STRATFORD, CT — Stratford officials recently welcomed The Surfside Hotel to town, after the business opened over the summer.
Following two years in development, the beach-side hotel began hosting guests in mid-August, and has continued to add amenities and improvements into the holiday season, with a full house booked for New Year’s Eve, according to owner Doug Grabe.
“Going down to the shore during the winter is magical,” said Grabe, who owns the hotel with his wife, Daneen Grabe. “We see it as a year-round property.”
The hotel-and-restaurant building at 10 Washington Parkway on the Long Island Sound was formerly home to Marnick’s, and has been doing business as an eatery since September 2019, when the Grabes opened a Little Pub restaurant in the dining space.
The Surfside was on schedule to start receiving guests March 15, until work was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Doug, who operates all five of the region’s Little Pub locations. Despite the virus, the hotel began welcoming guests over summer, including nearby residents who wanted to experience a vacation but still take pandemic travel restrictions into account.
“It got off to a great start,” Doug said. “It was the summertime, it was a beach hotel, there was a lot going on down there.”
The Surfside has made an effort to be conscientious of the virus, he said, installing bipolar air ionization filters in common areas to remove airborne pathogens, offering hand sanitizer and touch-free check in, and keeping rooms vacant for 24 hours between guests whenever possible.
The hotel’s 28 rooms feature renovated bathrooms, top-of-the-line mattresses, and minibars. Porthole light fixtures, vintage surfboards and decorative ship lap create a beach house atmosphere. Bicycles are available for guests to ride for free.
“The town of Stratford is so excited with Little Pub’s investment in the Marnick property,” said Mary Dean, Stratford’s director of economic and community development. “They’ve really done just a fantastic job of making it customer friendly and just a beautiful venue.”
Stratford officials, including Dean and Mayor Laura Hoydick, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Dec. 8 at the business.
Rooms start at about $200 per night in the summer, during the hotel’s high season.