PORT WASHINGTON, NY — Business leaders and elected officials gathered in Port Washington last week to celebrate the grand opening of Fathoms Hotel & Marina.
Located at 433 Main St., Fathoms is an intimate, six-room hotel overlooking Manhasset Bay. It's built on the original site of the Knickerbocker Yacht Club, which was founded in 1874 to encourage "yachting and the cultivation of naval science and seamanship."
The historic club sank during the Recession in 2009. But on Wednesday, more than 10 years later, owners Steve and Cindie Leigh were cutting the ceremonial red ribbon to their tiny waterfront hotel. They were joined by a number of officials — including Port Washington Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bobbie Polay, State Sen. Anna Kaplan, and Village of Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson.
"This beautiful boutique hotel on the shores of Manhasset Bay is a perfect place for out-of-town guests and residents who want to treat themselves to a special occasion overnight stay," Polay said. "It's a wonderful asset for our town and (the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce)."
For Cindie and Steve, Fathoms is their first foray into the hospitality industry. The couple, who lives in an apartment contiguous to the hotel, purchased the property in February 2021.
It was "love at first sight," Cindie said about the first time she saw Manhasset Bay from the Fathoms property. "I spent my childhood gazing out at Manhasset Bay. And when I looked at it (again)...everything was so familiar and was what really made me happy."
Since the hotel officially opened in March, Cindie — a self-described "recovering lawyer" — and Steve — a custom home builder — said they have learned a lot about what it takes to run a boutique hotel. And because the hotel is only six rooms, the couple believes they can cater to the local community and offer a customized guest experience.
Fathoms is now accepting bookings. Each of the six guestrooms has a king-sized bed, a Kohler rainfall showerhead, and views of Manhasset Bay. While there's no restaurant attached to the hotel, guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast box with goods from a variety of Port Washington bakers.
"This is not something we would ever imagine — it's a huge plot twist in our lives," Cindie said. "I pinch myself every day. I love it here."