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Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close is magical

Interview with Philip L. Truelove, General Manager of Robert De Niros´ “The Greenwich Hotel“

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European Business: Mr Truelove, The Greenwich Hotel is famous for its luxury, a beautiful boutique hotel and one of the top-rated locations in New York - with art and different materials inside the hotel and the 88 rooms. Hollywood-Star and one of the most popular actors in the world – Mr Robert De Niro – is part of an Owner-Group of The Greenwich Hotel as well. How would you describe the style of the Greenwich Hotel?

Philip L. Truelove: The most apt description is eclectic – the design is intentionally diverse and meant to invoke memories from travels around the world. For those people who have travelled and have fond memories from their various trips there may be influences in design or art objects within the hotel that remind them of somewhere they have been. Equally the design covers generations and is meant to evoke a feeling of comfort that may be associated with home.

European Business: The Greenwich Hotel is located in the Tribeca neighbourhood of Manhattan. Where exactly are you located and what local attractions are close by?

Philip L. Truelove: We are on Greenwich Street within the Tribeca neighbourhood and just a block away from the Hudson River. Tribeca is an abbreviation for the Triangle beneath Canal Street. and is situated in Lower Manhattan where New York, as a city, began to be developed by the Dutch, and the British, back in the 17th Century, and this part of New York still reflects a great deal of that history. It is evident in its maritime and manufacturing history and the connection that it now has with the Financial Institutions through Wall Street and the World Financial Centre being in close proximity. Equally Tribeca benefits enormously from the redevelopment of the waterfront and the wonderful Hudson River Park that has been created along the Hudson River which is just a block from the hotel.

European Business: There is a lot of competition in a city like New York when it comes to hotels. Where does the New York City hospitality market stand today - and how do you define the advantage of your boutique hotel in the market? What makes The Greenwich Hotel so special?

Philip L. Truelove: New York City has the advantage of a very diverse group of hotels, covering all aspects of the market, with new ones constantly being added to the inventory. New York is a major centre for finance, the arts and for tourism and as it maintains its importance in these areas it will attract people of various socio economic groups and backgrounds, and as travel becomes more accessible to everyone then the business of lodging and hospitality will remain healthy. I feel that The Greenwich stands out within the group because it is completely individual in its style and operation – we are a privately-operated hotel with a long-standing group of staff who know their guests and treat them as family.

European Business: What do you offer potential guests so they will book a room at your hotel? And if you were booked into your hotel by yourself, which room would you choose - and why?

Philip L. Truelove: The greatest thing that we can offer our guests is a very warm welcome, a comfortable and secure home whilst they are in the city, and a personal attention to their every need. To those who return an advanced knowledge of what makes them comfortable and a very warm welcome home. If I were to stay at the hotel on my own, I would prefer a Studio Suite – if with my family then a Fireplace Corner Suite. However, I would be happy in any of our accommodations.

European Business: The Greenwich Hotel is also a member of Leading Hotels of the World. What is it about to be part of this cooperation?

Philip L. Truelove: Leading Hotels of the World represents many of the great hotels in the world and it is their intention to include only those hotels that are privately or individually operated and offer an aspect of hospitality that is hard to find these days. It allows us to be a part of a worldwide family although remain an individual within that family and be represented by like-minded people who wish to provide our guests with the best that can be provided in both service and hospitality.

European Business: „The City That Never Sleeps“ is always worth a trip and has countless facets and sights. Which 5 attractions in New York - beside your hotel - should your guests not miss on a weekend trip and why? And which is the most beautiful place in New York for yourself?

Philip L. Truelove: We are surrounded by water and in my opinion one of the most beautiful places to be is on the water – to see the Statue of Liberty up close is magical, to see Ellis Island and imagine all the immigrants who arrived years ago and were processed through Ellis Island and then think about their stories and how their lives developed is fascinating. To be on the water at sunset when the sky is red and reflecting on everything around you and then sail back toward the lower part of Manhattan as it gets dark and see the lights and silhouettes of the skyscrapers is amazing. Needless summer is better than winter with a sailing boat in mind which we can arrange but you can take the Staten Island ferry and see the same images for free.

If you prefer to have your feet on solid ground, then walk along the Hudson River Park from the hotel up to the Meat Packing District and then onto the High Line which is also a park that has been created on a raised railway line. You will see the city from a very different perspective. Both parks are recent additions to the city and have taken old infrastructures and repurposed them in a wonderful way.

A visit to the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum should be on everyone’s list – it is a remarkable place to visit and an incredible museum which memorializes with respect and dignity the tragic events of 2001. You can then visit the Observation Deck of the Freedom Tower which was built to replace the Trade Centre and have an inspiring view of the whole city.

Interview: Andreas Detert | Photos: The Greenwich Hotel, Brigitte Lacombe