AS PART OF ITS EXPANDED REAL ESTATE HOLDINGS IN LONG BRANCH, KUSHNER IS SET TO OPEN THIS BOUTIQUE STYLE RESORT THIS SUMMER
BY JESSICA JONES GORMAN
With its restaurants, boutique style shops, and million dollar residences, Pier Village has garnered considerable attention at the Jersey Shore, earning its place as one of the Garden State’s most luxurious oceanfront destinations. Situated along an 8.2 mile strip of Long Branch beach, this Victorian inspired community has enjoyed a decade long revival that has brought pricey real estate and posh eateries to a once neglected beachside city. And in May, when the summer season begins and tourists once again flock, a top flight accommodation will launch at the heart of the district’s latest development phase.
“The development of Pier Village represents the rebuilding of Long Branch’s town center,” noted Nicole Kushner Meyer, principal with Kushner, which is in the midst of developing Wave Resort, a 67 room luxury hotel nearing completion on Ocean Avenue.
“I’ve spent summers in Long Branch since I was four,” Kushner Meyer continued, noting that because her family has lived in the area for more than 30 years, they understand its past and see its potential. “Pier Village has been part of my upbringing and internal DNA. As I have grown up and times have changed, I am now looking to build my children’s memories. “This project is not just an investment for our company, but an extension of who we are.”
Calling Pier Village “a jewel on the New Jersey coast,” Kushner Meyer said her development company chose this location because it’s a great central point to bring families together and make memories on the Jersey Shore making it an exciting draw for both residents and visitors.
“In close collaboration with Long Branch township, we have enlivened this community with new local and national retailers, year round events, and streetscape improvements,” she said. “Pier Village will be further elevated by luxury condominiums, sweeping new retail, and cultural facilities currently under construction.”
Wave Resort will feature a variety of amenities and luxury conveniences, including a large sun drenched pool (with swim up bar) overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and surrounded by chaise lounges and fire pits. A full service spa and blow dry bar run by Hot Mess Studio will be available by appointment, and there will also be a state of the art fitness room and concierge services for everyday necessities like laundry, reservations, and valet parking. The hotel is also working with a variety of tenants in Pier Village to create retail synergies, and was designed to be a full and vibrant experience for guests of all ages: Camps and activities are offered at Wave’s Xbox equipped kid’s play center, for example.
Guest rooms, which were designed in conjunction with HBA (one of the world’s leading hospitality design firms, with completed projects including Four Seasons Kyoto and JW Marriott Galaxy Macau), were penned to reflect the project’s focus on being a high design and year round destination. Featuring blackened wood finishes, sleek lines, and the latest technology, the coastal urban edge also integrates rope details throughout to embrace a nautical theme, as well as durable porcelain materials to manage beachside weather conditions.
“When designing the rooms, we thought of family vacations, bachelor parties, wedding weekends, anniversary weekend escapes, and corporate retreats,” Kushner Meyer explained. “We wanted the rooms to be flexible and amenable to each scenario.”
Dutch East Design, a New York based firm specializing in interiors and branding for the hospitality industry, designed the lobby, as well as seven food and beverage outlets, using a watercolor palette, plus a mix of reds, burnt oranges, mauves, and pinks.
“We did not go the traditional route of blue and green on the water,” Kushner Meyer said. “We wanted to design a space that was an approachable destination. High design, yet casual. The lobby is interactive and inviting, with a round table welcoming families or friends to play games, and a pool table encouraging activity. This space is not meant to be a pass through area, but a destination.”
There are five ground level dining options: BuzzBait, a grab and go concept for coffee and pastries; Ebb’s Coastal Kitchen, a casual sit down seafood stop for lunch and dinner; 100 Ocean, a fine dining restaurant which will feature live music; and Branch Burger and Orilla’s Tacos, two shacks which will be located on the west side of the hotel.
Apicii, a NYC based bespoke hospitality company that creates, advises, and operates food and beverage (F&B) experiences around the world (such as the Surf Lodge in Montauk and Hotel Figueroa in Los Angeles), will run all of the food and beverage options at Wave Resort. Dutch East Design conceived the look of each dining destination.
“All of our F&B outlets are outward facing to the public,” noted Karen Zabarsky, creative director for the hotel. “This was designed to welcome the community inside. We do not want them to only service guests. We thoughtfully designed each venue to embrace the pedestrian at every stage in his or her day: walking their dog and wanting to grab a coffee, coming off the beach with sandy feet and heading to share some oysters with friends, proposing to your girlfriend, or grabbing a few tacos on the go. There is something for everyone.”
Wave Resort will also feature a space for weddings and other large scale parties. High Crest, for example, features sweeping 180 degree views of the ocean, an open air terrace overlooking the Atlantic, and a dramatic curved ceiling, and can accommodate more than 500 people. It offers some 5,000 square feet of event space the terrace adding an additional 2,125 square feet. Guests can book rooms now for this summer.
100 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch