Coney Island’s Newest Hotel Is a Miniature Mansion Made of Sand
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Coney Island’s Newest Hotel Is a Miniature Mansion Made of Sand

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By Duncan Nielsen
Booking.com just opened reservations for the “Sand”-sion—a life-size sandcastle in the midst of all the fun at Coney Island’s Luna Park.

To celebrate National Sandcastle Day—that’s a thing—Booking.com is offering the opportunity to stay in New York City's biggest sandcastle to date. Those who missed out on the company's Sydney-based Avo-Condo rental (exactly what it sounds like) will now get another shot at a whimsical and highly Instagrammable stay.

The perfect end-of-summer getaway comes loaded with an ocean of sea and land trinkets that would make Ariel grow legs again, if she could. Inside are branded blue and white giveaways, like bluetooth headphones, a portable charger, and an instant camera—so you can always remember that time you vacationed in a sandcastle, on the beach, on Coney Island.

The sand mansion is set on the beach in Luna Park, one-upping beachfront living. A surfboard, beach balls, and other toys are at guests' disposal.

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To build the mansion, Booking.com brought in expert sandman Matt Long, who spent two seasons as a cast member on the Travel Channel's reality show Sand Masters. He's crafted castles around the world, and he used a whopping 100 tons of sand to sculpt the 18-square-foot mansion in Luna Park. His career in sandcastles groomed him for New York's biggest build to date.

"This is by far the largest sand sculpture project I’ve worked on here in New York City—and by far the largest the city has ever seen," he says. "It originally included 60 sheets of plywood on the exterior to create the form of the sand and to keep its shape, along with a mixture of specially screened sand packed very densely with water to mold and protect from erosion." 

The blue-and-white, sea-themed room comes with all the amenities of a standard hotel, and some extras.

Sea shells, starfish, coral, and grassy beach fronds adorn the geodesic interior, and a bar cart loaded with booze fit for a pirate is yours to swill. When you're ready to hit the beach, simply grab a tote filled with all the necessities, step out of the front door, and jog down to the water's edge with surfboard underarm.

The sandy stay comes with some extras that really sweeten the deal: guests will get Luna Park VIP passes, dinner for two on the Coney Island Boardwalk, and—after awaking from their royal slumber—a sunrise yoga session on the beach.

Branded handouts, including bluetooth headphones, a water bottle, and a miniature cocktail kit, all come with the rental. 

At $29 a night, the sand mansion is a steal. Reservations will go quickly, as there are only two bookable dates—August 23 and 24. Pack your sunnies.

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