The Jersey Shore’s Coolest Hotels

The best beach hot spots to soak up the sun, swim and stay over. 

Asbury Ocean Club
The Asbury Ocean Club is a Jersey Shore hotel with a pool deck with a panoramic ocean view, plush lounges and all-day food and drink service. Photo: Nikolas Koenig

There is so much to do at the Shore that sometimes a jaunt to the beach requires more than just a day trip.

But if you don’t have a home on the coast—and are looking for somewhere chic to stay—there are plenty of modern, amenity-filled hotels where you can book a room. These are the best beach hot spots to soak up the sun, swim and stay over. 

Bungalow Hotel

Long Branch  

Opened in 2009 as part of Long Branch’s ambitious Pier Village development, the Bungalow was the Shore’s first contemporary boutique hotel. The vibe remains coastal cool, with a pool table in the lobby, streamlined furnishings and a calming palette. All 24 guest rooms (including five suites) have extra-wide king beds, gas fireplaces and kitchenettes. Amenities are minimal; there’s a lobby bar, but no restaurant. However, the $35 resort fee includes continental breakfast, parking, beach bikes, and access to the pool, fitness center and beach at the Wave, Bungalow’s sister hotel a few blocks away. The hotel is geared for adults, but a family-friendly two-bedroom suites can sleep up to six. —Ken Schlager
50 Laird Street, 732-229-3700

Wave Resort

Long Branch

Situated right off the beach and just steps from Pier Village’s great restaurants, plethora of shops, and a kid-approved carousel, the Wave, built in 2019, is a lively spot. The 67 rooms and variety of suite options include multifamily units. Perhaps best of all is the beach access. Guests have free use of beach chairs, towels and umbrellas in a private section of the sand right near the hotel. For a fun scene without the sand, check out the outdoor oceanfront pool and deck, which offer impressive water views and food and drink service (including a swim-up bar). Other amenities include multiple restaurants, a spa, a fitness center, a children’s playroom, and free use of cruiser bikes. —Julie Gordon
110 Ocean Avenue North, 732-612-9283

Asbury Ocean Club Hotel

Asbury Park 

Asbury Ocean Club

The Asbury Ocean Club has 54 rooms and suites, all on the fourth floor of the 17-story building. Photo: Nikolas Koenig

Madam Marie could never have predicted this: a glass-walled luxury tower across from the Asbury Park boardwalk with condos listed for up to $3 million and hotel rooms starting at $1,200 on weekends. Yes, it costs a fortune, but the location, amenities and ocean views are a dream. The hotel offers 54 tasteful rooms and suites, all on the fourth floor of the 17-story building. Exterior rooms have balconies, most with partial ocean views; interior rooms have patios facing a serene dune garden. Most impressive is the expansive pool deck with its ocean panorama, plush lounges, and all-day food and bar service. One flight down, the spa features three treatment rooms. —KS
1101 Ocean Avenue, 732-481-0706

The Asbury

Asbury Park

Since opening in 2016, the Asbury has become a focal point of the town’s summer scene. The eight-story building showcases salvaged-brick walls and an industrial feel in the bustling lobby, with its bar, pool table, pinball machine, performance area, seating pit, picnic tables, and nostalgia-inducing shelves of old vinyl albums and tapes. The retro vibe carries into the 110 pet-friendly guest rooms decorated with rock- and surf-related photos and equipped with small turntables and random assortments of scratchy LPs. There are six room types and three suite types, including some with two or four bunk beds for groups. The spacious pool area features a food truck on weekends, drinks from the lobby bar, and special events all summer. Up on the roof, there are weekend yoga classes, nighttime movies and the open-air Salvation bar. —KS
210 Fifth Avenue, 732-774-7100

The St. Laurent Social Club

Asbury Park

The St. Laurent Social Club in Asbury Park

The St. Laurent mixes modernity with retro touches. Photo: Courtesy of Motion City Media

You won’t find a reception desk at this gathering place in Asbury Park. Co-owner Merissa Fleischhauer describes the St. Laurent as a smart hotel. To enter, guests are issued a code. Opened in July 2022, the St. Laurent, located in a residential neighborhood about five blocks from the beach, is freshly renovated. The 20 guest rooms are outfitted with bespoke Murphy beds that fold up to reveal sofas or work stations. Downstairs, famed chef David Viana has created Heirloom at the St. Laurent, an outpost of his celebrated Old Bridge restaurant, Heirloom Kitchen. The 78-seat restaurant opens out to the expanded and renovated pool area. Uniquely, the pool is open to the public by reservation. Also public is the clubby cocktail lounge. Like the rest of the St. Laurent, it mixes modernity with retro touches. The entire property is 21+. —KS
408 Seventh Avenue, 732-795-2582

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The James Bradley

Bradley Beach

This boutique hotel, opened last year, is the only hotel in the quiet, charming town of Bradley Beach. Launched by Middletown native George DiStefano, the aesthetic is what he calls contemporary minimalism. All 17 rooms have been completely revamped since the hotel’s former days as the Sandcastle Inn. Homemade breakfast is served each morning, with pastries by the hotel’s own pastry chef. À la carte service is offered at the beach. Every guest gets a beach badge and chair and umbrella setups. There is also a bungalow, with a full kitchen and three bedrooms, available for overnight stays. —Jacqueline Mroz
204 Third Avenue, 732-774-2875

