Sleeping Around: Garden City Hotel
By Shari Hartford
Sometimes you just need to get away. Whether you call New York City home or you’re just passing through, a little excursion can excite the senses and renew your energy. And, a short hop on the Long Island Railroad eschews the complications of weather alerts, traffic, a car and parking.
Just 45 minutes from Penn Station is the Garden City Hotel. Set in the bucolic namesake suburb on Long Island, the hotel has stood its ground since its inception in 1874. A fire, a bulldozing and a rebuilding in 1983 has yielded this stately oasis in the middle of suburbia. The changing of the guard in 2014 led to a complete redesign of the 272 rooms and suites. Whether your goal is a romantic interlude, a girl’s weekend or just an opportunity to run away from home for a couple of days, this is where you will find it all.
I recently spent 24 hours and felt as refreshed and rejuvenated as if I had been on a true mini vacation. There is something for everyone. Start the day at the spanking new Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa. Tranquil and luxurious, the spa offers all manner of treatments (including in-room services), a salon and an adjacent fitness center. The hotel’s indoor pool defies the expectations of the usual chlorine-fumed pool. Relax on a cushy chaise beneath the decorative palm trees as the outdoor melds into the indoor.
Hungry? This is where the Garden City Hotel really shines. You can have light fare all day in the Polo Steakhouse and when the sun sets, sidle up to the bar, order a specialty cocktail and watch the latest game or take a cozy seat in the lounge or dining room and munch away on delectable small plates (a recent favorite was the lobster slider) or hearty choices like Angus burgers, aged beef, chops and fish. The Sunday brunch is a long-standing tradition and well worth the wait for a reservation. The tables groan with delicacies such as a raw bar, fresh sushi, shrimp, omelets and meats as well as international specialties. The luscious array of decadent desserts is a fine ending to the meal. A traditional Saturday afternoon British tea, complete with all the trimmings and Champagne is also available.
At some point this fantasy excursion will come to a close. Cross the street again and board the train back to the hustle and bustle of the city. But you will be relaxed and sated…and maybe, just maybe, you stuck a cookie or two in your pocket for the road.