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“Best B&B Experience over 20 years”

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Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn
Ranked #3 of 7 Beach Haven B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Wow - charm, amenities, great service, and all the pleasantries expected from a small family run guest house. Exceeded my expectations for a bed and breakfast. Everyone we interacted with there are truly caring and considerate. We were made to feel like family, something very rare to encounter now. Breakfast was abundant and fresh, and snacks were available later in the day. We were fortunate to see how they hosted a wedding - lucky couple! Very close to the beach, shopping, and pretty good good dining as well. Such resiliency and determination to help others in their neighborhood, following Sandy - definately a testament to Jersey Strong. We will be back. Bravo!

Room Tip: Balcony, second floor.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jack M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandguesthouse, Owner at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Thank you! We very much appreciate your great response. It is so heartwarming to know that we were able to get things back together enough that guests like yourselves saw the positive, and it made a good impression and we helped to give you a wonderful experience on your getaway! We hope to see you many more times in the future. Joanne

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114 - 120 of 177 reviews

Reviewed September 17, 2012

We stayed here for a family wedding. Matt and Joanne and the ladies of the Island Guest House were wonderful hosts and made us feel right at home. The room we were in was clean and comfortable, as were all the public areas. We truly felt like we were staying in a friend's house! They were happy to take care of my vegetarian needs and the food was amazing. The beach is just a block away, there are tons of places to eat and shop within walking distance but if you decide to drive somewhere parking is no problem. We were very impressed with the Island Guest House and our first visit to LBI. If we come back to the island we know where we'll be staying!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Norma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandguesthouse, Owner at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Thank you. You were a wonderful group of family and friends and it really was my honor to take care of you. Joanne

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Reviewed September 16, 2012

Stayed here for a family wedding. The owners and their staff were very friendly and catered to any request (within reason) made of them. Food was excellent. The place was clean and comfortable. Would stay here again if we should ever come back to Beach Haven.

Room Tip: Ask for the balcony room
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank britcarfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandguesthouse, Owner at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

I am so glad you enjoyed staying with us and took the time to write. I love Beach Haven, and I am glad I was able to add to your enjoyment of visiting! Joanne

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Reviewed September 16, 2012

Most amazing experience!! I was their for my moms wedding and from the InnKeepers to the staff everything was top notch!! I hope to make a trip back soon!! I truly enjoyed the feel of a B&B compared to a hotel where you don't get the same feeling. Here you felt like you were spending the weekend with a family!!

Room Tip: Come prepared to be amazed!!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Daisygal927
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandguesthouse, Owner at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Your enthusiasm made us feel so good and happy that you enjoyed your stay so much! What a lovely family you are. Thank you! Joanne

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Reviewed September 3, 2012

My Wife and I made last minute reservations for Labor day weekends t the Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn. We were attending a baby shower, but decided to spend the weekend and enjoy the last weekend of the summer, down the Jersey shore. Surprise, Surprise!! From the moment we checked into the Island Guest House, till the minute we dropped off our keys, I can't remember having a more enjoyable stay in a B&B. The difference being the owner, the staff and the little touches they do. For example, our room was located on the top floor of the house, the Air was on and the room was comfortable! After coming in from our evening out from dinner at 10:40pm, finding a note from the staff with a plate of fresh baked cake and fresh brewed iced tea and a pitcher of water for the guests! A nice touch. In the morning, greeting the guests, serving breakfast, having papers, magazines, games and puzzles on the tables, just being really organized... this is Jersey, not New England!! Very Impressive! During our stay, we met several of the guests, which added to the charm of staying in a bed and breakfast. Even the grounds are immaculate. The paint, molding decor, everything is kept in good condition, just like the guests. It's in keeping with those little things that ultimately make the big difference. At least to me! :) Just my opinion!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dcapio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandguesthouse, Owner at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

