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All about Kismet’s brand-new bayside getaway, Fire Island Boatel

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Ten newly-renovated suites, private beaches, outdoor showers, and views of the Great South Bay.

And all just a 30-minute ferry ride from Bay Shore.

The Fire Island Boatel in the small beach community of Kismet is open and ready to take reservations for this summer. 

Owner Eddie Major says the hotel is a place for visitors looking for the real Fire Island experience without renting an entire house or having to lug beach equipment, bathroom towels, wine glasses, and other essentials for the stay. 

“When people rent houses on Fire Island, they have to bring their own toilet paper, they have to bring their own paper towels, they have to bring their own everything,” Major said. But “we supply everything.” 

Major, his brother Paul and another partner, Dwayne Diesu, all have houses in Kismet and had been eyeing the property for years. COVID delayed the idea for a bit, but in July 2020 they decided to make a move.

Being in the construction business, Major said the trio knew they could transform the place into a modern summer destination.

And the property has a rich history when it comes to hospitality.

Visitors are briefed on that history upon arrival, where right outside the Boatel is a monument documenting the first-ever hotel on Fire Island, the Dominy House. 

Built in 1844 by Lighthouse keepers Felix and Phebe Dominy, the rustic-looking Dominy House served as a summer resort for wealthy New York City residents wanting to escape the heat of the city and vacation in the cooler, beach towns of Long Island, including Kismet. 

In 1902, the new owner Benjamin Sire expanded the hotel to 200 rooms.

The Dominy House burned down in 1903, but Major said some of the hotel’s original footings remain on the Fire Island Boatel grounds.

Since officially opening on April 29, Major said the waterfront spot is already booked and busy. 

The Fire Island Boatel offers both standard suites and a premium suite, all sitting on Kismet’s bayside with views of the Fire Island Inlet Bridge and the Fire Island Lighthouse. 

Each standard suite has a king or queen bed, queen-sized pull-out couch, and can sleep up to four guests. This option also includes a full bathroom, kitchenette and private deck overlooking the water. 

The premium sunset suite sits on the waterfront in the westernmost corner of the Fire Island Boatel. It includes a king bed and pull-out couch, the same amenities as the standard suites, and a 400-square-foot private porch with seating. 

The property spans over an acre and features guest access to a private bayside beach, lounge chairs, outdoor seating areas, gas barbecues, outdoor showers, yard games, laundry services and more.

Kismet’s new restaurant The Dive, as well as a pizza place and wine shop, are all right outside as well.

“It’s extremely relaxing, the views are unmatched anywhere — you see the lighthouse, the bridge, the Great South Bay, you watch the boats go back and forth,” Major said. “If you’re on the bayside, the private decks are covered so you’re in the shade, and if you want to sit in the sun, you take a few steps off your deck into the sand.” 

At the moment, The Fire Island Boatel is open May through mid-November. Weekly bookings begin in July. 
To see rates or to book a suite, visit their website and Facebook or Instagram page.

Top: The Fire Island Boatel’s ten-renovated suites. All photos come courtesy of the hotel’s website.