My Honest Review of NYC’s Latest Relaxing Getaway: The QC NY Spa
As a New York native, Governor’s Island holds a special place in my heart. It’s become a family tradition to visit the island once a year. Since discovering the island years ago, more and more exciting attractions have popped up. And as someone who loves trying out different beauty services, I was excited to check out the Island’s latest addition: QC NY Spa.
Created by QC Terme Spas and Resorts, which is based in Italy, the first U.S. location opened this March to the public. So, it was only right to book a ticket and visit the spa myself. From the purchasing process to all the amenities, here is my honest review of QC NY Spa and why you should consider it for your next NYC getaway.
The Purchasing Process
QC NY Spa gives you the option to book your tickets right on their website. First, you pick a dressing room preference (men, women or unspecified) before choosing a date. Mondays through Thursdays, the prices are relatively cheaper ($90), as compared to the weekends ($116+). Once a date is selected, you can choose between three packages: entrance, break entrance and massage, and daily entrance and massage.
The packages determine how long you can stay at the spa, if you want to also book a massage and the length of your massage. My group and I decided on the daily entrance and massage package, specifically the Day Spa 25, which gets you a full day's admission and a 25-minute massage for $200 each.
To complete your reservation, you have to book your massage time between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Though there are lots of slots to choose from, the appointments do get booked quickly. We ended up having to change the date of our visit because our preferred massage times were completely sold out. Tip #1: Book early if you want to get your massage at a specific time.
Getting to QC NY Spa
A cool perk that comes with your reservation is you get a free Ferry ticket with your order. They recommend booking your ferry ride an hour or more before your massage appointment to give you ample time to check in and get changed. The ride itself is less than 20 minutes, so we left around 11 a.m. and had plenty of time before our 12 p.m. massage.
Once we arrived at QC NY Spa things got a bit more complicated. The good news is it’s a jump and a skip away from the ferry entrance. The bad news? There was a long line of people waiting to check in and only one person managing the process. Tip #2: Consider taking an even earlier ferry to account for situations like this.
Another issue we ran into during check-in was a miscommunication about their special wellness birthday perk that was listed on the website. The site states that if you come to QC NY Spa within seven days of your birthday, you get a free entry and a gift. However, you can’t redeem this perk online, so you have to let them know in-person. When we told the receptionist this, she said she would have to cancel our existing reservations and that it would take forever to do so. Given that we were now cutting it close to our massage times, we ended up just paying full price and received the gift (aka a water bottle with QC NY Spa written on it).
We weren’t going to let this unfortunate miscommunication ruin our day. We completed our check-in and were each given a key to a locker and a wristband to make food and drink purchases. As you make your way to the elevators, the space opens up into what looks like a cozy 18th-century style home. There are amazing art fixtures, Italian furniture, open windows and winding walkways that you can get lost in (and I’ll explain why this is a good and bad thing later).
We made our way up to the locker room and the first thing I noticed was a hair drying station featuring Dyson tools. There was even a small basket on the counter filled with attachments to cater to all different hair types (a small detail that I really appreciated as a curly gal).
The locker room also had showers, a separate bathroom, dressing areas and even a lotion station. Within each of our lockers there was a tote bag filled with a robe, jelly sandals and a towel. You can change into your swimsuit out in the open, but if you prefer more privacy, there’s a dressing corner that's partitioned off from the rest of the space (and the bathroom has closed stalls as well).
As we changed into our swimsuits and robes, it was time for our group to split into twos with one pair preparing for their massages and the other exploring the grounds. My cousin and I made our way to the designated massage floor...or we tried to at least.
See, as first-time visitors, the spa is a bit confusing to navigate. There isn’t much signage that tells you where each of the amenities are located and there are three floors to cover. We weren’t given a map (and there are no directions on the site either), so we ended up walking around until we found an employee who helped us find our way. Once we finally found the massage area, we separated into our rooms and were given a rather short service. Yes, dear readers, our 25-minute massage was cut even shorter due to the long check-in time and maze adventure we went on to find the place.
I’ve had plenty of massages before and this one was OK at best. For a massage that’s only 25 minutes long, it wasn’t an experience that left me feeling particularly rejuvenated. And while I was told to choose a specific area of focus (i.e. just the upper back or legs), my cousin was able to get a full body massage.
The Stunning Skyline Views
While the massage itself wasn’t the best, the abundant infinity pools outside made up for it. You’ll find two large heated pools featuring seats and lounge chairs with jets that release bubbles to relax your body, while you take in breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.
As you swim through the warm pool, you take in the views, and you realize the stark contrast between the loud city and the quiet serenity of the spa. You also realize how close you are to NYC. It’s literally a ferry ride away, which makes QC spa an ideal spot to escape to for a few hours. The pool area also includes plenty of places to lounge and eat, so it never felt overcrowded.
Get The All-Day Pass
If you want to experience everything QC NY Spa has to offer, the all-day package is the way to go. There are so many amenities that cater to everyone. Aside from the pools, there are sauna rooms, Vichy showers, relaxation rooms, foot baths and steam baths—you name it, they have it. We were able to do everything and still had time to enjoy a meal (which costs extra, btw).
The sauna rooms had various temperatures and different views. Some gave you another look at the skyline, while others were less about the views and more about the heat. After sweating and clearing out my pores, we sat in one of the “relaxing rooms.” The rooms all featured a different theme with specific scents and personalities and the furniture in each room matched the theme. Rooms like the “Fireplace Room” had comfy rocking chairs, while the “Jukebox Club” had leather chairs and jazz music playing. There was also a room that was decorated in a way that it looked like it was turned entirely upside down.
Some areas even had DIY facials, body scrubs and snacks (like dried fruits and cookies) to really enhance the experience. I also appreciated that every room came with an explanation of what they could offer you. Whether it was to cleanse your skin, detox your body or calm your nerves, detailed instructions were laid out for each area.
So, is it Worth It?
Yes, yes and yes. Like I said, it’s the perfect escape for a day or even just a few hours. The QC NY Spa has so many things to do.
Now, the spa is still fairly new, so it’s normal to have a few kinks to work out. For example, I think instructions for redeeming special packages (like birthdays) should be clearer. There should also be more signs or a map to navigate the spa. We constantly had to ask employees where to go and got lost a few times.
Another thing to keep in mind is you have to be strategic when booking your spot. I went on a Tuesday, so there were far fewer people there until around 4ish, which is when it started to fill up. When I chatted with the lifeguard, he mentioned that on the weekends, the spa can have over 300+ visitors at a time. Tip #3: Go during the middle of the week so you can try all of the amenities without having to deal with long wait times.
All in all, my group and I agreed that being at the QC NY Spa truly felt like we were on vacation. (Even my 76-year-old grandmother gave it her full stamp of approval.) If you need to step away from the bustling city for a day, visit this new destination.