They Do Exist: Five Hip Jersey Shore Hotels To Book This Summer
The B&B: The Gables // The French influence is strong in this renovated five-room Victorian, thanks to toile bed linens, gilded furniture in the library, and a proper garden dining area. Reserve the Bailey Lloyd room; it’s not the swankiest (that’s the Victoria & Albert), but its sloping walls, cherry red claw-foot tub and iron stove exude coziness. For dinner, nab one of the courtyard or porch tables — the chef changes up the seafood-heavy menu daily. // Starting at $180 per night; 212 Centre Street, Beach Haven.
The New Addition: The Asbury // Housed inside a former Salvation Army store, the Asbury is the first new hotel in Springsteen Country in 50 years. The retro rooms (think: Beach Boys-era graphics and sorbet-hued comforters) range from palatial king suites to group-ready bunks. Head to one of the hotel’s two rooftop venues (one converts to an outdoor movie theater), or to the buzzy beer garden, complete with food trucks — both worthy alternatives to seaside lounging. // Starting at $125 per night; 210 5th Avenue, Asbury Park.
The Motel: The Star // With a sunny cottage exterior and private decks, this wallet-friendly option trumps the seedy-motel stereotype. In the morning, swing by the sweet on-site coffee bar for just-brewed La Colombe and baked goods, then take advantage of the amenities at tony Congress Hall across the street, where Star guests have full access to the pool, cabana and restaurants. // Starting at $80 per night; 29 Perry Street, Cape May.
The Boutique: Bungalow Hotel // It’s only a block from the shoreline, but this 24-unit property could be at home in a bustling city — or at the very least in South Beach — with its mod-meets-island design, whitewashed rooms and sleek lobby bar. Tip: Bring your own beach chairs and umbrellas; rental fees are about $25 a day. // Starting at $400 per night; 50 Laird Street, Long Branch.
The Classics: Icona Golden Inn // Following a $15 million renovation, the venerable Icona Golden Inn reopens this month with revamped accommodations, a new pool, a fitness center, a spa and a brewpub. Or head south to stately, Wes-Anderson-esque Congress Hall, where they’ll be celebrating their bicentennial all summer with a slew of events, including weekly clambakes. // Icona Golden Inn starting at $279 per night; 7849 Dune Drive, Avalon. Congress Hall starting at $209 per night; 200 Congress Place, Cape May.
Published as “Field Guide” in the July issue of Philadelphia magazine.