Travel

The Hamptons Hotels

Establishment neighborhood
McKinley Bungalow
Address Upon Booking, Montauk
As the eye behind well-trafficked Montauk spots Ruschmeyer’s and Surf Lodge, interior designer Robert McKinley is no stranger to the beach town's mellow vibe and wild coastline. So it follows that just in time for the East End's summer crunch (when prime lodging books up months in advance), McKinley and his wife, Kate Nauta, have opened McKinley Bungalow, a sprawling four-bedroom ranch-style home available for rent (there's a three-day minimum). We love the design details here, like natural oak floors and exposed beams, vintage decorative objects mixed with mid-century modern furniture, and the open kitchen and living room that flow into one another, which makes for a lively communal space for families or weekend guests. The backyard, meanwhile, is storybook Hamptons, lined with seagrass and white hydrangeas, and it comes with a BBQ and communal table for outdoor meals. There’s also a stash of Shinola bikes (Ditch Plains, known for its long surf break, is just a five-minute ride away). And if you really love it, everything (yes, everything), including the linens and furniture, is entirely shoppable, should you want to bring some of those Montauk memories home with…
Hero Beach Club
626 Montauk Hwy., Montauk
This refurbished seaside retreat (formerly the Oceanside hotel) quietly opened in the summer of 2017 out in Montauk, a spot not exactly known for its blissed-out tranquility in the summer months. Here, along Montauk's Umbrella Beach, this thirty-four-room getaway features tastefully beachy furnishings imported from Bali, the kind of mattresses you'd happily spend the weekend lounging on courtesy of Tomorrow Sleep, and crisp linens from Hill House Home. (Several of the rooms also have balconies.) In the morning, there's a small breakfast setup (bagels, coffee) but not too many other frills—and that's kind of the point. The delightfully in-the-know hotel staff will help with everything from, say, setting you up with surf lessons to tipping you off to the best lobster shack in town. On the property, there's yoga on the lawn four days a week and there are plans to build out the wellness offerings further.
Sunset Beach
35 Shore Rd., Shelter Island
Just north of most of the action, Shelter Island remains one of the quieter parts of the Hamptons—cynics would say it's a bit like Montauk in the old days, before real estate values in the area exploded. Owned by André Balazs, Sunset Beach Hotel sidles right up next to the ocean, with just twenty guest rooms that all have private porches looking out onto the water. As at any Balazs hotel, the food (and especially drink) scene is on point, with a great little European-style restaurant and a bar that offers some of the area's best DJs. Easy access to the beach also makes activities blessedly easy here—bikes are complimentary, and the hotel will happily arrange for beach chairs, paddleboards, and boats so guests can water-ski, fish, or just explore the area by water. Good to know: The beach here is west-facing, so it's a great place to watch the sunset.
Gurney’s
290 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk
Thanks to a recent face-lift, this large resort in Montauk, which ranges along a prime slice of beach, is a good option, particularly if you have kids or a bigger group. Beyond a spate of great restaurants (Tillie's, Scarpetta, a coffee shop in the lobby), there's a kids’ club, a beach club, and all the amenities you'd expect from a big hotel, like free Wi-Fi, a gym, a pool, and a spa. It's also one of the area's only year-round resorts, which is great if you're hoping to make a visit during the quieter spring or fall months—just be sure to request a renovated room.
1770 House
143 Main St., East Hampton
While it sits steps from East Hampton’s boutique-and-gallery-packed main drag, entering this six-room inn (there’s also a separate two-family carriage house) is a lot like stepping into a time machine. The picket-fenced, whitewashed home has functioned as a hotel since—you guessed it—1770. Alongside modern additions like in-room flat-screen TVs, its beautiful Colonial flourishes—exposed-wooden beams, antique fireplaces—are perfectly intact. We go for the ever-reliable and delicious burgers at the on-site tavern.
You may also like