For a number of reasons, the Jersey Shore doesn’t always automatically bring to mind images of luxe hotels and pristine beaches. But those who grew up summering there know that the Garden State’s coastline is full of idyllic enclaves, despite what the rest of the country has been led to believe.
The Bungalow hotel in Long Branch is just one of the area’s hidden treasures. A boutique property with only 24 rooms, the chic, funky locale was designed by Cortney and Robert Novogratz of HGTV fame and is just a block from the ocean. Hotel guests can access the sand through Le Club at Avenue, a private club with a brasserie and beach bar.
Below, GM Julian Payne fills us in on the most requested room on the property.
What is the most requested room at the hotel?
I suppose the Aloha room.
What makes it so special?
The rooms are large. Even our smallest room is 465 square-foot, which when you compare that to a normal hotel room, it’s big. People aren’t expecting that. They come in and they go, “Wow.” The rooms are very minimalistic. All white with a flash of color. Each room has a different flag—Jamaican, English, New Jersey. You can actually request which flag you want. Every room has a fireplace. In the Aloha rooms, the fireplace is opposite the bed, so people like that.
Which room is your personal favorite?
The two bedroom suite which is called the Pipeline. It’s on the fourth floor, and it’s in the direction of the sea. So you can actually see the sea from it. It’s got floor-to-ceiling windows and because you’re on the top floor you’ve got all the light coming in. It’s got a sitting area, a cow skin rug on the floor. It’s very cool.
Have you had any celebrity guests at the hotel?
Sure we’ve had some! But I can’t name them. We’re very fortunate because we are surrounded by musical destinations. PNC Bank Arts Center is only 25 minutes down the road. Asbury Park is just down the road and you’ve got The Stone Pony down there. You’ve got Red Bank which has Count Basie Theatre. You have a lot of musical acts going on there and actors and stuff like that. And you’ve got New Jersey Repertory Theater Company, which is a tiny theater in Long Branch. They have New York actors come down.
What is the average rate?
In July and August we hit about $500.
Can you share a few fun facts about the hotel?
We’re a small hotel. We only have 24 bedrooms. We also offer complimentary bicycles which are available for guests to use during their stay. We also have some paddleboards for hotel guests and we partner with a nearby surf school. It’s a vibrant neighborhood.