Hotel LBI

Ship Bottom

This hotel’s imposing structure has been greeting visitors since 2019 as they cross the iconic bridge onto Long Beach Island. The airy common areas and main restaurant, Salt Kitchen & Bar—brimming with fun nautical touches—were designed by local character Thom Sweeney (who, ironically, happens to own the tiniest home on LBI). A model sailboat on display—donated by the New Jersey Maritime Museum—once adorned the Manhattan office of designer Tommy Hilfiger. Amenities include a pool with a retractable roof, as well as a hot tub, fitness center, spa, and rooftop bar (watch the sun set over cocktails!). Each room has a well-equipped kitchenette. In the summer, there’s complimentary valet service; offseason, self-parking in the garage is free. Guests can borrow beach badges, chairs, towels, boogie boards and adult bicycles. —Jennifer Finn
350 W Eighth Street, 609-467-8000

Madison Resort Wildwood Crest

Wildwood Crest

Madison Resort Wildwood Crest

Madison Resort Wildwood Crest combines the former Oceanview Motel and Royal Hawaiian. Photo: Courtesy of Madison Resort Wildwood Crest

The biggest resort in Cape May County opened in mid-May after a multimillion-dollar renovation. Combining the iconic Royal Hawaiian and the former Oceanview Motel, Madison Resort has 200-plus rooms, two pools, cabana and poolside seating for more than a hundred people, and more. It also features rooftop event spaces and can host beachfront weddings. The swanky spot pays tribute to Wildwood’s famed Doo Wop style of architecture as was seen at the Oceanview. Madison Resorts has poured $52 million into the project. —JG
7201 Ocean Avenue, 609-884-4063

Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa

Atlantic City 

The Borgata brings glam off the Boardwalk in Atlantic City with almost 2,000 rooms, each with a marble bath and many with marina-facing water views. For the gamers, there are 161,000 square feet of casino, plus concert space, a salon, a barbershop, shopping, the luxurious Spa Tocare, and a top-notch selection of restaurants—15 in total. The newest eatery, B-Prime Steakhouse, offers impeccable service and takes steaks seriously. With its 20th anniversary in sight, the hotel is embarking on a major revamp of its adjoining guest-room tower, the Water Club, soon to be renamed the MGM Tower. —Deborah P. Carter
1 Borgata Way, 609-317-1000

Daddy O

Brant Beach 

Daddy O in Brant Beach, LBI

Guests and non-guests alike can grab al-fresco drinks at Daddy O. Photo: Courtesy of Daddy O LBI

A few hundred feet from the beach, Daddy O is a 22-room boutique hotel whose commanding rooftop signage is a familiar sight to anyone who’s made a few trips along LBI’s busy boulevard. The hotel has a homey, intimate feel, featuring a wraparound porch and vibrant, vintage-inspired decor. Rooms boast evocative, wall-sized photographs of cheery surfers and sunbathers of days gone by. Guests can unwind at the indoor restaurant and bar, the garden patio or the rooftop bar (worth a night out even if you’re not staying at the hotel). Beach tags, umbrellas and chairs are available to borrow. Parking is free. —JF
4401 Long Beach Boulevard, 609-494-1300

The Reeds at Shelter Haven

Stone Harbor  

At once beachy and luxurious, the Reeds in Stone Harbor offers its small-town coastal vibe year around, but summers are really hopping. With earned accolades from Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler, the 56 guest rooms are bright and comfortable, with beachy watercolors and crisp linens. Dining is offered at three on-site restaurants: Buckets Margarita Bar + Cantina for Mexican fare, Water Star Grille for indoor/outdoor dining and fabulous sunsets over the harbor; and Sax, a fine-dining venue. The hotel’s can’t-miss crown jewel is the bi-level Salt Spa. Here, guests are pampered with a Turkish bath, salt rooms, and body treatments from massage to CBD-enhanced facials. —DPC
9601 Third Avenue, 609-368-0100

Lokal Hotel 

Cape May

Lokal Hotel in Cape May

There are eight units at the Lokal. Photo: Courtesy of Heidi’s Bridge

The Lokal joined the lodging scene in 2019, just before the pandemic. It turned out to be an ideal time to implement a hands-off, micro-hotel model. Across the street from the ocean and unassuming from the outside, the weathered-look shingles belie an interior that is at once modern and techno chic. Entry is keyless; you’ll only encounter other guests—no attendant or hovering homeowner. Conceived as a hybrid of a hotel and an Airbnb, owners Courtney and Chad Ludeman ventured into freestanding hospitality properties in Philadelphia that, like the Lokal, come with the comforts of home: Casper mattresses, Parachute sheets, handsomely tiled modern baths and a nifty iPad to play with and control the room’s devices. Niceties like bitters and cocktail ice cubes populate the full kitchen equipped with a smart oven to make cooking away from home a snap. The eight units share the saltwater pool and the private outdoor space with fire pit and a grill. —DPC
5 Stockton Place

The Hugh Bed & Breakfast

Cape May 

Set in a historic Victorian, the Hugh marries the aesthetic of the past with a glam-forward present. The house boasts all the architectural grandeur one expects from a period home: gables, fretwork and corbels. But in a bold palette departure, owners Sandy and John Vizzone painted the exterior black—and it works. Inside, modern art (an uber-cool, oversized black-and-white of Mick Jagger, for instance) and original details like ornate brass knockers on room doors work together like old friends. The eight rooms have comfy beds and unique names and color schemes. In 2020, the Vizzones opened Jardin at the Hugh, an adjoining French restaurant, which, with only 20 seats, bustles all season. A true B and B, Hugh guests start their mornings in the double-duty dining room with dishes like Sandy’s French toast with caramelized apples. —DPC
653 Washington Street, 609-435-5458

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