If someone with a summer home in the Hamptons decided to build a hotel, it would be Topping Rose House. With just the right doses of gallerist-curated art, historic and modern architecture, anything-you-can-dream-of service, farm-to-table cuisine and the understated luxury that well-heeled New Yorkers expect, the Bridgehampton hideaway might actually be better than your own private Hamptons home. Or, does your summer home come with a free car and beach passes?
Get this when you book through us:
A $100 spa credit a stay; Goldsmiths will get a bottle of Prosecco too
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $395.00, excluding tax at 11.63 per cent.
Rates include à la carte breakfast and a welcome snacks and drinks that often include fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the on-site farm.
Not only are bicycles available for adults to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis, but the hotel also has two house Lexuses that you can borrow for up to four hours at a time. Two more Lexuses are available for staff to drive you anywhere within a five-mile radius. Beach parking permits are available to borrow (one per room), along with a limited number of beach towels and chairs; the restaurant will also gladly pack you a picnic lunch for your beach day. Should you prefer not to bike or drive to the beach, the hotel also has a seasonally operated free beach shuttle for guests.
At the hotel
Swimming pool, spa, gym, gardens and farm, bicycles to borrow, free seasonal beach shuttle, four house cars, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: iPad, flatscreen TV, free minibar snacks, iPod dock and radio, Jambox speakers, alcohol minibar, Chadsworth & Haig bathrobes and, in the Cottage Suites, Nespresso machines.
Our favourite rooms
The rooms in the main house have an historic charm, and those in the Cottages have a subtly more modern style. We love both, depending on our mood, but we have to admit we fell for Room Six, a third-floor House One-Bedroom Suite with corner views over the front garden and a bathtub just made for relaxing in after a day at the beach.
The heated outdoor pool opens exclusively for guests in time for Memorial Day Weekend and stays open to both kids and adults alike throughout the warmer months. The hedge-lined deck has plenty of sunloungers and umbrellas to tempt you to lounge poolside; a grill provides fresh snacks and a bar service guarantees you’ll never go thirsty. Parents should note that the pool does not have a lifeguard.
The spa at Topping Rose House has four treatment rooms, and holistic in-room treatments can also be arranged.
Your driving license for when you borrow one of the house cars and a cheque-book so you can take home the Winston Wächter Gallery-curated painting in your room.
Private Pilates and yoga sessions can be arranged.
The hotel is best suited to older children, but all are welcome. Cottage King Suites are ideal for families, with their connected rooms; in other rooms, beds can be added for a fee. Babysitting can be arranged.
The on-site Topping Rose House Farm provides the majority of produce for the restaurant; most other ingredients are still sourced locally and are organic and free-range as much as possible. Cleaning products and toiletries are all ecologically friendly, and bicycles are available to borrow.
In the warmer months, the brick patio is covered in tables, as is the veranda – we’d breakfast on the patio, and lunch and dine on the veranda. In cooler months, we like the corner window table for the views – of both the grounds and your fellow diners.
Pastels, polos and pearls.
Chef Jean George and his team helm the hotel's superb restaurant. The elegant dining room draws inspiration from the house’s days as a 19th-century home, and the food draws entirely on local ingredients. In fact, the grounds are home to Topping Rose House Farm, whose fresh produce influences each day’s menu; ingredients not grow on-site are sourced from other farmers and fishermen in the area, and are organic and sustainable as much as possible. And, cliché as it may sound, we swear you can taste the difference – or, at least, we certainly could in the beet risotto, pork ragu pappardelle and signature burger. Oh, and the brioche doughnuts with passion fruit cream are legendary. At breakfast, home-grown fruit, house-made pastries and local farms’ eggs take centre stage.
Adjacent to the restaurant, the bar room doubles as a daytime lounge area, and the full menu can also be ordered here. The liquid stars, though, are inventive and well-mixed craft cocktails, a mostly-local beer selection and one seriously impressive international wine list that still makes sure to highlight local stand-outs from North Fork wineries.
