Before we dreamed of spending our summer holidays in glamorous, sunny, exotic destinations we dreamed of spending them in glamorous, sunny, familiar ones. Familiar from films and books and magazines, where the articles would invite us to ‘Escape to The Hamptons’ with the rich, famous and fabulously artistic and beautiful. Sigh.
This string of seaside villages and hamlets on the southern fork of Long Island are still just as enticing. These days an escape to The Hamptons still means lazy days spent on windswept stretches of golden sand, backed by rolling dunes; an escape to The Hamptons means drives into pretty towns where there are interesting boutiques and galleries to peruse; an escape to The Hamptons means excellent seafood, spectacular sunsets, sailing adventures and the opportunity to rub shoulders - and play golf or tennis, with famous faces.
Southampton itself is a collection of villages and hamlets, with Southampton Village at the centre. The Village is home to many of the region’s museums, and to many historic colonial buildings and the area’s roots as a whaling community. An escape to Southampton also includes some extremely beautiful arches of beach and some very high end boutiques and restaurants.
East Hampton is where you’ll find the summer houses belonging to some of the highest profile residents. Thus an escape to East Hampton also includes the opportunity to catch some seriously impressive local readings, theatre productions and exhibitions.
Bridgehampton is a slightly more modest hamlet, with a less showy, but still very nice, high street and collection of cafes and restaurants. Home to the Hampton Classic horse show and the Bridgehampton Polo Club - the road racing track has now been converted into the golf club, this is a great place for folk who’ll enjoy an active escape to The Hamptons.
Just across from Shelter Island, Sag Harbour was a whaling town, and its simple, narrow streets disguise the international importance Sag Harbour had historically as America’s first official port, so ships would have to stop here before they sailed on into New York. Sag Harbour is also name checked in Moby DIck, so an escape to Sag Harbour should definitely include a visit to the Whaling Museum.
• The American Hotel has just eight rooms - done up with American antiques. There’s also a popular and lively restaurant with an award winning wine list and a 75 foot hotel boat…
Southampton, New York State
Perfect getaway location, with top-notch hospitality, family-run charm and all the modern amenities you might need. A friendly, professional inn with exquisite breakfasts and five delightful rooms each with unique charm in a historic property. Stunning English garden and seasonal outdoor pool.
Eclectic and Scandinavian-inspired hotel in the Hamptons with unique and individually designed stylish rooms. Relax in the private gardens, cycle the 1 mile trip to the beautiful white sands of the East Hampton beach, and dine at the intimate and richly decorated American-Scandinavian restaurant.
Intimate inn just minutes from the heart of East Hampton Village. Retaining its original architecture and colonial charm, the rooms boast antique furnishings complimented by luxurious, modern amenities. The comfort is enhanced by beautiful gardens, a stylish library, and first-class dining.
East Hampton (New York State)
Arts and Crafts inspired architecture in manicured gardens with a pool and spa. British in feel, rooms are contemporary and luxurious. Breakfast is served in-room or on the terrace. East Hampton offers golf, water sports, tennis, great walks and many dining opportunities with lively bars.
Sag Harbor (New York State)
1846 townhouse has eight rooms, a popular and lively restaurant and an award winning 85-page wine list. Rooms are comfortable with American antiques and private bathrooms. French classical is on the menu, and the staff are top notch. Hop on to the owners 75 foot John Trump houseboat for the day.
Beautifully grand converted home in Bridgehampton, a few miles from unspoiled beaches. Perfectly designed spacious rooms, heated outdoor pool & spa, on-site farm providing for the renowned Tom Colicchio-run restaurant, and complimentary cars and bikes to explore the spectacular surroundings.
Homey yet up-scale establishment for guests who want to relax while enjoying the fine lifestyle of the Hamptons. Rooms have four poster beds and antiques, private patio access, and well-appointed bathrooms. French-trained chef offers "thoughtfully playful" menus which change with the seasons.