Hamptons luxuries and bargain alternatives
When it comes to luxury, few places do it better than the Hamptons. Mansions hidden behind high hedges, uber-exotic cars, and high couture are seen all over town.
It's the place of millionaires, but for every bit of posh that can be bought -- surprise -- there's a bargain, too. So pick your pleasure: A splurge or a deal.
It's tough both to get to the Hamptons and get around the towns. Here are some ideas to keep you moving:
SPLURGE: Use the iPhone app Blade to get from Manhattan to East Hampton via helicopter for around $575. A complimentary glass of wine and newspaper make the trip a little kinder.
DEAL: The Free Ride, a company that advertises products on its electric cars, offers gratis rides from spots in the Hamptons to the beaches (where parking is a nightmare for out-of-towners), train stations or anywhere along the way. Just flag one down or wait in a designated spot -- thefreeride.com
A LITTLE NOSH
Who doesn't get hungry with all that people-watching?
SPLURGE: Lobster salad goes for $44 a pound at Schmidt's Market in Southampton. OK, so buy half a pound and put it on a roll.
DEAL: Grab a 95-cent doughnut at Scoop Du Jour in East Hampton. It's homemade, and you can eat it on the bench outside.
Nightlife is part of the Hamptons allure, from the club scene to the let's-grab-a-beer scene.
SPLURGE:Treat your friends to the 30-liter Ace of Spades "Midas" Brut listed at $250,000 (that's not a typo) at the newest club sensation 1 OAK in Southampton. That's about the size of 40 small bottles, and it weighs around 100 pounds. Club owners say it hasn't been bought yet this year, but the summer is young.
DEAL: Buy a six-pack of Southampton Publick House's own Southampton Double White for $11, or sit at the bar for one on tap (about $6) while watching the day's sporting events on a flat-screen TV. Employees say it's the top seller of the Publick House beers.
PLACES TO REST AND PLAY
There's really no such thing as a cheap place to stay in the Hamptons, other than someone else's guest bedroom.
SPLURGE: With room rates ranging from $825 to $3,000 a night in season, Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton was named an "It" hotel by Travel ... Leisure magazine this year. The architecture honors the original Greek Revival mansion built in 1842, interspersed with modern design. Courtesy bikes and a fleet of Lexus cars are available for daily use, plus beach passes -- worth their weight in gold during the summertime.
DEAL: Play for the day -- $100 gets a Southampton Inn day pass, which gives many of the amenities of an overnight stay without the actual "sleeping there." It includes use of the pool, tennis courts, shuttle to Coopers Beach, bike rental and showers.
CARRY YOUR STUFF
Ladies love their purses, but prices vary wildly at two shops in East Hampton:
SPLURGE The Devi Kroell large Sutton white crocodile handbag is rare, says a Devi Kroell employee, hence the price -- $20,000. It's pristine white, so it's not the type of bag to drop on the floor at a restaurant. In fact, it deserves its own chair.
DEAL: Need to throw an extra pair of flip-flops in a bag for the beach? Pick up an East Hampton canvas tote bag for $30 at Breezin' Up. If a wave washes over it, the bag should be just fine.