While many of us are incredibly eager to leave our homes and try to capture the joy of summertime, we are also worried about traveling during the Coronavirus. How clean will the hotel be? Will everyone be wearing a mask? And will my family even be able to have fun as the rules seem to be constantly changing?
I just returned from a trip to The Reeds, located in Stone Harbor, New Jersey and enjoyed a glorious beach vacation. The property has instituted a long list of safety features that made me feel safe. The terrific staff wear masks at all times and guests are required to wear masks while indoors. Guests are checked in using an iPad with a disposable cover and hand sanitizer is available before you enter the elevator. The rooms are spotless and you can decide if you want maid service or if you prefer not to have anyone enter your room.
One of my favorite innovations—paper menus are gone, but you can access a menu on your phone with a QR code and also sign for meals using your phone. Reservations for the pool and gym are required, but we never had a problem getting a slot.
Now for the fun part. The property is located right on the bay and just a two minute walk from one of my favorite beaches. A fully sanitized golf card is available to take you to the beach where The Reeds’ team will set you and your family up with umbrellas, beach chairs, chilled water and snacks. Stone Harbor has one of the widest beaches and is the perfect place to build a sand castle, go surfing, play a little touch football or do nothing at all.
Anyone who wants some additional activity can sign up for an 8 am yoga class (or participate in their room via live stream), spend an hour or two kayaking or try to balance on a paddleboard. (All equipment is sterilized between uses).
For a relatively small property, The Reeds has many food options, including the Water Star Grill, where tables were spread out and the sunsets are spectacular. Breakfast flatbreads are delicious and dinner features a raw bar, wagyu beef sliders, seared scallops, a hefty NY strip steak and a lobster mac n’ cheese. The s’mores cookie cup is a dessert favorite and a kid-friendly menu is also available. For Mexican food right on the water, stop by Buckets and if you are craving pizza and a beer, Stone Harbor Pizza Pub is a terrific option. The property is also opening a pop-up barbeque, where you can treat yourself to ribs, chicken, pork, cornbread, baked beans and a pineapple margarita. If you prefer, all meals can be ordered to go.
Recently opened, the Spa is the perfect place to spend an afternoon after a very stressful spring. Currently, guests can indulge in a heavenly massage, a session on a floatation device or in the salt room, and a much needed haircut. (Everything is sanitized between guests and the number of guests is limited). As further restrictions are lifted, spa-lovers will be able to experience a unique hammam treatment.
You won’t be spending much time in your room, but when you do, you will enjoy spacious, bright spaces with comfy beds, coffee makers, and very large TVs. Some of the rooms feature sunset views and fireplaces. If you need anything, just ask the staff; they are eager to please.