I wasn’t sure what to expect from fairly newly opened J House Hotel & Spa in Greenwich Connecticut. First of all, we had kids in tow, secondly, the weather was miserable so we knew we wouldn’t be able to explore the property’s greatest asset during warmer months: the outside decks and swimming pool and three, it was in Greenwich, a place I only knew from visiting friends and the last time was over ten years ago.
The cold spell had at least finished by the time we pulled into the hotel’s on-site parking lot. With seven below temperatures showing on our Buick LaCrosse more than once during the previous week, we were happy with the balmy 35 degree temperatures that graced us on our final days of the trip.
The hotel has a number of suites and rooms with separated sitting areas, the couches and Murphy beds all top notch features for a family traveling together. While we love old world hotels and restaurants (remember how long I lived in Europe and the fact that I grew up in New England), we have learned to appreciate modern and chic properties and know that our readers do too.
They call themselves a hotel that merges high tech and comfort and it’s easy to see why. Every room is decked with a loaded iPad, a massive 55 inch LED/Mirror TV in the main living room, the bedroom and the bathrooms, and wifi throughout the property. When I was in Japan last summer, I was introduced to the Advanced Toto “Neorest” Automatic Toilet everywhere and lo and behold, the J House Hotel rooms were equipped with them in all their bathrooms. Late at night, I waved my hat over the seat and it automatically popped open; you can also program it to clean only parts of the toilet or opt for an extensive wash — technology lovers will be in heaven in this hotel!!
In addition to the advanced technology throughout, this boutique luxury stay is all things contemporary with a visually engaging twist and creative flare. Think modern art gallery, great food and hip space for events all under one roof. The below Penthouse Suite is a great example of their commitment to modern sophisticated design while maintaining sustainable practices.
Although the Penthouse suite exceeds what you’d need for a family of four, it makes a comfortable choice if you’re staying for longer than two nights. It would also be a great option for an off-site meeting with its large modern wooden table and decadent yet rustic leather chairs. When the weather is nice, the outdoor lounge area is perfect for a cocktail soiree or meet-up.
We stayed in one of the smaller suites, but it was ample for our needs, with a kitchenette area where we could cook if we had stayed for longer, a fridge and a sink. In the main living room, they had a LED Mirror TV, desk and coffee table, as well as a queen sized couch which pulled out into a comfortable bed. They can also bring in cots and extra bedding for additional children depending on your needs.
Note the advanced toilet system…
We were there in the dead of winter making it impossible to enjoy the cosy and comfortable outdoor deck, however here’s what it looks like during warmer months. While we couldn’t use the outdoor pool, we were able to indulge in the indoor gym and fitness center, which is equipped with plenty of treadmills, life cycles and complimentary towel service to make your workout that much more comfortable. If you head there in the summer or fall, they have private luxury cabanas which can accommodate 6-10 people, all of which have flat screen TVs and towel service.
Immediately outside our room, we had access to the hotel’s Projection Art Project, which was fun for the kids. The Installation “Asalto Greenwich 2012” is by artist Daniel Canogar and symbolically reflects our fantasies of overcoming imposed obstacles in our lives. The video display content is the result of a public-participation performance, a signature method of the artist. The dynamic video animation which was being displayed while we were there, features the local Greenwich community in both realistic and abstract forms — a cool and creative idea which we felt added to the modern magic of the hotel.
There are 85 rooms in total at the hotel and apparently they have a 3,400 square foot space for meetings and can hold up to 200 people for indoor and outdoor dining.
Food & Wine
The J House Restaurant is located on the ground floor although there’s also a coffee bar on site called of all things….J House Coffee Bar. The main restaurant has a wine program and features a 2,000+ bottle Wine Vault. In addition to fresh oysters on the half shell and sushi, they serve local cheese and meats, unique pizzas (duck sausage with coriander, sage and wild mushrooms for example), and fun filled appetizers like shrimp and grits, wood fired Spanish octopus, smoked salmon, veal meatballs (we would have loved to try those), wild mushroom toast, homemade sausages and onion soup. They also had an unusual special cocktail menu which would have been fun to test out had we more time and the main bar on site has a brick and copper paneled hearth and plenty of other drink options as well.
