Perched amongst red brick apartment blocks, sturdy warehouses and cobbled streets in the heart of New York City’s trendy Tribeca, The Greenwich Hotel can proudly claim Robert de Niro as the mastermind behind its superior conception.
Opening its doors in 2008, de Niro’s first hotel venture created a buzz at the time, and today has matured into its reputation as a sophisticated, attentive and exclusive New York City hotel experience.
Somehow de Niro has pinpointed the perfect combination of old-world charm, modern convenience, and the kind of friendly service that extends to ‘you-name-it’ requests fulfilled with a smile. With its luxurious blend of multicultural influences – from Moroccan tiles to Tibetan silk rugs and English leather settees – the atmosphere is indulgent and serene, and discreetly exudes this ‘members club’ vibe that makes one feel special just lulling about the hallways and in the elevator.
With 88 exquisite rooms and 13 suites across eight levels, it’s amazing to think that each is unique and unlike any other. Complemented by oak floors, sumptuous furniture and antique pieces, and all the classy finishing touches one would expect from an A-grade celebrity, The Greenwich Hotel's roomsare stylish and grand yet fitted with modern technology such as ipod docks, wireless internet and flat screen TVs. The complementary basket of goodies and jar of sweets, as well as an included fridge mini bar (except for alcohol), is just a bonus – especially for foreigners keen to try some Hershey’s and other local treats. Refreshingly, the high ceilings featuring beautiful hand-carved mouldings create a wonderful open and airy feeling of space within each room, and the heavy, motorised curtains are heavenly for an afternoon nap that feels more like night – perfect for jetlag recovery.
Choose from four room types, six different one and two-bedroom suites, and two styles of penthouses. The Fireplace Corner Suites are scrumptious.
The courtyard & drawing room
The Grenwich Hotel lobby is a guest-only retreat offering a drawing room decked out in classic upholstered and leather furniture pieces and garnished with stylish frames, decorative candle-holders, flowers, bookshelves and all kinds of other eye-catching ornamental items. Adjacent is a Tuscan-style outdoor courtyard, enclosed by tall city brick walls covered in crawling vines that reach up towards the blue sky above. Here, you can order a tasty dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or simply enjoy a coffee or wine and absorb the peace from the outside world.
The Shibui Spa & pool
Also exclusive to hotel guests, the Shibui Spa is infused with a calming Japanese influence, with the notion of ‘balance’ at its core. The indoor lantern-lit pool and lounge sit nestled under the roof of a 250-year old wood and bamboo Japanese farmhouse, whilst the adjoining bathrooms feature saunas. For professional spa treatments, there are four separate treatment rooms situated in their own peaceful sanctuary on the same level. Shibui Spa has a shiatsu room, a traditional Japanese bathing room with a large tub for bathing rituals and a tatami mat floor for massage, a wet room that includes a shower for wraps and scrubs, and a treatment room for massages and facials. The Shibui Spa menu is simply divine.
The Greenwich Hotel's other features: Concierge, Locanda Verde Italian tavern, in-house fitness centre located on Shibui Spa level.
The Greenwich Hotel is nestled in Tribeca, close to Soho, offering easy access to all of the New York City downtown sights and neighbourhoods. In the late 80s the area was popular with artists trying to escape the hefty prices of Soho, but today the neighbourhood has a high profile of its own with great restaurants, classy boutiques and trendy bars to tout. Wander Tribeca’s cobblestone streets and you’ll notice it still hasn’t lost its calm, chilled-out vibe, and certainly hasn’t been overrun with tourists and the ultra-hype of other New York City neighbourhoods.
Whether you’re a science-hound, a philosophy-queen or a master of literature, New York City’s unique Library Hotel will have not just a room to suit, but a bookcase that caters to your very taste.
Boasting over 6,000 books, each and every volume is organised across the sixty unique rooms spread across ten floors by the Dewey Decimal System.
With a separate floor dedicated to each of the ten classifications of knowledge, first choose your forte or interest between Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts or Religion for your stay. Then, narrow it down. Each room is purely dedicated to its theme, adorned in art and a personal library of the topic you choose – whether it’s Poetry, Fairy Tales, Astronomy, Germanic Language, Medicine, New Age, Oceanography or even Money that you fancy.
But whilst this idea to fashion an age-old reference system into a themed hotel is unique, don’t think it’s nerdy. It’s not the slightest bit odd to be a part of. Wandering down the hall reading reference numbers to find one’s room proffers much more mystery and surprise than the average hotel experience, that’s for sure.
