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La Maison Blanche – Shelter Island’s Newest Chic Hotel and Restaurant

Submitted by on May 21, 2011 – 12:48 pmNo Comment

 la maison blanche reception

By Heather Buchanan

photo credit hotel images Rick Lew

As a fellow Scott, Hotelier Alistair MacLean could have had me at Cheers, especially with the astoundingly good Bloody Mary that even Eric Ripert said was the best he ever had.  But truly, the new Shelter Island boutique hotel and restaurant La Maison Blanche adds a fresh flare to the Hamptons social scene without the velvet rope mentality. 

Formerly the Olde Country Inn, the new hotel, bar, and restaurant keeps the charming façade of the Victorian Inn with wrap-around porch and period details intact while giving the interior an updated modern feel.

la maison blanche lounge

MacLean who hails from London’s Savoy and Ritz, South Beach’s Raleigh and Sunset Beach bought the Inn with partner John Sieni who also owns the Candlelight Inn and credits John’s design style for the new look.  They’ve known each other for years and term it a “fantastic partnership.”  Both longtime Shelter Island businessmen, the duo is determined to make this a local year round favorite as well as summer destination.

Alistair MacLean & John Sieni

Alistair MacLean & John Sieni


The name hails from a favorite St. Tropez hotel.  MacLean hopes to infuse that French joie de vie flavor and feel into its new Island location with relaxed Sunday jazz brunches under the gazebo, cool cocktails in the lounge or their own special private label rose made with Mattebella Vineyards on the North Fork.  Future plans for a pool will complete the beach chic feel with a “chill out pool and restaurant rolled in together,” explains MacLean.

The restaurant menu from Chef Charles Le Tous (Bistro Vendome NYC) is classic French brasserie featuring local ingredients with a mix of items.  MacLean emphasized they wanted to give value for the $ and have a secondary bar menu.  A private dining room for 12 is already a favorite secret celebratory enclave.  Be sure to make reservations for dinner.

La maison blanche room

The eight renovated rooms feature mini bars and flat screen TV’s and range from $180 to $380.

Hands-on is almost an understatement for MacLean who had gotten up at 5am to bake the pastries for the bakery which opens its window to the public at 6am.  Combine this with managing the Smyth Hotel in New York and a family with three children under the age of two, and we’re amazed he’s not on a cappuccino drip.

Look out for special events such as a Petanque Tournament on Bastille Day and fashion show Memorial Day weekend.  On Sunday May 29 guests will be treated 1p – 4p with the fabulous fashions of Molly Brown Boutique.  Owner Kate Mullane travels the world to bring unique clothing, accessories, and home design to her delightful Shelter Island boutique.  Be sure to make a brunch reservation to view the fun and fantastic fashion (and guests).

HipHamptons will be sure to be there early and often and maybe even wearing Buchanan plaid.

La Maison Blanche 11 Stearns Point Road, Shelter Island Heights NY 11965 631-749-1633

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