“At certain times of the day, it looks like diamonds are just sparkling on top of the water,” says Jonathan Tibett, one of the owners of North Fork’s newest boutique hotel, The Shoals. Tibett is sitting overlooking the Peconic Bay at the property in late spring, shortly before the official start of the summer season out east.
The hotel is the project of longtime residents of the area, who approached the property with understated elegance in mind and the intention of creating opportunities for guests to reconnect with nature. “When you come out here you want to take your shoes off, put your feet in the grass and connect to the ground,” says Tibett.
The Shoals looks out toward Shelter Island, with the Hamptons due south. Guest rooms were designed with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to tap into the natural beauty of the hotel’s surroundings, “so that you bring the indoors out, and the outdoors in,” says Tibett. “The whole idea of the property is to experience the outdoor space because the view is just magnificent.”
Rooms feature custom furniture designed by hotel architect Thomas Juul-Hansen, who outfitted the hotel in light tones and natural materials.
The Shoals boasts 20 guest suites, all of which feature kitchens and private outdoor spaces. In addition, a marina with 20 slips allows transient boaters to dock and stay overnight. The hotel also owns a 28-foot Chris-Craft chart boat that guests can enlist. “We’re all boaters, and we love the Peconic Bay,” says Tibett. “We want people on the water.”
Tapping into the location’s history as one of the most prominent working waterfronts in the world for scallop and oyster production, the property partnered with the female-led Little Ram Oyster Company, which operates a full oyster production onsite.
The idea was “to put the working waterfront back to work,” says Tibett, adding that the oyster operation serves as a steward for the bay. On Wednesday evenings the hotel serves fresh-shucked oysters alongside local wine and beer from its “Shuck Truck,” an onsite food truck that will offer to-go cuisine throughout the week. A former fish market and bait shop on the property was renovated and repurposed as a gift shop and an indoor event space can accommodate up to 75 people.
A 17-foot sculpture by Oriano Galloni, which features a giant foot as its base, drives home the feet-in-the-grass mentality and mirrors the sailboat masts ever-visible from the property.
The Shoals might just bait more of the Hamptons-loyal crowd up north this summer, although Tibett notes that The Shoals caters to anyone who can get themselves out east.
“It’s accessible by seaplane; you can come by bus, or the Long Island Railroad — it’s all incredibly accessible. So it’s limitless on who the guest is,” says Tibett. “Everyone from the local to the transient boater and to that New Yorker looking for an incredibly unique experience.”