The Jersey Shoreâ€™s got a bad rap these days. In the first season of MTVâ€™s hit reality television show â€œJersey Shore,â€ eight housemates share a summer rental in Seaside Heights. In the third season, the cast returns to Seaside Heights after a summer in Miami Beach.
Now this doesnâ€™t scream modern beachfront pad? Itâ€™s the exterior of a gorgeous hotel on the Jersey Shore. Photo: New World Group
While the show portrays a party culture, locals know a different Jersey Shore. This Jersey Shore is quiet and relaxed, the kind of place where you can stroll along the boardwalk with shaved ice in a cone or hole up in a coastal rental for the week. Bungalow Hotel, opened in the summer of 2009 by Robert and Cortney Novogratz (the husband and wife team behind SixxDesign from Bravoâ€™s â€œ9 by Designâ€), represents everything TVâ€™s â€œJersey Shoreâ€ is not. The 24-room property is located in Long Branch, just steps from the sand and the Atlantic Ocean, and itâ€™s so classy I doubt youâ€™ll see Snooki roaming the halls. (But you never knowâ€¦she is making $30,000 an episode these days.)
Inside, a fresh, white palette is accented by 50 pieces of original art, including surfing photography. Lighting came from Moss in New York City, where the coupleâ€™s interior design firm is based. In the cafe in the lobby, bartenders mix and pour signature cocktails. (And bonus: Check out Cake Bake and Roll for amazing ice cream!) Kicking back with friends and playing a game of backgammon, billiards or chess is encouraged. The dayâ€™s surf report is written on a chalkboard in the lobby.
Each room has an eclectic mix of accessories, like this one! Photo: New World Group
All of the hotel rooms are extremely large, much larger than the typical hotel room. There are kitchenettes and fireplaces in all of the rooms and a vase of fresh flowers, which make rooms feel homey. The decor is clean-lined and comfortable with lots of designer touches like a chair in animal-print fabric or black-on-black lamp and shade combos on each side of the bed.
The owners had a lot of fun curating funky accessories for each hotel room. Photo: New World Group
There are a lot of little surprises throughout the hotel, items that will make you pause and do a double take. The vase of black branches (above) is one example. (Is it art or nature?) A ridged, wood side table (also above) tricks the eye; doesnâ€™t it look like cork? And we love how the roomâ€™s other pieces come together â€” an area rug emblazoned with Sixx Designâ€™s logo is paired with a cherry-red couch, a plush featuring an American Red Cross symbol and a modern-style fireplace built into a wall of horizontal white planks like those in a beach cottage.
Very different from most hotel bars, the one at Bungalow Hotel folds in a lot of nautical influence with slick furnishings like you might find in a SoHo or Tribeca lounge. Photo: New World Group
Borrowing from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, there is decorative driftwood and woodwork on some of the walls and built-in seating in the lobby bar. When matched with oversized ottomans/cocktail tables made from light-colored wood, the image is even more like that of a seaside bar. (Can somebody bring us a tropical drink, please?)
Bungalow Hotelâ€™s indoor/outdoor bar is suited for year-round imbibing. Photo: New World Group
Because any waterfront setting has unpredictable weather that can shift within minutes, the bar has both indoor and outdoor seating. Simply pick up your drink and change your seat in pursuit of either sun rays or a bit of indoor heat. (The bartenders will take care of lowering that garage door behind you, donâ€™t you worry.) Mimicking the blue ocean on a clear, sunny day, a calming shade of blue was chosen for the sofas outside. Check out the bar stools! And the disco balls glittering above the bar! We love this place!
Information provided by Design Drool: The Real Jersey Shore