New Swedish-Designed Hotel Helps Stuffy East Hampton Get Hip
Maybe it's because if you truly are somebody, you'd already own a house in the Hamptons, or plan to rent one for the season, or certainly at least know someone with a guest room. No matter the reason, it's a fact that there's a dearth of hip hotel options on the east end of Long Island. Weekend visitors to the Hamptons can choose from glorified motels or stodgy historic inns (both of which will snare you with a three-night minimum at top rates). Until now.
Swedish hotelier Jenny Ljungberg of c/o Hotels took over the East Hampton landmark the Maidstone Arms in 2008 and renamed it c/o The Maidstone. She first reworked the restaurant with a slow-food focus, something she pioneered at her five other properties in and around Stockholm. The Maidstone's restaurant, The Living Room, opened to positive reviews and a packed reservations list last Summer. After further renovation to the rooms during the off season, the hotel is now fully operating with 19 guest rooms, each decorated as a subtle homage to a famous Scandinavian.
Gallery: c/o The Maidstone
Designer Nadia Tolstoy (great-granddaughter to Leo) gave the interiors a brightening up by way of electric-blue walls, hot-pink accents and bold upholstery on antique pieces, some in mod-floral fabric designed by Josef Frank. The affect is a breath of fresh air totally unexpected at a late-19th-century inn. These kind of interiors serve hotels well. Guests might not choose to paint their homes so boldly, but for a weekend's stay it's fun and lively. The guest room themes add another conversation piece to the experience. The orange-and-white homage to Verner Panton is bold with curvilinear shapes to reflect his famous chair design, while the Hans Christian Andersen room is whimsical, filled with references to his classic children's stories.
Other clever details abound: Bright-red bikes are available for guests to take to nearby Main Street, East Hampton or the beach. Guests can take the Long Island Rail Road to The Maidstone from Manhattan and avoid the Hamptons' notorious summer traffic. If they plan to stay in East Hampton, the bikes can get them around, if not, a cab can pick up the slack.
But perhaps the most memorable element of a weekend at the Maidstone is the heavenly beds. Owner Ljungberg spared no expense on the Haastens horse-hair mattress beds, organic cotton sheets and plush down pillows; sleeping doesn't get any better.