Q: What differentiates your inn from others in your area/region?
A: Shelter Island House exudes a luxurious modern beach flair with unmatchable accommodations and service on the island. We are rated #1 on TripAdvisor, and we are an intimate boutique-style hotel with oversized rooms and bathrooms, complimentary bicycles, petanque courts and outdoor games, picturesque pool, and an onsite restaurant, bar, and outdoor pool bar. Having been operating as a hotel since 1866, we are one of the longest-running hotels on Shelter Island. We also differ in that we are family-owned and operated, upscale but unpretentious, and we are a pet-friendly property.
Q: What makes Shelter Island so special as an alternative to the Hamptons?
A: Shelter Island has been rated as one of the best laid-back beach towns in the Northeast by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Being so close to the Hamptons makes the region popular, but the physicality of being an island and only being accessible by ferry allows for a bit more magic and a lot less hype – often called the “the un-Hamptons” of Long Island.
Innkeeper/owner Janet Rogler of Shelter Island House
Q: What kind of hospitality experience do you offer your guests?
A: We encourage our staff to welcome guests as if they were welcoming a friend into their own home, and they are instructed to go above and beyond whenever possible for guests with any special needs. Seasonally, our complimentary offerings change from a glass of local wine upon arrival, to fireside wine and cheese, or coffee and tea at the bar. All rooms are stocked with complimentary bottled water and our favorite North Fork Potato chips. We offer fruit-infused water in our hotel lobby or poolside, and of course, our daily continental breakfast with our specialty fresh baked, all butter croissants! Guests love that we have complimentary beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas for their use, our on-site pool & gardens, and the complimentary bicycles.
Q: Which type of traveler do you cater to most often? (Solo travelers, honeymooners, girlfriend getaways, etc.) Why do you think this is?
A: Shelter Island House has had the pleasure of hosting many guests from different demographics. The majority of the guests are couples and honeymooners, however, our excellent accommodations for family vacations, reunions, and bachelorette getaways have drawn a strong following. The onsite Tavern makes it easy for families and groups to relax and not feel the need to rush around the island looking for large group dining. Our demographics are mostly New York City and New England, but we have a solid number of European travelers.
Q: What makes you stand out from a traditional B&B?
A: We offer additional amenities that we know our guests enjoy such as the restaurant, bar, pool and poolside bar, petanque courts, and soon to be shuttle service. We also offer daily housekeeping service.
Q: What has been your favorite “guest story”?
A: There have been so many memorable stories that we have enjoyed and smiled about since we have opened. The candle-lit engagement in our gazebo with rose petals strewn and the fire pit crackling nearby under the stars was certainly a favorite. However, the couple celebrating their 60th-year wedding anniversary who came back to Shelter Island House to celebrate at the same location where they spent their honeymoon was unforgettable.
Q: What do you love most about being an innkeeper?
A: My favorite part about being an innkeeper is meeting so many wonderful people from all over the world and continuously challenging myself to make their visit at Shelter Island House the best possible experience. Going that extra step for my guests puts a smile on their face, and it is mutually rewarding.
Q: Last spring, actress Jessica Chastain stayed at your boutique B&B. Do you regularly cater to celebrities?
A: Shelter Island is becoming more of a hotspot for celebrities like Jessica Chastain. We have had the pleasure of hosting different celebrities at both the hotel and the restaurant.
Q: What would be your #1 piece of advice for aspiring innkeepers?
A: My #1 piece of advice for aspiring innkeepers is to always take the extra step to make your guests feel at home and welcome. It goes a long way for everyone!