Where: Twin Farms, Vermont
Distance from Manhattan: About 5
Where: The Maidstone, East Hampton
Distance from Manhattan: 2–2.5 hours by car in the off-season months
Good for: A romantic getaway, a weekend with friends or a personal retreat to write the next great American novel. The Maidstone is a dog-loving hotel; it even offers a specialized menu for your furry friend. For those who enjoy being in the Hamptons year-round, the hotel will inspire you to become a regular with plenty of weekend specials that make it a whole lot more economical than buying a house.
The scoop: The Maidstone is one of the only hotels in the Hamptons that has a compelling reason to stop by anytime, whether or not you’re a guest. Its restaurant, The Living Room, shines in the off-season, serving up Swedish mini pancakes in the morning and foie gras fish tacos at night. If you’re looking for something more traditional, the often locally caught mussels are a standout. And we always prefer our Swedish caviar service with all the accoutrements – with the added twist of pumpkin blinis.
The inn’s common areas have a natural, homey flow. Comfortable seating nooks invite you to while away the afternoon with a book. On the weekends, they serve a proper afternoon tea in the appropriately named Cozy Lounge – expect a tiered platter filled with scones, sweets, smoked salmon sandwiches and savory canapés. It’s perfectly acceptable to opt for a glass of champagne with your tea – they’ll even bring you a bottle on ice. There’s something about this place that sparks intimate, intellectual conversation, as you’re wrapped snugly in your favorite cashmere sweater, watching the snow fall outside.
What to know: When the hotel underwent a gut renovation in 2010, the architects were limited only by the original footprint of the historic inn – which is a fancy way of saying that room sizes are generally snug. And this is no cookie-cutter hotel; the Maidstone accommodations are uniquely electic. Each of the 19 rooms and cottages has been cleverly and painstakingly outfitted with Swedish antiques. (So you may come across an Eddie Munster-inspired chair.) In the absence of that sensibility, we’re convinced that the $10,000 Hästens beds in each room will successfully win you over.
If you feel like stepping into town, don’t be fooled: The wait at Nick & Toni’s and Tom Colicchio’s Topping Rose House are no less lengthy than they might be come July. At least it’s nice to know that some things never change.
The details: Off-season at the Maidstone is a steal, with rooms often around the $235 mark.
(All photos courtesy of The Maidstone)