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Room Request! The Collective Retreat at Governor’s Island

This urban wilderness retreat is a new kind of camping getaway

En route to the property on a private charter, a masked Captain John Carter of Boatride NYC navigates the waters of New York’s East River, providing a bit of a history lesson along the way. As he ducks into a maze of creeks and inlets I never knew existed, I feel like I am rediscovering New York through a new lens. Our last stop: The Statue of Liberty. After 14 years of living in New York City, it wasn’t until that moment that I realized I had never seen the city’s iconic monument up close. From there, it was a short ride to our final destination, The Collective at Governor’s Island.

Upon arrival, guests are whisked from the dock to the gated entrance on a golf cart and driven straight to their tented accommodations, avoiding any lengthy check in and minimizing person-to-person contact. The expansive grounds of the retreat are dotted with tents and tiny homes all spaced in a way that you feel you might be the only person there. Each Summit Tent is outfitted with a deck and two adirondack chairs overlooking a variety of picturesque views of Manhattan, from One World Trade Center to Lady Liberty herself. Inside, it feels more like a home away from home than a camping trip. Thoughtful lighting, a plush bed, and attached bathroom boasting Frette linens ensure comfort in the urban wilderness. While there is air conditioning in each tent, you rarely need it as the breeze off the harbor is enough to keep you cool in the evening.

The Collective Retreat at Governor’s Island (photo credit: Hannah Huber)

Before dinner at the onsite restaurant Fire and Water, create your own version of a G&T from the retreat’s Aviation-sponsored Gin and Tonic bar. Dining at The Collective is a rare experience. Governor’s Island closes to the public at 6:00pm, but guests have the privilege of indulging in a true wood fire-grilled meal while they watch the sunset behind a glittering cityscape. For dessert, retire to the lawn where the flicker of socially distanced fire pits invite you to roast a s’more and enjoy the view. With COVID still a heavy concern, the property takes the utmost precautions at every step of your stay from masked staff to intense sanitation measures.

When you finally fall into bed under the canvas canopy of your tent, you’ll find yourself drifting to sleep to the surreal music of crickets singing while staring at a lit Manhattan skyline. The property is open seasonally and will be accepting reservations through October 2020. Below, SVP of Hospitality Vanessa Vitale takes us through the most unique aspects of this glamping getaway.

What’s the most requested room? 

Summit #1 (Summit #1 – 5 on the waterfront are all popular).

The Collective Retreat at Governor’s Island

What makes it so special?

The view. Summit #1 has the perfect view of both The Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline right from the comfort of your comfy bed. Not only could you wake up to these views, you can also sip a cup of coffee or sunset cocktail on the deck of your tent to the iconic view. Honestly, each of our accommodations was strategically placed for the best locations and views so it’s a tossup!

What is the rate?

Nightly rates start at $499, depending on availability and season.

The Collective Retreat at Governor’s Island

What room is your personal favorite?

My favorite is either Summit #9 or Outlook 12. Summit 9 overlooks the lawn so I can sip rose while watching the bonfires we have nightly and the glittering cityscape framing. Outlook 12 is home to our iconic bathtub that looks out to the Statue of Liberty. Best enjoyed with a glass of rose!

The Collective Retreat at Governor’s Island

Any fun facts about the hotel or rooms?

Each of our retreats have a signature s’more made of the flavors and ingredients of the local land and city. At Collective Governors Island, our signature s’more is a Chocolate Pretzel S’more! We brought in a nostalgic favorite to the ultimate ‘outdoor’ dessert.