The new owner of the Ram’s Head Inn is a longtime East End resident. As an avid boater, Shelter Island has been a place Aandrea Carter frequents, and she plans to keep the Inn’s charm while ushering it into a new era.
We sat down with her to hear what her plans are for the gorgeous Island property.
What made you want to take over the Ram’s Head Inn?
Like many, for me it was a time of reprioritizing where and how I want to spend my time. I love the East End and the glorious nature we get to live with. While my home is in Sag Harbor, I’m a boater, and Shelter Island in particular has always been a pull. The peace and tranquility of the landscape and all the preserves are breathtaking. When the Ram’s Head Inn opportunity presented itself, it was an incredible opening to jump in and become a part of the island.
What are some of the restorations you have done or will do?
Over 100 years old, the Rams Head Inn’s gracious country inn is spread over 4.5 acres right on the water. I’ve always adored its charm and sense of inclusiveness. Everyone feels welcome. In so many ways, it’s a pillar of the community it’s been fortunate to serve for so long. It’s a place to meet friends with no time constraints and be at one with nature. My goal is to build on that beauty and goodwill by exploring new ways to modernize and add to its appeal. We have so many natural resources available to us, and they are at the heart of our planned initiatives. Wellness and wellbeing are paramount to all that we do, which is a natural fit to the beauty of our property and location.
What are some things you are bringing to the Inn?
Our first goal is to make our restaurant even more farm and sea-to-table. We’ve constructed and cultivated an herb and produce garden that is already thriving and featured on our menu and even in some of our drinks. We are water farming our oysters and depending more and more on local fish. These efforts will only increase with time, as our ultimate objective is to be as sustainable as possible.
The second goal is to make Ram’s Head Inn a year-round destination for the local community. Last year, so many residents moved out here full time and saw just how magical Shelter Island is year round. I love the idea of offering drinks and dinner with our fireplaces burning and decorating our rooms for the holidays.
While the Ram’s Head Inn has always enjoyed hosting weddings and other outdoor events, I plan to increase its appeal as an intimate retreat destination. We have 17 guest rooms, which we are refreshing in a similar spirit to how we’ve refurbished our public rooms. So whether it’s a wellness or business retreat or just a long weekend with good friends, you can come here and take nature walks as well as enjoy our other planned wellness offerings. We’re also open to customizing and fulfilling ideas our guests may have.
What are you most excited for in owning a small hotel?
We’ve only been here since the end of March, so our plans are still evolving and being implemented as quickly as possible. The response has been spectacular. Everyone is super excited when they come through the door and see our new look. Especially the locals, which means the world to me. I’m the new neighbor here, and I plan to be a good one.
Grass passes will be available to guests of the inn, giving access to beachfront food and beverage, activities, luxury picnic options, classes and spa offerings. Events such as outdoor yoga, fitness classes and oyster flight tastings will happen weekly. Check out their website for all the info.
108 S Ram Island Dr, Shelter Island Heights, 631-749-0811