Most beach resorts are bursting with hotel rooms, but the Hamptons are not most beach resorts. Big luxury hotels don’t exist out here. Small motels are either in dire need of renovation or cater to a young, loud late-night crowd. The good news is that there is a variety of small inns and B&B’s from Southampton to Montauk: romantic guesthouses, family-friendly suites, elegant mansions and glamorous estate cottages are among the choices.
The Inn at Windmill Lane
23 Windmill Lane, Amagansett; 631-267-8500, innatwindmilllane.com
This exclusive lodging is designed to feel like a private estate. Wood-burning fireplaces, cathedral ceilings, luxurious marble baths with rain showers and private patios are standard. There’s a gym, but cottages also have private workout and steam rooms. Continental breakfast is prepared by the inn’s chef in a beautiful open kitchen and served under umbrellas on a bluestone patio. General manager Edward Villafane wants every guest to take advantage of the full concierge services. Leave the restaurant and spa reservations to the staff. Don’t feel like going out? They will arrange for a full meal from a top spot like Nick and Toni’s to be served in your room. In-season rooms $935-$2,310.
Pictured: The Common Room with a gourmet kitchen, pool table and other games.
Cottage No. 3 at the Inn at Windmill Lane in Amagansett. Cottages amenities include private workout and steam rooms.
One of the cottages at the Inn at Windmill Lane in Amagansett.
White Fences Inn
371 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill; 631-500-9013, whitefenceswatermill.com
This antique inn is situated just outside Water Mill, before the worst of the Route 27 traffic. Innkeepers Liz and Eric Brodar completed a top-to-bottom restoration and expansion of the historic structure (dating to 1740): Five rooms and suites have sleek gas fireplaces, espresso makers, Frette linens and bathrooms with soaking tubs and heated floors. A three-course breakfast is served at an expansive modern table in the dining room or on the patio. The Brodars provide parking passes and beach chairs for guests who want to spend the day at Flying Point. The Parrish Art Museum is right next door. In-season rooms $595-$925. Pictured: One of the five guest rooms.
A breakfast is served poolside at White Fences Inn in Water Mill.
White Fences Inn in Water Mill offers five guest rooms including two master suites.
Topping Rose House
1 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton; 631-537-0870, toppingrosehouse.com
Topping Rose House is more of a boutique luxury hotel than an inn. The historic Greek Revival mansion was modernized by star architect Roger Ferris, who kept the building’s historic character intact. Luxury furnishings are enhanced by a rotating selection of works by prominent artists who have included Eric Fischl and Robert Wilson. In addition to the main house there are four spacious modern cottages along the back line of the property, each with a guest room, living quarters and a rooftop patio. Rounding out the amenities are a restaurant with its own on-site farm, a full-service spa, a pool and a fleet of Lexuses ready to ferry you to the beach. In-season rooms $395-$3,395.
The dining room at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton is airy with modern furnishings.
Restaurant Jean-Georges at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton uses ingredients grown on the property's own farm.
Mill House Inn
31 N. Main St., East Hampton; 631-324-9766, millhouseinn.com
No one goes hungry at the Mill House Inn. A massive buffet of house-made snacks in the common area (freshly baked cookies, local kale chips, beef jerky) is continually refreshed. Refrigerators contain a fruit platter, cheeses and charcuterie. Ask one of the inn’s “personal assistants,” and you will receive a basket of just-popped truffle sea salt popcorn. An a la carte breakfast includes decadent selections such as a lobster frittata. There are even homemade dog treats for Fido. (Several rooms are designated for travelers with pets.) The staff will find whatever you need, whether it’s a haircut, a baby sitter or a sailboat. In-season rooms $950-$1,995.
Mill House Inn in East Hampton offers plush guest rooms and a convenient in-town location.
Courtney Silhan, general manager of the Mill House Inn in East Hampton, carries a tray of assorted fresh fruit and other breakfast treats.
The Hedges Inn
74 James Lane, East Hampton; 631-324-7101, thehedgesinn.com
This grand old structure on the National Register of Historic Places has a long history of hospitality. Its 17th century cellar was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Since the end of the 19th century it has been a boardinghouse, a roadhouse and a fine French restaurant. After the completion of a yearslong renovation in 2016, its 13 rooms offer the experience of staying at a vintage Hamptons beach cottage in the estate section of town. Parking passes are available to guests, but it’s just an 8-minute walk to Main Beach, and the way is even quicker if you take a beach cruiser bicycle. In-season rooms $225-$1,300.
Avocado mash on toast with grilled ham arugula and a hard-boiled egg are served for breakfast, prepared by Jenny Lilja, innkeeper and executive chef at The Hedges Inn in East Hampton.
An open floor plan at the Hedges Inn. These days the bar and dining room of the Inn are open only to guests, making them a serene retreat from the hubbub of town life.