The Library Hotel has been created with much class and care in its transformation from a landmark 1900 brick and terra cotta building. Beautifully restored, the boutique hotel now lodged in its remains oozes sophistication, is modern and attracts a broad clientele. After all, whether you experience the Library Hotel once or up to 60 times, you can be guaranteed every stay will be unique.
Social Sciences, 3rd floor - Law, Money, World Culture, Economics, Political Science, Communication
Language, 4th floor - Ancient Language, Middle Eastern Language, Asian Language, Germanic Language, Romance Language, Slavic Language.
Math and Science, 5th floor - Astronomy, Dinosaurs, Botany, Zoology, Geology, Mathematics.
Technology, 6th floor - Health and Beauty, Computers, Medicine, Management, Manufacturing, Advertising
Religion, 12th floor - Ancient Religion (Mythology), Native American Religion, Germanic Religion, New Age, African Religion, Eastern Religion.
Across these rooms, there are still three different room types – Petite Room Full, Deluxe Room Queen, and Junior Suite King with Sofabed. All rooms feature a flat screen TV with 48 digital channels, mini bar, safe, 100% Egyptian cotton linen, MP3 dock, phone lines and high-speed wireless internet access.
The Reading Room
All Library Hotel guests have access to the second-floor Reading Room, lined with a wall-to-wall bookshelf hosting a variety of books on one side, and glass windows overlooking the New York street life below on the other. Open 24-hours, you can come here to sit and read, bring your laptop to do some work, or enjoy the complimentary tea and coffee facilities, cookies and fruits available. A European-style continental breakfast is served in the Reading Room each morning, and each evening from 5.00 – 8.00pm a wine and cheese reception is held for all guests.
The Writer’s Den & Poetry Garden
If these exclusive retreats aren’t booked out for private use, retreat here with your book or your work by day. By night, this 14th floor area transforms intoBoomarks Lounge, an intimate Manhattan Rooftop Bar open to the public. Serving cocktails alongside a full premium bar list, the bar is relaxed but upbeat and operates every night except Sundays.
Midtown Manhatten Local grooves
The Library Hotel is located in Midtown Manhatten, on Madison Avenue nad 41st Street. Fittingly, this is also known as Library Way, with the majestic New York Public Library just around the corner. The Pierpont Morgan Libarary, Bryant Park, Grand Central Terminal and the Times Square Theatre District are all not far away either.
The laid-back, hippie-chick mountain town of Telluride is known as a fabulous ski resort; but it also plays host to everything from wine and food events to major music acts and, of course, outdoor and fitness adventures in both winter and summer. The picture-postcard setting provides the perfect backdrop for the historic main streets filled with boutiques and coffee shops, and a top-notch foodie scene.
Hotel Madeline is a luxurious yet comfortable hotel that is completely at one with its setting in Mountain Village. Part of the Leading Hotels of the World, Madeline is majestically situated on the peaks above the town of Telluride, the hotel is easily accessible via the free public gondola system — and you get amazing views to boot. Overview Hotel Madeline is Telluride’s only Four Star ski-in, ski-out hotel. It is part of Mountain Village, where you can step outside the hotel directly to the gondola and ski slopes; as well as a multitude of charming shops, restaurants, coffee houses, night life, the ice skating rink and more. Ski valets are available to help guests with their ski equipment and the lifts, a nice little touch. Rooms 96 rooms, 11 suites and 17 condominiums each offer elegant décor and full amenities. The suites offer kitchenettes, and the condos feature full gourmet kitchens along with washer/dryer units. Rooms are spacious, with 42-inch flat-screen cable TVs, complimentary wi-fi, luxurious bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and separate shower, and beds that feel like you are sinking into a cloud. There are nice extra touches befitting the mountain environment, such as humidifiers to remedy the dry altitude air. Spa & Fitness Enter a world of unmatched serenity and succumb to the restoring therapies of The Spa at the Hotel Madeline. Select from a variety of alpine inspired massages, altitude adjustment oxygen therapy, hydrotherapy, facials and body care treatments – all designed to enhance your day in the refreshing mountain air. The indoor heated pool is surrounded by glass doors that look upon the dramatic mountain views. The pool, jacuzzi and steam room are open 24 hours a day with guest room key. A fully equipped fitness room with free weight equipment and Technogym cardio is also available. Food & Dining Don’t miss a highlight of the hotel – its amazing food at Rev Restaurant and Smak Bar, often sourced straight from the downtown farmer’s market by Chef de Cuisine Bud Thomas. Thomas and Executive Chef Cory Sargent share a passion for local ingredients foraged from the market and ranches, farms and fisheries across southwest