Nearly 50 years ago, the Shelter Haven Hotel was a Stone Harbor hot spot for vacationers to dine in elegant restaurants, dance in dazzling banquet halls and dive off its docks when the temps became a tad too tepid.

The Reeds at Shelter Haven, Stone Harbor's newest and most-anticipated luxury boutique hotel, recently opened with flair in the same location - 96th Street and Third Avenue - as the original Shelter Haven. And folks are hoping it, too, will be a go-to spot for tourists and locals alike.

The Reeds was designed by hospitality designers, DAS Architects of Philadelphia. The "seashore chic" hotel, located at the veritable gateway to Stone Harbor, was intended to fit in with the town. With its classic shingle siding, beach-themed colors and a delicate balance of mixing modern features such as funky lighting fixtures with more classic ones such as divine mosaic tiles, DAS succeeded in blending the building perfectly with the aesthetics of this understated coastal resort.

The hotel presently has 37 guest rooms - although there's already talk of expansion - including three hospitality suites and two dining options: SAX Restaurant and Lounge, an intimate indoor restaurant and bar; and Water Star Grille, an outdoor kitchen and bar that overlooks the bay. Both are overseen by award-winning Executive Chef David Utley, whose "farm-to-table" creations will be prepared from fresh produce and cheeses from Jersey farms and dairies, as well as fresh seafood from the Atlantic Ocean and neighboring towns such as Cape May. Utley also manages the banquet space that's suitable for private parties such as weddings, corporate events and other special occasions.

The Reeds also has a rooftop garden sundeck, where guests can either cool off in the soaking pool or relax in one of two hot tubs. For those who prefer the beach, The Reeds will provide complimentary chairs, umbrellas and towels and even transportation.

Besides offering the ultimate in relaxation, the resort is just steps away from the quaint downtown area of Stone Harbor, where guests can stroll through the town's shopping district and peruse the many charming art galleries, boutiques and specialty shops.

The staff at The Reeds, which is comprised of executives with first-rate hospitality backgrounds, promises to treat guests like royalty from the moment they arrive until they depart.

General Manager A. Cem Erenler, whose guest services career includes Ian Schrager Hotels and Four Seasons Hotel, relocated from Cape Cod, Mass., to help ensure that every guest here is pampered and has the utmost in comfort - from room amenities to healthy food selections in the restaurants. Erenler is dedicated to making The Reeds "a world-class resort destination that's not only known in New Jersey, but everywhere."

"With the year-long construction of our hotel now complete, we are excited to open our doors to what surely will become a grand resort destination," says Manading Director Ron Gorodesky. "Our resort will be the perfect place for anyone seeking a truly luxurious and out-of-the-ordinary getaway."