Travelers have different philosophies when it comes to hotels. For some, they’re just a place to lay your head while you spend the majority of your time exploring somewhere new. For others, it’s a home away from home where you need – and expect – all the comforts of your own personal accommodation. I fall into the latter camp, which gave me the opportunity to spend a few nights at the Loews Regency New York a few weeks ago.
Last May, I had an exceptional stay at Loews Miami with my best friends to celebrate my birthday, so I thought I was in for a treat. Still, after spending the past few months researching a must-see hotel in New York City on my work trips, I’ve tempered my expectations, growing increasingly disappointed with dark rooms, small square footage, and overall lackluster experiences.
From the moment my Uber pulled up at the corner of Park Avenue and 61st Street where the Loews Regency is, I could tell this was not going to be an ordinary stay. Bellboys were on the street opening doors for passengers, taking other people’s bags, and providing the kind of service you deserve after traveling by just about any mode of transportation these days.
Upon entering the lobby of the 5 star hotel, the first word that came to mind was opulence. In the short wait for check-in, you’ll hear the soft tapping of designer heels along the marble floors as customers make their way to a variety of deals around town or grab a drink at a business meeting. at the bustling Regency Bar. & Grill to the left of the entrance. More on the delicious food later.
I was offered to stay in a large executive suite on the fifth floor of the hotel, which is absolutely as fancy as it sounds. As soon as I passed the guest bathroom in the opening hallway, I was immediately glad I had added an extra night at my own expense. As I walked into the large living room, I had the same thought as almost anyone who’s ever lived in New York: “This is bigger than my apartment.” Quite frankly, this sentiment only applied to the master bed and bathroom. (The mattress was also more comfortable than any I’ve ever owned.)
The space wasn’t just pleasant — exceptionally upscale to be exact — it was also particularly useful as a business traveler. I was able to have a meeting in the lounge area without my colleague entering my private domain. So did Zoom calls and even a makeup appointment I had for a television appearance one morning. In this era of working from home, the extra space and the ability to separate my work space from my leisure space has made for a much more comfortable experience than I’m used to having when I’m away from the apartment. At the same time, the elegant decoration, in its shades of gray with green accents, gave me the impression of being in a house rather than a hotel and this made the stay very relaxing.
This would be a good time to note that the time I spent at the spa certainly added to the increased sense of tranquility I experienced during my stay at Loews Regency as well. Like most women on the go, a massage or facial always seems like a good idea, but we rarely take the time to indulge ourselves. From one overworked girl to another, please take the time to enjoy a service at the Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa inside the hotel if for no other reason you will be compelled to slow down, even- what for an hour, and make some time for yourself.
Luckily, I can name several other reasons to book an appointment, one of which is that your face and body probably need it. Admittedly, I had just come out of a hellish working day that stretched into the night the morning I received my facial treatment at Julien Farel and the relief from the tension around my eyes and my temples can only alone be put into words. I would be remiss if I didn’t share that I also left my date without something very important – a nose full of blackheads.
The beautician started my 60 minute session with a deep cleanse and exfoliation followed by an oxygen experiment to ensure maximum penetration of the ingredients she applied to my skin. After the requested extraction, for which I am eternally grateful, she applied a special lip treatment and a retinol concentrate for the eyes which helps improve the appearance of puffiness and dark circles (needed!) as well as micronized seaweed powder that stimulates the skin’s metabolism and has a firming and revitalizing effect.
I didn’t think I could be more grateful for my spa experience than I already was, but when the Executive Sous Chef at the Regency Bar & Grill came to introduce me while I was having lunch, I said a special prayer of thanksgiving for the bags under my eyes that were gone. And then I added wrinkles to my forehead trying to find the most sophisticated way to describe how delicious my meal was. (All those nights watching Defeat Bobby Flay failed me.)
I don’t know if this is a hard and fast rule, but I believe that if you eat red meat and see short ribs on a menu, you should order them – especially braised 8 hours ribs accompanied by a butter mash, asparagus, carrots and a braising juice. Exceptional isn’t quite the word, but it’s the best I have to express how tender and flavorful the ribs were. And just so you know, the same can be said for the RBG Burger which I ordered just before leaving for the airport on my last day at the property. I liked it so much I encouraged another restaurant next to me to order it as well and she did. And she loved it too. The taste definitely softened the blow of having to say goodbye to New York.
Rarely do convenience and luxury come together so highly as at Loews Regency. The ambience, service and accommodations all took away the natural stress of the hustle and bustle of being in NYC as everything I needed was steps from my hotel door. My stay allowed me to enjoy the best of the city at my own pace and opt out of the worst when I saw fit and it’s an experience we all deserve.