Colorado, putting the taste of the Rockies right on the plate for their guests. Thomas and Sargent also delight in special culinary events and festivals that are plentiful in Telluride. For example, the August Mushroom Festival brings together mushroom connoisseurs along with general enthusiasts for guided hikes to identify and hunt mushrooms, lectures and cooking demonstrations. Sargent says that harvesting the mushrooms by hand makes this festival a very rewarding one as a chef. “Being able to be in the wilderness and hunt for chanterelles, oyster, and porcini mushrooms is just magical,” he says. “We hire the best local mushroom hunter in town, ‘Sir Jesse,’ to take the clientele out into the woods to hunt for everything from wild onions, edible flowers, & all the different varieties of mushrooms.” While they are hunting, Sargent and his sous chefs create a four course mushroom dinner in a tent with views of the mountains. Through each course of the amazing meal, Sir Jesses explains the different mushrooms as a sommelier pairs the meal with a selection of wines. Extras Hotel Madeline is pet friendly, welcoming guests’ four-legged friends with a small additional charge. The hotel also offers dog walking, pet sitting and grooming services. The Leaders Club offers special member benefits, and the Madeline also has an ownership program. Right now the Hotel Madeline is offering a special where you can get the third night free when you book two nights.
For more planning information: check out the comprehensive guide to Telluride.
It was a short walk to the lotus pond, which had become my morning spot. After waking early from a restful night’s sleep, I would walk out my door into the gentle Arizona sunshine moving over the nearby mountaintops of the Sonoran Desert, along the pathway that wound between cactus plants studded with flowers, blooming lantana and succulents. Lizards darted out of the way, while the occasional rabbit would hop across the path or ground squirrels shyly race back to their holes.
Then I arrived at the lotus pond. It was small, just in front of the Health and Healing center in the back section of the property. This was a peaceful spot I discovered on my first morning at Canyon Ranch, and became my favorite spot to start the day. I would bring a cup of coffee and sit and watch the koi and the turtles splash in the water, the colorful dragonflies buzz around the vegetation, and wait for the pink, purple and white lotus flowers to slowly open up on their lily pads to greet the day. It was almost like a meditation, the perfect beginning to my day.
This sort of peaceful, restorative feeling is one that accompanied me just about every moment and in most locations around the 150-plus acres of Canyon Ranch. The entire resort is lush and lovely, meandering and quiet, almost zen-like in the ambience that it exudes. Even with many other guests in attendance at nearly-peak occupancy, the grounds are so large and spread out that you rarely run across more than a few people at a time outside the classes and main gathering areas. Often, I would have a spot to myself for walking, sitting, reading or just enjoying the peace and quiet.
I had decided to give myself a completely unplugged experience while at Canyon Ranch – no internet or phone calls, to fully embrace and enjoy the restorative, healing powers of the place. It was nice that most of the resort is a “cell-free zone” – there are a few spots here and there that are designated phone spots, and of course guests are free to use their phones in their rooms, where wi-fi internet access is also provided for those who wish to stay connected.
But for me, the very essence of Canyon Ranch was about escaping from everyday life, to rebalance and perhaps discover some components of life and wellbeing that would enhance my life moving forward from this special place. The many activities and amenities at this resort 40 minutes outside Tucson make it easy to do so. I found that many of the guests were repeat visitors, many of them having come back over years and even decades. Canyon Ranch is one of the original health resorts of Arizona, celebrating 35 years this year, and although I had just discovered it I could tell it held a special place for many to rejuvenate or even rediscover themselves.
Health & Wellness Programs One of the first things you can do upon checking into Canyon Ranch, if you wish, is to meet with a program advisor to discuss the many opportunities available during your stay. At registration you are given a bag with a personal, reusable water bottle and a listing of the week’s programs, which can be overwhelming as the choices are plentiful. An orientation tour around the property really helps, as well. The goal of the Canyon Ranch programs is to help guests feel their best at every age. Holistic, integrative medical care integrates Western and non-Western practices with top physicians on staff and a range of diagnostic services, making it the perfect place for a comprehensive whole-body check-up and consultation for treatment programs. Food and nutrition programs, weight loss, lifestyle management, and Eastern healing medicines round out the offerings.
