Sunset Beach Hotel, Long Island | Best Beach Hotel | Beach Holidays
An exclusive look at the summer opening of the luxury Sunset Beach Hotel on Shelter Island.

Sunset Beach, Shelter Island, Long Island | Best Beach Hotel | Beach HolidaysWHERE: Floating at the eastern end of Long Island amongst the cerulean waters of Gardiners Bay and its name-sake sound, rural Shelter Island still retains a country charm despite its proximity to the bustling Big Apple. Nearly one-third is protected by the Nature Conservancy, an ornithologist’s paradise where quiet winding lanes unfurl, but with the infamous Hamptons only next door, there is an undoubted glamour to proceedings. A plethora of sandy beaches frame the island, all whisking pleasure-seekers away to Caribbean-like idyll, the most popular and prestigious being the long stretch on the north of the island, Crescent Beach. It is here that Sunset Beach resort, part of Andre Balazs Properties’ Luxury Collection, proudly stands.

WHAT: Only opening throughout the summer (from May 18th to September 9th in 2012) exclusivity is the key at this sleek beachside establishment. Each of the 20 guest rooms come with their own private terrace overlooking Crescent Beach, making a perfect spot to watch the sunset, Mojito in hand. Every detail has been carefully considered, exuding style from the thoroughly modern furnishings to the plush 400 thread count bedding. Somewhat unsurprisingly, this beautiful auberge attracts beautiful people, with a distinctly chic atmosphere and grand white yachts in the distance; you could call it a petit St Tropez.

WHY: When pondering why to visit Sunset Beach, the proverbial question of ‘how long is a piece of string’ instantly springs to mind. If the inherent coolness of the place seems so laidback it’s practically horizontal (basking on a sun lounger no doubt) then a thrill injection is easily administered by means of kayaking and jet-skiing, or perhaps an all-American game of volley-ball is more suitable? Whether it’s mountain biking, horse riding or a yoga session forming the cherry on top of your ‘perfect vacation sundae’, Sunset Beach is sure to fulfil every whim. Thoroughly cementing the southern French feel is the lively beachside bistro, serving up continental classics such as moules marinières and niçoise salad, amongst other such culinary delights. And when not sipping cocktails, be sure to indulge in Sunset Beach’s very own Reserve Rosé, hand-harvested on Long Island in the autumn. Usually highly uninteresting, and hugely laborious, Sunset Beach has even quashed the journey nightmare, with StndAir chartered sea planes taking revellers from New York to Shelter Island in a mere 45 minutes (and landing on the sea, may we add) you will wish the flight went on for longer.

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By Roxanne Golding

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