Field Trip: QC Terme NY on Governors Island

QC Terme Spa on Governors Island

Governors Island Ferry from the Battery Maritime Terminal at 10 South Street

I had been dying to check this place out but so glad I waited since the pools had just opened when my cousin and I went out last Wednesday. We went for four hours for $88 each — the “Escape Entrance” rate for Monday through Thursdays. Friday through Sunday is $116 for four hours. There are other pricing options: full day, evening, or 4 hour plus a massage, etc.

For the entrance fee you get access to all the saunas and steam rooms (there are six total), plus the footbath, the (odd) Vichy table showers, and the outdoor pools, which have the must amazing urban view ever. There are two pool areas, and the bigger one has four pools of different temps, all of which are shallow and just for lounging, not for doing laps. Then there are the lawns for lounging — there is not a bad seat in the house.

We loved it. There were very few people there, so we often had a sauna to ourselves. And there was no competition for outdoor seating.

We also made it a full day by doing a couple laps around Governors to see the new sites and explore. (More on that soon.)

Plus QC Terme did a wonderful job restoring the old brick building, adding new steel everywhere to make it look still like the original, and an design overlay that’s luxurious but not too precious. It reads a bit Boston Brahmin and California coastal at the same time. The company is renovating the building next door for a restaurant.


  • Governors Island now runs a smaller ferry till 10p (11p on weekends) for tenants and guests — meaning in this case, spa guests. The ferry is included in the spa fee, so I think if you show them your spa reservation they will waive you on to the ferry.
  • Citi Bike now has three docks on the island, so if you can’t dock at the Battery, you can take your bike over and dock there (check the stations though!)
  • The spa gives you a bathrobe, towel and flip flops, plus there are showers with all the accoutrement. I wish I had a brush.
  • Almost every staff person at the spa said we should have come for sunset, and you can book for the Evening Entrance for $90 for four hours, starting at 5p.

QC Terme has spas and “wellness hotels” in all the fancy places in the world: Chamonix, Rome, the Dolomites — the views are usually more bucolic. The company was started by two Italian brothers in 1982 and has grown into the largest wellness group in Italy. Governors Island opened this spring.

With your entrance fee, you get free tea and coffee as well as fresh fruit and bread. It was a nice spread. The menu is pricey, and while we didn’t eat there, what we saw looked good. There’s cocktails, wine and beer — but not a huge drink menu.

What might be more fun is to eat elsewhere on the island: I would go for the Three Peaks Lodge at the glamping site on the west side of the island (especially if its sunset time), Taco Vista or Island Oyster. But keep in mind that most of the restaurants close at 6p. The lodge is open late, but reservations there fill up quickly. Here’s the link to all the Govs Island food options.


1 Comment

  1. I went there once in the 90’s for a wedding….a friend of mine was marrying a young man who was in the coast guard. It was odd. Not the wedding, but the venue! Can’t wait to check this out. If you wait long enough you can witness this city turn inside out.