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Connect with Nature in the Big Apple

By Ava Diaz

Just an eight-minute ferry ride from New York City, Collective Retreats Governors Island offers a quiet and quaint escape for city dwellers and visitors. The island’s 173 acres of lush green space has stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. “It is an incredible outdoor experience located in one of the largest cities in the world,” says Josh Lesnick, president and chief operating officer of Collective Retreats. 

A tent by Collective Retreats in New York City. June 19, 2023
Collective Retreats’ overnight tents offer stunning views of the New York City skyline. || Courtesy of Collective Retreats

Taking camping to the next level, Collective Retreats is an experiential outdoor hospitality company with a mission to immerse people in the beautiful spaces around them. Offering indoor and outdoor accommodations in natural settings, the company also provides activities, event spaces, and diverse culinary experiences for its guests. In addition to its New York City retreat, Collective Retreats has remote locations in Vail, Colorado; Sonoma, California; and the Texas Hill Country in Wimberley, Texas. 

“That type of setting [the outdoors] is better suited for just letting go, relaxing, and channeling more creative thinking as opposed to a classic hotel meeting room or foyer,” Lesnick says. Visitors to the Governors Island location will enjoy team-building activities like sunrise yoga, bike rides along the shoreline, spa treatments, harbor cruises, and hands-on educational experiences from cocktail classes to environmental projects. 

For groups seeking to gather, the island has three primary event spaces, including The Great Lawn with a capacity for 175 people, the 1,000-square-foot Three Peaks Lodge (an open-air pavilion) for 75, and the Collective Commons (an indoor-outdoor private dining tent) for groups of 20. Overnight guests can relax in one of 34 upscale tents equipped with king or double bed configurations and private decks offering sunset views. Collective Retreats also partners with hotels in lower Manhattan to accommodate larger groups.