Press and Reviews
Reviews and Press Coverage of the Blue Bay Inn
New York Times"Escapes"
A Little Luxe on the Jersey Shore
by Louise Tutelian
...Sensing the time was right for more visitors to discover Atlantic Highlands, their hometown, the Krikorians bought Honest Paul’s Tavern, a rundown bar in foreclosure, and three adjacent lots for less than $1 million in 2000. Mr. Krikorian, a residential builder, and his wife were both in their 60s and thought the purchase was a perfect second act.
“My husband said: ‘You know what would be fun? We’ll build a bed-and-breakfast and hire someone to run it,’ ” Mrs. Krikorian said. It didn’t quite turn out that way. They gutted the bar and spent $4 million designing and decorating from the ground up in a European style. The Blue Bay opened in September 2004. The inn, on a pleasant though modest block, is an unexpected and cosmopolitan addition to a street that also holds a marine supply store, a print shop and a brick elementary school. Its cream facade is subtly silvered with its name in brushed steel, and guests enter through a charming courtyard. Each of the 27 guest rooms is individually designed, in color schemes from beige to pumpkin to violet. Beds are piled high with pillows, and plush upholstered club chairs and ottomans adds a splash of color. Bathrooms feature inlaid European tiles. The hallways serve as an art gallery, with all the works for sale.
John Majors, a general accountant from St. Petersburg, Fla., said he had been surprised to find the Blue Bay in such an unassuming town — even though Atlantic Highlands is close enough to Manhattan to have a view of the skyline. The Blue Bay is “convenient, well-appointed and comfortable,” he said. He heard about it from a Wall Street colleague and quickly booked a suite for a three-week stay this spring. He’ll be taking the ferry to Lower Manhattan to attend to a project he’s working on.
All of the boutique hotel owners have also benefited from the growing popularity of Jersey Shore weddings and anniversary parties, which bring crowds of guests in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.
Marty Grims of the Daddy O sees another potential market — in the classic shore tradition. At his hotel, he said, guests can find “a luxury hotel with its own restaurant, a half a block from the beach.” That should be perfect, he thinks, for summer vacationers who are well off but still find themselves priced out of buying million-dollar houses at the shore — or who just don’t want the hassle of owning a second home...
Head to the Shore
by Lisa Cohen Lee and Courtney Hargrave
The New Jersey Office of Travel and Tourism is offering one lucky reader and her guest a four-day, three-night trip to Atlantic Highlands, a town rich with Victorian architecture, gourmet restaurants and one of the largest public marinas on the East Coast. The trip includes round-trip airfare for two and a deluxe room at the Blue Bay Inn (an elegant, European-style boutique hotel), complimentary daily continental breakfast, one dinner for two at the hotel's Copper Canyon Restaurant, midsize car rental and $500 spending money, valued at $3,500.
New Jersey Life"Our Shopping Issue"
a vision INN blue
by Kathleen N. Webber
Most people nearing retirement age dream of hitting the links in warmer climes, rather than sinking their nest egg into a second act. Dido Krikorian and her husband, Sark, chose the road less traveled, building the Blue Bay Inn, the Shore's first boutique hotel. Blue Bay looks like it belongs on a gulf island off Florida, but it graces Atlantic Highlands, once a favorite resort destination of New Yorkers.
The Monmouth County borough, home to a huge marina with the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop, now has the inn as its centerpiece on First Avenue. "I wanted to make a contribution to this town, to encourage people to come and see the rich history and culture we have here," Dido says. She mirrored their inn after a tiny jewel of a hotel she and Sark discovered in Paris years ago.
Since the fall of 2004 the inn has been drawing Europeans, Australians, corporate travelers, and couples who like the fawning service and the 27 sophisticated rooms, suites, and apartments without the Manhattan price tag.
Son Michael Krikorian moved his Copper Canyon restaurant within the inn. Zagat says the food is excellent, and the restaurant is a draw for locals and packed on weekends. If the innovative Southwestern menu (with treats such as caramelized sea scallops over spicy risotto) won't draw you in, perhaps the margarita menu (with 130 top-shelf tequillas) will. There now are 12 restaurants on First Avenue, offering just about every cuisine imaginable; some are calling the area new Hoboken.
