The Hedges Inn is the symbol of bountiful beauty in the Hamptons. With the most ideal location set between the pristine beaches of East Hampton and the town’s historic village, you are steps away from creating tons of memories during your stay. As soon as I stepped on to the property, I was dazzled by the colorful tulips that lined the walkway. The sun was peaking out that morning I took my tour of The Hedges Inn, and it created a subtle golden glow across the tree tops. The property is perfectly manicured with its trimmed hedges and the lovely flower-boxes in each front window is an affectionate touch to this historic inn.
The Hedges Inn boasts twelve stunningly recently renovated guest bedrooms. The inn was originally built as a private residence on property that was acquired by William Hedges in 1652. The original house that is now the inn was built over the original 17th century cellar by John D. Hedges in 1873, for his wife Isabella to manage as a boarding house. The boarding house was the only place people heading to The Hamptons would come to. Mrs. Hedges was known for her superior hospitality and New England-style breakfasts. The inn remained in the family until the 1920s and is listed in The National Register of Historic Places. The inn is now an unmistakable icon of East Hampton and a luxurious bed and breakfast.
I had the opportunity to meet the very amicable Ann Clarke, the innkeeper and manager of The Hedges Inn, who gave me a full tour of the property.
As Clarke describes, those who choose to stay at The Hedges Inn will be rewarded with the highest standards of quality. “Guests will wake up in a luxurious setting from a good night sleep, take a shower in their marble and mahogany bathroom and head downstairs. They will be greeted by a staff member as they walk into breakfast,” says Clarke. “We let our guests just be and enjoy themselves; we try to find that perfect balance where we cater to our guests but we don’t shadow so guests feel at home.”
Breakfast is served each morning from 8-9:30am. At breakfast, there is a coffee station, with hot Starbucks coffee served in a sterling carafe. The heart of it all is their Tuscan buffet which includes a wide assortment of breads, scones, and muffins that are freshly baked, in addition to Greek yogurt, homemade granola, fresh berries, sliced fruit, and assorted juices.
Guests may then select from either a scrambled egg entrée or the multi-course daily Chef’s Choice. The three course specialty includes a breakfast starter, egg main dish, and a breakfast dessert. “I am a firm believer that every day should start with chocolate. I do try to incorporate something sweet in our breakfast dessert everyday,” says Clarke. A starter may include a chilled summer berry soup or a fig with balsamic glaze with a bit of Gorgonzola roasted on top, or perhaps a Grapefruit Meringue. The entrées may include their Prosciutto Wrapped Egg with a mushroom tarragon sauce and fresh grilled pineapple, or their Black Angus Bacon Slider served with fresh spinach and a sunny egg on top or a Parmesan encrusted egg over crisp Caesar salad. Desserts may be Bacon Waffles, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Crème Brûlée French toast, mini chocolate croissants, or French toast with fresh drunken strawberry syrup. I myself would love to try the Crème Brûlée French toast!
Most likely, guests would skip lunch as they would be so full from enjoying their elaborate breakfast. If guests wish to take a jaunt to the beaches or around town, there are hybrid bikes available for real cycle enthusiasts, and plenty of beach bikes for use. Guests can elect to turn left to go to the beach, or turn right for shopping, and to see a performance at the Guild Hall. Within cycling distance, there are the vineyards to explore or guests may opt to spend a day at Shelter Island.
When guests return for some rest in the late afternoon, they may enjoy some complimentary coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or soft drinks from the honor bar, also known as “Bar None.” These beverages are available around the clock. Perhaps instead of traditional sugar, you may decide to sweeten your coffee or tea with rock candy on a string that is also found behind the bar. Cordials and Hamptons Chocolate Company snacks are available for purchase.
In the afternoons, guests linger on the outdoor living room patio enjoying the beautiful Hamptons day having a cocktail or reading. “Many of our guests love to intermingle and enjoy great conversations,” says Clarke. “[I remember] when the Olympics were on, people sat around together downstairs instead of watching the games in their rooms.”
The majority of visitors from The Hedges Inn are from the City with an international crowd as the secondary tier, mainly a lot of Brits, Germans, Asians, and Russian guests that return every year. The third tier visitors are from the continental U.S.
Each of the twelve rooms is beautifully and tastefully decorated. The Inn takes great care in choosing which products to incorporate into the guest bedrooms. Every detail is attended to from the high quality linens to the box of handmade chocolates waiting on each bed for guests. Delicious chocolates such as salted caramels and summer raspberry dark chocolate truffles from Serious Chocolate based in Bay Shore on Long Island, are all custom-made for The Hedges Inn. The French basket beach totes in the rooms are hold bold rugby striped beach towels. The Inn has beach parking permits, sand chairs, umbrellas – everything you need except swim suits and suntan lotion!
The Hedges Inn is a popular destination for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, rehearsal dinners, and corporate events. Companies and groups that were recently hosted included Martha Stewart Living, Mercedes Benz, and Harvard Business Group Alumni. Many locals will book out the Inn for large parties. For more information, please visit http://www.thehedgesinn.com