a (very nice) home, so to Mr. DeNiro- thank you so much for having us. We enjoyed every minute of being spoiled by your beautiful property and kind staff. We do hope to return again for another girls weekend sometime. xoxo, Laura
Virtuoso amenities at The Greenwich include: Breakfast for two, upgrade if available upon arrival, $100 spa services credit
Other places we checked out on our NYC weekend (not everywhere, just my favorites):
Beauty & Essex – FUN Lower East Side place, great for girls/guys night or groups, great music, diverse menu. Champagne bar in the ladies restroom. I am not making that up.
Locanda Verde – Hands down one of my new favorite places EVER!!
Magnolia Bakery – The original is in West Village, but we visited the Upper West Side after a stroll through Central Park. One of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. The frosting was so light and fluffy, not a heavy buttercream at all. To ensure we got a good sample of their products, my friend and I each had two. Hey, they were small and served as our reward for walking 50 blocks up from Gramercy Park and through Central Park.
Friend of a Farmer – Great brunch recommendation from a friend. It is in Gramercy Park and has a really cute outdoor patio.. I had a frittata and a “farmers garden in a glass” of kale, apple & carrot.
SHOPPED: Boutiques of Soho and Meatpacking (on list for next trip – West Village & Brooklyn!)
No. 8 – Posh hot spot, speakeasy-style lounge in Meatpacking. Is the former Bungalow. Check out the second floor bar, too, if you can.
PH-D – At the Dream Hotel in Meatpacking. Outdoor patio with views of Manhattan. Drinks & dancing.
The Tippler – A real neighborhood bar underneath the Chelsea Market. Great drinks & music. Chill atmosphere.
911 Memorial – Pre-reserve a ticket online or wait at the office there near the site for a ticket. Absolutely moving and reflective experience. A must do.
Central Park – We would liked to have spent more time there, but we just walked through to Sheep’s Meadow.. a very photographic spot.
The High Line – A really unique “public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.”
We mostly just enjoyed walking around and being in the city. We have both been to NYC before and weren’t trying to be power tourists, mostly just hang out, but still.. there is so much we didn’t get to do! So… until next time, NYC!!