Breakfast is served daily 7 – 10:30am; lunch daily 12 – 2pm. Dinner is from 5:30 to 9pm Sunday to Thursday, and to 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday. Brunch on weekends is 10:30am – 2:30pm.
A limited menu of classic bites can be ordered to your room 24 hours a day, as is the full restaurant menu, upon request.
Just out of the centre of well-heeled Bridgehampton, Topping Rose House is the perfect home base for exploring the Hamptons’ towns, beaches and great outdoors.
The closest international airport is New York City’s John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), a destination for most major international airlines. Private planes and small charters can land at East Hampton Airport, approximately eight miles from the hotel, while those travelling from some eastern US cities can fly into MacArthur Airport (ISP), approximately 45 miles from the hotel.
The Long Island Rail Road is one of the most popular ways of getting to the Hamptons; the Bridgehampton LIRR train station is less than a mile from the hotel, which provides free transfers on a first come, first served basis. Travellers arriving at JFK airport can take the AirTrain to Jamaica Station to transfer to the LIRR; those coming from New York City can get the train at Penn Station in Manhattan or Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.
Cars are easy to rent from most major hire car companies, like Avis, at JFK airport, and the drive from the airport to the hotel takes between an hour and a half and two hours. The drive from the city takes about two hours, traffic depending. Note that during the summer high season, traffic to the Hamptons is notoriously bad and can add an hour or more to your trip. Topping Rose House does offer free self- and valet parking on site.
The Hampton Jitney and Hampton Luxury Liner bus services are another popular option for getting between New York City and the Hamptons; the Bridgehampton stop is approximately half a mile from the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
An escape to the Hamptons is all about relaxing, sunning and maybe a bit of socialising – and Topping Rose House, with its guests-only pool and private gardens off the Cottage rooms, is an ideal destination. The closest beach, Ocean Road Beach, is two and a half miles away, though the staff can point you to other nearby stretches of sand to which you can ride on your borrowed bicycles; they can also provide beach chairs and umbrellas, as well as picnic lunches. Numerous hiking and biking trails are within a stone’s throw, as well, including the Elizabeth A Morton National Wildlife Refuge. Oenophiles will find some of the best wineries on Long Island within a short drive, including Channing Daughters and Shinn Estate. If you’d rather stick close to the hotel, Bridgehampton’s Main Street, a few minutes on foot away, is lined with boutiques to rival any in Manhattan.
Topping Rose House’s restaurant is one of the best in the Hamptons, but Bridgehampton does have several other excellent choices, all within walking distance of the hotel. The breezy, effortlessly cool Pierre’s, on Main Street, serves elegant French cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a focus on local seafood. It’s a favourite with locals and well-heeled summer visitors alike, and dinner reservations are imperative in the warmer months (+1 631 537 5110). The Hamptons outpost of a Manhattan favourite, the highly acclaimed Almond uses local and seasonal ingredients to channel a classic French bistro with its sophisticated but unpretentious cuisine, attracting a loyal following of celebrities, locals and foodies, alike (+1 631 537 5665). Reservations are highly recommended. Locals, families and pizza lovers flock to World Pie, a relaxed Bridgehampton institution that specialises in wood-fired thin-crust pizzas (+1 631 537 7999).
For casual sandwiches and salads or a quick cup of coffee, stop at the Golden Pear Café, a local Hamptons favourite with outposts in Bridgehampton, Southampton, East Hampton and Sag Harbor.
Given that the Hamptons is where New Yorkers spend their weekends, there are few decent hotels here to speak of. It’s all chintzy B&Bs or ritzy house rentals, which is one reason why Topping Rose House stands out. Another is because this restored 19th-century mansion has a rather grand Greek Revival façade. The house, named for its original owner, Abraham Topping Rose (a judge and local dignitary), has been beautifully revamped as the focal point of a 22-room boutique hotel in Bridgehampton, one of America’s most exclusive enclaves.
