When Sunset Beach opened a decade ago in Shelter Island it was a big change for the sleepy island. Sunset Beach was formerly the Shelter Island Motel–a rundown, totally unhip spot. André Balazs swooped in with a vision for what the place could be. For the rooms, he brought in a coat of white paint, some bold yellow stripes for color, and minimalist furniture. A gorgeous international waitstaff, colorful oilcloth tablecloths, and glittering string-up lights, and a fabulous DJ was all it took to transform the restaurant. It is an example of how design can completely change a hotel. With a great marketing campaign, an even better view and a party scene, the hotel was an immediate hit. The sleepy under-the-radar community of Shelter Island was suddenly on the radar. Starlets, rappers, models….and their hangers on all descended (case in point Pippa Middelton’s flirty dinner with Andre this past weekend). The locals either hated the attention and the new scene…or they loved having a cool, fun new spot with great energy. It was very black and white. The lively scene is still a contrast from the mellow feel of rest of the island, but Sunset Beach did change the island. More sophisticated spots like Vine Street came on the scene. It is an interesting study as to how hotels can change the vibe of a place….but I am off on a tangent! After all these years, Sunset Beach is still an incredibly fun spot–especially for dancing late night. This summer, their new DJ Arman Nafeei has been spinning some fab music and bringing a Mediterranean vibe to Sunset Beach. To wrap up a great summer I asked him to share his favorite songs from this year’s line up. He provided his top 10 faves this summer with links to YouTube. Enjoy Arman’s end of summer mix. Happy Labor Day!
Photos Sara Bliss and Arman Nafeei