Fire Island hotels: Where to stay and play


Scented soap? Gold-plated faucets? Marble floors? Guests at the Margarita Villas in Kismet know not to expect such luxuries with their overnight stay on Fire Island.

"We don't come in and fluff your pillow and put a mint on it," says owner Greg Pecoraro. "That's not what it's all about."

What a getaway to Fire Island is about is a 20-minute ferry ride that transports passengers to another world, a simpler world without the cars they must leave behind on the mainland. Fire Island is 32 miles long, but it's no more than a mile across, from ocean to bay. Unlike the pretentious Hamptons, most of Fire Island's 17 communities are down-to-earth places where adults pass the days playing Kadima on the sand or Scrabble under their beach umbrellas, and kids sell hand-painted seashells and lemonade from the red Radio Flyer wagons their families use to cart groceries from the general stores.

"You could be at the bar next to a billionaire and you'd never know. They didn't drive up in their Rolls-Royce or Bentley. They rode up on a rusty bicycle with one side of the handlebars missing," Pecoraro says. "That's the charm of this place."

That charm comes at a hefty price, in part because of supply and demand; there simply isn't an abundance of rooms on the island. Most Fire Island rentals are summer homes owners sublet by the week or month. Only a handful of hotels will rent for shorter-term escapes.

Here are some of the main hotels on the island:


Want bustling hubbub and barhopping? Choose Ocean Beach, the biggest community on Fire Island.

The Fire Island Hotel & Resort

Where: 25 Cayuga Walk, 631-583-8000, fireislandhotel.comWhat you'll find:
(Credit: Yvonne Albinowski)

Where: 25 Cayuga Walk, 631-583-8000,

What you'll find: This former Coast Guard Station turned hotel has the vibe of a Caribbean vacation spot. Ground zero is the built-in swimming pool -- a rarity at Fire Island hotels. "It's a great attraction for the kids," says manager Patty Loesch. Live guitar music poolside spices up weekend afternoons. Enjoy frozen drinks served in plastic cups. Adirondack chairs dot the lobby; the hotel has a restaurant area called Hurricane's. The 41 rooms range from standard hotel fare for two to cabins that sleep up to six and have a kitchen. The hotel will shuttle suitcases from the ferry dock to the hotel and back. Umbrellas and chairs rent for $5 a day each.


The Fire Island Pines is a primarily gay community, along with the neighboring community of Cherry Grove.

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