The Greenwich Hotel

By Terry Trucco

At a glance: The Greenwich Hotel is the kind of place New Yorkers imagine when they crave a staycation. Not surprisingly, it’s just as appealing if you’re coming in from out of town.

Step inside this anonymous eight-story brick building with an industrial air, and you’re enveloped in what seems like a Tuscan villa with a patina of Tribeca cool. It feels like the home of a well-heeled traveler with a love of food, art and good living, and you have the run of the place. The enormous sitting room, artfully divided into five discreet areas, seems intimate and spacious as you plop onto a velvet sofa or sink into a squishy leather club chair and survey the artfully mismatched surroundings — Tibetan silk rugs here, towering potted plants there. Gaze up, and you’re staring at a stained glass skylight that replicates a starry night.

The nearby drawing room is equal distinctive, warmed by a  and adjoining courtyard are equally distinctive and inviting, unspooling agreeable charms like copious seating and a wood-burning fireplace; it’s off limits if you’re not a hotel guest, the ultimate 21st-century hotel luxury.

Downstairs, the pool is lighted by lanterns, and the moody spa incorporates a 250-year-old Japanese farmhouse into its design. Upstairs, where no two of the 88 rooms are exactly alike, you’re greeted by a plate of fresh cookies, a basket filled with heritage treats (Twizzlers, Jujyfruits, Cracker Jack) and — more sugar! — a bowl overflowing with bite-size Twix, Snickers and Milky Ways. What better setting for taking a break from, well, anything?

Opened in 2008, the Greenwich has held up remarkably well, no doubt because of its quiet, trend-free beauty and all-the-comforts-of-home-when-home-is-a-villa take on luxury. I like its mix of quirks — leathery comforts straight out of a London men’s club like the big,  enveloping sofas and dark, masculine woodwork softened by flowers and personal touches like the colorful abstract paintings in the sitting room are by Robert De Niro, Sr., a student of Josef Albers and father of the actor, who is the hotel’s owner.

I also like the hotel’s sense of clubby quiet. The hotel reminded me of a good London house hotel, where you see interesting people in the sitting areas and can often strike up a good conversation. But you can also sit contentedly all by yourself, curled up with a book. It’s almost feels like home, but of course, it isn’t. And that’s the mark of a great staycation. It works for a vacation, too.

Rooms:

— that took like they took years to accumulate (kudos to Christian Garnett and Ian McPheely of Grayling Design for this visual sleight of hand; the hotel was built from the ground up in 2008).

This sophisticated, all-the-comforts-of-home-when-home-is-a-villa take on luxury is the brainchild of actor Robert De Niro, who owns the place, and veteran hoteliers Ira Drukier and Richard Born of BD Hotels, and it has held up remarkably well. Never trendy, the Greenwich’s authoritative beauty has proved timeless.

The Greenwich Hotel

377 Greenwich Street

New York, NY 10013

212 941-8900
212 941-8600

frontdesk@thegreenwichhotel.com

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