One of the best hotels in the US is a 147-year-old inn on a secluded island 3 hours from NYC. I visited and found a glaring difference from most other luxury hotels — and that’s exactly its appeal.

The 30-room boutique hotel is full of charming details.

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The 30-room boutique hotel is full of charming details.
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Katie Warren/Business Insider

I recently spent a day on Shelter Island, an 8,000-acre island that’s a five-minute ferry ride from the Hamptons.

Shelter Island is home to one of the 15 best hotels in the US, according to Fodor’s Travel: The Chequit, a 30-room seaside inn built in 1872. During the wintertime, the hotel is only open on weekends, but from Memorial Day weekend to Columbus Day, it’s open every day.

Rooms range from $495 to $865 per night on weekends during the high season (with a two-night minimum), but you can find rates as low as $245 during the week.

I got a tour of the boutique hotel, which Fodor’s calls “exclusive yet understated, rustic yet luxurious.” My tour guide told me most of their guests come from New York City, either by car, by private helicopter, or on the Hampton Jitney to Greenport and then on the ferry.

Here’s what the 147-year-old hotel looks like.


The Chequit is a luxury boutique hotel on Shelter Island. The 8,000-acre island is a three-hour drive from New York City and a five-minute ferry ride from the Hamptons. Fodor’s Travel recently named it one of the 15 best hotels in the US.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit, Fodor’s Travel


The Chequit, which was built in 1872, is located on the northwestern part of the island, just a minute’s drive from the North Ferry terminal that connects to Greenport.

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Google Maps

Source: Google Maps


Despite its proximity to the affluent vacation towns, Shelter Island is known as the “un-Hamptons” for its tranquility, laid-back vibe, and lack of Hamptons crowds.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider


On a recent afternoon in June, I made the three-hour drive and ferry ride from New York City to Shelter Island for a tour of the hotel. The Chequit sits right next to the Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy and near the post office, a café, an Italian restaurant, and a hardware store.

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Google Maps

Source: Google Maps


A terrace with string lights and umbrellas, surrounded by hedges, occupies the space in front of the hotel. I found the hotel’s exterior to be charming, but I was a bit surprised to find the hotel right in the middle of the (admittedly tiny) town, as the imagery on The Chequit’s website and social media accounts had given me the impression it was in a more secluded location.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


An elevated plant-filled porch wraps around the front face of the hotel, overlooking the terrace.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


The rocking chairs on the front porch give off a whimsical, retro vibe as guests approach the entrance to reception.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


I headed inside to get a look at the lobby and reception area.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


The hotel lobby, decorated with pops of gold, offers plenty of seating nooks. In the evenings, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., drinks are served in the lobby.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


Throughout the day, guests can serve themselves a glass of fruit-infused water.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


I went to get a look at some of The Chequit’s 30 guest rooms. Each room comes with a king-size bed and includes breakfast.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


The Standard King rooms, which start at $495 a night in the high season, come with an en suite bathroom, a mini fridge, a small two-person table, and an individual air conditioning unit.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


One of the most expensive suites at The Chequit, which costs $865 per night in the high season, comes with its own private terrace with a dining table and a swing.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


Another suite, The Loft, comes with separate sitting and dining areas and a claw foot bathtub.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


Attached to The Chequit is the White Hill Café, which serves baked goods and coffee from Maiden Coffee Roasters, a New Jersey company.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


The café is also a gift shop, selling items like soap and hand cream, beach and picnic accessories, and greeting cards.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


Across the street from The Chequit’s main building is The Cottage, which holds 11 of the hotel’s 30 guest rooms. A bookstore takes up the ground level.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


A shared porch shaded by trees faces the main Chequit building.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


The 11 rooms in The Cottage are decorated almost identically to the rooms in the main hotel, with hardwood floors, pale pink walls, and antique-looking lamps.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


Toward the back of The Cottage is the Garden Suite, the only room in the hotel that has two bathrooms.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


The suite opens up to a private patio in the backyard. Apart from this suite, which comes with two bathrooms and the garden space, I didn’t notice any major differences between the Cottage rooms and the rooms in the main hotel.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

Source: The Chequit


The Chequit’s dining options include the Red Maple restaurant, which serves both brunch and dinner out on the terrace, with dishes like New England clam chowder, caprese flatbread, steak frites, and clams, mussels, and oysters.

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The Chequit/Facebook

Source: The Chequit


Breakfast, included in the nightly rate and served in the lobby or on the front porch, includes items such as chocolate croissants, Greek yogurt and chia pudding, granola, and fresh fruit. Guests can request breakfast in bed at no extra charge.

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The Chequit/Facebook

Source: The Chequit


While the Chequit lacks some amenities commonly found in modern luxury hotels, such as a fitness center, spa, and Michelin-starred restaurant, for those looking for a relaxing getaway on a secluded island, the Shelter Island hotel seems worth the splurge.

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Katie Warren/Business Insider

The Chequit’s rustic simplicity sets it apart from most other hotels I’ve visited in the NYC area. That includes hotels at a wide range of prices, from Ian Schrager’s recently opened hotel in the heart of Times Square, replete with a $10,000-a-night penthouse suite, to the Arlo Hotel in Soho, where rooms start at $335 a night.

It’s not the place to stay if you’re looking for a party spot or amenities like a fitness center and spa, but The Chequit is ideal for those who want a laid-back stay at a tranquil, under-the-radar destination.

Source: The Chequit