Long Beach Travel Guide
Beach-loving tourists flying into New York this summer might not have to venture too far from the airport to get the full sand, sun and turf experience.
You see, unlike other hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn, which are limited to just a rooftop pool or maybe a farmers market when it comes to outdoor spaces, Long Island's Allegria Hotel—which is just 14 miles from JFK—has one feature to top all the rest: a private tunnel to the beach.
The 143-room hotel sits right along the boardwalk facing the ocean, and is in fact the only hotel in Long Beach. To capitalize on its awesome location, owners have built a short tunnel from the lobby to the beach, so guests can simply roll out of bed, hop into the elevator, zip through the tunnel, and be stretched out on the beach faster than you can say LIRR.
It's a significantly big deal that the mercury will hit the 80s this weekend in New York. It's been a long hard road to summer, and we totally think we deserve a drink for getting through that god-awful winter. Racing to the top of our list of summer cocktails already is the Allegria Sunset served at L'Onda Bar and Atlantica, the restaurant, at the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach.
We chose this sunny little concoction off the list of signature drinks last week and we were not disappointed. It looks like summer and it tastes like summer. Here's why ...
OK, either we finally stumped you all with a game of Guess The Hotel, or you were all snoozing the day away on Friday. No one left any guesses for the oceanfront hotel with the jellyfish lights, but for such a unique NY-area property that's been flying under the radar since opening in September, perhaps this is to be expected. At any rate, the hotel in question is the Allegria Hotel in Long Beach. (That's Long Island, New York—not California.)
The last time we wrote about the hotel was to recommend it as a 'Clean and Nice' airport hotel in case another storm struck. That was back in December, but boy we weren't wrong. When we hit the Allegria last Thursday, the entire property was booked—mostly with peeps stranded by the Volcanic Ash. (British Airways was putting its first-class passengers up here.)
So, what did all of these inadvertent visitors to NYC's newest beach hotel find? Let's take a look ...
Yes, this dog has dreads. He’s a Puli. If you’re staying in a Long Beach hotel this weekend, you’ll probably share an elevator with one of these guys. You might also see an Afghan hound in foils, or a sheepdog wearing booties. Dogs with crazy hair will be all over Long Beach this weekend, thanks to the 2009 AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show. If you loved Best in Show, or just like checking out adorable doggies, you can buy a ticket to the show, scope out the “Meet the Breeds” exhibit at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center—or just hang out in one of the hotel lobbies and watch the spectacle.
Ouch. The Allegria Hotel and Spa at Long Beach is only just opening up but it's already attracted a bunch of negative reviews – at least on TripAdvisor where so far, no less than four people have complained about problems connected to their opening date – thanks to one of our dedicated HotelChatter tipsters for pointing this out.
Someone's whining because they had to cancel their planned wedding when the hotel finally admitted they wouldn't be open in time, and someone else had this for an attempted booking experience:
I called to make a reservation to inquire as to availability. The lady on the phone said"We have no rooms" and hung up. SO RUDE.
Um, Stephanie Tanner, is that you?
We hit up the hotel on Sunday during the first day of brunch service by the hotel's indoor/outdoor resetaurant, Fuego, which serves coastal Mexican cuisine. The views, especially on clear sunny day, are awesome.
You can see the docked Queen Mary cruise ship off to the right as well as any other cruise ships docking in Long Beach for the night. You can see downtown Long Beach across the bay, including the city's aquarium and right in front of you are sailboats galore. Even the city's Aquabus makes a stop here. If you're really lucky, you might spot a seal or two.
Fresh off a $20 million renovation, today marks the opening of Joie de Vivre's Hotel Maya in Long Beach, California. We've been talking a whole lot about JDV Hotels lately mostly, we have the hots for the Cali-based boutique hotel company because they've got decent rates, clean and quirky designs and usually-free WiFi and this 197-room property is the latest addition to the group to keep an eye on.
