Glory Days at Staten Island Coastal Hotels: When We Were “The Riviera of New York” | then and now

STATEN ISLAND, NY – The shores of Staten Island were once called “The Riviera of New York” and then teemed with upscale hotels, motels and more – all packed with amenities bustling day and night to suit tastes inhabitants and outside – city dwellers alike.

We were home to a number of hotels and motels from shore to shore, as previously reported.

It seems that one of the differences between Staten Island hotels past and present is primarily their size. Today, hotels can have up to 200 rooms, such as the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield, as well as event and meeting spaces, restaurants, and cabarets, as opposed to older conventional two-story hotels, such as the 1829 Rossville Hotel, on Arthur Kill Road, which appeared to hold maybe 50 guests, counting windows and floors.

A ferry called at the Rossville Hotel for a stop with travelers heading to Manhattan, and they did a thriving business for years until Prohibition sounded the death knell and it was demolished in 1934.

The St. James Hotel was erected in the 1800s in Port Richmond. Aaron Burr, the third Vice President of the United States under President Thomas Jefferson, who later killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel, died at the hotel on September 14, 1836.

Enjoy looking through photos of classic hotels, as well as some of today’s finest hotels.