It’s not easy to score a stock or an Airbnb in the Hamptons; most cities require a minimum of two weeks for a short stay and are already fully booked in May. Don’t worry: seven newly opened or refreshed retreats provide access to just the right scene, steps from the coast.
Owned and operated by the Daunt family for three generations, this 23-room hotel (above) has a new shine thanks to General Manager Leo Daunt and the visionaries at Brooklyn-based design firm Home Studios. The property hadn’t changed much since Leo’s grandfather bought the humble retreat in 1977, but now it attracts young creatives while also retaining annual regulars. Perhaps that’s thanks to the newly designed The Bird across the street, offering dinner service for the first time. Perhaps it’s because of its location, right near the beach yet a short walk from Montauk’s restaurants, bars and shops. Or maybe it’s the updated look, inspired by nearby rugged Shadmoor State Park – those sun-bleached yellows and navy blues pop against the flagstone floors in the rooms. We love the outdoor spaces, too: The firepit surrounded by Adirondack chairs and string lights, the plein-air shower, and those circular daybeds can make it almost a chore to ride a complimentary bike into town.
For the first time in decades, there is a lot of catering on Shelter Island again. Take Seven on Shelter Island, the former 1902 ranch just steps from Crescent Beach that was transformed into an artsy enclave about a decade ago. Most recently, owner-gallery owner-collector Beth Swanström enlisted designer-architect and Hamptons historian David Griffin to modernize her B&B, giving the pool a retro revamp that would feel right at home in Palm Springs. Take over one of the larger rooms – some with private verandahs – in the original wing, sleep in (or not; Seven is holding the B&B “breakfast”!), work through the winter in the open-air fitness “barn” adorned with Yoshitomo Nara skateboards and brimming with cherry wood rowing machines, then laze away the afternoon in the 40-foot heated pool flanked by Marcel Wanders’ Reverie red armchairs and a cabana. Of course, Crescent (aka Sunset) Beach is a five-minute walk away, and there’s really no better place to start an evening with a picnic basket and a glass of rosé in hand.
This beloved Long Island landmark was recently restored by cousin developers Mitchell and Gregg Rechler, catapulting the 17th-century inn into the 21st century, without losing an ounce of its charm. First established in 1707 as a coaching stop, the 25-key residence, whose name refers to the site’s origins as a portage in the 1600s, has lived many lives: as a hideout for British officers during the Revolutionary War, a talk-easy and a huge nightclub where artists like Billy Joel and Led Zeppelin took the stage. Last summer, the Rechlers unveiled the modern, understated, cozy aesthetic of Brooklyn-based Workstead – Coastal Grandma never looked so chic. Book one of 20 rooms (we like the dormer ones and the corner suites) or five cottages and join the stylish crowd at Good Ground Tavern, where Relais & Châteaux veteran chef Ülfet Ralph fire-cooks pizzas, and then enjoy craft cocktails in the fire-lit den. Refresh before grabbing a poolside lounger at the full-service spa, where Naomi Watts’ cult-favorite Onda products are the foundation for luxurious facials and body therapies.
The all-new Hotel Moraine epitomizes the North Fork aesthetic, with barn-like structures, ice cream cones, tie-dye and birdhouse-making classes in the craft cottage, and sunshirts and eyewear for sale in the sundry shop. Owned by the family behind the country’s only all-rosé vineyard, Croteaux (which just so happened to also recently sold the nearby Menhaden hotel), the 20-room abode is on the grounds of the seedy old Sunset Motel – a welcome change from what this stood for. Spread over three acres and located right on the Sound, the retreat caters to families, with adjoining rooms in seafoam green and reclaimed wood, classic movies screened on the lawn, cottage games, and bikes to explore. There’s plenty for the adults too, from paddle boards to winery tours and lobster rolls by the heated saltwater pool. Everyone gathers outside the lobby bar for sundowners and theatrical sunsets, followed by a veritable conga line to the beach for bonfire s’mores and light-hearted gossip in waterside chairs. Come as strangers, leave as besties.
The first full season of The Pridwin kicked off in April, after longtime local owners, the Petrys, partnered with Cape Resorts (the developers of adaptive reuse behind Cape May’s iconic Congress Hall) to purchase the 10-acre estate on this sleepy island. which is nice to refresh. the archetype of NIMBYism. Somehow, the two groups convinced the islanders to allow Brown Hall Design’s Colleen Bashaw to modernize the century-old white clapboard main building, leaving many details intact, such as the wainscoting, chandeliers, and hardwood floors, while keeping 16 new cottages scattered throughout the Adirondack camp. style retreat grounds. Visitors have a private beach where they can collect shells and sunscreen, as well as a water sports pier. Drinks are best enjoyed under the candy-striped canopy at the Crescent Bar or on the veranda overlooking a manicured lawn with picturesque sailboats beyond
It may be in its 103rd season, but this adorable 17-room mainstay is still reinventing itself — this summer, every guest house is getting an upgrade with new beds, Frette linens, and lots of fun programs. Returning visitors should consider what owner Andrea Carter calls “the Captain’s Room,” with its ocean blue leather sofa and sepia framed photographs, or the playful “Red Lady,” all sexy leather and Prohibition-style details. You don’t really need to leave the property as The Ram’s Head is finally energizing its waterfront with daily yoga, bocce ball, pickleball, boat charters and a lunchtime food truck.
Even if you’re not spending the night, you can join the festivities by reserving a table at the 100-seat farm-and-sea-to-table restaurant, which now includes a whitewashed dining room, sun-drenched garden room and covered patio.
Like the island it calls home, this clapboard retreat remains unpretentious, under the radar and just the right place to escape the pace of the city.