Gansett Green Manor
273 Main St., Amagansett; 631-267-3133, gansettgreenmanor.com
This unusual and charming hostelry, owned by the same family for decades and recently updated by proprietors Leslie and Jed Feldman, consists of 14 accommodations, ranging from studio rooms with kitchenettes to larger cottage suites and a two-bedroom farmhouse with a gourmet kitchen. The “green” out back is a 2-acre expanse bordered by privet and surrounded by farmland. The bucolic grounds are a surprise, considering that Gansett Green Manor is right in town. Walk to the Amagansett farmers market or to nightly summer concerts at The Stephen Talkhouse. The inn owns 15 bikes that guests can take to the nearby ocean beach. If you’d rather drive, parking passes are provided. The inn’s “surf shack” is stocked with beach chairs, towels, toys and umbrellas. In-season rooms $495-$995.
Inside the Innkeepers Garden Suite at the Gansett Green Manor in Amagansett.
A guest sits under the elm tree at Gansett Green Manor in Amagansett.
Crow's Nest Inn
4 Old West Lake Dr., Montauk; 631-668-2077, crowsnestmtk.com
This inn consists of a main lodge with 14 rooms as well as a two-bedroom, two-bath cottage. The adjacent David Pharaoh Cottages range from studios to a three-bedroom house. All overlook Lake Montauk, and the inn owns a private beach on the lake. Twinkling strings of lights in trees make nighttime strolls enchanting. There are fire pits for guests’ marshmallow roasts. In other words, plenty of opportunities for Instagram greatness. Rooms and cottages $225-$1,933.
The Crow's Nest restaurant has views of Lake Montauk.
The Crow's Nest restaurant in Montauk. The Atlantic is a short drive away from the Crow's Nest Inn and the hotel provides beach parking passes. A certain number of tables at the hotel restaurant are held for guests — a good thing, since this is one of the most popular dinner spots out east.
A Butler's Manor
244 N. Main St., Southampton; 631-283-8550, abutlersmanor.com
Innkeeper Chris Allen worked as a proper British butler for almost 20 years before he and wife Kim opened this romantic Victorian inn (no kids under 12), where service and hospitality are paramount. There’s a wood-burning fireplace in the common room for chilly nights, and a piano if you like to play. Out back, there is a lovely saltwater pool and flower-filled gardens. Southampton Village is just a half-mile down the road, but Chris is happy to chauffeur you there or to the nearby beach (chairs, and beach towels provided). In-season rooms $340-$775.
A fresh fruit cup for starters at A Butler's Manor in Southampton. Guests staying in the five rooms enjoy a three-course breakfast cooked by innkeeper Kim Allen at a table set with Lenox china and Waterford crystal.
Innkeeper Christopher Allen sets the patio table for guest at A Butler's Manor in Southampton.
The Bridgehampton Inn
2266 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton; 631-537-3660, bridgehamptoninn.com
A recent addition brings the Bridgehampton Inn’s room total to 12. All are decorated with warm paint colors, original art and a careful selection of antiques. An expansive rooftop deck and a stone patio out back provide outdoor spaces for lounging. The Inn has a highly regarded restaurant where breakfast (included in the room rate) is served. For guests, there is also a 15 percent discount on dinner. A splendid cookware and tabletop shop is on the ground floor of the new wing (with a discount of 10 percent). Just steps away are additional shopping and dining on Bridgehampton’s Main Street. Beach parking passes as well as bikes offer access to nearby Sagg Main, Mecox and W. Scott Cameron beaches. In-season rooms $465-$710.
Chef Brian Szostak holds a plate blackened sea scallops in the kitchen at the Bridgehampton Inn.
Room No. 14 overlooks lush gardens at the Bridgehampton Inn.
The Baker House
181 Main St., East Hampton; 631-324-4081, bakerhouse1650.com
The Baker House, with its Cotswolds-inspired architecture, has the feel of a grand English country house. The oldest part of the building, with burnished wood ceiling beams, dates from 1648. There are only five rooms, plus two more in the carriage house. These rooms are large (up to 500 square feet), with window seats, wood-burning fireplaces, canopy beds and cozy upholstered furniture. Breakfast is served in the dining room or in the garden — or have it delivered to your room. An honor bar stocked with wine as well as single-malt Scotch, small-batch bourbon and Cognac is a hospitable amenity. An infinity-edge pool is the centerpiece of an elaborate garden. The Baker House’s hidden treasure is an intimate basement spa, which guests can reserve for private use. In-season rooms $615-$2,000.
The Loft is one of the rooms at the Baker House in East Hampton.
The pool area by the two-suite Carriage House at East Hampton's Baker House is framed by lush landscaping.
126 Main St., Southampton; 631-287-1708, 1708house.com
George Washington slept in a post-and-beam bedroom at this inn. Thanks to innkeeper Skip Ralph, who saved the historic structure from the wrecking ball more than 20 years ago, you can too. The rooms now have flat-screen televisions, air conditioning and Wi-Fi. Breakfast is served at a grand dining table with sterling flatware and brocade chairs, but the atmosphere is relaxed. The 1708 House is right in Southampton Village, and the beach is within walking distance, though the inn provides guests with parking passes if you want to drive. On rainy days or in the evening, enjoy drinks beside an arched fireplace in the cozy stone wine cellar. In-season rooms and cottages $325-$695.
A courtyard at the 1708 House in Southampton.
Innkeeper Skip Ralph sits in the formal parlor at the 1708 House in Southampton.