I arrived at The Greenwich Hotel, Robert De Niro’s boutique property tucked away on a cobblestone street in New York’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood, in the late afternoon when the sun was hanging low in the sky. As I walked through the lobby, an eclectic sanctuary filled with potted plants, mismatched furniture, and terracotta tiles reminiscent of an Italian palazzo, I came across the swan-like supermodel Chanel Iman sprawled out on one of the plush couches and chatting with a crew of equally superhumanly beautiful companions. Iman, whom I had previously met when she came to Dubai to work on a project with Savoir Flair, greeted me with a hug.“We’re just waiting to go to a movie,” she explained. “I live in this neighborhood, so I’m always here.” I was immediately struck with the feeling that I had stumbled upon the cozy living room of New York’ most glamorous personalities, a hunch that I would later learn was spot on.
The eight-story property, which counts 88 rooms, is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, a prestigious luxury hospitality organization that boasts 375 of the world’s most exclusive hotels. What these have in common, apart from their luxurious accommodations, is that they must be both authentic and uncommon destinations fit for the “curious” traveler. In New York City, an island brimming with plenty of hospitality options and personalities, this is no small feat. However, stand-out features of The Greenwich Hotel – which include access to a lantern-lit indoor pool and spa, a lush courtyard that calls to mind the Tuscan countryside, and Locande Verde, the connecting Italian taverna that serves up gourmet comfort dishes such as wood-fired rabe sausage, roasted garlic chicken, and truffled steak tartare by chef and restauranteur Andrew Carmellini – clearly fit the Leading Hotels of the World bill.
Inside the property’s Superior Suite, the vibe is reminiscent of a handsome writing enclave fit for a bourgeois creative. Jazz tunes waft through the French doors of my room, which looks out onto a colorful mural of James Dean, while The New York Times rests on the mahogany desk, begging to be devoured. Antique mirrors salvaged from New York’s landmark Flatiron Building and a clutter of books on subjects ranging from art to fashion line the shelves around the flat-screen television to add a lofty touch. Of course, with a bathroom finished in Italian Carrara marble and a personal in-room sauna, you’re immediately reminded that this is not a room fit for a struggling writer but rather far more appropriate for those in the mogul or supermodel salary bracket.
Despite the steep prices, however, The Greenwich Hotel is far from stuffy. In fact, the property welcomes you with a minibar packed full of free goodies, including a generous amount of sweet and savory snacks, and service that is consistently warm, welcoming, and highly accommodating. If I had the pleasure of picking a place to call my own New York living room, The Greenwich Hotel would be an easy choice for its cool and cozy appeal – and the fact that Robert De Niro would be my landlord.