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“So cold... an ice palace seems warmer” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Belvedere Hotel

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Belvedere Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Cherry Grove
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
668 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
“So cold... an ice palace seems warmer”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2014

Caught up in rain on a stormy May night walking back to the property... the room never felt colder. Sadly, the staff couldn't do anything to help. There wasn't a remote control to start up the cooling/heating overhead unit and we had to resort to using hot showers just to warm up.

On second night, we asked if they can turn up the heat. The staff said no, but I was able to find a stash of them hidden in a tool shed/closet. The morning after, we told the newer staff and they said it was a fire hazard and should not even be used. Between the lies and incompetent staff, it's apparent the left hand does not know what the right is doing!

As for the facilities, it does seem very overpriced for the amenities they offered. Was charged for a triple occupancy even though only 2 slept in the room. Had to call ahead to rectify the problem before arriving. Here's a summary:

PRO: great location, BYOB poolside, awesome deck to sunbathe by waterside, easy landmark to find in the dark, free WiFi

CON: not wheelchair friendly, hot tub not working, ducks and frogs in swimming pool, no temperature control, skimpy toilettries, no thermostat to heat up the rooms, poor WiFi signal, walls are barely thick enough (you can hear noise but not the actual conversation from the adacent room)

Room Tip: Upper floors are quieter. Waterfront rooms are not worth the extra bucks.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KKua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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93 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    37
    22
    10
    10
    14
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Families
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16
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Great Neck, New York
Level Contributor
195 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 October 2013

The construction looks very nice outside, inside it is very different, it needs a lot of renovation. It is a very strange place, half of the hotel is blocked off to guests. The rooms smell musty and are not overly clean, linen and towels are from twenty years ago, plastic wine glasses; Cheap bath products, coffee served at the reception is not the best, no air conditioning, just a fan.
The interior gardens are nice, the staff is very friendly, we booked a deluxe room because it had a private bathroom but it sure was not deluxe; no bottled water in the room, The room offer little for the price they charge. It is highly doubtful that we will return.

Room Tip: no tip, sorry
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RaiCharles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Cherry Grove hotels

New Jersey
Level Contributor
63 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2013

I know there are extremely limited options on Fire Island. The season is so short, the hotels are basic and pretty bland. The Belvedere is all the kitsch that it promises. A bit like staying in Grey Gardens. Carpets from back in the day, original everything. The host was pleasant and the staff is cute and sweet. Pretty laid back and you can relax here. You can also find some action, if you are looking.

My fault is in some of the details. It's not shabby chic, just really cheap on the amenities. Continental breakfast is halved Entemanns glazed donuts.
Coffee is the weakest I have ever had. It's in the reception area so elbowing your way to coffee is pretty unpleasant. (there are better public spaces than this for breakfast).
"Best room in the house" not as advertised. It was cramped, dark and musty. Had bit luck with cool temps at night. If in HHH type weather, it pains me to think of the sweat involved. NO AC.
They should stop referring to the 3 foot rafters as "cathedral cieling". Cmon guys. $500. Get real.

This place needs to give a generous cocktail hour on the weekends so the details begin to get a little fuzzy. It would help.

Room Tip: God help you, one with a breeze.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TruthTripNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NYC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2013

I hadn't stayed @ this place in many years. It was recently renovated and very fresh. We were given a really swell room with a nice outdoor and private area. The room had character. Each room is named and different. We stayed in "Baroque". It was clean and interesting. We had all the amenities you would want except for a phone. But, who needs a phone in this day and age? There is a great pool area to hang out in. There are so many great places to explore there. The staff and owners could not have been more kind to us. We had a great time and will be back next summer.

Room Tip: Baroque room was perfect for a couple.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank travelourNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2013

Tacky. Kitschy .wonderful.
Truly everyone should stay here once it's a
Unique experience that you will never find the world over. Trust me I've been around! And the owners are just amazing. The staff is very accommodating. The bohemian atmosphere is unparalleled and the other guests soooooo friendly. I alone and never felt lonely the whole stay.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Reviewboys2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2013

I've been going to the Belvedere on an off for a couple of decades, and want to give the old place a few words of defense and explanation.

To the lesbian couple from April 28, 2013: I am sorry you were treated rudely on the phone - there really is no excuse for that, ever. (That may sound like it's written by an employee or manager, but no - I'm just a long-time customer.) That being said, I reject the idea that you were 'discriminated' against any more than men are discriminated against in Michigan's Women's Festival where my lesbian sister met her partner, and where the presence of men would completely change/ruin the atmosphere. I have no trouble understanding that, and I'm sure the ladies from Aug. 28 can understand how the presence of women at this clothing-optional, all-men gay resort would completely change the dynamic THERE. In any event, to give the Belvedere lowest marks in every category, when in fact your entire experience of them was one phone-call, or to title your post "Rude obnoxious staff" (how many of the staff did you meet again?) is extremely disingenuous.

