For more than five decades the Southampton Inn has offered guests low-key, affordable getaways while maintaining a Norman Rockwell-like nostalgic experience.
Located in the center of historic Southampton Village, the inn prides itself on providing the personal attention of a bed and breakfast with the services of a hotel. The property features 90 well-appointed guest rooms situated on several acres of manicured lawns and gardens.
Owner and operator Dede Gotthelf, who purchased the inn in 1998, says that “all things old are new again,” especially for this year, following the drastic changes that were ushered in by COVID-19 last year.
Among numerous safety enhancements is the use of ultraviolet lights to sanitize guest rooms and restaurant tables, as well as the ballroom and game room areas following meal service and special events.
All guest rooms have added new pieces of furniture, upgraded carpets, new linens, and amenities from Gilchrest and Soames.
New outdoor furniture provides additional seating for outside dining on the pool patio on afternoons, in the courtyard for breakfast and small to medium-sized events, and on the south and north lawns for tented parties.
Gotthelf says that demand for weddings, private parties and corporate outings is “huge this year with lunches, brunches and cocktails/dinner outside or inside the ballroom in the event of inclement weather.”
The inn’s heated 50-foot outdoor swimming pool will remain open through Columbus Day, weather dependent.
New bicycles have also been upgraded with baskets, helmets and locks to allow guests to properly explore local houses and estates around Southampton Village.
Gamers will be pleased with the addition of new lawn games, including croquet, oversized Connect Four, horseshoes and badminton, as well as new inside board games such as Scrabble, Monopoly, Sorry and Parcheesi.
The inn’s award-winning restaurant, Claude’s, which serves breakfast, lunch and brunch, has limited hours this year from 7 a.m. to around 6 p.m., to ensure that hotel guests are able to support the area’s fine local restaurants for dinner. Claude’s is also available for special events and corporate parties from 10 to 200 people.
The on-site tennis court also has a new relationship with area tennis pros while continuing to provide rackets, balls, private lessons and even clinics for kids.
But, more than anything else, Gotthelf says that the inn provides a “perfect jumping off place for experiencing the history and culture of a unique seaside village, settled in 1635.”
She adds that the Hamptons has transformed itself into a destination comprising magnificent estates, fancy parties and fundraising galas with fine foods and wines.
“The Southampton Inn,” explains Gotthelf, “has consistently offered the charm, the beach for walks, swims and reading by the shore and the light, with visits to local artist studios and galleries, of which there are three on the inn property—Ardt Gallery, Tethys Gallery and The Art Warehouse.”
The hotel provides passes to inn guests for the Southampton History Museum, which is rich in exhibits about whalers of old, the Summer Colony of the 19th century, Native American gifts to the region and the Carriage House flea market where fancy finds include everything from art to dishes and furniture to diamond rings.
Tickets are also offered for Pianofest in the Hamptons, which spotlights award-winning American musicians this year for Monday night concerts in the village.
Inn guests can also participate in varied programming, including silent disco dancing at the Southampton Arts Center, Wednesday night free concerts on the lawn by the Southampton Cultural Center and even occasional beach parties at world-renowned Coopers Beach.
Also worth some exploration is the LongHouse Reserve, Madoo Conservancy, Conscience Point and numerous local farm stands for produce and baked goods.
Fishing, boating, paddleboarding, sailing and surfing continue to be popular attractions for visitors of all ages.
Gotthelf explains that during the past 20 years. the inn has evolved into a unique, warm and welcoming “home away from home” to enable others to share the classic and traditional Eastern Long Island experience.
“While the galas and shopping are fabulous and fun, it is the friendships and family gatherings that create the unique Southampton experience,” she says, adding, “I try to share my Hamptons with our guests by offering the memories and old-fashioned activities of my childhood.”
And as each summer season draws to a close, the longtime inn staff celebrates with its annual We Survived the Summer barbecue and pool party.
She adds that for guests, the end of the season means “lower rates, fewer cars and more availability for golf outings, corporate bonding and family celebrations.”
The Southampton Inn is located at 91 Hill Street, Southampton. It can be reached at 631-283-6500. Visit at southamptoninn.com.