Hamptons BeachThe Hamptons Edition
Oh, Hamptons, how we’ve missed you. Your sandy beaches, your prix-fixe dinners, your ability to facilitate warm-weather debauchery like no one else. We even have you to thank for Summer Fridays. It feels like you’ve been gone for ages, not a mere eight months, and we’re ready to be back in your loving arms.
With the Hamptons season kicking off this Memorial Day, summer has begun. This year, Montauk continues to be hot, though Bridgehampton is also drawing the crowds with the addition of Tom Colicchio’s Topping Rose House. But there is a reason the Hamptons is a timeless destination. While a lot has changed, for many Hamptons old-schoolers, much has stayed the same.
Good For: Couples and groups of friends looking for sun, sand, and cocktails. Also, solo travelers won’t be solo for long – the Hamptons summer is like one big singles’ party.
- Evening clam bakes on the beach in Amagansett with your crew, catered by Hampton Clam Bake. Think brilliant sunsets, big-a— lobsters, roaring bonfires, and campfire sing-alongs with you and all your friends.
- Spending the day by the pool of your summer rental, while you delegate cocktail duties, guacamole-making, and grilling for the day.
- Afternoon cocktails at Sunset Beach, which will inevitably turn into late-night debauchery with the French rugby team. Beware – they have been known to drink the place out of all their rosé.
- Partaking in the Montauk scene – the new Byron at the Surf Lodge, afternoon at Navy Beach, and late night at Ruschmeyer’s.
- Feasting on the freshest fish at Trata, and then turning their bar into a dance floor post-dinner when the party really starts.
- Indulging in the luxury of doing almost nothing – a weekend here feels like a week anywhere else. From long days on the beach to drinks at the classic Cyril’s to dinner at Nick and Toni’s, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Your Weekend Crash Pad
The optimal way to experience the Hamptons is with a summer rental, and we’re not talking the random post-college share house. You can do the legwork yourself with Dan’s Papers and Craiglist, but be prepared to deal with the crazy cat ladies who require three references before you rent their home. The wiser go through a broker, which for you, as a weekender, is gratis. Resident Chris Stewart with Douglas Elliman can show you the best rentals while talking technical surf’s up and the latest in restaurants.
New on the scene this year, which can be a game changer for the rental market, is the fully serviced villa. We’re talking private chef, concierge to get you that sought-after reservation at the new BLT Steak in Southampton, and full housekeeping to tidy up after the White Party you had the night before. Beautiful Places brings the five-star hotel experience to the summer rental. Each of their homes is exquisite, from the $24,000/month Tranquility Woods Villa – a steal, actually – with 4 bedrooms/4 baths and gunite pool to the lavish $143,000/month Swans Neck estate in Water Mill. Let’s just say that with 6 bedrooms and 8 1/2 baths, pool with its own spa, and manicured lawns, no one will be roughing it for the summer.
For newbies to the rental market: Note that weekenders are responsible for costs during their rental period, which includes the gardener, weekly housekeeper, gas, electricity, and that astronomically expensive pool heater.
Overall, hotel accommodations in the Hamptons are marginal and exorbitantly priced. Go big or go home and check into The Inn at Windmill Lane which is hands down the best in the Hamptons. While it doesn’t have a pool, suites are plush, with gorgeous mosaic-tile bathrooms, large dressing rooms, cozy living areas, and fireplaces to cut the crisp evening air. It’s the second-best option to renting a house and it’s just a hop, skip, and jump away from The Talkhouse, so no issues with driving after too many drinks. If you need to be poolside, check into the Carriage House at the Baker House, which looks like Calvin Klein was let loose with the decor. C/o The Maidstone has unique rooms that combine European antiques with quirky Scandinavian design. The luxe amenity? Hästens beds with a price tag of $10,000. You’re also a healthy walking distance from East Hampton Main Beach and a stumble home from late-night drinks at the Blue Parrot.
New on the hotel scene is Topping Rose House, which is also home to Tom Colicchio’s new restaurant. The restaurant has been open through the off-season, so expectations are high that they’ve perfected their pitch in time for summer. We haven’t yet tested out the hotel rooms, but from the looks of it, this place is gunning for the crown of a true luxury hotel experience. Think full-service spa, pool, farm that supplies ingredients to the restaurant, and true top-end service, which can be missing from other Hamptons hotels. This hotel is on our watch list, to become the Hamptons getaway for both in season and especially off.
Summer Days, Driftin’ Away
There’s a reason that even the self-diagnosed ADD Manhattanites keep coming back to the Hamptons. It may be relaxing, but it’s never boring. After a day of sunbathing at the Montauk Beach House, it’s off to the Société du Vin for a quick sip before heading to Delmonico’s for red snapper. Then, the night kicks off at Sienna for models and bottles because really, where else is that acceptable these days? And, when Sunday comes to a close and everyone’s Manhattan-bound, don’t fear. They’ll be back to do it all over next weekend.