Shelter Island’s somewhat isolated location — an 8 minute ferry ride from the North or South Fork — separates the Hamptons regulars from the more intrepid sun-seekers, rewarding the latter with 8,000 beautiful acres of quiet, sprawling landscapes, clear pebbly beaches, and fantastic local restaurants fit for foodies.
The secret seems to have gotten out, with boutique hotels popping up all around the island in the past few years — and La Maison Blanche, a recently renovated seaside-chic beauty is the best of the bunch.
The Victorian façade fits in nicely with the rest of the island – so much so that our 2 year old kept mistaking a similar-looking home a couple doors down for our hotel. Though small in scope with just 9 rooms, this pint sized property has all the amenities of a luxe hotel, including plush bathrobes and slippers, an ipod dock in every room, free wifi, full closets and luggage stands. Rooms are tasteful and charming, with fluffy white comforters and Parisian-inspired pillows. A conveniently loaded mini bar stocks plenty of fun and tasty treats to spend your money on, including a respectable bottle of Rioja while we were there.
City dwellers will feel right at home waking up to a complimentary copy of the New York Times, a cup of coffee and chocolate croissant from the on-site bakery downstairs. A newly added backyard pool gives guests less of a reason to hurry off to the beach in the morning — and a relaxing place to unwind after a day’s exploration on the hotel’s bicyclettes gratuite.
The hotel’s fine dining French brasserie did their best to keep our toddler occupied, sending out crayons with paper and a speedy basket of warm, soft bread, while mom and dad enjoyed a deliciously crunchy endive salad with bacon, walnuts and shaved blue cheese followed by an impressive version of Long Island duck confit. The sunny white dining room is attached to a low-lit, mahogony and leather lined bar — a great spot to grab a post-dinner drink. If the weather is perfect, take your nightcap outside on the porch swing or on a white wicker lounger under the sparkling fairy lights that illuminate the front yard petanque court at night.
You Should Know:
Not all rooms come with a tub – ours had a shower only, but a view of the pool and gazebo down below to make up for it. When heading into town, take the short-cut down the path through the golf course. Crescent Beach is a 5 minute walk down the hill.
Family Friendly Rating: 10/10
Cribs (pack-n-plays) available to borrow; highchairs in the restaurant; babysitting can be arranged (though we didn’t use this service.) For city families in search of that big backyard your suburban friends told you your kids were missing out on — this is your new summer home. A relaxing retreat for families, couples and groups of friends alike.
La Maison Blanche
Address: 11 Stearns Point Road, Shelter Island Heights
Phone: (631) 749-1633
*3onthego was graciously hosted by La Maison Blanche for part of our stay. All opinions are my own.