A few years ago, I was luckly enough to spend the night at Robert DeNiro’s uber-cool Greenwich Hotel to experience Shibui Spa. I wrote a story on this cool subterranean retreat for the June 2009 issue and have fond memories of a fabulous treatment performed by Thuyen D. Nguyen. Since the hotel is a pretty exclusive NYC hot spot, I haven’t returned. And although I loved the spa, it’s not one I tend to recommend to local friends looking for a great Manhattan retreat, since it is only available to hotel guests. That is, until now. I just got word that Shibui Spa is now open by appointment to non-hotel residents for the first time. It will certainly now be on my recommendation radar, and I’m looking forward to heading back soon myself to camp out by the wonderful indoor pool that is housed beneath the roof of a 250-year old wood and bamboo farmhouse. It’s the ultimate escape from the hustle-and-bustle of the Big Apple.