We really do appreciate you sharing your opinion of our B&B. I love that you noticed the "little touches because those are the things I love to do, not just "have" to do. Having guests take the time to say a kind work is really so priceless, and just renews our desire to do even more! Thank you. Joanne

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Reviewed August 18, 2012

This B & B turned out to be a big disappointment, especially at $340 per night! The place is a bit run-down and not well kept. The walls are paper thin. I heard the guy in the next room snoring all night. The next morning, I could her everything they were saying...clearly. No privacy at all. Breakfast was a disappointment too. Eggs and frozen hash browns. Not typical B & B standards by any means. Owners were nice, I just expect a bit more out of a B & B that charges that much.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Kenny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
islandguesthouse, Owner at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2013

To respond to this review, I first want to talk about breakfast. We run a large Inn, and even though a B&B breakfast is generally designed around one main entree per day, we strive to accommodate various appetites. That morning we had some younger people who discussed with us their preferences for a simple breakfast for their group. So in addition to our regular offering of breakfast egg scramblers with ham and Asiago cheese, maple sausage patties, homemade banana nut bread, fresh bagels and spreads, and fresh fruit we ADDED scrambled eggs and their request for this type of hash browns. Other guests also chose that option, as of course some prefer gourmet fare, and others do not. What made this review so disheartening to us was that so many people complimented us on having those choices available to all to choose or not to choose.

Secondly, each Inn reflects the passions and personality of their owners. That is what makes a B&B so special! However it is different experience than a standard hotel, so research into each Inn's website is important. Our kitty Star lives next door with us and is never inside of the Inn, as other guests may be allergic to pets. However she is allowed outside into the garden occasionally, and has quite the following of her own! Many returning guests ask for Star each time they visit. She is gentle and friendly, and will visit when invited. She will certainly not be a pest if shooed away. More importantly, on our detailed website she has her own page so that guests will know in advance what to expect. Not to research your prospective Inn is a grave disservice not only to the traveler himself, but to the Innkeeper as well!

I have an article below which summarizes the thoughts of many a speaker at state and national Bed & Breakfast conventions. It speaks of the importance of researching an Inn to find a perfect match for you.


How to Achieve the Perfect Bed & Breakfast/Inn Experience
-by Joanne Spulock, the Island Guest House Bed & Breakfast Inn, Beach Haven, NJ

Reviews are a popular new trend in today's accommodations industry. Most prospective travelers use them in their decision making process. So many times while browsing through B&B websites I will read a scathing review by a guest that speaks to a basic difference in what the guest expects versus what the Inn provides. There can easily be a disjunction what that traveler "expects" and what he reserves; between the happy little Victorian full of pretty wallpaper and muffins and the sleek modernity and gourmet fare of a small boutique hotel, or even the spa like tranquility and organic qualities of the B&B on the other side of town, versus a large Inn with lively conversation over a home style buffet with bubbling breakfast casseroles.

To add to the many choices that must be considered, does the traveler want the romantic getaway, the family destination, or the rest and relaxation of good friends and idle chat? Is the traveler a pet person, or do allergies come in to play. Many B&B's have resident pets that attract quite a guest following in their own right from both new and returning guests for the comfort and friendliness they offer, and their acceptance of a hug or pat on the head from guests who miss their furry friends left behind.

The most Important thing a traveler can do when considering staying at a B&B or Inn is to decide whether the B&B/Inn experience is even for his taste. If he is familiar to only the hotel experience in the past, he should be prepared for a change! One should never book a reservation just for something different and to be surprised, or surprised he will be! Whether pleasantly or unpleasantly depends on the research done to find the right match for the individual.

Be aware of the wonderful diversity that exists and the vast differences in the offerings between one B&B or Inn and the next. All are lovely...to the right guest. Be an informed, educated guest and find your perfect match, and you will have that positive memorable stay and establish some real friendships along the way. For example, if you want anonymity, you will have less than at a hotel. Most people stay at an Inn just because of that warm personal touch given by the Innkeepers and staff, and the interaction that occurs among guests at breakfast or in the garden.

