What comes to mind when you think about vacation on Long Island? Are you sipping on the vino at Martha’s Vineyard, meandering through the Gatsby-style mansions, or kicking back poolside after a day spent by the sea? Are you simply desperate for a nautical escape from New York City? No matter what type of traveler you are, and what kind of holiday you need, these Long Island hotels are a breath of fresh (sea) air – all bookable on Culture Trip.
If you’re lucky enough to arrive at this Port Jefferson Village hotel by boat, dock it at the onsite private marina in North Shore. Sip a cool mimosa on the huge wraparound porch as you keep an eye on your baby. Inside, you’ll find nautical-themed rooms with overstuffed armchairs and Keurig coffee machines for your morning brew. Some rooms come with seating areas or balconies but, if they’re taken, console yourself with plate after plate at the well-loved Sunday brunch buffet.
Housed in a white clapboard mansion in Bridgehampton with a design-led minimal annex, this ultra-chic hotel will soothe the most uptight New Yorker. If you like period features, choose a paneled room in the main house or pick the additional rooms with modular furniture, modern art and floor-to-ceiling windows; some have terraces. Suites mean you get a rooftop terrace but, if you don’t upgrade, a lounger by the pool is a good enough place to sip a chilled glass of rosé. Take the free five-minute shuttle to the beach, although taking the complimentary Lexus for a spin may prove more tempting.
Built on Long Island’s highest point, the so-called Gold Coast, in 1919, early A-listers of the old Hollywood era such as Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin used to party here. With an impressively long pebbled drive, manicured lawns and a photogenic lake, this chateau-style estate in Huntington woos wedding couples and anyone seeking European-style extravagance. Everything is expensive-looking; there’s a golden quality to rooms lined with original artwork, fireplaces and shiny chandeliers. Up your game at breakfast, bucking the usual croissant for an à la carte dish such as roasted asparagus frittata.
Perched on the Cold Spring Harbor shoreline, Deirdre, the owner of this white clapboard former rectory goes all out to cosset you with flouncy fabrics draped across beds, real log fires in winter and considerable amounts of antiques. Then there’s the organic vegan farm-to-table breakfast where you can eat as much as you like. And who doesn’t want a guest pantry to pilfer goodies from at any time of the day or night? Being 1mi (1.6km) from Huntington Village means taking your pick of the chef-owned restaurants that line the quaint streets.
Looking for one of the best hotels in the Hamptons? This laid-back base in Amagansett is up there with the finest. Choose from an airy room, spacious suite or three-bedroom, pet-friendly cottage. It’s a home-from-home kind of hotel, with wooden floors, beechwood dressers and fresh flowers on the tables. Tuck into a breakfast of warm pastries, fresh fruit and good coffee from nearby Jack’s Stir Brew. Afterwards, make use of the free bikes to cycle to Indian Wells beach. Come nightfall, it’s not just kids that hang by the s’mores station when the fire pit is lit.
We’re all for first-class vacations without the long flights. The Garden City Hotel – in Garden City, no less – is just 22mi (35km) from Manhattan. Before you know it, you’ll be dining on pastrami salmon and cheesecake lollipops at the Red Salt Room. It’s not coastal, and the room look is corporate-cool, but it’s an agreeable oasis for weddings and romantic escapes. On which note, the plush Luxe Dreams pillow-top mattresses are made for making the most of, so why not dial the room service to get some exquisite meals delivered right to your room?
With a charging station for your Tesla, it’s clear that the century-old Preston House and Hotel in Riverhead is ahead of its time. The decor is Scandi-funky (pale wood and Japanese-look ceramics in the rooms), and there are indoor/outdoor pools for any-season soaking. But it’s the old-world hospitality that speaks volumes about this hotel’s eternal popularity. The staff rocks up promptly for the nightly turn-down service, and there’s round-the-clock assistance for hair and make-up. Indulge in New American dining here: the restaurant does a great lobster roll with citrus mayo and fries.
Here’s a travel hack for your next NYC getaway: go budget in Manhattan, then take the train for 20 minutes out to Long Island’s Gold Coast for the splendor of the Great Gatsby era at the Inn at Great Neck. The bar and brasserie are zingy odes to the Jazz Age, with dashes of art deco. The rooms and suites, if more orthodox decoratively (fitted carpets, well-dressed beds) are super-comfy. There’s even a hydrotherapy suite with a two-person whirlpool tub. The restaurant does NY strip and drunken mussels (in wine). And Riverhead has some fine sandy beaches, too.
Reduce that carbon footprint at Viana Hotel & Spa, the only LEED-certified green-built hotel on Long Island. It’s a business-like rather than a boutique place to look at, with bamboo towels and robes for cozying up after a soak in the marble bath. Botanically based skincare treatments will rejuvenate you at the spa. Just don’t come expecting the ocean on your doorstep. That said, (gluten-free) Long Island Little Neck steamed clams are among the local produce on the menu at Marco Polo’s – the perfect fuel for when you’re done playing at the indoor lap pool with your kids.
See, hear and taste the best of Long Island at Hotel Indigo East End. Before you hop on the North Fork Wine Trail, stop at Hotel Indigo’s Bistro 77 for a glass of vodka distilled from Long Island potatoes. After buying the perfect souvenir at the boutique shops on Riverhead’s Main Street, find inner peace with a massage and a facial at the hotel spa. Split your time, taking in picturesque ocean views and studying the insides of your eyelids as you sink into a comfortable bed – perhaps even with your four-legged friend beside you. Pets are purrfectly welcome.
Carl Fisher – the man who conceived Miami Beach – was also the force behind this majestic pile: arrestingly English Tudor architecturally and magnificent, sitting high on a verdant hill. It’s redolent of Jay Gatsby today, with its Spanish arches, potted ferns and generous armchairs with lion-paw feet. But modernity is in the mix, too: the day spa peddles stone therapy and pre-natal massages. You’ll love hitting balls in the Montauk Manor Tennis Program, and you’ll have to at least once hit the beach – it’s all laid on for you, with chairs, umbrellas and bonfires, too.
Jo Fernandez contributed additional reporting to this article.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Looking for more stays on Long Island? Check out the best hotels in the Hamptons, New York, bookable with Culture Trip.
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