In the heart of the Asbury Park, N.J., shorefront, this Jersey Shore hotel is tucked away on the fourth floor of a newly constructed luxury residential building called the Asbury Ocean Club. With a warm and open design, the hotel’s 54 guestrooms are relaxed and laid back. Each guest is assigned a Beach Bellperson, who not only helps them set up chairs, towels, and umbrellas, but also delivers anything guests might need while relaxing on the beach.
Guests are also welcome to enjoy the drawing room, the heart of the hotel, which draws inspiration from the living room of lead designer Anda Andrei’s own dream home. The drawing room has a “glass house” vibe with uncomplicated design elements. A large fireplace with handmade olive green tiles serves as the barrier between the living room and kitchen areas, and a solid oak communal table is available for guests to use. In the afternoons and evenings, a cocktail cart offers guests beverages that pair with items from a raw bar. Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is served all day in the drawing room and poolside, an area that can be viewed from the lobby.
The Asbury Ocean Club Hotel is a collaboration between David Bowd of the Salt Hotels brand, iStar, the company responsible for funding some of Asbury Park’s redevelopment, and Anda Andrei of Andrei Design. Andrei says, “I wanted to create a beach resort that can belong anywhere in the world. I looked for inspiration from the places that have made a mark throughout my travels. When guests set foot in the hotel, I want them to forget where they are and feel as though they have been transported to a place of peace and tranquility that should be a long flight away, not a 70-minute drive from New York City.”
Blue nautical hues can be seen in the oceanfront reflecting pool and sky, so Andrei wanted to bring in a separate color palette that keeps the connection to the ocean and surprises guests. She says, “With the deep, lush, gem-like colors in the velvets for the furniture in the drawing room, nothing is expected. It’s not just for summer—it’s elegant, sexy, and new for any time of year.”
Andrei reinterpreted traditional design elements to stay relevant throughout the year. She says, “We twisted some old ideas into new ones, for example, using hand-painted fabric with flowers that are much larger than the expected size to cover a custom sofa, which one might expect to have a solid leather upholstery. Three twists later, we have a new kind of sofa.”
While the room’s fabrics offer playful pops of color, the architectural elements, like the fireplace, were designed to be more neutral. Andrei says, “The fireplace needs to withstand the test of time. These glazed, handmade tiles were perfect for creating some sparkle in the space, but neutral enough not to cut the room in two.”
“We read paper books less and less these days, but when on vacation at the beach, most of us go back to real books,” Andrei says. “We placed books in every guestroom to take to the beach; in the drawing room, there’s a great collection of art, photography, and travel books. It’s another way to recharge and get inspired when on vacation.”