I’ve had a love affair with this hotel from afar since I started going to Fire Island and finally had to stay there. I’m in my early 30s, low maintenance, and have an appreciation for history (and kitsch) so I thought it would be fun. The place met expectations but was a disappointment in the end. The hotel is maze-like with artifacts of bygone eras strewn about the common areas and suites. It really does feel like someone’s personal home. True to form, you realize quickly that the corridors stop short right before the nicest/most publicized areas, which are reserved only for certain luxury suites and/or the owner/staff. Further adding to the disappointment, the rest of the spaces, including the rooms, show their age and could probably be so much more with proper care. As far as the clientele, everyone I met (a handful of people, not great for a prime July weekend) was very nice, mostly 40s-50s, first-timers and returners with the same love-affair/morbid curiosity with the place. There’s an undercurrent of seediness (it’s Cherry Grove after all) but it was never uncomfortable, except maybe from the staff. Final recommendation, if you’ve admired the place from afar like I had, keep doing that until they renovate – the mystery is more intriguing than seeing the place up close and personal. With owner John Eberhardt’s advanced age, and no apparent heirs, however, I’d be curious what will become of the place; it may see a wrecking ball before a renovation.
- Also Known As:
- Belvedere Hotel Cherry Grove
- Belvedere Hotel Fire Island/Cherry Grove