The inn's cosmopolitan rooms are modern yet comfortable, each one done in a different color scheme and with different furniture. What is not to love about a king-sized bed draped in a silk down-filled duvet and a balcony with a view of the water?
In the summer, the ground-floor windows in the new lounge will be thrown open, and cafe tables just outside the main lobby will create a piazza effect.
Pacakges are offered year-round and include discounts for the luxury Seastreek ferry to Manhattan (a 35-minute ride) and the Count Basie Theater in nearby Red Bank, as well as nightly milk and cookies for corporate travelers, wine and chocolates for couples, and in-room massages and facials for those in need of extra pampering.
Cyndi Lauper recently played the Basie and booked most of the inn for her band-mates. Lauper may just want to have fun but she knows a worthwhile indulgence when she experiences one.
New Jersey Life"The Shore Issue"
Sandy Hook To Belmar-
Don't Knock The North Shore Until You Try It
If you're looking to stay at a classy hotel, Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch (where we hear you can get a seaside massage) and the Blue Bay Inn in Atlantic Highlands are your best bets. In Asbury Park, where continual construction aims to revitalize the area, the legendary Berkely Cateret Oceanfront is under new ownership and scambling to open for summer. Rentals in the Belmar area tend to run cheaper than surrounding towns, but with that come rowdy college crowds. In Sea Bright, you'd be wise to rent a sceond-story room since the seawall isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If you're looking to plant permanent roots, consider Deal, where multimillion-dollar homes are the norm.
Asbury Park Press"Tired from shopping? Take a break at these"
Blue Bay Inn / Copper Canyon Restaurant
The Copper Canyon Restaurant was opened in 1999 by Chef/Owner Mike Krikorian and moved across the street to the Blue Bay Inn when it opened in Fall of 2004.
Inn Proprietor Dido Krikorian worked with local designer, Thomas Hauser, to create a unique hotel environment. She wanted to bring simple elegance and luxury to the Atlantic Highlands and the Blue Bay Inn certainly emulates all her desires.
Each of the 27 lavish guest rooms has its own distinct style and character, with its own color scheme and custom furnishings. The luxurious accommodations include four extended-stay fully furnished apartments.
The Blue Bay Inn is the onlyleading boutique hotel on the Jersey Shore. It seamlessly integrates European style, elegance and grandeur with the luxury and amenities of one of Monmouth County's leading hotels.
Its changing Gallery of Art by local artists can be seen in the lobby and other public areas on all floors. The Lounge at the Blue Bay Inn offers live entertainment and lighter fare with tapas-portion foods.
It's a popular late evening stop for cordials or dessert.
Within two blocks of the hotel, there are 12 restaurants, a movie theater, a playhouse, upscale boutiques, spas, hair salons, artisan shops, and a coffee house.
Just steps from the New York high-speed ferry (a short 35-minute ride to and from New York City) and one of the largest public marinas on the Easy Coast, the Inn is right off Route 36 and therefore convenient to Route 35 and the Garden State Parkway.
Room rates start at $159, and there are wonderful getaway packages that start at $199.
The "Over-shopped Salvation" package includes in-room massages, wine and cheese service, a continental breakfast and two souvenir Blue Bay Inn mugs.
A wonderful gift idea might be the "Girls' Hideaway" or "Theater Package." The first offers fresh fruit and sparkling water upon arrival, a choice of spa services at the Serenity Spa, and continental breakfast. The "Theater Package" is availble to ticket holders of any show playing at the Count Basie Theatre and Two River Theatre in Red bank, and the First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Highlands, and includes a complimentary upgrade to a parlor room, complimentary transportation and a continental breakfast.
Since its first year of operation the Copper Canyon Restaurant has been continually rated 'Excellent' by Zagat.
Offering a Southwestern Cuisine, this comfortable restaurant has the largest tequilla selection in the Northeast and a premium Margarita Bar. Home-made treats like guacamole and seasoned red and yellow corn chips help create an atmosphere of delightful relaxation.
Gift certificates are available for both the Copper Canyon Restaurant and the Blue Bay Inn, both located at 51 First Ave., Atlantic Highlands.
The restauarant is open for lunch and dinner, but it is a very popular destination and so reservations are strongly recommended.
Call (732) 291-8444 for information about the Copper Canyon. Call (732) 708-9600 for information about reservations for the Blue Bay Inn.