Thinking of the perfect place to take your mom for a birthday weekend getaway? ThatΓÇÖs exactly what I was thinking when I was invited to spend an evening at JHouse Greenwich, a boutique hotel in Greenwich, Conn. And this little gem did not disappoint!
The state of the art, thoroughly renovated space makes every moment a welcoming one, from handsome valets and porters who greeted us as we pulled into the parking lot to the attentive and friendly front desk staff who handed over our key cards with a warm smile.
Upon entering our room, cozy and functional double bed accommodations with Frette bathrobes, our cutie porter gave us a quick tutorial of our Apple iPad “concierge,” online services that controls your room lights and shades, and allows you to make any necessary dinner reservations or guest requests with a type and scroll. Inside our decked out bathroom, we could enjoy our programs on the 15-inch TV screen built into the vanity mirror, all while sitting on a Neorest┬« toilet, electronic commode/bidet with a heated seat and remote controlled flush.
We dressed and headed out to dine in the outdoor space of JHouseΓÇÖs on site restaurant eleven14 Kitchen. Upon recommendation of JHouseΓÇÖs general manager, Jonathan Wise, we ordered the Sweet & Sour ΓÇ£Little HangerΓÇ¥ with scallion appetizer. My mom doesnΓÇÖt really eat red meat, but couldnΓÇÖt get enough of the tender strips perfectly drenched in its sweet tangy sauce. Our entrees, both fish dishes, were cooked to perfection.
As for our side dish, Tempura Onion Rings stacked on a small serving platter, they were light, airy, and delicious (so worth hitting the small, efficient fitness center in the morn!).
We had to save room for dessert! Mom chose a decadently dense carrot cake. I dug into the eleven14 Kitchen signature chocolate dish. More time on the treadmill, but worth it.
Mom retired for the evening, so I took eleven14’s night offerings, libations at its outdoor bar, that keeps it in check with reasonably decibel live music on Friday nights. Expect a crowd that includes young, polo-clad 20-somethings (hedge fund managers in the making), girls in pearls, and 50-somethings smartly outfitted sharing the space in harmony. An adorable couple were also celebrating a birthday there that evening, and invited me took partake in flowing champagne and tasty raw oysters with them as they took a few spins on eleven14’s ΓÇ£dance floorΓÇ¥ΓÇô yes, JHouse is also for lovers!
The next morning, we returned to for breakfast, once again choosing to sit outside as we dug into egg white omelets with wild mushrooms, thick slabs of bacon with just the right amount of crunch and morning greens.
After a quick view of JHouseΓÇÖs pool area, complete with private cabanas, we were off to The Chocolate Lab, one of JHouseΓÇÖs most unique offerings.
We were given a full tour of the lab, which creates delicious treats that can be enjoyed on site or taken home. We even got in on the action, placing homemade marshmallows on the chocolate belt and sprinkling them with roasted coconut (and yes, they were delicious!).
The Chocolate Lab is the brainchild of Chef Fran├ºois Kwaku-Dongo (pictured right), who also runs eleven14 Kitchen, and features Omanhene chocolate in its handmade treats. Fraincois, who is a partner at Omanhene, honors his African roots and engages in fair trade sourcing with cocoa farmers in Ghana, West Africa. Chocolate with a cause? Even more of a tasty treat. The Chocolate Lab also serves gelato, sorbet, ice cream and specialty teas and coffees that can be enjoyed at its communal seating inside the lab.
Thoroughly satiated, rested and full of chocolate, we headed home, with Mom raving the entire way. Definitely a birthday celebration that sheΓÇÖll never forget.
JHouse, rooms start nightly at $219, with continental breakfast included. For this upcoming Labor Day, JHouse is hosting a pool party, complete with four DJs and bottle service at its cabanas. The party lasts from noon to 6 p.m., ending early enough for you to get a good night sleep that evening, to enjoy your Labor Day off!
Wondering why it’s called the JHouse? The boutique was renovated from an old Howard Johnson!