In addition to meeting with physicians for a medical consultation, including in every stay is a range of wellness workshops and programs that might include the following:
Reduce your stress with healing touch
The science of weight loss
Is your sleep posture causing you pain?
Mindfulness and the brain
Keep your joints healthy
There are also daily 12-step meetings, and the entire resort including dining areas is alcohol-free. Some people come to Canyon Ranch due to crisis and are choosing recovery, while many others are looking for maintenance, cleansing and restoration.
Spa & Aquatic Center The spa complex at Canyon Ranch is very large, incredibly equipped and a delight to spend time in. With more than 80,000 square feet, the complex includes gyms and workout rooms, yoga studio, hair and nail salon and of course, the spa treatment areas. In the spa guests can receive classic bodywork massages and Asian therapies, Ayurvedic treatments, body scrubs and wraps, and facials. There are many beautiful, relaxing common areas with numerous soaking pools of varying temperatures, from hot to a cold plunge pool; a steam room, aromatic Eucalyptus room and sauna. The complex also houses a Healthy Feet clinic, with gait and footwear analyses, reflexology and touch therapies. The salon is full service, offering hair, nail and makeup services. There are also special maternity offerings for special attention to moms-to-be. The gym portion of the complex has nine gyms, a yoga dome, courts for squash, racquetball and wallyball, a strength and cardio training room that is outfitted with all the latest computerized fitness equipment, and personal training. Just behind the spa complex are tennis courts, and the Aquatic Center that houses two heated indoor pools for free swimming, aquatics classes, Watsu water massage and underwater treadmills. Three other outdoor pools are located around Canyon Ranch, so no matter where your guest room is, you are sure to be near a pool.
Fitness & Activities This is definitely a highlight of a stay at Canyon Ranch. The beauty of the environment and programming is that you can do as much or as little as you like. The program advisors do warn against not getting so excited about all the offerings that you are too over-zealous and leave exhausted. That was my temptation. I definitely wanted to take advantage of the dozens of exercise and fitness classes offered each day, and I enjoyed hiking, yoga, pilates, aqua fitness and many others. Classes on the weekly schedule typically include many of these classes as well as:
Abs and core conditioning
Stretch classes and walking
Boxing workouts, and many more
There are golf and tennis clinics and private lessons also available, as well as high ropes adventures and obstacle courses. Besides the physical fitness aspect, Canyon Ranch programming also puts just as much emphasis on internal, emotional health. Many workshops are offered on topics such as meditation, cultivating inner peace, creating sacred space, harnessing your intuition and many more. Also offered are art and creative classes, bingo, live music, bingo, cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes. Food here, in fact, is something of an art form. Guests can dine in the dining room (by reservation for dinner) or at the more casual, order at the counter Double U Café. All dishes are described with their ingredients, calories, fat content, etc. The aim is to provide delicious and healthy gourmet cuisine, with snacks and drinks available all day long.
Guest Rooms Accommodations are clustered in different groupings throughout the resort, all with stunning views of the mountains and surrounding desert landscape. The original art and décor is inspired by the natural surroundings, and plentiful outdoor areas provide more comfortable lounging outside the room. All guest rooms include the following amenities:
Cloud-soft feather beds
Your choice of pillows from 20+ options on our Pillow Menu
Mascioni® luxury Italian linens
Terry cloth robes
DVD, cable TV, stereo/CD player
Computer phone jack
Wired or wireless Internet access
In-room coffee and tea service
Hair dryer and thoughtful amenities
In short, if you are looking for the ultimate, all-inclusive and holistic way to immerse yourself in health and wellness, the beauty and expertise of Canyon Ranch is the way to go. It was named a Conde Nast Top 10 Best Destination Spa for 2014 (having been recognized by the veteran travel publication numerous times). There’s a very good reason Canyon Ranch has been around for more than three decades…in fact, hundreds of them.
Details Canyon Ranch 8600 E. Rockcliff Road, Tucson AZ 85750 Telephone: 520-749-9000 or 888-239-5149 Rates: From $2,140 per person for 3 nights, $4,495 for 7 nights. 4 and 10 night stays also available. Rates are all-inclusive of meals, programs and activities, use of all facilities, resort fees, a daily spa allowance and taxes. Canyon Ranch is a no-tipping resort.