Hygge may have had its heyday, but Scandi style never goes out of fashion – as one look at The Maidstone in East Hampton proves. This green-shuttered clapboard casa on Main Street is a homely hotel, with multiple fireplaces, a sprawling garden and quirky interiors that honour niche Scandinavian explorers, the Nineties’ favourite Hallowe’en mask and the big guns of mid-century design. Each room gets its own permit to park at the beach (a huge Hamptons bonus, trust us), but with vintage bicycles lined up to borrow, leave the wheels behind and get that Atlantic breeze flowing through your hair.
11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm, but flexible if your room’s ready.
Double rooms from £255.09 ($320), including tax at 11.625 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast.
If you’ve fallen for one of the black and white photos of Woodstock on the walls and mean to have it, you’re in luck: the images, on loan from a local artist, are all for sale.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, vintage bicycles to borrow, private gardens. In rooms: Jonathan Baker bath products; some have a TV.
Our favourite rooms
You’ll be able to hear restaurant hubbub from some of the rooms in the main house – request a room further away if that doesn’t sound quiet enough. Or go a step further, all the way to Africa, in the Karen Blixen cottage. Anyone on a Moomin pilgrimage should request the Tove Jansson room, for self-explanatory reasons.
Along with a yoga area, trampoline, Buddha statue and ping-pong table, the gardens have a pool behind a white fence.
If you’ve packed white clothing and it’s October, or you don’t have anything to wear to the next scene-y soirée, fear not: East Hampton is the most boutique-laden of all the shopping-mad Hamptons.
Kurbits Cottage is ADA-approved, with a roll-in shower and grab bars in the bathroom, as well as ramps from its parking area and leading to the hotel.
The pet-friendly rooms are Kurbits Cottage, Carl Von Linne, Birgit Nilsson, Sonja Henje, Josef Frank, Edward Munch, Trove Jansson, HC Andersen, Eliel & Eero Saarinen and Karen Blixen. There’s a daily charge of $50 and the hotel has been known to serve a s See more pet-friendly hotels in Hamptons.
In case you were wondering, the trampoline isn’t for the grown-ups – children are welcome, and there are room options with twin beds, sofa beds and some that can connect.
Children of any age are very welcome. Cots can be added to any room, and the concierge will be happy to arrange a baby-sitter (request in advance). Children are welcome in the hotel restaurant, high chairs are provided and there's a tot's menu.
Children of all ages are very welcome.
The hotel’s cottages and suites are great for larger families, with pull-out couches and private patios.
Kids will love playing lawn games on the hotel grounds (especially the Viking ‘Kubb’!), and board games inside on wetter days; ask the hotel to point you towards child-friendly events in the local area. The Children’s Museum of the East End (www.cmee.org) organises a whole array of activities for kids, from tea parties to French classes, and The Art Farm (www.theartfarms.org) is an eco-friendly arts and crafts centre that caters to children as young as six months.
Children are welcome in the hotel restaurant at any time (high chairs provided), and there’s even a special children’s menu, which emphasises a relaxed but healthy approach to local organic produce – with a Scandinavian twist. Dishes range from ‘fresh from the farm’ soup to Swedish meatballs on potato roll with lingonberry ketchup and homemade pickles; and kids will love the cookie selection plate to finish. Staff are happy to heat up milk or baby food for younger Smiths.
The concierge will be happy to arrange baby-sitting with a local nanny (request in advance).
No need to pack
Cribs can be provided for any room (request in advance), which will be included in the cost for an additional guest.
The kitchens use as much of the Hamptons’ bounty as possible, with a focus on seasonal, organic produce. All cleaning products and light bulbs are eco-friendly, too.
Fight over the fireplaces, or sit out under the string lights in the garden.
As long as you’re not wearing white after Labor Day, anything goes – bonus points for Swedish favourites Acne Studios and & Other Stories.
The lounge-y restaurant extends into various nooks and cosy crannies, with low-slung tables and sofas near fireplaces, more formal seating by the window and spots out in the garden, too. The menu changes with the seasons, but expect the signature double-stack burger to stay put, along with the sushi selection and shareable small plates. Other highlights include cacio e pepe cauliflower, harissa-lamb lollipops and lobster linguine.
The bar menu rotates with the seasons, too, which is good news for those people who go mad when a certain coffee chain introduces its autumnal drinks: the Espresso Pumpkin Martini is the cocktail for you come the fall. In summer, staff let you ‘PYO poison’: choose the liquor they’ll then work their magic with it. The hotel has an impressive wine cellar, too.
On Main Street in East Hampton, the Maidstone is within a short walk of the town’s beach and designer boutiques.
The nearest airport is Long Island’s MacArthur, the drive to and from which should take a little over an hour. From New York City hubs including JFK, drive time will be around two and a half hours.
The Long Island Rail Road stretches from Manhattan all the way along the Atlantic coastline, calling in at East Hampton station, which is a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk from the hotel.
The hotel is in the heart of East Hampton, but a car will come in handy for exploring other enclaves such as Sag Harbor and Southampton. The hotel has a car park and charging stations for electric vehicles, and staff can give you a free permit to park at the local beach.
If it’s good enough for Carrie Bradshaw and co, the Jitney bus from Manhattan to the Hamptons is good enough for us. And the hotel has a set of vintage bicycles for guests to keep up with their stylish new neighbours.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Hamptons are New York’s holiday playground and it’s easy to see why: wholesome fun for all the family includes visits to Round Swamp Farm, a country market to stockpile homegrown produce and preserves, days out on Main and Georgica beaches or trips to the Clubhouse, a restaurant with added arcade games, bowling and mini golf. Art lovers can make a pilgrimage to the Pollock-Krasner House, which the artists moved into in 1945. They’ll also enjoy the Longhouse Reserve, an installation- and sculpture-packed estate that spans 16 acres. Or tour the ultimate saltbox house with a visit to the Home Sweet Home museum on James Lane.
Mexican food and margaritas at the beach await at Blue Parrot further along Main Street, which gets even better during happy hour every weekday. The Hamptons meet Europe at buzzy Cittanuova on Newtown Lane – with more Italian-food fixes available at East Hampton’s Serafina outpost. At the historic 1770 House (and Smith stablemate), choose from the main dining room or go for the more casual pub fare downstairs.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this Hamptons hotel in Long Island and unpacked their iced tea and indie-label clothing, a full account of their beachside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Maidstone in East Hampton…
Obsessing over Scandi style has been a thing for a while now, but few places take it as seriously as the Maidstone in East Hampton, where rooms have nods to famous sons and daughters of Scandinavia, from the Scream-shaped mirror in the bathroom of the Edvard Munch room to the statement chairs in honour of the founders of Artek and an homage to the queen of pigtails, Pippi Longstocking. The owners, one of whom is indeed Swedish, are as talented at creating toiletries as they are in interior design – the organic line of perfectly scented Jonathan Baker bath products in your room were crafted by the proprietor himself. Unusually for the Hamptons, the property aims to be open all year, which means that long after everywhere else has shuttered up at the end of the summer, the Maidstone – and its series of fireplaces – will be inviting guests in from the wild Atlantic-lapped beaches for a glass of wine from the cellar, a hearty meal in the restaurant and a sleep in stylish Scandinavia.