Since 1895, the Victorian charm of the Scarborough Inn, the oldest hotel in town and a protected landmark, has served as a form of “instant therapy” for its guests. Innkeeper Sne Avichal and his tight ship of 18 employees focus on meticulous details—like the ambiance that music and complimentary rosemary lemonade help create—to ensure that each guest feels as comfortable at Scarborough as they do in their own homes.
Scarborough is perfectly positioned in the heart of Ocean City’s historic residential district, making this seaside escape the perfect place to take a holiday or long weekend trip.
Guests are welcomed by the relaxing atmosphere of the inn, which Avichal attributes to the hotel’s “eclectic mix between Victorian architecture and 1920s Jazz Age vibe.”
“Music goes a long way. … The second you come up the stairs, you’ll hear Billie Holiday or Benny Goodman,” he says.
Avichal took on the innkeeper role, as well as many others, in June of 2020, and has added his own personal character that complements and accentuates Scarborough’s 125-year history.
After getting situated in one of the hotel’s newly renovated rooms, visitors can indulge in the relaxing, familiar feel of Scarborough’s amenities, including the wraparound porch complete with rocking chairs and a cool breeze from both off- and onshore winds.
Scarborough guests can also venture out and visit any of the nearby beloved shore attractions. The most popular shopping strip on the island, Asbury Avenue, is just three blocks over, making the more-often-than-not crowded street easily accessible with just a short walk. Best of all, the inn’s location is just a two-block walk from Ocean City’s boardwalk and beach.
Prior to Avichal’s involvement in the hotel, Scarborough was a seasonal inn, only open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. However, having grown up just 15 minutes away in Ventnor, Avichal knows just how enjoyable the off-season months are at the Jersey Shore, and wants his guests to experience the same pleasant memories that he grew up with.
As the weather gets cooler, Scarborough’s porch gets an autumnal makeover, complete with pumpkins to get guests into the spirit of the season. And once December rolls around, the living room-like lobby—cozy fireplace and all—is decorated for the holidays, complete with a real Christmas tree to complement the festive streets of Ocean City, which Avichal describes as “something from the Hallmark Channel.”
The beauty and timeless charm of the Scarborough Inn aren’t just for holidays and short getaways. Many couples get married on the wraparound porch in the offseason, which is an intimate venue for smaller ceremonies.
“The wraparound porch is enclosed in the wintertime and it’s L-shaped, so it’s long enough that we can fit up to 25 guests for a ceremony,” Avichal says. The front porch and lobby are also available for small receptions, as well as a lower patio for both parts of the wedding.
“We have a paved lower patio that can accommodate up to 60 guests for an open-air ceremony and reception. The bride and groom are welcome to rent a tent for this patio in case of inclement weather,” Avichal says. Scarborough also welcomes couples to utilize outside caterers and wedding planners and even facilitates communication with trusted local vendors.
After a couple decides to tie the knot at Scarborough after receiving a free consultation, Avichal personally gives them a tour of the entire hotel.
“Usually, I recommend for the bride and groom what I call the Sun King suite. And that's a room that has a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom, and it faces out toward the ocean,” he says. This room is also the ideal place for the bridal party to get ready on the big day.
Oftentimes, when a couple is getting married at a larger venue, they will reserve all 29 rooms in the Scarborough for their bridal party and guests.
Regardless of what brings them through the doors of the Scarborough Inn, Avichal has a promise for each and every guest that he encounters: “Everybody's going to feel at home when they come here.”