When the Long Island Railroad linked New York City to Westhampton Beach in the late 1800s, residents started making a profit renting rooms to city-dwellers. When the Kennedy family declared the Hamptons their summertime "Camelot," the picturesque cluster of villages and towns emerged as the place to be for society's elite. Independent inns offer respite for history buffs and hipsters alike a mere 100 miles from Manhattan on the east end of Long Island.
A white picket fence surrounds the brick-sided Bridgehampton Inn, and the brick patio has white wicker furniture for dining outdoors overlooking the landscaped courtyard. Cheery Kelly green and lemon yellow paint combined with bold bed linens and window treatments liven up the six guest quarters. A stately fireplace surrounded by traditional armchair seating offers a place for after-dinner coffee and conversation. The inn welcomes children and offers cooking classes for a fee, and guests enjoy a deluxe complimentary breakfast daily.
The historic 1770 House opened as a residence in 1663 and evolved into a guest house in the year for which it is named. This grand white structure has black shutters and consists of five guest rooms with private baths and an adjacent two-story, two-bedroom carriage house. Intricately patterned wallpaper in trendy colors and modern furniture pieces marry classic and contemporary sensibilities harmoniously. Some highlights include in-room fireplaces and hand-laid porcelain bathroom tiles. Fresh floral arrangements and Dean and DeLuca snacks indicate the innkeeper's attention to the smallest details.
A stay at Box Farm in the Southampton hamlet of Water Mill is "worth the splurge," the travel authority Fodor's says.The National Trust for Historic Preservation lists the restored 1600s colonial-era farmhouse as a national historic landmark. Guests staying in one of the six rooms at the bed-and-breakfast can use the three common sitting rooms, a country kitchen and dining area. Rooms have private baths and verandas with a pool view. The Sage Room features a fireplace and an oversize bath suite with a claw-foot bathtub. Guests who book the Chess Room can enjoy a game or a book from the room's library next to the fireplace. The European innkeepers speak multiple languages and serve a full breakfast each morning.
The American Hotel in Sag Harbor, built in 1846, is on both the Historic Hotels of America and America's Elite 1,000 lists. The hotel's eight double rooms feature two-person hot tubs and supple, imported Italian terrycloth robes and towels. Baroque-print wall covering and floral print bedding make a distinct period-decor statement. The Zagat-rated, DiRoNA Award-winning restaurant serves American- and French-influenced dishes in a formal dining room with live piano music. The 2,500 varietal wine list earned the restaurant a grand award from the magazine Wine Spectator. The hotel serves daily continental breakfast gratis.
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