Felicity Loughrey tries the luxe Greenwich Hotel and immediately wants to return…
Robert De Niro, the unofficial mayor of Tribeca, co-owns the Greenwich Hotel, along with his son Raphael and hoteliers Ira Drukier and Richard Born (owners of The Mercer and Chambers Hotel). The idea was to make a hotel feel like home, so there is artwork in the lobby by De Niro’s father, Robert De Niro Snr (he passed away in 1993). And just like home, the Greenwich is a private space. The downstairs drawing room with floor-to-ceiling red velvet curtains and crackling fireplace is for hotel guests only. Apparently that’s the way the Oscar winner and his friends like it.
HOW GOOD IS THE ROOM?
Every room is different but each has a warm, earthy, handcrafted tone. The hotel has 13 suites, with saunas and some have working fireplaces. And there are two duplexes, or artist ateliers as they call them, with soaring nine-metre windows, two bedrooms and office space.
All rooms have mod-cons like 112-centimetre HD flatscreen televisions, Bose iPod dock and wireless Internet access. There are full-size bathroom products by Red Flower, NY. And the snack bar is free! I polished off Tate’s Bake Shop chocolate-chip cookies, Cape Cod potato chips and am eyeing the handmade Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels as I write this. New and old books are found throughout with an emphasis on New York history and pictures. In my room, along with The Proust Questionnaire (Assouline), there’s Australian photographer James Houston’s hardcover Move (PowerHouse Books).
But the best part of this hotel is in the basement. Enter another world in the darkly-lit Shibui spa. Leave your belongings in a vintage locker with a rustic padlock and slip the key into your crimson kimono sleeve. Then I met up with lead therapist Thuyen Nguyen who creates his own body scrubs from natural and organic ingredients and will massage away jetlag. After a spa treatment head to the tranquil swimming pool and lounge under a 250-year-old Japanese structure that was shipped from Kyoto and assembled on site by master craftsmen with wooden pegs and an ancient knot-tying technique.
WHY WOULD I BE HAPPY TO GO BACK?
Because no two rooms are alike. Your key may unlock a room with a vintage pinball machine or one-of-a-kind art deco lamps, there could be a white marble bath or Moroccan tiles (there are more than 18 different colour and pattern combinations). And there’s also the penthouse that takes up the entire eighth floor with a duplex terrace and private hot tub with views of downtown Manhattan and the Hudson.