Dining & Nightlife, Hotels, New York, TravelSummer in Southampton

Every summer I inevitably find myself spending some weekends “out east” (in Manhattan vernacular) or heading to the Hamptons, an idyllic consortium of towns located on the eastern tip of Long Island and a popular hangout for young professionals to socialites. Some people go for the “scene” bar-hopping, party-going, bash-throwing, while others go simply go to get away.  Earlier this summer, I spent a long weekend out in Southampton for the latter reason, a little trip to rejuvenate me after months and months in the city.

While I’ve spent multiple summers before in Southampton, it’s always been at a friend’s house or a summer share, which isn’t exactly conducive to relaxing. So this time, I checked into the Southampton Inn, a casual chic inn located just around the corner from downtown Southampton, and a free shuttle away from Cooper’s Beach. Nestled on five acres of manicured lawns, the Inn houses 90 simple but spacious and charming rooms, a new pool and OSO, the property’s first restaurant. The country style décor exudes laid back Hamptons charm and the friendly staff helps you feel at home right away. What I love about this place is that the inn is completely unassuming and unpretentious, a welcome relief amongst the typical Hamptons scene. That’s not to say, however, that the inn doesn’t provide top of the line amenities.  Each room is equipped with Gilchrist & Soames toiletries and super comfortable Tempur Pedic® mattresses. In fact, the Inn’s balance of privacy and luxury makes it the lodging of choice for a number of celebrity clients every summer and the stylish grounds made it the location for the filming of upcoming Kate Hudson movie, Something Borrowed.

I arrived hours before check-in time to the sold out inn and the front desk suggested that I leave my bags, pick up some beach towels and hop on the shuttle to the beach. Coopers Beach in Southampton was rated the #1 Beach in America this year and boasts pristine sand for as far as the eye can see.  One of the best features of the Southampton Inn is its location- walking distance from all the attractions about town and a quick five minute drive to the ocean.  During the summer, the Inn is often sold out- especially on the weekends, but makes it easy for guests simply to drop off their bags and start relaxing regardless of whatever time they arrive.  On-site activities also include tennis, volleyball, a game room, free wi-fi, a library stocked with treats, and a newly opened 50-foot outdoor heated pool.

Southampton Inn also houses OSO, an upscale but laid back restaurant located in its quiet garden space. Formerly a steakhouse, OSO was reopened as a modern American restaurant, where 4-star executive chef Bryan Naylor creates his culinary delights using locally sourced ingredients- from fresh seafood to heirloom cauliflower all from within 100 miles in the Long Island region. I was treated to a tasting menu that he created, sampling a variety of everything the kitchen offers.  OSO, already a local destination for breakfast, now offers meals three times a day with the dinner menu serving specialty dishes such as Lobster Tacos (Siracha pepper, aocado, lime marinated lobster and roast corn), Chioga Beet Carpaccio (local arugula, Catapano Farms goat cheese, citrus mist, almond oil), Lobster Café au Lait (Cognac foam, lobster “swizzle stick”) and one of my favorites, Duet of Long Island Duck.  Like the Inn, OSO expertly mixes upscale with laid back- offering an elegant, refined menu infused with the casual allure of the Hamptons in an peaceful, easy setting.  The private, unassuming ambiance makes OSO an especially great venue for lounging and relaxing on a slow summer evening.   Inn guests are lucky to be treated to fine dining right in their backyard (quite literally) or poolside, but OSO is also quickly becoming the go-to place for Hamptonites alike.

The Southampton Inn will remain bustling for the remainder of the summer, especially now that the Mercedes Benz polo season is in full swing.  But one of the most wonderful times to visit the Hamptons, in my opinion, is during its off-peak, whether that’s the middle of the week or even into the early fall.  Unlike some other local lodging,  Southampton Inn is open all year round, making it an ideal choice for whenever your next Hamptons vacation is.

Southampton Inn is located at 91 Hill Street and you can make reservations by calling (800) 832-6500.

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