Summer is off to a hectic start in New York City with a rapid vacation season upon us. If you want to find an escape but don’t have a week of vacation time or maybe even a weekend, this spot is for you! Located on Long Island, The Vanderbilt is just a hop and a skip away on the LIRR (or just a hop if you call an Uber). It boasts of amenities like a swimming pool, a 24-hour game room, a nearly soundproof study full of books, and dinner service at the on-location restaurant Juniper. We had to check it out for ourselves and bring you back the scoop.
The Vanderbilt is beautiful to put it plainly, the grand entryway foreshadows what awaits within. I was immediately greeted in the lobby and taken on a short tour of the facilities. There is a pretty versatile gym including treadmills and ergs, coffee machines, vending machines, a gorgeous pool surrounded by tanning chairs and sofas plus unlimited clean towels, and a 24-hour game room where I would go on to play (and win) six games of ping pong and three games of pool later that evening. Lastly, The Vanderbilt has an aesthetically pleasing library perfect for end-of-the-night meditation, journaling, and reading.
The beautiful room was accessible via keycard. It was dressed up with the world's cutest feather chandelier, an enormous bed topped with the dreamiest of linens and huge fluffy pillows, gigantic storage for my guest and I, complimentary bathrobes, and enough closet space for the entire week. There was cold water in the fridge, access to high-speed wifi, a microwave, an ice bucket, and a bunch of other small gems that made me feel like I'd need for nothing. The bathroom was a dream for detail-oriented eyes. We were given loads of fresh towels, face towels, and washcloths galore! As someone who treats showering as a ritual to relax, I appreciated everything including the Dove toiletries and streak-free mirrors.
You can spend the first portion of your stay going for a swim, I had to test it out. The depth of the water was an impressive five feet deep at the furthest end and the temperature was perfect. Needless to say, I spent a while flapping around and when I was done decided to tan on one of the reclining beach chairs poolside. It was such a relaxing and transportive experience between the water, the sun, and the silence. Of course, I had to explore so I eventually prepared to enjoy the Game Room and Library Room. My friend and I spent about two-hours playing very intense rounds of pool and ping-pong (I won - not that it matters). There is plenty of seating and space to play card games as well which means guests are invited to bring whichever they favor during their visit.
To properly end the evening, head over to Juniper, a new American restaurant serving highlights like NY Strip Steak and Spanish Branzino alongside fresh salad greens and a choice of add-on sides like 6 Cheese Mac and Cauliflower drizzled with tahini. During service on Thursdays, Juniper hosts live music, so diners chow down so they can enjoy guitar strumming and vocals. Our dinner was tasty and the service we received from Danny was amazing, I would definitely recommend dinner there or brunch if you're lucky enough to stay into the weekend. The interior was welcoming, airy, and bright.
The outdoor seating gives diners a peek at the eye-catching display known as the Rosé Garden which features an expansive wall of pink roses and neon lights. Along with dinner and brunch service, Juniper hosts an al fresco Happy Hour with offers like Provence Rosé from Chateau de Berne and bites like Carrot Hummus and a Raw Bar. Dinner consisted of Spanish Branzino which was tender and meaty, the NY Strip Steak medium-rare which almost fell apart under the pressure of my knife, and other small plates like Kale Salad with goat cheese and a Wild Mushroom Flatbread. I have to recommend finishing up with the Peach Tart, it was sweet and served hot with a topping of vanilla ice cream.
Overall, the hotel is gorgeous. The clean bright color schemes balance between bright white and calming gray. It begs visitors to put their cellphones on DND to play, swim, listen to tunes, savor the flavors of delicious food, and enjoy the full luxury of their carefully crafted rooms. As the perfect overnight escape for an exhausted New Yorker, it offers a lot of luxury in a little time.