August 11, 2022

New York’s newest day spa is now open to the public on Governors Island — with a level of decadence its former inhabitants could only dream of.

The island’s abandoned Army barracks and officers’ family quarters were transformed into the new spa, dubbed QC NY, by CEO Andrea Quadrio Curzio. His 74,000-square-foot wellness palace cost an eye-popping $50 million to build.

“The purpose is to make the people feel pampered,” the dapper Italy native told The Post, gesturing at a rotunda-shaped sauna built of wood sourced in the Alps and handcrafted by Italian artisans. “You should feel like in a dream — you can get lost here.” 

The expansive space features four floors of luxurious amenities ranging from infrared beds to various “relaxation rooms,” saunas galore, steam baths, vichy showers, heated walkways and robe racks, a mirrored “face gym,” traditional Turkish bath, an entire “hydro district,” a bistro, full bar, outdoor pools with built-in lounge chairs and sweeping views of Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey throughout.

An aerial view of the building’s first phase.
Courtesy QC NY
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Lounge chairs have been built into some of the outdoor pools.
Brian Dalthorp
qc ny governors island
Chairs in the outdoor portion of the spa.
Brian Dalthorp
qc ny governors island
The facility is open year-round.
Brian Dalthorp
qc ny governors island
The skyline, as seen from an outdoor pool.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
The former Army barracks’ exterior has been wholly maintained.
Courtesy QC NY

Beneath the building is an exorbitantly expensive filtration system Curzio proudly showcased by phone light during a recent tour. “We are obsessed with filtration,” he said.

Most rooms are bathed in natural light and feature custom scents and music. Features in the space were almost entirely designed in and shipped from Italy.

Not only is Curzio committed to his native nation’s craftsmanship, but QC NY is full of references to his personal family, pictured on the walls of the changing rooms. The male changing room is painted the same color as Curzio’s childhood bedroom in Lake Como. The heavenly So Close Yet So Far sauna is dedicated to Curzio’s late sister. The eight massage rooms are all named for Italian operas, songs from which Curzio is known by his staff to correspondingly break into as he walks by. 

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“The environment should remind of an Italian home,” he explained.

qc ny governors island
A hanging chair relaxation area.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
Inside a facility on the “wet floor.”
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
The craftsmanship is almost entirely Italian.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
An upside down-themed relaxation room.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
A second phase will include even more massage cabins.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
Custom scents put out by the QC brand.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
One of a number of relaxation rooms.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
The spa’s lobby.
Courtesy QC NY

While built with Italian labor and sensibilities, QC NY also prioritizes the building’s history. Although the exterior of the former soldiers’ apartments is landmarked, Curzio and his team decided to maintain the original flooring, windows, the building’s layout and much of the millwork as well. They received a tax break for the ordeal, which ballooned the restoration’s timeline to seven years. 

Before settling on the barracks, Curzio and his brother, Saverio Quadrio Curzio — with whom he co-founded their now 11-location spa brand in 1982 — considered converting a Brooklyn church, Red Hook warehouse and upstate factory. The brothers appreciated the history behind the Governors Island location.

His team has now begun work on QC NY’s second phase in an adjacent building. It will feature additional massage cabins and more food and beverage offerings. 

qc ny governors island
The barracks while under construction.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
The building is a remnant of Governors Island’s military past.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
The project took seven years to open to the public.
Courtesy QC NY
qc ny governors island
The original windows and much of the floor layout and millwork has been maintained.
Courtesy QC NY

The spa — accessible via ferry — is open to the public. The only hard part remaining is convincing New Yorkers to take care of themselves. City slickers “are slave of the stimulus” and far more resistant to leisure time than his European customers, said Curzio. Still, he’s hopeful many will opt to sail away from the city’s mania if only for a moment and get lost in his new castle of respite.

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Half-day passes for QC NY on Governors Island are $88, $100 on weekends. Full-day passes are $110, $128 on weekends. All passes include a roundtrip ferry ticket. Massages range from $100 to $250. It is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.