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The Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast is a family-owned inn located on Beach Haven, a small town on Long Beach Island forty yards from the beach. There are eighteen rooms available to rent in the two-story Victorian-style inn and a private cottage. The home can be rented out for large family gatherings and corporate events. A central courtyard and flower garden fill the large yard of the property. Breakfast is served daily at the bed and breakfast with a changing menu. Specific dietary restrictions can be accommodated to upon request. The property is open during the early spring and closes in the early fall.
Beach Haven, a small town on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, is the location of the Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast. The Victorian-style home was built in 1890 as a boarding house. The home was recently updated with new flooring, windows, and paint. The two-story home and cottage are painted a dark juniper green with a red shingled roof and is surrounded by a short white picket fence. A large courtyard garden is located in the center of the property with a large grassy lawn and a covered brick lay patio. Because of the home's proximity to the beach and the weather in the area, a colorful flower garden blooms many months of the year in the bed and breakfast courtyard. A large porch and balconies surround the main house and cottage.
There are eighteen rooms in the main house and a small separate cottage along with the innkeeper's home on the property. Inside the front doors of the bed and breakfast is a sunroom leading into the front reception area. The Sea Glass Room is the breakfast area as well as private meetings, celebrations, and other gatherings. All of the Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast halls and bedrooms are painted with dark colors and adorned with dark wood fixtures and Victorian-inspired antiques. A ping pong table and beach toys are available for guests to borrow from the main office, as well as bicycles to ride to the beach and around the island on.
The Cottage sits adjacent to the main in and can sleep up to four people. A screened porch, outdoor furniture, a kitchenette, private bathroom, and gas fireplace fill the cottage. The rooms inside the main inn vary in size and amenities. Many of them have double beds with televisions and private bathrooms; some are smaller with single beds and just a sink in the room with access to a joined bathroom down the hall. The Balcony Room on the second floor has access to a large private balcony with patio furniture and shade. Every room at the Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast is pet friendly. Larger suites can have two dogs, while smaller suites are only allowed one.
Breakfast is served every morning there are guests at the bed and breakfast. Joanne, an owner, and host at the inn, has a passion for cooking and spends most of her time in the kitchen preparing meals and baked goods for her guests. The breakfast menu changes every morning with eggs, sausage, hash browns, pancakes, waffles, burritos, and more. Those with dietary restrictions can request special accommodations such as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. Afternoon tea, fresh coffee, snacks, and occasional baked goods are put out every afternoon for guests to taste at their own leisure.
Long Island Beach is eighteen miles long and eight city blocks wide. As a barrier island, the bay is on one side of the island and the open ocean on the other. The Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast is open from January to September, as the summer months are slow due to cold weather. May to September are the busiest months at the inn. Within walking and biking distance of the bed and breakfast are many local attractions, including the beach, an amusement park, a water park, mini-golf courses, and pickleball courts. Buckaroos, The Black Whale, and The Chicken or the Egg are some of the popular locally-owned restaurants on the island.
The Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast motto is "Arrive as strangers, leave as friends." Mark, Joanne, and Victoria—the innkeepers—implement this motto with every guest who stays on their property. An effort is made to socialize with guests, get to know them and where they are from, and understand how they plan to spend their stay at the bed and breakfast. Some guests are very social and visit with the staff at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast for hours, learning about the history of the island and taking restaurant recommendations. Other guests are less conversational and prefer to make their own way throughout the island and have more privacy. The staff respects these boundaries and keeps them in mind for each guest's stay.
The bed and breakfast can be reserved by a couple on a beach vacation, for a family reunion, or even a corporate retreat. The entire home and adjoining cottage can be rented for larger group gatherings, including weddings. Around forty-four, people can sleep comfortably at the inn. The sea glass room has a large television that guests can use for presentation during corporate retreats, and the large covered courtyard can be used for weddings or group activities. Beach bags, tea time refreshments, and complimentary bicycles are all additional amenities offered to each guest at the bed and breakfast daily to improve their stay.
Guests at the bed and breakfast leave a variety of good reviews regarding the property's optimal location, full breakfast, and helpful staff. A guest at the inn left this review on their website, "With any bed and breakfast it starts with the people. Joanne, Mark, Brenda and Victoria treat you like family. The property becomes your home and they are all great hosts. Every part of the property is clean, fresh and ready to enjoy. The rooms are cozy and peaceful at night. Their fresh made breakfast was great. The location is awesome, 2 blocks from the beach and an easy walk to shopping and good restaurants, cafes and local activities."
The Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast is the only summer rental on Long Beach Island that is pet-friendly. Visitors are welcome to bring their fur family with them on their beach vacation when staying at the Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast Inn. No children under the age of eight are allowed at the bed and breakfast as well. This is an essential policy to Mark and Joanne as this ensures a somewhat mature variety of guests at their inn. However, most who visit the bed and breakfast are older couples who bring their pets and will stay at the bed and breakfast for many days. Many of the guests at Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast return yearly.
The Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast is a family-owned and operated business and has been since the owners purchased it in 1993. Mark, his wife Joanne, and daughter Victoria have run the bed and breakfast as a family for over twenty years. Mark and Joanne were looking to invest in some real estate and wanted to take part in the hospitality industry. They had visited the area multiple times and decided to invest when they saw a property was for sale in Beach Haven. Mark was an electrical engineer for the first seventeen years of owning the property, while Joanne was the primary innkeeper. In 2010 Mark transitioned to being a full-time innkeeper alongside his wife and daughter.
The building that Island Guest House Bed and Breakfast lies in was initially built in 1890 and functioned as a boarding house for over forty years. It was then passed between a handful of different owners as a hotel, boarding house, and even a private residence. Over the years, however, the home took much wear and tear. The home started to get very run down due to the elements and poor upkeep. When it came into the possession of Mark and Joanne, they took a year before opening to renovate and rebuild a lot of the home. They added new flooring, re-painted the walls, purchased new windows, built the patio and porches, and planted the courtyard gardens.