By Melissa Sorge
Rich in history, nostalgia, and just generally cool vibes, the Jersey Shore is an iconic destination that attracts hordes of visitors to its beach towns each summer. And while there are plenty of restaurants, motels, beach bars, and family attractions worth visiting, the shore is often considered more of a weekend getaway or novelty vacation rather than the ultimate destination for a luxurious oceanside escape. Previously, New Jersey residents had to travel out-of-state, or even out of the country to experience what we will soon have right in our backyard: luxurious, oceanfront accommodations with premier amenities and a prime locale.
With two new luxury beachfront resorts opening along the East Coast this summer, vacationers from the tri-state area can enjoy handcrafted, poolside cocktails and a spectacular ocean view without ever seeing an airport. Asbury Ocean Club in Asbury Park and Wave Resort in Long Branch are bringing upscale, yet unpretentious beach living to the Jersey Shore this summer season. Each property stands directly on the beach, providing sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean, and features comprehensive amenities including swanky outdoor pool decks, private cabanas, personal concierge service, on-site fitness studios, state-of-the-art spas, and an array of in-house dining options.
Asbury Ocean Club
Upon arrival at the Asbury Ocean Club, guests will make their first stop at the main floor lobby. Entering the property through burnished bronze doors, they will check-in and be quickly whisked away to its highest level, where the 54-room boutique hotel awaits them on the fourth floor. Acclaimed hotel innovator David Bowd speaks to the arrival experience: “Check-in will not feel like a transaction, but a welcome. This is truly a luxury, five-star experience in a modern way. Service is attentive, but a little less formal. It’s more suited to the personality of Asbury Park.”
Deeply invested in the resurgence of Asbury Park, real estate leader iStar, helmed by CEO Jay Sugarman, along with an award-winning team of experts, developed the Asbury Ocean Club after several years of hard work and planning. While other teams have attempted to restore the waterfront in Asbury Park—a beloved New Jersey landmark town reminiscent of rock ‘n’ roll concerts and music legend Bruce Springsteen—this is the only group that has made it happen. “Asbury Ocean Club is not just a building; it’s the resurrection of Asbury Park,” says Sugarman. “It is a symbol of the return of this town to its rightful glory and an opportunity for us to create the ultimate beach lifestyle for those who want the very best.”
In contrast to many traditional luxury resorts, Asbury Ocean Club is modern, sleek, and stylish. Designed by Bonetti/Kozerski Architecture and Handel Architects to be a focal point on the New Jersey coastline, the 17-story building, comprised of glass and other natural materials, curves along the coastline, exuding brilliance and light over the historic beach town. Once inside, guests will marvel at the beauty of the lobby, surrounded by lush greenery and infused with colors of nature through the burgeoning flora and gardenscapes. Guests can then step outside to enjoy a cocktail at the full-service poolside bar or simply put their feet up in a lounge chair and wait for the “roaming granita cart” to deliver a smoothie, juice, or tiki cocktail.
If these appealing property amenities make you think you will not want to spend any time in your room, think again. Designed to emulate private beach lofts, guestrooms (and residences) at the Asbury Ocean Club are adorned with high ceilings, wood-paneling, natural light, oceanfront views, open space, and comfy furnishings. With an “uncomplicated luxury” vibe, you will enjoy all the amenities of a five-star hotel with subtle nods to classic Asbury Park found in the vintage artwork on the walls and vibrant pops of color throughout. When it is time to grab some food, try one of the property’s many dining locations, featuring partnerships with local food and drink establishments.
Rise with the Tide” is the motto for Long Branch’s newest luxury property, Wave Resort, also opening this summer. Located in the center of the acclaimed Pier Village, Wave Resort sits among more than 30 retail shops and restaurants, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. With a convenient location just off of the Garden State Parkway and only three minutes away from the nearest NJ Transit station, Wave Resort is an easy choice for vacationers seeking a luxurious escape without hefty travel times.
Do not let the short distance to the Wave Resort lower your expectations of the amenities and relaxation you will experience there. The rooms and suites, adorned in stylish, modern coastal décor, boast custom furnishings, 55-inch HDTVs, Nespresso machines, and ocean view terraces. Guests can also look forward to terry robes, slippers, and premier bath amenities awaiting them in their deluxe room or suite. While snuggled up in your plush bathrobe with an espresso in hand—taking in views of the Atlantic Ocean—it may be tempting not to leave your personal quarters but we promise, the rest of the property is equally as impressive.
The ultimate beachside getaway, Wave Resort is complete with an outdoor pool, spa, blow-out bar, fitness studio, concierge services, and a children’s playroom. At the pool deck, with its swim-up bar serving curated cocktails and a grill for light fare, you can enjoy a day of sunbathing and swimming uninterrupted. Once you are sunkissed and relaxed, head down to the second-floor spa for a refreshing facial or massage, and prepare for a fun night ahead by getting beautified at the first-floor salon. Here, guests can choose from a variety of blow-out styles while enjoying a glass of wine.
While you certainly have everything you need to relax and unwind within the Wave Resort, its prime location at the hub of Pier Village might just beckon you outside to experience some of the best shopping and dining the Jersey Shore has to offer. Fashionistas will love the Lululemon pop-up shop set to open this summer as well as many other high-end stores including Charleston Shoe Co., and chic beach boutiques such as Molly & Zoey and Wish. After some fabulous shopping, explore some of the many drink and dining options nearby. Fin Oyster and Cocktail Bar is a great choice for light bites and paired cocktails, and The Wine Loft stays open late each night serving over 70 varieties of wine. For a romantic dinner, grab a table on the outdoor terrace of McLoone’s Pier House, or cozy up at the upscale Sirena Italian restaurant. A visit to Wave Resort in Pier Village provides all the amenities of a luxury coastal resort right here in the heart of Long Branch.