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 a new location. For others, they’re a home away from home where you need — and expect — all of the comforts of your own personal dwelling. I fall in the latter camp which is what made the opportunity to spend a few nights at the Loews Regency New York a couple of weeks ago right up my alley.
Last May, I enjoyed an exceptional stay at the Loews Miami with my besties to celebrate my birthday so I figured I was in for a treat. Still, having spent the past several months searching for a go-to hotel in New York City during my work travels, I tempered my expectations, having grown increasingly disappointed with dark rooms, small square footage, and overall lackluster experiences.
From the moment my Uber pulled up to the corner of Park Avenue and 61st street where the Loews Regency is located, I could tell this wouldn’t be any ordinary stay. Bellmen were in the street opening doors for passengers, taking luggage from others, and offering the kind of service you deserve after journeying by pretty much any means of travel these days.
As I stepped into the lobby of the 5-star hotel, the first word that came to mind was opulence. In the short wait to check in, you’ll hear the soft tapping of designer heels along the marble tile floors as guests head out to engage in a variety of dealings in the city or grab a drink during a business meeting at the bustling Regency Bar & Grill to the left of the entrance. More on the delicious food there later.
I was offered a stay in a Grand 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 corridor I was immediately glad I’d added an extra night’s stay at my own expense. Stepping into the large living room, I had the same thought nearly anyone who’s ever lived in New York City would: “This is bigger than my apartment.” Quite frankly that sentiment went for the master bed and bath area alone. (The mattress was also more comfortable than any I’ve ever owned.)
The space wasn’t just nice — exceptionally upscale to be exact — it was also particularly useful as a business traveler. I was able to have a meeting in the sitting area without my colleague entering my private domain. The same stood for Zoom calls and even a makeup appointment I had for a television appearance one morning. In this era of working from home, the extra room and ability to separate my workspace from my leisure area made for a much more comfortable experience than I’m used to having while away from apartment. At the same time, the elegant decor, in its shades of grey with green accents, made me feel like I was in a home rather than a hotel and that made for a very restful stay.
This would be a good time to note that the time I spent in the spa certainly added to the increased feeling of tranquility I experienced during my time at the Loews Regency as well. Like most women on the go, a massage or facial always sounds like a good idea but rarely do we take the time to indulge. From one overworked girl to the next, please take the time to enjoy a service at the Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa inside the hotel if for no other reason than you will be forced to slow down, if only for an hour, and make some time for yourself.
Fortunately, I can name several other reasons to schedule an appointment, one of which is your face and body probably need it. Admittedly, I was coming off of a hellish work day that bled over into the night the morning I received my facial at Julien Farel and the relief in tension around my eyes and temples alone can’t be put into words. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that I also left my appointment without something very important — a nose full of blackheads.
The aesthetician began my 60-minute session with a deep cleanse and exfoliation followed by an oxygen experience to ensure maximum penetration of the ingredients she applied to my skin. After the requested extraction, which I am forever grateful for, she applied a special lip treatment and retinol eye concentrate that helps improve the appearance of puffiness and dark circles (needed!) as well as Micronized Algae powder which stimulates the skins 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 over to introduce himself to me while I had lunch I said a special prayer of thanksgiving for the bags under my eyes that were no more. And then I added wrinkles to my forehead trying to figure out the most sophisticated way to describe just how delicious my meal was. (All those nights watching Beat Bobby Flay failed me.)
I’m not sure if this is a hard rule, but I believe if you eat red meat and you see short ribs on a menu you should order them –especially braised 8-hour short ribs accompanied by buttered mash, asparagus, carrots, and braising jus. Exceptional isn’t quite the word, but it’s the best one I have to articulate 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 heading out to the airport during my last day at the property. I enjoyed it so much I encouraged another diner 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 bid NY adieu.
Rarely do convenience and luxury combine in such an elevated way as they do at the Loews Regency. The ambiance, the service, and the accommodations all made the natural built-in stress that comes with the hustle and bustle of being in New York subside because everything I needed was footsteps away from my hotel door. My stay allowed me to enjoy the best of the city at my own leisure and retreat from the worst when I saw fit and that’s an experience we all deserve.