July 17, 2020

Glamping on Governor’s Island: Yes, You Can!

It has become the new norm of vacationing: finding great destinations out in nature and away from crowds, and yet close enough that you are never far from the Big Apple with all of its gritty culture.

A mere eight minutes from Manhattan will bring you to a relaxing retreat that will take all the kinks out and rejuvenate the soul. This collective retreat offers the best of both worlds – a unique indoor/outdoor accommodation in a natural setting, and close enough to the city that no boring road trips are involved. Only a water taxi is required – which, as we were to find out, was complimentary (with advanced reservations).

The unique location of the retreat allowed us to bask in expansive green spaces, while enjoying wonderful views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Statue of Liberty. 

This is glamping at its very best. And it’s also the trendy way to vacation at the moment. Not into camping? Think again. At this retreat, there is no lugging around a tent, sleeping bags, or camping stove. Here at Governor’s Island, everything is provided for you. The only thing you need to bring is your wanderlust and your desire to kick back.

It was the perfect opportunity for us to hunker down and steal away for a few days – the perfect place to get away from people. But if you are a social butterfly, there is the chance to make new friends and spread out at the same time. When we had exhausted all activities for the day, we laid our heads on high thread count bedding in an air-conditioned tent after our gourmet meal.

At this retreat, we had our choice of a luxurious tent, or a modernistic outlook shelter. Both contained designer furnishings so exquisite, you would swear they leapt from the pages of Town & Country. We went with the Journey Tent – complete with thoughtful amenities such as Frette robes, Turkish towels and signature spa bath products. 

The Fire and Water Restaurant at nearby Three Peaks Lodge provided gourmet dining service right in our tent. And if that wasn’t enough to convince us we weren’t really roughing it, we were also gifted with complimentary continental breakfast via the on-site bakery, with fresh-baked good and French press coffee. 

In addition, we enjoyed morning yoga and meditations in a socially spaced setting, and a s’mores pantry station for those late-night cravings. For a little screen entertainment, we enjoyed outdoor movies, complete with popcorn, and enough room for everyone to spread out. All of this is included in the nightly rate.

The retreat ensures you don’t need to leave the island in search of entertainment during your entire stay. The beating heart of the retreat is the Great Lawn. Here, we took advantage of lawn games such as corn hole and frisbee, and indoor board games. Later in the afternoon, we relaxed in a hammock with a good book. We even enjoyed cocktails and watched the sun set over the Statue of Liberty.

A wonderful reminder that even though we were truly on an island retreat, civilization was never far away. 

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