Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fire Island Day One: Tour Of the Historic Belvedere Hotel

The massive Belvedere Hotel, which has been in business for more than 50 years on the bay side of Fire Island's Cherry Grove, is a treasure trove of history, kitsch, collectibles, artwork and individuality. Owner John Eberhardt, who bought up much of the land in the neighborhood and built the dozens of kit cottages that still define the area today, filled his labor of love with keepsakes, while styling each of the 40+ rooms individually.

It is also the only clothing-optional hotel in Fire Island, no doubt keeping the rowdy alive in today's Fire island. Saturday evening, Bobby & Timmy and I were gazing through the gate, on our way to Low Tea in the Pines, when we were invited in for a full tour of the inn's restoration, getting a rare glimpse all around, inside, outside and atop the amazing roof deck.
 Next: The architecture of Fire Island's Cherry Grove.