At The Shoals in Southold, there’s a dock for every room.
There’s nowhere like a sumptuous new boutique hotel to slip into something more comfortable. Here, so can your boat.
Open for its inaugural season on Peconic Bay, The Shoals delivers an original hospitality experience that’s uniquely and authentically East End. Each of its 20 apartment-style suites boast a kitchenette and patio or terrace, along with a slip at the onsite marina. And despite palpably high-fashion accommodations—you’ll find Frette linens, Malin + Goetz bath amenities, and a food truck by a James Beard Award-winning chef—the overall vibe is helplessly laid-back, a refreshing balance of unpretentious good taste and the simple pleasures that define summer getaways by the beach.
The concept is an entirely local production, run by the same team as the esteemed North Fork Table & Inn and more recently-opened Southold General in town. In a former life, it was the Heron Suites, a no-frills roadside inn with quality views and a shell’s-throw distance to the neighboring Seafood Barge restaurant. The cluster of marine-centric businesses here, anchored by the longstanding Port of Egypt boat dealership, was something of a community—one of few things The Shoals kept from its predecessor, along with those boat slips.
To help execute their vision, the group enlisted Long Island architect Andrew V. Giambertone and Thomas Juul-Hansen, the noted New York City designer behind Manhattan’s Sutton Tower and countless other high-profile commissions. The result melds cedar-shingled New England and effortless minimalism, framed by tall grasses and native plantings that emphasize the hotel’s innately-bucolic bayfront setting. Guest rooms are furnished with original Juul-Hansen pieces, including custom beds, curvaceous armchairs, and buxom sofas. The spacious lounge, a onetime seafood market now outfitted with a full bar, grand piano, and generally swoon-worthy looks, invites you to stay awhile. There’s even a private outdoor shower area, for guests to rinse off alfresco.
While arriving by sea is exhilarating, you can still get out on the water even if you roll in on wheels. The hotel’s captained 28-foot Chris Craft is available for charter, with pickups from off-site locations—like the myriad waterfront restaurants in Greenport or Shelter Island—available by request.
As expected for a chef-driven establishment, the food and beverage program here is no afterthought. By day, a food truck slings a trim array of pastries, bowls, salads, and sandwiches (yes, that includes lobster rolls) by François Payard, the patisserie master who earned his stars—three Michelins, to be exact—at Le Bernardin and Daniel. All offerings can be boxed bento-style to take on the float. Soft-serve ice cream, a logical sequel to Payard’s popular gelato stand at Southold General, is also on the menu. Wednesday night brings an oyster happy hour, naturally with local beer and wine.
The main bivalve venue, though, is Little Ram Oyster Company, a woman-owned enterprise that’s a preferred supplier of John Fraser, the Michelin-starred restauranteur behind North Fork Table & Inn. After working the winery pop-up circuit for a while, owners Elizabeth Peeples and Stefanie Bassett dug out their permanent home at The Shoals, restoring a historic scalloping shack on the property as their base of operations—reimagined with help from Juul-Hansen. Their farm, on the east side of Shelter Island, is noted for its crisp yield, which benefits from the plentiful exchange of open Atlantic waters into Gardiner’s Bay.
Other highlights include waterfront yoga, by The Giving Room, and the Bait Shop, which lures with branded provisions an a curated assortment of items for self and home.