Beach + Island

Seaside Classics for a New Generation

by Colleen Clark

Bungalow Hotel, Long Branch, New Jersey

Old-school cool: The Jersey shore may be the punch line of summer beach destinations (thanks, Snookie!), but it's also the stretch of sand that birthed the speakeasy excess of Atlantic City and the working-man glam of Bruce Springsteen. Towns like Asbury Park and neighboring Long Branch (the Boss's birthplace) are drawing on those twin inspirations, leaving their blighted recent past and current faux-tan and fist-pumping image behind.

Retro revival: Pier Village—Long Branch's new boardwalk promenade, complete with wine bars, spas, and boutiques—found a worthy counterpart in the Bungalow Hotel, opened in 2009. The 24-room property channels the Jersey Shore's retro charm via vintage midcentury modern furniture and art installations such as an American flag made from torn denim. Furnishings like platform beds and Philippe Starck chairs would look equally at home in a Tribeca loft, and there are tongue-in-cheek nods to Jersey whimsy in accents such as area rugs with '70s-era male and female symbols. At the hotel's beach club, open-air cabanas catch the sea breezes. But don't worry, it's not all buttoned-up class: A bikini-topped server delivers the martinis.

Bungalow Hotel
50 Laird Street
Long Branch, New Jersey
Tel: 732 229 3700
Rooms from $159

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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