GREENWICH HAS GOT GAME WITH JHOUSE
My Fall Hurricane Irma escape from Miami took me to the Big Apple. Our journey driving along I-95 Northbound lasted several days soaking up ‘hashbrown bowls’ along the way at Waffle House for comfort food sustenance. We arrived to NYC just in time for Fall Fashion Week filled with parties every day and eve along with South Beach escapee reunions at local watering holes like Avra and Rose Hill rooftop. Cygalle Healing Spa provided complimentary golden facials to lift our spirits. But by week’s end, both me and my gracious host, Cindy Guyer, (owner of Guyer’s Wine Bar on Columbus Avenue on the Upper Westside) were ready for a leave of absence from the Big City to the gentrified country in Connecticut. Being that Cindy grew up there and was a former model discovered by the late, great Wilhelmina on the streets of Greenwich as a teenager, we made that our destination of choice. Founded in 1640, today Greenwich is full of billionaire hedge fund boys and tons of country clubs. But the charm of the historic village is still in tack.
We decided to make JHouse Hotel our home base for the weekend in the Riverside section of town. This ‘too cool for school’ converted Howard Johnson motor inn is even rumored to have ghosts in residence. For me the funky graffiti-style murals splashed on the outside walls and art plastered around the lobby made me feel at home coming from Miami with its Wynwood Walls and galleries galore. It’s artsy fartsy meets millennial nerd technology at this HoJo reincarnation. The staff is young and gregarious and greeted me with a gambling chip good for “A Drink on US!” I put it to good use that night sipping a special JHouse Cosmo professionally prepared by their friendly mixologist. For munchies we ordered the warm beet and goat cheese Napoleon appetizer plus a side of brussels sprouts with cotechino sausage. Then we proceeded to work our way down the liquid libation menu trying mules and other exotic concoctions.
JHouse’s 86 rooms and suites are modern and minimalistic except for all the high tech stuff including a mirrored TV in the bathroom and a toilet seat that heats up upon touch. The JSpa has a good menu of treatments to choose from. The 24-hour gym and business center make for good convenience, whether you feel the need to workout at 2am or send a memo to your boss saying you will be sick on Monday. The outdoor pool with cabanas and chandeliers are great when weather permits along with the outdoor terrace bar for fraternizing. The bar boasts a ‘Social Hour’ Monday to Friday from 3-7pm with half price bites like sushi and pizza plus dollar oysters if you want to get horny. Live music gets the joint rocking Thursday to Saturday from 7 to 10pm. And if you have your ghost or goblin costume or Trump mask ready, then head over to JHouse for their Halloween Costume Ball October 27 from 7 to 11:30pm. Just beware of the real ghosts roaming around.
If you want to get around town and head to Greenwich Avenue for some window shopping or people watching, then hop in the JHouse shuttle car that takes you anywhere within a 5 mile radius including to/from the train station. I got a ride to Soul Cycle to start my day with a good sweat. You can even bring Fido along to pet friendly JHouse to bark at the ghosts. Parks, beaches, museums, golf courses and the polo club are all within easy reach to diversify your weekend activities.
After a night of partying in this charming town, the Jhouse Coffee Bar will be ready to serve you a nice cup of Joe and a healthy juice to start your day. Then head to the dining room for a Sunday brunch and choose your ‘hair of the dog’ be it a glass of bubbly or a Bloody on the rocks with a stick of celery. Finally, round up your weekend knapsack and shopping satchels and reserve your JHouse shuttle driver to take you to the train. Manhattan will be within site in a short 40 minutes. The honking yellow cabs, crowded subways and rat race will all be there waiting for you come Monday morning back in the Big Apple.
And just in case you want to have your own JHouse pad permanently in Greenwich, Connecticut, check out the JLofts. www.jloftsgreenwich.com