Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Meet Me at The Bungalow.

Last week the manfriend and myself enjoyed a midweek getaway to celebrate his 24th birthday. We headed forty minutes south of New York to Long Branch, New Jersey to have some fun in the sun.

I planned this mini vacation back in January, why so early you may ask? Well, I wanted to stay at, The Bungalow, a chic boutique hotel in the heart of Long Branch. You may have seen The Bungalow Hotel on the Bravo television show, 9 By Design. When I saw the 9 By Design team open this hotel it was immediately put on my bucket list of places to visit. It's pretty hard to get a reservation during the summer months,so to be safe rather then sorry, I booked way in advance.

The Bungalow Lobby

The coolest thing I learned about the Bungalow is that no room is identical. Each suite is designed differently, which I thought was a very unique concept for a hotel, they do it up Bed and Breakfast style.

I booked an Aloha room, this room comes with a king sized bed, fireplace, kitchenette, flat screen TV, cafe table, four fixture bathroom and a huge window wall. This is the less expensive of the rooms at the Bungalow. (I'm not a that baller suite status yet, one day, one day.)

The other rooms include; the Hang Loose/Junior Suite, Lil' Pipeline/ 1 Bedroom Suite and Pipeline/ 2 Bedroom Suite. All of which get more and more extravagant with a beachy feel as you upgrade.

When we arrived at the Bungalow, we were greeted by the friendly front desk staff. We checked into our room with ease and received a parking pass for the day. The lobby was great, awesome decor, from the beautiful wooden bar, book selves, wall art and the funky pool table. I couldn't wait to see what our Aloha suite looked like.

Cool decor in The Bungalow lobby.

We stayed in room 204 and I was greatly impressed. The room was modern, fresh with an old beach house twist. I automatically fell in love with the white floors and told my manfriend that they would be in my future house. The room was spotless, the bed huge and comfy. I loved the little design touches, such as the beautiful one of kind quilt hanging over the bed as well as the decorated cork board and chalk board. I also loved the sleek fireplace. I was sold already and we just got here.

Our Aloha Room, Room #204.

Our beautiful one of a kind quilt.

Cool chalk and cork boards in our room.

The manfriend plugging Jeans and Tees.

Super Cool.

Our little cafe section in our Aloha room.

The sweet thing about The Bungalow is that it is affiliated with the  restaurant/lounge called Avenue and also a beach club called, Le Club. When you stay at the Bungalow you get guest passes to Le Club, which only cost $25 for the day. So we grabbed our passes and headed to Le Club. We got wristbands and picked an awesome over sized, bed like lounge chair, ordered a pitcher of a drink they had called, The Blue Fairy, which was a blueberry mojito like cocktail, it was delicious and refreshing.

It was so nice relaxing in the sun, hearing the crash of the ocean waves in front of us, and enjoying the company of each other. Later in the afternoon we ordered some appetizers to graze on while we sunned. We chose the stuffed grape leaves, which were stuffed with a yummy rice, we also ordered the vegetable quinoa and I was craving something a little greasy, so we ordered some chicken fingers and french fries. The food at Le Club was decent, good enough to hold us over until dinner.

Kyle enjoying Le Club.

Our pitcher of Blue Fairy.

Yummy and refreshing!

Stuffed grape leaves.

Vegetable Quinoa.

Classy, Chicken Fingers and French Fries.

Our day was interrupted by a midday thunderstorm, so we headed back to the hotel, to take a little nap (vacation essential) and get ready for a fun night out. We decided to head to Avenue for some pre-dinner cocktails then go next door to Sirena's Italian Ristorante for dinner.

 Avenue was awesome, we got there during happy hour, grabbed a seat at the bar, which was beautiful and should of stayed there the whole night. We first enjoyed a glass of wine, I had the pinot grigio and Kyle (the manfriend) had a glass of merlot, the wine was so tasty and refreshing.

The couple next to us were chowing down on some oysters and I asked the manfriend if we could order some, this would be my first oyster experience. I've always been afraid of oysters for some reason but today I'd face my fears. We ordered a bunch of oysters and another round of drinks, this time I ordered the "Bungalow" and Kyle ordered the "Summer House", both drinks were amazing. Also I have to mention that our bartender was awesome, super friendly, a Notre Dame football and basketball fan which is always a plus.

Now on to the oysters, I loved them and I am so mad at myself for missing out on eating this yummy seafood dish all these years. Yea, they might be a little slimy but when paired with a good cocktail sauce they were out of this world, I wish we ordered more then we did. I can't wait to have oysters again!

After consuming the oysters and our second round of drinks, we ordered one more round of cocktails, please don't judge us, we were on vacation. (I've used this phrase many times.) We should of stayed at Avenue for dinner as I mentioned earlier. Instead we went right next door to Sirena's, which is an Italian restuarant which really wasn't anything to write home about.

Pinot Grigio.

The amazing Bungalow cocktail.

My first Oyster experience.


All done, delicious.

The service was so, so as well as the food, I didn't feel we got our moneys worth. The only good thing to come out of this dinner was the awesome conversation, the random lady coming up to my manfriend and I saying that we were a beautiful, happy looking couple and our dessert which a banana bread pudding with vanilla gelato, caramel and walnuts, it was very delicious. I wouldn't suggest this restuarant to anyone staying in Long Branch, I say go to Avenue, enjoy the atmosphere, great staff, yummy food and refreshing cocktails.

Banana Bread Pudding with Vanilla Gelato, Caramel and Walnuts.


After dinner we walked on the boardwalk for a while and ended our night at this cool wine bar called, The Wine Loft, which was a block away from the Bungalow. This was place was great, definitely the kind of spot the manfriend and I gravitate towards. It was dimly lit, with beautiful gold tin ceilings, an expansive wine list and great service. I ordered a glass of cabernet sauvignon and the manfriend chose a glass of mount blanc to end the night. This was indeed the perfect was to end an amazing day down at the New Jersey Shore.

Wine from The Wine Loft.

I would definitely recommend The Bungalow to anyone and everyone, it's a great place to stay and it's the a short distance away from New York City, perfect for a city escape. I am looking forward to my next stay there, my sister and cousins are planning a girls day at The Bungalow, which I know will be a blast.

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