I have this feeling often, I just want to get away for a night, or two. I desire to leave the magic of Manhattan behind, just for the tiniest reprieve — if the city doesn’t mind that is. But, naturally, I don’t want it to be too difficult: I mean New York is enough of a troublesome beast day in day out. And as every article online reminds me, having to take a break from this havoc of a life is the modern era’s eternal dilemma. Sigh.
So I really should participate in this quandary and find myself a respite. And this is my order kindly: a cute little design-centric boutique hotel where to lay my head, a nearby beach shack with fresh seafood, and my beloved along for the bike ride.
But first — the realities. Traffic in New York City is heinous. Its airports are a nightmare – Newark just won worst airport of the year (again! Go Newark! I mean, seriously, why do you make it so easy…). The very idea of taking yet another flight somewhere to get a little sun or a moment of quiet just seems ludicrous in this moment of busy-ness of the impending summer season. I believe that’s why they created the Hamptons — and the Jersey Shore. And so a choice must be made, and out east seems just marvelous.
My secret getaway happens to be the Hamptons (South of The Highway, as they say around those parts) in the middle of a work week — because lo and behold, it is all mine. Just as everyone is sitting down at their crowded desks, the annoying road out to the rows of sandy beaches somehow just clears right up, and the sun gives an extra wink to your best laid plans. Even the ocean warms up a little.
The hardest part of the Hamptons is normally the battle to get to the Hamptons. Well, then there is the problem of running into too many people you know, and an impossible to obtain obnoxious beach pass. All these terrible problems right? Well, the new boutique hotel in Bridgehampton, Room At The Beach, solved pretty much all of these for me.
With just ten rooms, it is just the way I like things, it feels like I stayed at home — but the service is a lot better. The property was bought by couple Lucy Swift Weber and Charles Lemonides, both with strong design and travel backgrounds, and with what locals would call “firm footprints” in the Hamptons. They redesigned this 1.5 acre plot and put a tranquil, expansive garden at the center of the whole hotel experience — plus there’s this magical alley of towering redwoods. Trading the skyscrapers for some redwoods is the wisest choice I could possibly make this month. That and also not bringing a phone for this little escape.
They have all the things your heart may desire – outdoor pool and sauna, Weber grills throughout the property, on-site yoga and massages, bikes to take out to the beaches and parks, first edition (meaning it’s not a knock off) mid-century designed rooms with art not from a catalogue — all this without feeling like you’re staying at a resort.
“We created A Room at the Beach as an expression of our love for this stretch of Long Island, as well as the favorite places from our travels: Marrakech, the Tulum of long ago, even a family house in Ireland. It’s not for just anyone, but it is for everyone,” says Lucy. “We never imagined it would be so much fun to create a little hotel.”
“Like most of us, I’ve always loved being a guest at boutique hotels – especially when you see that lots of thought and care went into the design and execution – both when it was first opened and as it grew over time,” shares Charles. “And it has always triggered at least a little envy that someone else had built a beautiful, interesting place, and that they were able to keep refining it and making it better. Now we have taken a stab at it, and for better and worse, we are sure our personal choices show through.”
It feels like you’re staying with your very stylish friends (who also happens to know all the secrets of the area and can’t wait to share them with you) at their kicky property, and that is the kind of break I think everyone deserves.