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Pridwin Hotel opens doors to a new era on Shelter Island

Islanders attending the July 14 opening of the Pridwin Hotel who feared the inn’s familiar feel might have disappeared during the years-long renovation were pleased to see that the bones of the old place had been respectfully kept and restored.

Indeed, the main parlor retained its comfortably inviting appearance, yet every inch of the complex is refreshed and renewed. Vestiges of its past, nearly a century old, appeared throughout the building, from vintage photographs to old room keys and other artifacts.

On the ground floor, light-colored walls leading to a spa area are decorated with framed vintage swimsuits. Brand new facilities have been added, including a fitness center, co-ed steam room and separate saunas in the men’s and women’s locker rooms.

The decor throughout, with botanical-themed carpets and garden-print upholstery in some areas, evokes an English country inn. Indeed, the hotel was built by a British company in 1924, changing hands over the years until it was acquired by the Petry family in 1961.

Dick and Glenn Petry, still co-owners, were on hand along with their new partners from Cape Resorts — a company that runs hotels in New York and New Jersey — for a formal ribbon cutting on July 14 to kick off an open house and day of celebration.

Visitors were welcome to take self-guided tours throughout the main building and grounds. Staff in crisp, pink polo shirts with the Pridwin logo handed out programs listing the names of staff and key participants in the efforts to bring the renovation to fruition.

While listing the 15 miles of new electrical wiring and 8 miles of data cabling installed, with 1,500 new trees and shrubs planted and 200,000 man hours of labor, the program also noted the restoration of the flagpole and two ospreys returned to their nest. 

A partial view of the completely re-landscaped Pridwin grounds. (Credit: Eleaor P. Labrozzi)

Individual guest rooms and suites were on display, with crisp white linens and robes embroidered with the hotel name. Like the spa rooms, the bedrooms are dominated by the views, especially of the Crescent Beach waterfront.

In addition to the 33 guest rooms, the complex includes 16 cottages, which drew a “Wow” from visitors, with their living rooms, private decks and gas fireplaces. Rates for rooms posted on the hotel website range from $623 for a midweek stay to $978 on a summer weekend, with a two-night minimum. The larger rooms and the cottages, which are $1,000 or more, can accommodate as many as four guests. Full information can be found at the caperesorts.com/pridwin website.

A guest bedroom at the new Pridwin. (Credit: Eleanor P. Labrozzi)

The main building’s Terrace restaurant and Crescent bar area is expansive and bright, with seating on the iconic porch beyond offering guests the stunning view of the bay as a backdrop to enjoy their cocktails and dining. At the July 14 opening, guests enjoyed complimentary cocktails while a pianist entertained; music will be a regular offering in the Terrace.

Smaller areas are available for private dinners and meetings. A little wood-lined alcove above the main floor, called “The Nook,” beckons book lovers to spend a few quiet hours, perhaps to make the most of a rainy day.

The vintage Pridwin signs that had been hung outside the hotel over the years were on display inside the building. The name Pridwin comes from the legends of King Arthur. Pridwin, the name of Arthur’s shield, translates to “pride in winning.”

As the Pridwin opens its doors anew in the summer of 2022, it might also translate to a word Islanders know well: “Welcome.”