The HamptonsHamptons Here We Come
With the new season upon us, we’ve got the Hamptons on the brain. The sun, the fun, the complete and utter relaxation… Forgive the sappy nostalgia and bear with us for a moment while we flash back to one particularly noteworthy time: the summer of 2008. There was the opening of Kobe Beach Club and the buzzy Surf Lodge Montauk, still going strong. Then there were Surf Shack, the Backyard Restaurant and the relaunch of Lighthouse Grill. Now that’s a lot for any summer to live up to, but this one might come close.
Why now: It's a Hamptons renaissance. Celebs are back full-force - even Jay-Z and Beyonce chose beach over Kimye's multi-city wedding extravaganza. There’s a lot of newness to experience this summer. Some of the biggest openings are happening in Montauk and East Hampton, along with equally newsworthy (and spendy) renos and refurbs across the towns.
Good for: Everyone. No matter where you’ve traveled or what yacht has ferried you around Sardinia, everyone loves the Hamptons in the summer. And from families and couples to gaggles of girlfriends and the French Rugby team, everyone in the world is here.
- Visiting the Farmers' Market. Is there an activity more quintessentially summer than buying fresh corn from the farmstand, and grilling it with your crew back at your vacation rental?
- Seeing and being seen. Let’s be real: This destination is not for the antisocial. You come here to take it easy and hit the scene. By day, turn a poolside hangout into a dance party. By night, teeter around in your highest heels at a hotspot that is – like the Hamptons – equal parts classy and clubby. This summer’s purveyor of high-style debauchery? That would be 1OAK, which comes to Tuckahoe after hit openings in Chelsea, Vegas and L.A.
- Raiding your fridge.You’re paying big money for your weekend home, and that includes its Sub-Zero Pro 48. Of course, if you’re on too tight a timeline to go grocery shopping, simply dispatch the shoppers of South Fork and Spoon to do it for you. The Hamptons’ first-ever “food concierge” will leave you dinner baskets of orzo primavera salad and steamed lobsters, or steak with a cheese plate from Cavaniola’s, plus a bouquet from Sag Harbor Florist. They’ll even restock your rental’s bar, chill your wine or set the table for your Friday-night arrival. We’re especially excited to see how the DIY Cocktail Party, catered with empanadas and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese from Ango NYC, transforms the home entertaining scene.
- Feasting in style. From the new Artisan Eatery in Sag Harbor to the Red Hook Lobster Pound in Montauk, it’s a golden age in Hamptons restaurants. The Harbor Raw Bar & Lounge will be where all the PYTs get their Montauk littlenecks. And casual-cool BLT Steak brings its to-die-for popovers to The Capri.
Suggested stay: 2 days
You don’t need an excuse to go to the Hamptons; now that June’s rolled around, where else is there? But we’re feeling especially optimistic about the summer ahead of us. The population here has always been fresh and cool, but a hodgepodge of creative services and renovations are keeping the vibe equally young. Restaurateurs and hoteliers are spending like it’s summer 2008, and vacationers are living like it’s summer 2008. So if you ask us, it’s time to party like it’s summer 2008.
All That’s Old is New Again
It seems like some of the Hampton’s former institutions are making a comeback. The magic touch of Times-reviewed chef Donatella Arpaia is anticipated to turn Sienna back into a culinary destination. This is a place where adults quickly devolve into raucous teenagers, miniskirts and all. With Saturday night cabarets and exquisite décor, Sienna-by-way-of-Arpaia is sure to uphold the festive tradition. But it’s about time it became about the food, and we can hardly wait for the cool crudo offerings.
The most talked-about refresh, though, is Gurney’s. As the only year-round oceanfront hotel in the Hamptons, the hotel has always been popular. Phase one of a multi-year refresh, however, lands it front and center on the map. Under new ownership, the hotel has already soft-upgraded its 71 existing rooms; Memorial Day saw the opening of the 38-room Oceanfront Building with private verandas and touch-tech minibars. But you don’t have to stay here to reap the rewards. You can sample the sushi or fine dines of new Exec Chef Seth Levine (Georgica, Sons of Essex) under the stewardship of Jennifer LeRoy (you know, of the LeRoy family?). Or take a dip in the new sand-filtered seawater swimming pool – the first on the entire continent.
Some things never change, and that’s OK too. It wouldn’t be the Hamptons without zucchini chips, mussels and a glass of rosé at Nick & Toni’s on a Saturday night. Navy Beach in Montauk always has a splashy vibe with beachfront dining and sunset views. We can’t get enough of the guac from La Fondita. And we’d be lying if we said we weren’t already drooling at the thought of Tom Colicchio’s brioche donut.
And then there’s The Inn at Windmill Lane. We already professed our undying love for it, but it can really be summed up in the following three amenities: private patios, beach cruisers and wood-burning fireplaces that make us wish for cooler evenings.