Though the current owners are working to try to bring the Belvedere closer in line with what one normally expects from a summer resort, the Belvedere is NOT that, and it's important to understand that right up front. The building that houses the Belvedere is one man's architectural fantasy, furnished and decorated lavishly but through THEATRICAL means, as though it were a stage-set. It's a big, complicated old wood building by the sea, filled with inexpensive antiques, brimming with decorative trompe l'oeil painting on almost every wall and ceiling, and created from a very rich imagination. It is absolutely wonderful IN ITS WAY, but it is not a 5-star marble & ormolu resort with a huge cleaning staff. It has a small, all-gay, homey staff with a somewhat relaxed attitude, and guests need to have the same. I have always had a great time there, but you need to know that, if you are sharing a bath, it might not be perfectly spotless (the staff will get to it eventually, and in the meantime, you can use one of the other shared baths), sometimes there are mosquitoes around - the house is basically built over a swamp - there is no kind of food service in the house, your room will probably not be touched during your entire stay... there are always aspects of the Belvedere that are like camping out. This is not a bad thing - just make sure you realize that ahead of time.

The Belvedere is also not filled with hot young circuit-party types - they are all over in the Pines, though examples of the species do find their way into the Belvedere. But the Belvedere clientele matches that of the (male portion of) Cherry Grove - more 'normal people' of every shape and size - including, yes, 'hot', but only in 'normal' percentiles.

As you might expect in a gay men's clothing-optional guest-house, it's pretty easy to get involved in some sexy shenanigans while you're there, and that's one of its main reasons for existing. Indeed, you can stumble on such shenanigans anywhere on the property, at any time of day or night, but you can also go several days and see nothing. Needless to say, nobody is required to go around nude, or pressured to be involved in any 'fun' they stumble on. It really is all VERY relaxed there. So you need to have that same attitude.

The Belvedere is not expensive - it is exactly what the market will bear. The fact that it can charge "so much" for weekends and holidays, and still be completely full, is all the proof it needs.

The Belvedere doesn't need air-conditioning - Cherry Grove really isn't an 'air conditioning' kind of place. Ocean breezes, the smell of the pines, etc…. Use your fan, open your window. The rooms are small, yes - but the public areas are quite spacious, indoors and out, and that's where you'll want to be hanging out. People don't go to the Belvedere to hang out in their rooms.

<<This place is a total dump. Do not believe the pictures on their site. This place is full of disgusting old men.>> ...Obviously written by one of our circuit-party brothers. No, the place is not a dump - it's what I've described above. DO believe the pictures on their site (well, except for the ones draped in a half-dozen super-hot porn-stars - THOSE are just advertising, silly!), but know what you're looking at - it's theatrical set-design you're seeing, and it is VERY well and creatively done. And much (not all) of the crowd IS older, and not as body-conscious as the guys over in the Pines - but I keep discovering more and more how many ‘older’ guys who are very accomplished in their fields - musicians, actors, artists - love the Belvedere, and go every year. You can have some great conversations while sitting in the hottub at cocktail hour. OR get your thingie diddled. Or both....

I love the Belvedere - have many, many very happy memories there, and most of my memories include that wonderful, sun-filled, relaxed atmosphere to the place. I have a read a number of the bad reviews here, and every time, I'm realizing there was a misunderstanding of what the Belvedere IS and what it's offering on the part of the customer. I hope this review can clear some of that up.

Room Tip: It probably is best to get a room that opens to the outside in one way or another - a few rooms only...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
20 Thank PalladianAdvocate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2012

Buddy and I stayed at the Belvedere Guest House for the first time during Memorial Day weekend. Our stay was enjoyable. We stay in a luxury room because we wanted our own bathroom (instead of sharing with other guests). The room was small but nice. There's no air conditioning but it wasn't really necessary in late May as the room was waterfront. The carpet could use replacing but otherwise the room was nice. The property is great but needs updating/renovating. Staff were courteous and attentive. The guest house is close enough to shops/bars without being too close.

Room Tip: Luxury rooms are waterfront and have their own bath (as opposed to shared bathroom). A bit pricey, t...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jonnycol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Belvedere Hotel

Property: Belvedere Hotel
Address: Bayview Walk, Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY 11782
Region: United States > New York > Long Island > Fire Island > Cherry Grove
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Cherry Grove
Number of rooms: 36
Also Known As:
Belvedere Hotel Cherry Grove
Belvedere Hotel Fire Island/Cherry Grove, New York

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