About Us - Our History
Before Tides: The St. Laurent
Hotel Tides began as the St. Laurent Hotel, owned by Mrs. Susan Flynn. At auction in 1886, it was described as a “fully furnished” hotel with “new hair mattresses” and other features, most appealing of which was the location. At the end of the 19th century, Asbury Park offered excellent swimming, boating and fishing during the day and lively clubs and amusements in the evening. The St. Laurent was one of Asbury’s several luxury hotels in this exciting time.
By 1915, the St. Laurent, now owned by S. A. Davis, offered “special attractive spring and fall rates” with “excellent cuisine” and “light and airy” rooms. Guests could enjoy a stay for $2.50 to $3.00 a day or between $12 and $16 for a week!
The 1940s and ’50s: “Tides” Rolls In
There stood the glorious St. Laurent for over fifty years. Then in 1941 - interestingly, on the infamous day of the Pearl Harbor attack - Mr. & Mrs. John Neglia purchased and renamed it Tides Hotel. A postcard from 1942 reads, “Our specialty: Italian and American cooking, all outside rooms with hot and cold water, some with private bath, reasonable rates by day, week or season.”
So the Tides Hotel was born - and ready to create memories for a new generation of Asbury visitors. Marlene Geraci Vandenberg remembers it fondly: “It was the late 1940s, early ’50s. My dad worked for U.S. Rubber. He and his co-workers would stay at the Tides. They always came home with fantastic stories of the hotel, the beach and the nightlife.”
The 1950s would be an exciting time for Asbury Park and the country as more Americans became mobile and free to travel to the shore for a week or two. The Tides was no exception, as it became one of the great hotspots. Guests enjoyed fine dining, comfortable rooms, entertainment and parties.
Jean McLaren Sharpe recalls, “During my college years, my girlfriend and I worked as waitresses at Tides. It was the summer of 1957 or ’58. We made $10 a week plus tips and room and board. It was a great summer.”The Tides Turn
The racial turbulence of the 1960s and ’70s, the growth of surrounding suburbs, and changes to how families vacationed all had profound effects on Asbury Park. Businesses fled the city and vacationers went elsewhere. The “City by the Sea” was no longer the attraction it had been in the past.
Still, through these difficult Asbury years, the Tides Hotel, now renamed Hotel Tides, toughed things out by serving as a “rooming house” for short- and long-term renters. PJ Whelan recalls the summer of 1972: “My college roommate and I arrived with about $100 in our pockets, determined to find a place to stay and a job on the Jersey shore. After two days sleeping under the boardwalk and living on junk food, the owners of the Tides took pity on us and gave us a great rate with one double bed to share… for the whole summer! They were our surrogate parents, making sure we were safely home at night. The evenings after our shifts waitressing at Howard Johnson’s were spent at the Stone Pony or the Inkwell. This was all before Springsteen.”
A New Life for Tides
With Asbury Park’s new direction of growth at the end of the 20th century, Hotel Tides was ready for a rebirth.
A significant gay community grew in Asbury Park. With it, new growth and diversity came to the town.
After three years of renovations, in 2007, the Tides reopened with a bright modern look: new guest rooms, a stylish new bar and lounge, an in-ground pool and a restaurant offering fresh, delicious meals in a beautiful setting. The new Hotel Tides was ready to shine in the renaissance of Asbury Park.
Hotel Tides Today
Few towns go through the kind of transformation seen in Asbury Park. While the world and Asbury Park have changed significantly, the Hotel Tides has kept the charm that comes with its history. Current owners Sandra and Doug Morrison have carefully balanced modern style with classic elegance.
Hotel Tides does its part in preserving Asbury Park’s history as a town of warm beaches, great food, music and style. The hotel has remained throughout Asbury’s heyday, tumultuous downturn and now its rebirth. Ballasted by its charm and history, the hotel stands strong today to welcome new guests.
On a summer afternoon at the Tides, lounge by the pool; on balmy evenings sip a cocktail on the porch. In the winter, cozy up near the fireplace and take in the sounds of a jazz duo or pop standards from a solo piano. Year-round, enjoy a delectable meal in the restaurant, a drink among friends at the bar, or drop in for a look at the Tides art gallery featuring local and upcoming artists.
As time moves forward, Hotel Tides will continue to be an exciting place for family and friends. With special events, seasonal menus, exciting music and art, the Tides upholds a tradition of style and charm while keeping things fresh and new.
Since its days as the St. Laurent, 125 years have passed, yet one only has to visit Hotel Tides to feel the presence of the past. Maybe those spirits of the past still move about Hotel Tides. Or maybe their energy simply makes the Tides an exciting place to be.
Then and Now
Hotel Tides now has 20 guests rooms, but the hotel had 25 rooms throughout most of its history.
Sixty years before the Tides bar was located in the lobby, Mrs. Neglia’s mother served as the hotel’s night porter and had her bedroom here. Another hotel once stood where the Tides pool is now located. The restaurant’s chandeliers originally lit the lobby.
History remains in much of today’s Hotel Tides: the restaurant’s ceilings, walls, chandeliers, plates, as well as the bar’s bistro chairs and both staircases are original.
The restaurant’s ceiling and walls are the original tin.
Since the 1950s the Tides has seen many celebrities – actors, singers, comedians, and others - as both guests and performers: Ed Asner, Melba Moore, Steve Rossi, Judy Gold, to name a few.