Where to find a hotel with jet-set charisma on Long Island

By Lauren Chattman Special to Newsday

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary weekend away? With the recent openings of some unique Long Island lodgings, there’s no need to settle for a generic hotel room. A rooftop saltwater pool, a bar stocked with locally made spirits, custom furniture from Bali — every one of the following places has a few surprises to delight even the most jaded guests. ...

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Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary weekend away? With the recent openings of some unique Long Island lodgings, there’s no need to settle for a generic hotel room. A rooftop saltwater pool, a bar stocked with locally made spirits, custom furniture from Bali — every one of the following places has a few surprises to delight even the most jaded guests. 

The Allegria Hotel, Long Beach

The Allegria borrows its style from Miami’s good-time beachfront district, combining glitzy amenities with a casual, beachy attitude. Rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlook either the city or, for a slightly higher price, the ocean. Pale wood floors and bright white bedding reflect the natural light. Step out of the hotel and you are directly on Long Beach’s boardwalk. A few more steps take you to the beach, where the hotel’s beach concierge can provide you with chairs, umbrellas, and towels as well as arrange for bike, surfboard, and wet suit rentals. Weather permitting, there is also beachfront mini golf and a flying trapeze. If you prefer to enjoy the ocean from above, settle into a chaise at the hotel’s rooftop saltwater pool, where drinks and light bites are served. The Atlantica restaurant has glamorous white leather semicircular banquette seating and light fixtures resembling glowing jellyfish.  

INFO 80 West Broadway, Long Beach; 516-889-1300, 

Knickerbocker Yacht Hotel, Port Washington

Dwindling interest in yachting led to the 2009 closing of the historic Knickerbocker Yacht in Port Washington. In its place now stands the Knickerbocker Yacht Hotel, a boutique hostelry built with curving balconies to resemble a cruise ship. The six luxurious rooms have nautical décor and expansive views of Manhasset Bay. Grab a glass of wine from the lobby bar and settle into a lounge chair on the spacious terrace to enjoy sunsets over the water. Or stroll down the private pier, contemplating the view that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald to write “The Great Gatsby.” For more Jazz Age atmosphere, take a tour of Hempstead House (, a 50,000-square-foot Tudor-style mansion on the grounds of the Guggenheim estate in Sands Point. The pretty village of Port Washington offers dining options from seasonal clam shack like Butler’s Flat,, to a French bistro like La P’tite Framboise,, to Japanese-Peruvian fusion like Nikkei of Puero,



INFO 433 Main St., Port Washington; 516-883-4800, 

The Preston House and Hotel, Riverhead

On the lodgings-deprived East End, the opening of a 20-room hotel is big news. The Preston House aims to take advantage of Riverhead’s location as a pit stop on the way to Hamptons beaches and North Fork wineries. The building includes the restored 1905 home of Suffolk County Sheriff Henry Preston and a sparkling new addition behind the older structure. The hotel has sleekly decorated rooms and suites that feature Scandinavian-style furnishings and honed concrete floors. In addition to providing king-size beds with luxury linens, Lavazza espresso machines and complimentary Wi-Fi, the hotel makes sure that guests are well-fed. Its stylish 88-seat restaurant (with additional outdoor seating in the warm weather) juxtaposes vintage architectural detains with midcentury furniture and contemporary art. Veteran Hamptons chef Matthew Boudreau uses local, organic ingredients.  


INFO 428 E. Main St., Riverhead; 631-775-1500, 

Aqua by American Beech, Aquebogue

Brent Pelton and Alex Vinash, owners of the miniresort, American Beech, in Greenport, are expanding their business. In the former Cove Place Inn the partners have opened this 18-room boutique hotel, shown here from the rear, on one acre overlooking Peconic Bay, complete with a private sandy beach. The newly christened Aqua has luxury touches: in-room espresso machines, Frette linens and bathrobes, minibars stocked with premium drinks and snacks. Aqua’s rooms have bright white walls and floors, sleek furniture and textiles in neutral colors, and the occasional colorful accessory like a lamp with a base of red coral. Private water-view decks lend romance. The stunning beach, outfitted with brand-new chaises, is the perfect place to relax with a bottle of wine. A garden with exotic plants, hammocks and a boccie court provides another stylish spot for recreation. For now there’s no restaurant on site, but guests at Aqua will have priority reservations at American Beech’s restaurant.

