Enter the fantastical world of QC NY, a New York City Wellness Experience Unlike Anything Else In The City
New York City might be known for its hustle, not its day spas, but one Italian wellness brand, QC Terme Spas & Resorts, is looking to change that. This past spring, the Italian spa and wellness experts celebrated their first property opening within the United States. The location of choice? New York City’s Governors Island. Admittedly, we often dreamed of a lavish day spa opening right on Governors Island, and had to try it as soon as they opened. For owners and brothers, Saverio and Andrea Quadrio Curzio, it proved to be the most ideal location, with plenty of space for diverse wellness experiences and water therapy. The Milan-based company is known for honoring Roman bath culture, making hydrotherapy an important aspect of their wellness philosophy.
Governors Island truly is the ideal short getaway in close proximity to home. The island has 120 aces of open space, nature, and empty historical structures. It is one of the few places New Yorkers come to in order to unwind and spread out. Over the years it has increasingly become a popular destination offering weekend experiences, like the Poetry Festival and The Lawn Jazz Festival. The once abandoned and secluded part of the city was mostly used in the summer and on the weekends, but all that changed in 2021. It is now open all year, prompting us to believe there are more plans for recreational and cultural properties in the works. In fact, QC NY is open 365 days a week, 10am to 10pm.
When visiting Governor’s Island, one cannot help but notice its raw beauty and rich history. The island was rich in oak and chestnut trees, which made it ideal for hunting and foraging. The land was once home to indigenous people called Lenape. Today they are the indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands. As far back as 1776, the island served as a military training base and installation, and even as a strategic defense point during wartime. In 2003 it was sold to the public and is currently managed by the parks department.
Our journey to QC NY started with a ferry ride. Governors Island is in close proximity to Manhattan and Brooklyn, and is just a short 5-10-minute ride. The ride is pleasant, costs $4 both ways, and while we recommend reserving a time on the ferry, you do not need to book a return time. To get on the ferry in Manhattan go to 10 South Street, and in Brooklyn find it at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. From there QC NY is just a short walk from the ferry and is located right on the water.
The breathtaking Italian spa is housed inside three historic army barracks that were once used as officer quarters, featuring Collegiate Gothic architecture dating back to the early 1900s. Architect, Bob Henry, made sure to prioritize the building history while managing to transform the 74,000sq. ft space into a spacious oasis. Entering the spa you truly feel like you left the city, and entered a whimsical escape. It is clear that being in the spa business since the early 1980s, and overseeing nine other wellness destinations throughout Europe, QC Terme understands what the client needs and wants.
After going through a pandemic, it is fair to say that we are all in dire need of a respite. This is the exactly the kind of spa New Yorkers deserve. The CEO of QC US, Janine DiGioacchino, said it best.
“Now, more than ever, we all need and deserve mental and physical self-care. QC NY is the perfect place to relax, revive, and restore.”
After admiring some of the details in the lobby, we headed straight for the changing rooms, where we received a robe, slippers and a tote bag. The changing rooms feature Dyson hair driers and luxurious scents – we were instantly hooked. Marrying Italian hospitality with New York ingenuity, QC NY highlights the specialness of each room with unique details and gorgeous furniture. When visiting, make sure to take notice of vintage-inspired and imaginative objects, like a binocular tripod, toy airplanes, and art around each and every corner.
The biggest draw of the spa are their pools. The pools feature underwater hydro jets and seats designed to massage the body and increase lymphatic circulation. While the pools were not operational during our visit, they are now, and we hear they are as luxurious as you might expect. If you plan to visit in the winter, you will be happy to know that there will be heated sidewalks and the spa plans to open in all types of weather.
What makes the indoors of QC NY stand out are their themed rooms. Whether you are looking to unwind or to be energized, you will find an experience to please all your senses. There are about 20 wellness experiences to choose from, and there are plans to add more. While every room has its own unique esthetic, the entire place feels like an opulent, but laid-back, island getaway. You are invited to walk from room to room, discovering diverse experiences and creating your own personal spa journey. Once you get the lay of the land, linger wherever you please. For sustinance, make sure to stop by the food and bar lounge, which offers items like Aperol spritz, Illy coffee, classic cocktails, and healthy lunch options. Make sure to hydrate, especially between sauna visits.
The waterfront property includes an outdoor courtyard with a variety of natural designs that blend right in with the island esthetic. No matter if you choose to spend time indoors or outdoors, there is no shortage of things to do or places to lounge. We especially enjoyed spending time using the Vichy showers, relaxing on the Infrared-beds, reading messages from other guests in the scent room and using the Cedar sauna.
An essential part of spa healing is understanding spa etiquette and the basic known-how of hot and cold therapy. Alternating between the two can provide many benefits, like improved circulation, low blood pressure and muscle relaxation. For help, read our Ultimate Spa Guide to Spa Etiquette and Basic Know-How.
Who To Bring: Come to QC NY to get lost with your fellow wellness worshipping friends, partner, or make it a special day with a parent. From a gorgeous smelling alpine sauna, to the foot bath, this spa is a magical getaway. After a couple of hours we felt restored and ready to take on another day in the city.
QC NY Spa is open to guests 21 years old and over, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with extended hours on Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Be prepared to spend extra money on food and drinks.
QC NY Spa
112 Andes Rd
Main Photograph: courtesy of QC NY Spa