Make sure you are comfortable with your Innkeepers choice on breakfast. If you have dietary restrictions, let them know in advance. B&B's usually have one single wonderful menu that changes daily which is served to all guests. Look on the website to see their breakfast fare before arrival. Different Inns have vastly different menus, times and ways they serve, and breakfast at a B&B is quite different than at a restaurant. Many guests say it is the highlight of their day, but make sure their style is for you.

If you have decided that a B&B or Inn is the right decision for you, definitely look at the website before you book. Read about the Inn; look at pictures, look at policies. Look at check in times and check out times.

If you don't like what you see, book elsewhere.

Don't book by price alone. It is not fair to the Innkeepers or yourselves if you are unhappy while you are there. The individual ambiance of each Inn, the different personalities of the Innkeepers, the foods served, and the contrasting styles are what makes an Inn special. The passions of the Innkeepers shine because they are doing what they love. Pick an Inn that matches your interests to the Innkeepers, and you will enjoy a memorable and positive stay.

Just as important is actually making that reservation. Carefully read your confirmation. It will tell you important details like how to make your deposit, and that particular Inn's cancellations policies. There is no standard governing cancellation policies in the accommodations industry. In fact, one large hotel chain has rooms that can be cancelled, as well as less expensively priced rooms that cannot. Everyone's policies are different. If you do not like them at one place, book at another.

Make sure the information on that confirmation is correct. This is your contract with the Inn; not what you think you may have heard when you called around to 10 places. It is hard to remember exact verbal information, so defer to the website and confirmation. You should receive your confirmation at least the same day as you make your reservation. Immediately check it thoroughly for accuracy and contact the Inn the same day if there are any discrepancies. Most Inns also have an online reservation system in addition to a real person for phone bookings

There are ways to help to distinguish a good B&B/Inn. A "good and reputable" Inn should, in this day and age, have a website with pictures and policies in place. It should note their affiliations with the Chamber of Commerce and other professional organizations they are connected with. Do they attend regional or national conventions?

Do the Innkeepers/owners serve in and contribute to their community? Are they knowledgeable about the business and have they been in business for several years or longer? My only plug here is that over the last 20 years we have raised our family in this town and have been EMT's. I have helped to start our town's Historic Preservation Commission, we have attended regional and national conferences, are affiliated with our local Chamber of Commerce and several state and national Innkeeper's Associations, as I have returned to and graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Historic Preservation. I have also apprenticed at the state Historic Preservation office. We have volunteered many hours at the local theatre as well as doing what we could for victims of Hurricane Sandy on the Island.

If most of the answers above are "yes", that goes a long way towards the assumption that the establishment knows what they are doing, and are dedicated, committed, and knowledgeable

After research, decision, and reservations, be a good guest and you will be a happy guest! Note the check-in times and check-out times. Take notice and comply with the quiet times designated by the B&B. It is not fair to other guests if you are up chattering like a magpie at 6 am, or giggling outside of someone's window on the porch at midnight. Many of you yourselves are either morning or late night people, and you would not be happy if the tables were turned.

Realize that an Inn is not a hotel. Most B&B's and Inns were built as homes.The size of your room at an Inn will probably be much smaller than a hotel room. Generally, houses built around the same period, say the turn of the century, and in the same area were in a similar and have similar features. The intrinsic nature of homes of this time was to have many small rooms and common areas. They had parlors, sitting rooms, snugglrys, sun rooms, dining rooms and libraries. A big difference from today's open floor plan! As a guest, you will most likely enjoy, if you will, the "quaintness" of your room, and lots of lovely common areas, gardens, and walkways.

