The Hamptons has long been the summer destination of choice for the style set. Travel Curator asked four influential tastemakers from the worlds of fashion, interior design, travel, and hospitality to share their well-kept secrets.
Fashion designer Cynthia Rowley is renowned for her fun, flirty, colorful creations that evoke eternal vacation style. @cynthiarowley
What’s your idea of Hamptons paradise?
Floating on the ocean on a surfboard anywhere between Amagansett and the Montauk Lighthouse.
Where is culinary heaven?
Fresh fish from Gosman’s market grilled at home and served outside Family Style outside with friends and a glass of cold rose. Every summer we do an outdoor food pop-up at the store and this season we have Bravo Toast from LA, they’re masters at the perfect avo toast and have awesome coffee and healthy treats.
Which pieces are trending in your store this season?
We are making pretty masks in prints and solids and prints and also special embroidered ones. We’ve always been known for our colors and prints, and this season especially people are feeling the happy vibes when they come in the store. I do think color therapy is a real thing that elevates your mood. Also popular are our comfy cotton caftans, cute cotton PJs to wear all day, swimsuits, fun Montauk/Malibu t-shirts, and wetsuits. Our wetsuits are sexy, functional, sustainably made, and SPF 50. It’s my mission to encourage every girl to get into the water even if it’s chilly.
What’s in your beach bag?
Cynthia Rowley wetsuit, giant tie-dye raffia hat, sunnies, and mineral-based sunscreen so I never have to leave the beach. When I do drag myself from the ocean, I rehydrate with gorgeous clean beauty products from Botanica Bazaar. I love Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, it’s like a big glass of water or a cold beer for your face.
Where do you go for a killer sunset?
The scenic overlook on 27 between Amagansett and Montauk is pretty epic but it’s also hard to beat a lobster salad on the deck at Duryea’s.
Name your favorite hotel?
We’re so lucky to be able to host our annual surf camp at The Surf Lodge with its amazing sunsets and cool vibes. Our camps take women who have never been on a surfboard out for lessons and they all get to experience one life-changing wave, then we celebrate with a yummy dinner at Surf Lodge. I also love the Montauk Beach House because every year they host the Walk On Water benefit where kids with autism are given surf lessons and joyous rides with one-on-one instructors.
What’s your favorite Hampton’s Experience?
Honestly, Mother Nature. There are so many state parks and natural wonders. If I’m not in the ocean, there are trails for mountain bikes and places to go clamming, fishing, horseback riding. I’ve also started playing tennis, and we have a little dirt bike which is so fun.
What’s new at The Montauk Beach House?
We are taking advantage of the fact that Montauk Beach House is entirely outdoors, by offering outdoor work-out classes, movie nights, BBQs, and live music.
Where are your favorite restaurant haunts?
How is Left Hand Coffee keeping Hamptonites well-fueled?
American coffee culture has changed dramatically over the last few years. Thanks to the third wave coffee movement, drinking the finest coffee is not just for those in the know. We opened Left Hand because there was a need for good coffee in the area. Montauk is a town of early risers that know good coffee, so we give them the kick they need to start their day.
Share your favorite Hampton’s secret?
But then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. One of my favorite things to do is motorcycle the back rounds during early summer and fall.
If the Hamptons was a playlist or cocktail what would it be?
Lots of Amy Winehouse and definitely an Aperol Spritz
Where do you get the best sunset?
Montauk, hands down
What are you most likely to hear Hamptonites saying?
That they hate how quiet it is in the winter and how crowded it is in summer.
What’s on your Hampton’s summer reading list?
I’m currently reading George Washington’s Secret Six. It’s about how six spies saved the American Revolution and it’s all set on the shores of Long Island.
Danielle Elder, Classic Events
Founder of Classic Events, boutique event and wedding planners in Manhattan and the Hamptons. @classiceventsnyc
What’s your favorite Hampton’s pastime?
Flying Point Beach in Water Mill, it’s possibly one of the world’s most beautiful places out east and when I’m there with my husband and kids, I feel truly centered.
Where is your go-to restaurant?
Beacon in Sag Harbor. Nothing beats sitting on their outdoor deck at sunset watching the boats sail by. For coffee, Hamptons Coffee Company, I take my laptop, sit at an outdoor table, work, and think. Provisions in Sag Harbor is the oldest and best natural foods market and they do great juices. Johns Pancake House in Montauk for breakfast and Big Olaf’s in Sag Harbor for ice cream, the line is always out the door but it’s worth the wait.
What’s in your Hampton’s wardrobe?
I honestly only wear white, navy, and tan. My winter wardrobe feels dark and heavy so I insist on a relaxed summer style, especially as I have to attend so many formal events. The only exception I make is a great shoe, Jimmy Choo is my go-to.
Share your beach essentials?
A book – I worked at Random House for a decade before founding Classic Events- Citarella’s low-fat chicken salad for lunch and La Roche-Posay Sunscreen. My husband brought it back from a trip to Cannes for me and I’m officially hooked.
What does your summer wellness routine look like?
I am addicted to SoulCycle BARN Bridgehampton – there is nothing like an open air class in the summer. I also hydrate a lot, because there is a ton of cocktailing during the week. I go to Lupe at Kevin Maple Salon in Southampton, she is a master at beachy summer hair that also looks polished for events.
Divulge your Hampton’s hidden gem?
A well-kept secret is the fried chicken from Cromer’s Market. I grew up on it, and it’s perfect for a picnic or backyard lunch. Again, people queue up to get it before it sells out.
What’s the hot ticket on the Hamptons event calendar?
The annual 4th of July beach bonfire cocktail party my husband and I host. The event planner in me always needs to throw a party and watching the local fireworks is simply magic.
Fashion designer turned interior design guru is renowned for his clean, modern style and talent for mixing vintage mid century with coveted contemporary pieces. @timothy_godbold
Name your favorite beach?
Gibson Beach, it’s small under the radar beach so there’s very little parking which means it never gets over crowded.
You recently bought a home in Southampton, what’s the plan?
I purchased a rundown 1976 modern in Southampton, which I am renovating. I will be the only black house on the block. I live between Steve Roth and Michael Bloomberg so I’m hoping their business savvy rubs off as I want to buy some very expensive windows and doors. My daily exercise right now is landscaping at my property, I’m sore, so it must be working.
Divulge your go-to interior stores?
MONCXIII in Sag Harbor for the best curated collection of new and vintage furniture and table tops. Laurin Copen Antiques in Bridgehampton is always full of great vintage pieces – her lamps are the best. Beale and Bell on the North Fork, two ferry rides from the Hampton’s, but worth the trip is my secret place for antiques.
Favorite culinary hotspot?
I tend to stay away from the trendy spots. The Vine on Shelter Island as I love any excuse to take the car over on a ferry (it’s also the perfect place for a romantic date. For breakfast and amazing juices Bruce and Son on the North Fork. Buddah Berry in Sag Harbor for ice cream (and all round mass calorie consumption) and for coffee SagTown coffee is a staple.
Share your summer Hampton’s wardrobe?
Black T-shirt, black shorts and white Common Projects sneakers.
What’s your idea of the perfect Hampton’s day?
I love twilight out here, it is always so peaceful and you can easily connect with nature either on the beach, hiking or sitting on your back porch.
If the Hamptons were a playlist what would it be?
Du Tonc from LA and 90s house
What’s on your summer social calendar?
I only go to one event every summer. A cocktail party, for ‘God’s Love We Deliver’ a charity that delivers healthy meals to those with serious illness. It’s always fun and a great way to support the community.