A relaxing break from NYC: the new QC NY spa

Healing waters, Aperol spritz, illy coffee… Italy sweet life arrives in New York via Governors Island and we can’t wait to slow down and tell you all about it.

Located on the edge of Governors Island, overlooking the downtown financial district skyline, QC NY is a rarity in New York: soaking up the charms of European bathhouses in a city in dire need of relaxation.

Not far from the styles of other New York day spa destinations, including AIRE Ancient Baths in TriBeCa and SoJo Spa Club in New Jersey, QC NY stands out for its playful approach to relaxation. Add to that the panoramic city views and relatively easy access to the spa and you’re in for a great day of relaxation, just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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The ferry arriving at Governors Island, New York © Zachary Laks

Your getaway begins with a ferry ride

Governors Island is only accessible by ferry. Fast ferries run seasonally on the half-hour from South Street Seaport and two Brooklyn ports and require a online pre-booking before boarding. The ferry is $4 with free rides on Saturdays and Sundays before noon.

Once on the ferry, you will instantly feel disconnected from the energy of the city – is there anything more relaxing than being on a boat? From the ferry, the QC NY spa is about a five-minute walk away.

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The Pool Courtyard at QC NY Spa, Governors Island, NYC
The large pool courtyard at QC NY Spa © Zachary Laks

A new spa complex with rustic charm

Repurposing a former military complex into a large-scale recreation destination, QC NY opened its doors last March as the company’s first U.S. venture. QC Terme Spas and Resorts has been around since the early 80’s in Italy and has since expanded to 9 destination resorts across Europe.

The spa complex has a rustic, industrial appeal with charming turn-of-the-century portraits and playful light fixtures throughout. The building is a bit of a maze and takes a while to orient yourself. Front desk agents are there to guide you and make sure you don’t miss any of the property’s features.

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The useful tote bag you get when you arrive in QC NY
The useful tote bag you receive on arrival © Zachary Laks

The front desk staff are also the bearers of goodies: a starter tote bag comes with a plush robe, towel, flip flops (check the soles for cute QC brand stamps), and a swimsuit bag bath; and when you check out, you’ll receive a complimentary kit filled with samples of skincare products used throughout the spa.

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QC NY main courtyard and swimming pool
The main courtyard and pool at QC NY © Zachary Laks

The most picturesque swimming around: the beautiful pools of the spa

The spa’s main attraction is the incredible outdoor pools. Although the pools weren’t in use at the time of our visit (they should be cleaned by the city to open soon), we were still able to get a sense of how special these pools were. The variety of spa jets and waterfalls will pair well with views of the downtown New York skyline.

QC NY is a year-round destination, open every day, with access to pools in all weathers, no matter how cold. To prepare for harsh New York winters, heated outdoor pathways will melt snow and keep feet warm while heated bathrobe stations will help alleviate frost.

There are plenty of daybeds for lounging and sunbathing as well as comfy lawn chairs perfect for admiring the views of New York Harbor.

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Inside a sauna in QC NY
An inside look at one of QC NY’s saunas © Zachary Laks

The Best Spa Wellness Features: The Many Ways to Get Cozy

Equal parts relaxation and endurance, QC NY’s steam rooms and saunas have a playful feel-good factor that encourages your own journey of discovery throughout the property. The spa offers 20 wellness experiences to help relax body and mind.

After spending four hours discovering the 20 ways to relax, here are some favorites.

The Scottish room: The Scottish room is adorned with an elegant inspired tartan tile. Scotland is one of the first countries to use steam rooms for wellness, so it only seems fitting that this sweet room is filled with balsamic aromas that help expel toxins.

The wild and fun Upside Down in QC NY
This photo is unreturned – it’s the wild Upside Down in QC NY © Zachary Laks

The Upside Down relaxation room: Turning things around – literally – this piece infuses melancholy pleasure into your day of relaxation. Embrace the quirky and let it inspire your creativity by imagining the world from a different perspective.

Vichy showers: Don’t miss the opportunity to try this unique bathing experience that will have you showering horizontally. Lie down on the marble slab, press the button and a steady stream of hot water will rush over you, lulling you into a state of deep relaxation.

Foot baths at QC NY Spa
Foot baths at QC NY Spa © Zachary Laks

Foot baths: The DIY footbath at the footbaths was fun and relaxing. Alternate between cold and hot water to help oxygenate tissues and relieve tension.

The city sauna: The City Sauna is a rare sauna with a view. The woodwork of the New York skyline provides an excellent view of the city itself. It is also rare to find a sauna that receives so much natural light.

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A massage room in QC NY
One of the couple’s massage rooms, QC NY © Zachary Laks

Massages were the most relaxing thing we have tried

We had the chance to sample one of their exclusive massages and we are so glad we did. After a few hours of self-guided relaxation, the massage services were the perfect transition to absolute bliss. Consider booking a massage later in your stay so you have a chance to relax a bit and soak up the scene. After the pleasure of exploring each of the areas of the spa, the massage was worth the chance to truly disconnect with an expert.

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The many touches of innovation and comfort

Some favorite touches throughout the spa include shelves for goggles outside each sauna and steam room, pipes in the steam rooms that aid in cold water relief, and reflective panels outside each bathroom. wellness that guide you through the benefits of each piece. Each guest also receives their own smart card wristband which facilitated payments at the cafe and spa.

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Lunch at cafe, QC NY
Pausing for lunch at the QC NY Cafe © Zachary Laks


Who isn’t hungry after bathing and swimming? The on-site cafe offers light, healthy fare such as salads and sandwiches ($24 each) and less healthy, more festive cocktails like margaritas and mimosas ($18 each).

Some additional details about your visit

The area: Governors Island is worth the day trip whether you are visiting QC NY. If you’re only doing a 4-hour spa pass, plan to add a few hours to your stay. You will feel at ease as you roam the lands of the island and explore its many beautiful natural spaces.

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Don’t forget to pack: Swimwear is mandatory in all wellness areas, sunscreen and a book to read as digital devices are discouraged throughout the property. The spa encourages a “digital detox” for your visit.

The price: Fares start at $88 for a 4-hour all-access pass.

Coming : Full construction of the facility has only just begun with future plans to include indoor pools, even more wellness areas, and a full-service restaurant.

A sauna overlooking the QC NY pool and courtyard
A sauna overlooking the QC NY pool and courtyard © Zachary Laks

The Bottom Line: Don’t Pass Up the Chance to Relax for the Day in QC NY

QC NY is great value for a luxurious afternoon escape from the hustle and bustle of New York. The facility impresses with its playful approach to relaxation and wellness, and we can’t wait to see what’s next as the resort continues to expand its offerings.

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