NEW YORK CITY – I've long known The Greenwich Hotel as one of the better properties in New York City (it's a Fathom Favorite). And although I've spent a lot of time in the lobby, I'd never spent the night. I recently checked in for a mid-week overnight, arriving just in time for a midnight drink in the beautiful courtyard reserved for guests and barely tearing myself away the following day at 5 p.m. I didn't want to leave.
Located on a quiet street in Tribeca, The Greenwich Hotel is as close as you can get to a sophisticated European country house in the city. Like most good country houses, there are sitting rooms aplenty, some reserved for hotels guests. Unlike most good country houses, the old-fashioned decor is counterbalanced by the modern amenities that sophisticated hotel guests demand.
Claim to Fame
Let's get this out of the way: The hotel is owned by Robert De Niro. And a few other people, none of whom starred in The Godfather. The star seems hellbent on avoiding the paparazzi, and his hotel reflects a similar privacy-minded sensibility. There's nothing blingy about this joint. It's just quietly high caliber. With the occasional homey touch: The Picasso-esque paintings seen around the hotel — on the walls, the coasters, the postcards — were painted by one Robert De Niro Sr.
What's on Site
The public lobby on the ground floor is a big space divided by couches and armchairs in varied seating arrangements. The guests-only living room is decorated with deep, large leather and velvet sofas, artfully arranged bookshelves, stacks of coffee table books, a big fireplace, and portrait paintings.The plant-filled outdoor garden area, also for guests only, is a beautiful place for meals and drinks. The basement level is home to the Japanese-inspired Shibuya spa, where I had a terrific facial, a large gym, and, best of all, a pool. A big, dramatic, dimly lit pool.
I have known this hotel for years because its restaurant, Locanda Verde, is run by chef Andrew Carmellini, and I'm just crazy about his masterful way with house-made pastas, sheep's milk ricotta, steaks, and hearty vegetables. Come prepared to eat more than you planned to, and get over it. Sommelier Joshua Nadel's wine list will make you just as gluttonous. We drank late-night Cantina Bolzano Weissburgunder and Loredan Gasparini prosecco, and a terrific Calabrian white with lunch — Librandi Ciro' Bianco. Breakfast in the courtyard garden was a rich frittata. Lunch was an eggplant sandwich with burrata, tomato, escarole, roasted peppers, a side of chick peas, and focaccia. Lunch could have sustained me for a week, but I would have gone back at dinner for the same meal all over again.
In the Room
The room was more generous in size than I would have expected. (Then again, I was paying $575 for the night, so breathing room isn't unreasonable.) The furniture had an old-fashioned vibe — a genteel carved wooden bedframe, a deep leather club chair bordered in fringe, brass and iron light fixtures. On the wall above the chair was an adorable elephant head — snout up and happy — sculpted from pink and turquoise fabrics.The spacious white marble bathroom had a big walk-in shower that opened onto the rest of the room.The lack of shower door looked cool but meant that everything nearby got a good soaking. I swiped the collection of full-size Red Flower toiletries.
This is a place that rewards midnight munchies, which might strike if you watch movies on the large, flat-screen TV. The mini-bar is a wire basket filled with Uncle Jerry's Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels, Tate's Bake Shop cookies, Cracker Jacks, Lemonheads, and, in a small nod to healthier choices, — a Kind dark chocolate chili almond bar and Fastachi super nut mix.The really lazy wouldn't even need to get out of bed. Fuji water, Reese's Pieces, Snickers, and brightly colored gumball candy are on the bedside table.
Other hotel amenities include the Pressreader app, which can be download on phone, tablet, or laptop, and contains 4,000 papers and magazines from around the world.
Room with a View
I stayed in a courtyard view, which overlooked the outdoor garden on the ground floor and nearby rooftops and building.The other option are rooms overlooking the street.
This Place Is Perfect For
Guests who place a premium on discretion and good taste.
But Not So Perfect For
Tribeca is a really quiet Manhattan neighborhood, and the cobblestone streets around the Greenwich are among the quietest. The hotel provides courtesy bikes from Shinola, whose shop is a few blocks away, for exploring the surrounding streets or cruising along the Hudson River on the Battery Park promenade.
What to Do Nearby
So much! The hotel's website has a great neighborhood guide, the best of any hotel that I've ever seen. It highlights Tribeca favorites like the restaurants Båtard (a winning newcomer), The Odeon (the ultimate NYC classic), and Little Park (also by chef Andrew Carmellini). Other terrific neighborhood bars to hit when the urge for a tipple strikes include Weather Up, Smith & Mills, Terroir Wine Bar, and Tiny's and the Bar Upstairs. Nearby shops include Patrick Parrish, Grown and Sewn, and Steven Alan.
Rates start at $595. Click here for reservations.