I feel as if we blew through Greenwich so we’re looking forward to a return trip to explore the area in more depth. While we didn’t get to do a deep dive into the property’s main restaurant (we had dinner the night we arrived at CHAR Restaurant in the Byram section of Greenwich so be sure to check out our review), we were able to spend a little time in their local coffee bar before we left.
First and foremost, their coffee was out of this world and they had great organic chocolate, jam, jellies, smoothie and mixed nut and fruit options for eating on-site or to go.
They also offer healthy breakfast and lunch options as well which you can try out although the main restaurant does serves breakfast as well — it’s great that they offer two very different options for dining on-site.
Sustainable and fresh, you are surrounded by all things organic at this little cafe. It’s not just the coffee + snack area that is committed to healthy and sustainable, which you’re reminded of as you walk through the hotel. When the property was built, old furniture was liquidated in a sustainable way, existing metals were recycled, the private dining room and wine vault stone was made from post-consumer waste, the public area floors were made from bamboo, the dining room floor was made from reclaimed wood, roof shingles were made from recycled tires (how cool is that?), and the exterior stone is synthetic avoiding costly operations used to extract natural stone.
The J House Spa
What’s lovely about the on-site spa is that massages and aesthetic services can actually be customized for your specific needs and desires. On the massage front however, there are plenty of staples to choose from, such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Prenatal, Reflexology, and Hot Stone Therapy. You can also add Aromatherapy to any treatment (I’m a huge fan of the power of essential oils)!!
If you like pampering (and all of us deserve a l’il decadence from time-to-time), you can opt for one of their body treatments, such as their Sugar Body Scrub, a Body Smoothing Wrap or their Herbal Mud Wrap, which uses stimulating spices and enzymes to de-age a fatigued body. (I oh so needed more time to try that one out). Scrubs as many of you know, are great for exfoliation of dead skin — their sugar body scrub also uses lemon which helps leave your skin feeling and looking renewed. Oh so blissful!
They offer packages as well such as the J Retreat Package, which starts with a body smoothing wrap, followed by a Swedish massage, an Age Defying Facial and an Age Defying Lip and Eye upgrade (every woman needs this one), and their Pure Zen Package, which is a Swedish Massage followed by a Foot Refresher treatment and an Age Defying Facial. I went for the Age Defying Facial, which I thought would help my weathered skin because of the cold weather and dry air that is so prevalent on the East Coast during winter months.
Think of it as an anti-wrinkle treatment on steroids. They infuse collagen and elastin directly into the skin through the treatment; you can also get a collagen mask at the end if you want to do an add-on. They also offer a Hydra Facial Experience which is a multistep treatment that combines Alpha and Beta hydroxy acids with antioxidant serums to brighten and rehydrate the skin without any recovery time.
Unique on their menu is a Citrus Peel which uses high concentrations of Vitamin C and signature citrus massage, and their Micro-Current, which uses facial toning to help the muscles. The process sends soft gentle waves to relax the furrow between the eyebrows and tighten the area around the jaw line, chin and neck. Can you say godsend?
I only had time for one facial treatment, but needless to say, Spa Director and esthetician Danielle Cervi was top notch. Seasoned and knowledgeable, she “gets” outstanding service as well and is committed to using natural products like Eminence, which is 100% organically grown and chemical free — I’m a huge fan of their line. Natura Bisse is the other product line they use, which is based out of Barcelona and focuses on formulations for facial and body treatments.
Additionally, the spa offers a series of treatments for men, including a Stress Relief Massage and a Foot Refresher, as well as other beauty services, such as eyelash and eyebrow tinting, eyebrow shaping, chin, face, and body waxing and more. Two thumbs up – we would definitely return!!
The J Hotel and Spa
1114 East Putnam Avenue
Greenwich CT 06878