My recent jaunt to New York City and the Hamptons started in splendid style aboard the Royal Sprinter, a recently introduced luxury van with two daily trips to and from the Big Apple. My uniformed driver, Nacer Abdelisser, arrived ahead of time at our departure point, the Park Hyatt on 24th and M Streets, NW. With no takers for the optional pick-up at Embassy Suites in Chevy Chase, we were on our way.
Each custom-designed Mercedes Sprinter vehicle – equipped with individual reclining leather seats with leg extensions, power outlets, tray tables, seven-inch flat screen monitors with DirecTV and a WiFi connection – can accommodate up to eight passengers. On this occasion, the $90 trip took more than the estimated four hours to reach the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue (New Jersey Turnpike accident, Puerto Rican Day Parade).
The East Side drop-off was particularly convenient as I was headed to the Intercontinental Barclay on 48th Street, under the able management of Hervé Houdré, who spent several years in D.C. at the Intercontinental Willard. My two-night stay allowed me to catch up with old friends and see the exhibitions “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and “Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937” at the nearby Neue Galerie.
I also had several excellent meals, including dinner at the Sea Fire Grill, a half-block from the Barclay, and a happy lunch at Arté on East 9th Street.
My Hamptons host and I then motored out to the Southampton hamlet of Water Mill. After excellent sushi and sashimi at Suki Zuki, we ended the evening in the over-the-top elegance of Bridgehampton’s Topping Rose House.
The next day, after he hit his real estate office, Brown Harris Stevens, in Southampton, we stopped by Hagins & Mortimer Design, a new store featuring important 20th-century artwork and furnishings, and caught a glimpse of Dash, the controversial Kardashian retail venture.
In Sag Harbor, a short jaunt to the north, we had a memorable sidewalk luncheon at the historic American Hotel and wandered down to the marina and the adjacent famed Bay Street Theater, where a matinee of the current production, “Conviction,” was letting out.
Shopping, several opulent open houses, dining at Pierre’s and Bobby Van’s in Bridgehampton…the whirlwind trip wrapped up with a farewell lunch at Silver’s in Southampton, now manned by the fourth generation of the founding family. Stuffed to the gills, I was deposited at Islip for a flight back to reality.
Whatever one needs to know about the Hamptons can be gleaned in the avidly read Dan’s Papers, the local version of The Georgetowner.