On another note, the walls of that time were not insulated and sheet rocked, but constructed of lath which is thin strips of wood embedded in a plaster like material. Although most Inns have in place good and modern climate control, a TV blaring at 3am will be heard through the walls. If this TV happens to be in the next guest's room, and this annoys you, either bring this article directly to his room (I jest of course), or let the Innkeepers know immediately! They cannot help you at checkout. They want to help you at the time you require assistance, and are well aware that this could be at night. An Innkeeper does not want a list of problems brought out when you leave when they could have remedied the situation right away. I cannot stress this enough. Many guests have said "we felt bad disturbing the Innkeepers". Believe me, the Innkeepers will feel a lot worse if the guests are not happy. Remember, a good Innkeeper in business because he or she LIKES to be. Making a guest happy is not only the ultimate reward for the host; but the guest will return, and spread the word, bringing in more guests which brings in income. (Definitely a necessary commodity!).

Even with a hundred happy guests, one disgruntled visitor can dishearten even the most seasoned Innkeeper! A bad review is crushing, especially when the stay could have been turned around with just a quick change, or if the guest had researched the Inn to make sure it was compatible with his own individual likes. It is not fair to an Innkeeper if you put down their style, and it is not good for you if you choose a place that is not yours.

So be an informed, educated guest and research your Inn. Know and abide by its policies. Make sure it the perfect match for you! Don't reserve by price alone, or you will be doing yourself and your hosts a disservice.

If an Inn or B&B is not your taste, continue your search. It is certain to be just someone else's "cup of tea".

Take a little time and find that one special place whose policies, ambiance and vibe correspond with your own, and you will have quite the wonderful experience!

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Reviewed August 15, 2012

and hope to for many, many more. Mark, Joanne and their entire family make us feel right at home in their totally unpretentious home. There's nothing to do but unpack and relax. If you need something, there is always someone around happy to help out, but most of the time you'll feel like you've got the whole place to yourself. Good food, fabulous afternoon snacks, a common fridge to store your leftovers so you can reheat them for lunch. Better than renting a house! Best value on the island!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank garetanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn

Address: 207 3rd St, Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, NJ 08008-1857
Location: United States > New Jersey > Jersey Shore > Long Beach Island > Beach Haven
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Beach Haven
Price Range: $199 - $400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Island Guest House has been Voted the Best Bed & Breakfast on Long Beach Island. It is a turn-of-the-century historic Inn, located oceanside in the heart of Beach Haven, New Jersey. You can walk to everything. The owners, Mark and Joanne, work hard to make you comfortable, and provide the lovely setting, ambience, and character that a 100 year old plus Inn affords, updated with modern amenities like WIFI, flat screen TV's, A/C, etc. Some rooms have private decks, his/hers double size shower. Enjoy our bicycles, beach chairs, boogie boards and our outside enclosed shower to rinse off after the beach. Taste homemade breakfast and afternoon refreshments like cakes and cookies from family recipies, and iced tea or lemonade to quench your thirst after the beach. Enjoy coffee 24 hours, and chat with the Innkeepers about things to do in the area. Come and experience the restfulness of our Bed and Breakfast Inn! Couples can get away, and there is an area for well behaved children. We also have a cottage that sleeps 4 with gas fireplace, a bathroom with a bathtub/shower, and accepts good nature dogs. We can accommodate up to 40 people or friends per night. Our Sea Glass room, holds 36, and has a large flat screen TV for movie night or a special game or event. Our garden has 10 umbrella tables and over 300 blooms, has a lighted patio and candles in the evening. With lights shining through the many stained glass windows in the Inn. It is a perfect place to gather and chat, or be secluded together any time. Our cafe kitchen with its large island is a favorite place for guests to feel welcome to come and perch and chat with the Innkeeper over a cup of coffee or treat, or watch us prepare goodies. You can even get a recipe or help! We try to provide assistance without hovering, being sensitive to your needs to relax, and get information when you need it by always being available. We carry our phone with us always even at night when we retire. Throughout our stay, we only ask that if you have any questions or needs, to let us know, because we cannot help you if you wait until checkout. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Island Guest House Bed And Breakfast Inn Long Beach Island, NJ - Beach Haven

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