On Governors Island, Come for the Retreat but Stay for the Design

published Jul 21, 2018
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(Image credit: Collective Retreats)

New York City is not exactly known for its camping, I mean, it’s called the concrete jungle for a reason, right? But as a Midwestern transplant living in this hectic city I find myself craving some quality outdoor time on a regular basis. Typically, when that urge hits I grab a train to visit my brother upstate in the Hudson Valley, but he’s currently in Alaska fishing for a few months, and a trip back to Ohio requires advance planning. So what’s a grass-deprived girl to do?

Luckily, Collective Retreats—a hospitality company dedicated to bringing glamping to the masses—is here to help. The brand just launched a luxury glamping retreat on Governors Island, a beautiful former military base in New York Harbor full of grass, good times, and probably a few ghosts (in my opinion, at least). In previous years visitors to the island could only enjoy it during the day, but now, Collective Governors Island has opened up the possibility of spending a night—or multiple—enjoying the urban oasis.

(Image credit: Collective Retreats)

Being able to sleep overnight at one of NYC’s best outdoor destinations is a thrill in and of itself, but Collective Retreats has taken it one step further by creating a gorgeous space that any fan of interior design is sure to love. Myself and a few other AT staffers got the chance to meet with the company’s CEO, Peter Mack, for a personal tour of the glamp-ground.

As he was showing us around the space—which includes 10 luxury “Summit Tents” and 27 smaller “Journey Tents”—Mack clued us into the thoughtfulness that went into designing the retreat, and making it a place that feels like your ideal home away from home.

(Image credit: Bridget Mallon)

“I say all of our locations are designed like Wes Anderson meets Ralph Lauren,” he said. “But the NYC location is a little more Scandinavian with slight nautical touches to remind you that you’re on the harbor.”

Each tent—whether it’s a Summit Tent with its own private bathroom, or a Journey Tent where you share communal bathrooms with other guests—is equipped with a beautiful, handcrafted bed, an air conditioner, a Yeti cooler, a coffee maker and custom-designed coffee mugs, and innumerable thoughtful design-forward touches.

Just walking into the Summit Tent we toured made me feel at home immediately thanks to its welcoming design, and although I haven’t booked a night to truly experience the space, it’s definitely on my bucket list.