The Greenwich Hotel

Tribeca, Downtown NYC, United States Book from US$625

Reviewed by Antonia Short
Discreet, elegant and luxurious downtown hotel with stunning Japanese spa and A-list owner in arty Tribeca
Magpie-ing antiques, resurrecting old wood, tile and mirror, and fashioning the whole lot into exquisite interiors is nothing unique in the world of elite hotels. Dismantling an ancient barn, shipping it across the world and handcrafting it into a Japanese spa, however, is probably a first. As is having Hollywood’s Godfather at the hotel’s helm. But what’s really resplendent about Robert De Niro’s hotel only hits you when you’re sitting cosily on a Chesterfield, fire roaring, a glass of Italy’s finest in hand. De Niro, helped by an army of creatives, has crafted his hotel with love. Not a narcissistic-celebrity type of love, more a personal ode to perfection that radiates through everything, from his father’s artwork on the walls to Tuscan floor tiles imported because he fell in love with them.

Outside, Tribeca epitomises desirable downtown living, where well-heeled artists stroll loft-lined streets packed with trendy eateries. De Niro’s own culinary contenders, Tribeca Grill and Ago bookend the hotel; the delights of West Village, Soho and Nolita wait to be discovered.

Highs

  • 88 beautiful rooms, each unique
  • Lantern-lit heated saline pool and spa with exotic Japanese treatment list
  • Rich with reclaimed materials (the hotel is 95% recycled) and custom-made furniture
  • Comfortable shared spaces include a large drawing room, bar, restaurant, lounge and outside courtyard
  • Exclusive yet central location; rooms well insulated from street noise
  • Morning newspaper (from your home town) and bespoke duvet and pillow service

Lows

  • An ugly building opposite blocks what could have been glittering Hudson views
  • Fans of dry saunas will be disappointed to find the authentic Japanese spa only has a steam room
  • Because the pool area is heated, the pool itself feels chilly when you get in
  • The drawing room’s Chesterfield sofas are crying out for cushions, the bedroom walls for artwork; the ethos is deliberately low key

Best time to go

New York is most welcoming in spring and autumn when the threat of extreme (scorching or freezing) temperatures is at its lowest.

Our top tips

The concierge have plenty of New York advice and luxury trip ideas up their sleeves, from tennis coaching to sailing in the Hudson; excellent staff and friendly doormen.

Great for...

City Style
Eco
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 88
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Superior Greenwich Room

Rooms

Behind heavy farmhouse doors lining the corridors, an array of room types, each decorated uniquely, awaits. All are beautiful and my only gripe was the lack of artwork - an apparently deliberate choice to highlight the eclectic furniture.

The Dux bed and 300-thread-count sheets delivered an unrivalled night’s rest and tricked me into thinking that I’d overslept. Which left plenty of time to enjoy the Red Flower toiletries and the rainwater and power showers in my cheerfully patterned Moroccan tile bathroom (no two bathrooms are the same).

The minibar contains complimentary soft drinks and affordable tipples (a rare treat); you also get a snack basket with sweet treats. As accoutrements go, there’s all you’d expect - desk, phone, voicemail, iPod docking station, bathrobes, slippers, hairdryer, HD flat-screen TV and a delightful library with quirky art biographies.

Size-wise, rooms start with the Courtyard variety, overlooking the hotel’s ivy-clad courtyard. Greenwich Rooms are larger with sitting areas, Superiors have kingsize beds, while Deluxes have extra-deep soaking baths.

The vast Studio Suites boast bigger bathrooms, double vanity units and monolithic marble bathtubs; 3 also have saunas. Corner Suites have seating for 4, floor-to-ceiling windows with Hudson river views, soaking tubs and separate walk-in showers; some also have fireplaces.

Opt for the best and you’re entering super-swanky territory, the Greenwich and North Moore Suites (which can be joined with additional guest rooms), boasting 2 bedrooms apiece, soaring 30ft sloping skylights, chef kitchens and stone fireplaces.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Toiletries
  • Tv

Eating

Meals are served in the Locanda Verde restaurant, which evokes a traditional Italian ristorante with its exposed brick walls, hand-finished wooden panelling and snowy white linens. A section of the ceiling is lined with 90,000 corks - quirky but cool. Chef Andrew Carmellini's menu is delightfully unfussy Italian fare (porchetta de la casa with black kale; gigatone ala pescatora with shrimp meatballs etc), and their risotto di pesce e crostacei (seafood risotto) was all that was needed to win my vote here. Perfectly al dente and not too creamy, it was almost as fingertip-kissingly good as the accompanying Pinot Grigio. Karen DeMasco, one of the city’s best pastry chefs is in charge of desserts, which sound suitably mouthwatering (spumoni ala Napolitana, almond semi-freddo).

The restaurant is now a popular meeting spot for locals, whether for lunch, or dinner (there are three menus to choose from) - look around to see business deals being signed and sealed over excellent fare.

Breakfast can be taken in the restaurant or in your room. Choose from an excellent spread that includes pastries, egg dishes, pancakes, waffles.

At the other end of the block, Niro’s original restaurant venture, Tribeca Grill, competes. Open since 1990 and now a ‘New York institution’, it’s famous for robust dishes like seared scallops with chanterelles and corn pudding, and its extensive wine list includes the world’s largest Châteauneuf-du-Pape collection. There's also a nearby Greek restaurant, Thalassa, serving seafood and organic fare, which comes recommended.

Features include:

  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • One of the best free boat trips in the world, the Staten Island Ferry (close to Battery Park) runs 24 hours and guarantees heart-stopping views of Liberty Island (Statue of Liberty) and downtown Manhattan

  • Ground Zero may not be top of everyone’s sightseeing list, but if you’re interested in the site’s progression, it’s only a few blocks south of the hotel

  • South Street Seaport’s cobbled streets are nearly always alive with tourists who visit for the shopping, restaurants, street artists and East River views

  • Helicopter tours of New York sites including the Statue of Liberty and Empire State are surprisingly affordable and run weekdays from the downtown Manhattan heliport at Pier 6

  • For a taste of something different, a walk northeast of the hotel past Canal Street will takes you to Little Italy and increasingly sprawling Chinatown

  • Tribeca is home to some of New York’s most revered food haunts: nearby Bubby’s the Odeon and Yaffa’s have all stood the test of time

  • Southeast of the hotel, be get awe-inspired by some of Manhattan’s most famous landmarks: City Hall, the Woolworth Building, Chambers and the Municipal Building are all just a short walk

  • Back at the hotel, indulge yourself in the Shibui Spa with its authentic shiatsu room and exotic Japanese treatments like the purifying volcanic clay facial or Saki Ki massage (with steamed sake-soaked towels)

  • Yoga offered poolside every morning at 9am (you can also request yoga instruction in the gym or in your room)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are welcome and will love splashing about in the pool. Cots and babysitting available on request.

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting available by arrangement

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

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