Several hotels stood on this west end site, but the grandest were the Stetson House and the West End Hotel. The Stetson was L-shaped and had 300 rooms. Although smaller than other grand hotels, it was socially desirable and had modern conveniences like bathrooms and gas. President Ulysses S. Grant summered there in 1869, attracting huge crowds to Long Branch.
The Stetson was sold in 1870 and renamed the West End Hotel. Seven 15-room cottages were added, with names like Cliff and Storm. It was the first hotel in New Jersey to have elevator service and a telegraph link to the New York Stock Exchange. Guests included Oscar Wilde, Lillian Russell, Horace Greely, and General William Tecumseh Sherman.
In 1906, the West End Hotel was torn down and the six-story Takanassee Hotel was built on the site. It was demolished during the Depression for non-payment of taxes.