Hotel Maya's got a seafood bistro called Fuego, a fitness center, and a business and events center right on the waterfront plus a heated lap pool and Jacuzzi, and a water canal with floating cabanas.
The "Mayan Journey" package is still bookable (and recommended), a $149 per-person rate that includes a room, breakfast, a three-course dinner, parking, and water taxi to downtown Long Beach (but schedule that excursion around the free daily sangria tastings at 5:00pm).
It looks like rooms are still available tonight, starting at $159.00, though this weekend seems to have limited availability (it looks like the night of the 4th is totally sold out, but give 'em a call just to be sure).
The property now sports 197 ocean- and garden-view rooms with private balconies, designed as a “fusion of Latin American beachside resort and modern Southern California style.” That means airy guest rooms decorated in creamy and earth tones, with a few splashes of color on the walls and pillows.
The new hotel will also house a seafood bistro called Fuego, a fitness center, and a business and events center right on the waterfront. For your leisure time, there is a heated lap pool and Jacuzzi, and a water canal where you will find floating cabanas to while away your time.
The Hotel Maya, a JDV Hotel in Long Beach, is set to re-open after a massive $20 million renovation this summer (the date of the big unveiling is supposed to be July 1st, and the website still says work will be completed on June 30th so we think this will happen on time) with totally revamped rooms and a new restaurant, Fuego at Hotel Maya.
While standard rates at the South-Waterfront-district-located hotel will run you $159-$249 most of the time, they're celebrating their big re-opening with a special totally all-inclusive opening rate. Booking the "Mayan Journey" Package available July 15th through the end of the year for $149 per person gets you a room, breakfast, a three-course dinner at Fuego, some Mexicali Chocolate at check-in, a Sangria tasting every day at 5 p.m. (ooooh), water taxi transportation and free parking.
Looks like Joie de Vivre's newest boutique baby, Hotel Maya, is getting a $20 million dollar facelift to help reinvigorate its, um, joie de vivre. The hotel was, as far as we can tell, formerly "Coast Long Beach" but JDV snapped it up and renamed it, and apparently there is more work to be done to pretty it up.
The Maya will remain open, but renovations are going to be done in "semi-isolated phases" up until the slated completion date of July 1st.
Thanksgiving Hotels / Holiday Hotels / Hotel Deals / Lists / Five Best Hotels / Hotel Thanksgiving Buffets / → All Tags
Last-minute Thanksgiving planners, rejoice! Nowhere is more forgiving of large groups and indecisive diners than a hotel restaurant with an overpriced holiday buffet. So as we prepare to give thanks for bountiful candied yams and cornbread in all forms, we did some dirty work to dig up the details on the country's best Hotel Thanksgiving Buffets.
Hold onto your wallet and unbuckle your belt, because these buffets aren't skimping on the stuffing.
Read the Top Five Thanksgiving Buffets at Hotels after the jump.
Travelers longing for a change of pace might consider a stay on the Queen Mary in Long Beach harbor this Valentine's Day. Listed in the National Register of Historic places, the Queen Mary has 365 hotel staterooms, a locally famous Champagne Sunday Brunch, three full service restaurants, a wedding chapel and sixteen Art Deco reception salons for private celebrations. Hotel room rates range from $109 from an inside state room to $660 for a royalty suite.
Lovers, take note: on Valentine's Day, the Queen Mary will offer a "Get Re-Married with Gary Valentines Party." The Art Deco observation bar, with live entertainment, is a cool way to begin your romantic evening. On Saturday, February 12th, the evening will begin with a special group ceremony officiated by radio personality and ordained minister (Internet minister?), Gary Bryan at 6 p.m., followed by a four course dinner and dancing, and Queen Mary Champagne. If you get re-married at sea, are you still subject to California divorce laws?
This story comes to us from Kat Smith, who emailed it in to us. Thanks Kat! Hopefully we will see more from her here in the future.