Distance from Manhattan: 7–8 hours by car; 1 hour
Where: The Inn at Windmill Lane, Amagansett, NY
Distance from Manhattan: About 2.5 hours
Good for: A restorative all-American weekend of biking, beach-bumming and R&R.
The scoop: Outside the glare of Guest of a Guest cameras is the other Hamptons: quiet, tranquil and utterly flashbulb-free. While we love the social circuit, we always stand to gain from a weekend off the grid, and Amagansett, an oasis by East Hampton, makes for the perfect wholesome retreat. There’s not much of a scene here, just galleries, indie shops and one gorgeous stretch of coastline. There’s also a quaint village square and the organic farmers’ market that Eli Zabar operates each summer.
The Inn at Windmill Lane, in turn, is Amagansett distilled and then bottled in its finest essence. The inn has the timeless pared-down feel that you might find in the old English countryside – but the paint is still drying on its walls. (Well, sort of. It opened in 2009.) In addition to its seven suites and three cottages, the Inn has started renting out 21 House, a four-bedroom home with a spa treatment room, full chef’s kitchen and wraparound porch. They all have everything you’d find in a high-end year-round rental: a complimentary minibar stocked solid, bathrobes and slippers, rain showers, high-def flatscreens and the Times delivered to your door each morning. All have gorgeous wood-burning fireplaces; some even have two. (21 House has four.) King-size beds are by gold-standard mattress producer Duxiana, and bathrooms feature marble tile. There are also Hamptons-inspired books to read and laptops to borrow in case you need to plug back in for a few. It’s hard to get more indulgent, but upgrading to the cottages adds a private exercise room and a steam room with a second rain shower.
The only creature comfort unaccounted for is food. Mornings bring pastries and granola in the inn’s hydrangea-dotted, country-style kitchen, but you’re on your own for the rest. The inn does, however, partner with Meeting House across the street. This and most local restos deliver: in Meeting House’s case, elevated Italian-American fare like fontina soppressata and rosemary chicken with caramelized onion and goat cheese. Also nearby are Mexican-food standby La Fondita and Talkhouse, where you’ll see Bill and Hillary reliving their twenties alongside those in their twenties. If anything, it’s an upgrade from your classic room service.
What to know: Rates start at $750 in the off-season and approach $2000/night for a summer stay. With all the in-house amenities, it’s not unheard of for guests to stay in most of the time. Otherwise, your visit will likely revolve around the pristine Atlantic beach, which is just a short drive via Windmill’s shuttle SUV. Chair, cooler, umbrella, towel and cruiser rentals are all complimentary. A chauffeur can drive you around to the restaurants, so the usual worry of the designated driver isn’t an issue. Should you want to hop over to Montauk or East Hampton, the SUV will ferry you there as well. The outer limits of each hamlet are no more than six minutes away.
The deal: There are no packages at the Inn at Windmill Lane, but the greatest deal of all is the steep drop-off in post-summer rates. After August, rates dip to 50 percent off their summertime counterparts. Staying on a weeknight docks a couple extra percentage points. This translates to $925 for a winter weeknight in a $1900 cottage in summer. Which, in terms of peace and tranquility, is a steal.