We arrived from New York on Friday night, 45 minutes ahead of schedule (unheard of). At check-in, staff kindly offered to bring our dinner reservation forward, so we dumped our bags and headed to the restaurant in the main house. It’s formal – white tablecloths, black Windsor chairs, gallery-white walls groaning with modern art – but it was busy and buzzy. While the 50-seat restaurant has parted company with its founding celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, it maintains its reputation as one of the Hamptons’ better eateries. Much of the produce showcased in the farm-to-table menu is sourced locally, and many of the vegetables come from the hotel’s herb- and root-sown market garden. The food was excellent, if pricey. (Well, this is the Hamptons.) Mrs Smith had a white-asparagus salad, followed by lobster gnocchi, while I plumped for perfectly rendered pork belly, chased with an enormous rib-eye steak. We shared the coconut pavlova for dessert.
There are just seven rooms in the main house, where modern touches complement original features. We stayed in one of the more contemporary rooms, housed in a stand-alone building. Somehow, the clash of architectural styles doesn’t jar (though some locals may disagree). The new wing has a ‘luxury motel’ feel to it, and our room was emphatically modernist in style, with his-and-hers Hunter wellies, some very posh Master & Dynamic headphones, a WiFi Jambox speaker (I couldn’t get it to work) and a ye olde iPod dock (remember those from Bose?). There was also a gift basket of locally-made cookies, crisps and fruit, and free soft drinks in the minibar. But no kettle, which – for Brits who can’t wake up without a brew – was a shame. Nor was there cable TV, which I hoped would come as standard. The bathroom, with a rain shower and soaking tub, was enormous, if chilly during our spring visit – some underfloor heating would be welcome. We enjoyed the house-made zingy, mint-based shower gel, then realised that neither of us had packed toothpaste. The guy manning front desk immediately brought a whole dental-care kit to our door, remembered our names and generously referenced a weak joke I’d made at check-in. Service with a smile.
We discovered the full delight of our Cottage King Guestroom the following morning when we saw our own private garden – ideal for a pre-breakfast newspaper read, and for our little dog to sniffle about in (small dogs are allowed in cottage rooms for £35 a night). There were sunloungers on our room’s private roof deck, too.
Weekend brunch is relaxed and lavish here, served until 3pm. I was feeling adventurous on the first morning, ordering the Bridgehampton Town Fry – scrambled eggs with deep-fried oysters, bacon and chilli dust. It was memorable, but I preferred the lemon ricotta pancakes I had the following day. Freshly baked biscuits (the US version of a scone), with house-made jams, were melt-in-the-mouth delicious.
In summer you can dine on the garden terrace or wraparound veranda; however, it’s set just back from the main road running through Bridgehampton, so it could be noisy. There’s also an outdoor pool with sunloungers and versatile studio space, which would be great for parties; during our visit yoga classes were held there. It also houses a spa and small, rather airless subterranean gym. Weddings are held in the rather lovely, 19th-century barn next door.
The hotel’s within walking distance of Bridgehampton’s few boutiques and restaurants; it’s well situated for exploring the nearby towns and beaches of the Hamptons. The hotel provides bikes, a beach shuttle and even allows guests to borrow a Lexus during their stay for further exploration – free for four hours, and useful for those arriving by Long Island Rail Road train or Hampton Ambassador (the excellent, luxury bus service from New York, which takes around two hours).
We had our own wheels and took a 10-minute drive to unspoilt Sagaponack beach, to blow the cobwebs away with a windswept walk. We made a beeline for the nearby Wölffer Estate Winery, arguably Long Island’s finest. Here we enjoyed a light – mainly liquid – lunch, sampling their finest drops, with cheeses and meats, before leaving with a case of their dangerously drinkable Summer In A Bottle Rosé. The winery has an restaurant just up the road in Sag Harbor, where we dined on our second night. On Sunday, we returned to the village to trawl upmarket interiors shops, thrilled that we were beholden to no schedule, before reluctantly hitting the slow road back to Manhattan.
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