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“Your coffee will arrive in less than three minutes,” I’m told. “Is that satisfactory?”
Satisfactory isn’t exactly the word that comes to mind. I’m feeling more like elated. Amazed. Especially when, true to word and with barely time to slip into the cushy robe and slippers left bedside, there’s a soft knock on my door. And coffee, in all its shiny silver grandeur (including real cream on the side) makes its way into my room.
Settling into an oversized chair overlooking the Hudson, I watch the frenzy below me of commuters scurrying for their own morning mochas. I breath deeply, relax, and simply enjoy the fine attention to detail that marks this hotel: the glass candy jar chock-full of mini-chocolates; the complimentary ‘mini-bar’ stocked with my favorite water and snacks; the full-size Redflower bath amenities and larger-than-sunflower-sized rain shower that I never want to leave. And the books, many hand-selected by Greenwich Hotel co-owner and film icon Robert DeNiro himself.
DeNiro, with partner and hotelier extraordinaire Ira Druker, opened this exclusive hotel in 2008, and it‘s since become the frequent haunt of celebs. But one would never know. With its super-private, ’guests-only’ lobby, drawing room, outside courtyard, and no-photo, no-name-dropping mantra, the outside world (and paparazzi) is kept at bay.
Instead, attention is placed on truly impecccable service and preserving the Old-World traditions and craftsmanship that anchor the hotel’s architectural foundation. While DeNiro and Druker could easily have built the hotel in a year, they instead took ten years, carefully sourcing the best-of-the-best artisans and traditions from around the globe. Terra-cotta floors were hand-molded and assembled by an artisan Italian family flown in from Tuscany; the hotel’s exterior bricks were handmade, one by one, in Pennsylvania; while its spa features a 250-year-old wooden-and-bamboo Japanese farmhouse roof that was dismantled in Japan and rebuilt wooden peg by wooden peg.
During my lazy Monday visit, I take time to try the hotel’s Shibui Spa. In a lightweight Japanese kimono-like blue robe and slippers, I follow my therapist down curvy stairs into a tranquil lantern-lit area where for the next hour or so, I experience the spa’s signature, Drunken Lotus massage. The treatment begins with the placement of warm, sake-infused towels to loosen muscles followed by a customized massage with hydrating cucumber oil. All too soon, the uplifting scent of silver fir (to awaken and return mind and soul to reality) comes. And as I peel myself from the spa table to prepare for checkout, I have (for the first time ever during a stay in NYC) no desire to see or do anything. I want only to hang in my room – just a little longer – sip one of the exotic waters and watch Tribeca in motion from my window…
What We Love
The space: Rooms are gigantic (by NYC standards) and comfy with leather settees, Oriental rugs and original artwork (much of it by Robert De Niro, Sr).
Office: (732) 473-9982
Fax: (732) 473-9986