INFO 15 Bay Ave., Aquebogue; 631-722-3212, 

Sound View, Greenport

New owners have transformed a vintage 1953 motor court into a family-friendly, design-forward beach resort. The 55 rooms and suites are directly entered from the parking lot just off Route 48. On the other side is a quarter mile of private Long Island Sound beach. Every room has a view of the water. Each has either a shared or private deck. The rooms are decorated in pared-down nautical style, with cedar shiplap on the walls, ropelike navy rugs and rich burgundy bedding. A large elevated swimming pool has a view of the water. Bikes and kayaks are available for exploring. An atmospheric piano bar is adjacent to the restaurant. 

INFO 58775 Route 48, Greenport; 631-477-1910, 

The Lin Beach House, Greenport

The long-abandoned Victorian structure on Route 25 known as the Shady Lady has been given new life by the team at the nearby Matchbook Distilling Co. Five oversized guest rooms, with 17-foot ceilings and claw-foot tubs, have been redecorated. The setup is intentionally casual: There’s no two-night minimum and booking is through Airbnb. You check yourself in via keypad, to come and go as you like. A bar opens at 5 p.m., showcasing Matchbook’s spirits as well as local white and red wines and a custom-brewed beer from Greenport Harbor Brewing. With seats for just 50, and a closing time of midnight, it’s designed not for the party crowd but for people who are curious about innovative cocktails. There is no restaurant, but a catering kitchen is available to local chefs. It will host a number of pop-up dining experiences during the season. 

INFO 455 Route 25, Greenport; 

The Gallery Hotel, Greenport

It’s not surprising that passers-by often enter the Gallery Hotel under the mistaken impression that it’s an actual art gallery. The funky thrift-shop and pop-art décor of this 10-room boutique hotel includes collectible furniture, lighting, paintings, maps and books. The lobby pops with yellow and teal upholstered furniture, abstract art and potted plants. Breakfast (included in the price of your room) is served in the Salon, with its large striped pink daybeds and French doors to a patio. There is a darkened screening room for watching old movies, and a vintage record player and vinyl records that are free for guests to enjoy. Snug whitewashed rooms are brightened with colorful artwork. Two larger suites, are appointed with Jacuzzis, kitchenettes and private outdoor spaces. Kon Tiki restaurant is open in season, serving Asian dishes and exotic cocktails in ceramic tiki bar glasses.

INFO 439 Main St., Greenport; 631-477-4000, 

The Chequit, Shelter Island

Overhauled in 2015 by the Salt Hotels group, which operates trendy lodgings in Provincetown, Rhode Island, and Asbury Park, New Jersey, this former Methodist meeting hall perched over quaint Shelter Island Heights is now decorated in pared down but colorful and beachy style. Homey food is a focus here. You can have your breakfast and an old-fashioned thermos of coffee delivered to your room on an enamel tray with gingham napkins. Bloody Marys and mimosas are poured in the lobby every morning. A retro-style bakery-coffee shop off the lobby serves house-baked cookies and beach picnic fare to go. Red Maple, a full-service restaurant, serves seasonally inspired dishes in a rustic-minimalist dining room and on a romantic patio strung with lights. The property has three buildings with 36 rooms and suites. It provides a picturesque home base for exploring Shelter Island and the nearby North Fork.

INFO 23 Grand Ave., Shelter Island; 631-749-0018, 

Hero Beach Club, Montauk

This classic beachfront motel underwent a spiffy rehab before reopening in 2017. Its 34 rooms and suites have custom furniture from Bali with boho-chic touches like macramé wall hangings and Moroccan tiled bathrooms. The vibe is more European family vacation than rowdy shore party. The wide, sandy beach, equipped with beach chairs and umbrellas, is just a few steps away, and there’s a pool with cabanas. In the morning, complimentary bagels and coffee are served in a sunny common area, which also serves as a gallery for local artists. A large garden, equipped with tables, chairs, and daybeds, is another place to hang out. The hotel organizes film screenings, yoga and bonfires in the summer. A concierge can book surf lessons, deep sea fishing trips and massages. The village of Montauk, with mini golf, ice cream and other summer pleasures, is just a short walk away.

INFO 626 Montauk Highway, Montauk; 631-668-9825,