As soon as you walk into the lobby, you're greeted by white decor with beachy touches like big wicker loungers. It feels like you're in Miami, which certainly isn't a bad thing whether you've just cabbed it from nearby JFK, or taken the 45-minute Long Island Railroad trip from Manhattan.
Head up to the mezzanine level, and the Miami comparisons only intensify. Here there's a modern lounge and bar—all white, light wood and mirrored surfaces—overlooking the Long Beach boardwalk and Atlantic Ocean. A fireplace and loads of seating make it look like a cozy spot no matter the season.
The hotel's restaurant, the Atlantica is on the same level, and has its own bar area, Wine Room (which can be used for private dining), and additional lounge where brunch is often served. Chef Todd Jacobs, well known in the Hamptons, focuses on local, organic produce and, not surprisingly, serves up some very tasty seafood. (More on the Atlantica menu later this week.)
Despite its low profile, the Allegria has already been a huge hit with brides—partly thanks to Jacobs' reputation, and partly due to the clean, modern decor, which is a nice change from the stuffy old country-club-style venues in this neck of the woods. The ballroom here has 73 pretty Kazumi chandeliers, and can accommodate up to 200 guests. (But brides, take note: it does not have a water view. It faces the city.)
Upstairs, the rooms are simply and spare, with light wood and blue accents befitting the seaside views. Everything feels fresh and airy, even the extra-wide hallways (a remnant of the building's past as a retirement home).
As a more spacious and laidback alternative to the Hamptons, we expect the Allegria to become a summer hotspot as soon as the weather heats up. Bookings are apparently already brisk from the first few weekends of May.
Aside from being a retreat for people in transit, or city folks looking for a sea breeze, the hotel is also becoming a magnet for locals. From our spot in the "sexy section" of the Atlantic restaurant (that's really how some guests and locals refer to the table with the view of the L'Onda bar area), we could watch as locals and stranded European guests got their party on at the bar.
So the main bar may not be the place for a quiet nightcap (the Miami comparison comes to mind yet again), but there is the restaurant bar with piano player for anyone wanting a quieter experience— and there's always your room upstairs. That minibar in your room? It's actually a wine fridge.
The rooftop spa, pool, and Jacks on the Rocks lounge are still under construction and should open in the fall.
Rooms at the Allegria start at $229 a night for weekdays this week (that's a City View King), while they jump to a minimum of $549 a night on the weekend of Mother's Day. (The hotel is sold out Saturday May 1st.)