A Hamptons escape for foodies
16 Rooms / 6 Suites
While the haute Hamptons have long been a vacation destination for travelers and Manhattanites in need of a getaway, luxury lodging options in the area were slim. That is, until hoteliers Bill Campbell and Simon Critchell opened Topping Rose House in 2013 in the tiny hamlet of Bridgehampton. The 22-room boutique hotel filled that glaring void, offering chic, modern accommodations; a picturesque locale on Long Island’s East End; and fantastic food.
From the outside, the white 1842 Greek-revival mansion blends in with the rest of the tony area with its columned entryway, wraparound porch and black shutters. But the main house — originally the home of prominent local judge Abraham Topping Rose and his family — holds only seven rooms. The rest are discreetly tucked behind the mansion in four ultra-modern cottages, gray buildings with slatted facades that have an almost industrial look.
Traditional and modern also mingle in the hotel’s interiors, courtesy of design powerhouse Alexandra Champalimaud and her team (whose other works include Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and The Dorchester in London). Inside the historic house, you’ll find the small, glossy aquamarine bar pops in the simple white dining room with hardwood floors and white-cloth-topped tables. On the second floor, the sunny library offers an inviting place to lounge, whether it’s in front of the roaring fireplace or on one of the built-in window seats lined with brightly patterned mismatched pillows. In the residential-like guest rooms, subdued wood floors, dark wood furniture and white wainscoting allow the graphic area rugs and throw pillows to be the focal points; black wooden Windsor chairs sit around a contemporary white marble pedestal table; and the white subway tiles in the bathroom get a luxe accent with black marble.
Another aesthetic standout is the edgy art that peppers the hotel’s walls and spaces. Curated by Christine Wächter of Winston Wächter Fine Art (based in both New York City and Seattle), the playful collection includes an ornate clear frame around a purple mirror that reads “Self Portrait” in the main house and a comical lenticular work in the ladies room that tells the cautionary tale of a woman who accidentally drops her cell phone in the toilet. Our favorites come from Seattle artist Christopher Boffoli, who plays with scale and food photography. His whimsical food-centric art is especially relevant at a hotel that houses a popular restaurant. Take a piece in one of the guest rooms: Amid a cluster of clams on ice, a mollusk opens to reveal not a pearl but a tiny man sweeping a woman off of her feet in an embrace. And near the small gym, Boffoli taunts you with a series of massive peanut butter cups; a miniature construction crew is repairing one of the broken treats that’s oozing peanut butter.
Food plays a central role in Topping Rose House. The hotel has its own one-acre farm, which provides herbs and produce that feature heavily on the menu at the onsite restaurant, Jean-Georges at Topping Rose House. You’ll taste the farm’s fresh tomatoes, watermelon, sweet corn, eggplant and more in the seasonal American dishes. The menu changes frequently to make room for the season’s crops, but you can count on seeing the heirloom kale salad with parmesan and lemon and the Bridgehampton Town Fry with bacon, fried oysters and a dusting of chili. Thanks to consulting chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his use of hyper-local fish and produce, you’ll get a top-of-the-line, truly farm-to-table experience.
Whether you opt for rooms in the main house for its lively, convivial atmosphere, or the cottage accommodations, which are more private and quiet (and have either a patio or roof deck), you’ll still have the same amenities at your disposal. All rooms come with crisp Frette linens, Matouk towels and bath products from The Spa at Topping Rose House.
Take yoga classes in a light-filled studio that overlooks the heated outdoor pool nestled in the well-manicured grounds. Or for another dose of wellness, visit The Spa at Topping Rose House for a Nirvana massage (hypnotic strokes and aromatherapy combine to help you find inner peace) or a Natural Face Lift Facial (LED therapy firms you up — no surgery needed). But be sure to make your appointment in advance; there are only four treatment rooms, which guests snap up quickly (though if you’re staying in a cottage room, you can have a service on your private patio or deck).
Topping Rose House anchors Bridgehampton’s quaint strip of Montauk Highway. It’s kitty-corner from French bistro Almond (an outpost of the NYC restaurant) and a pleasant stroll from stop-offs like Loaves & Fishes Cookshop (the owners of this emporium for home chefs reportedly inspired Ina Garten, aka the Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa) and the small Dan Flavin Art Institute.
While the Hamptons hotel is two miles from the beach, it will transport you there in one of its complimentary Lexus SUV house cars. But you may opt to borrow one of Topping Rose House’s bicycles and pedal there yourself — we recommend stocking a picnic basket with items from Jean-Georges at Topping Rose House.