Hidden Hamptons: The Hedges Inn

Victorian charm meets modern luxury at this East Hampton landmarkthe-hedges-inn

A true East End gem that has delighted many decades of guests, the Hedges Inn combines quaint charm with modern amenities. This East Hampton landmark is well situated about a half mile from Main Beach – considered one of the most beautiful in the country – and steps away from the Village, where shopping and dining options abound. The white clapboard inn, which dates back to 1870, features 13 cozy, newly renovated guest rooms, plus several inviting common spaces and beautiful gardens. One of the Hedges’ most popular offerings is a delicious and varied homemade breakfast that may well be the highlight of the day (no easy feat).

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 1.12.10 PM

The Hedges family were among the earliest settlers in the village of East Hampton, claiming the land that the inn now stands on in the mid-1600s. In 1870 John D. Hedges built a large boarding house, which was subsequently run by his New England-raised wife Isabella. Thanks to Mrs. Hedges’ hospitality and excellent Yankee cooking, the house became one of the most sought-after establishments in the area and guests included members of the era’s most prominent families. Throughout the following decades, Hedges Inn retained its reputation for elegant, comfortable lodgings and amenities.

Today, Hedges is run by Jenny Lilja, who recently took over the position of innkeeper and chef after working just a year as assistant manager. She’s clearly enthusiastic about her new role: “I am so excited to welcome people to spend their time in this beautiful historic home. I grew up out here and love to show people the local side of the Hamptons, show them what really makes this place special, without giving up too many hidden spots, of course. I still need to be able to get a table in August!,” she jokingly adds.

The laid-back, easy vibe of the place (and its innkeeper) is obvious from the moment one approaches the house, nestled behind a white picket fence and an expansive green lawn. There’s a spacious front porch with rocking chairs, perfect for relaxing after an afternoon of shopping or beach-going, in addition to two patio areas. Inside spaces include a sunny den area equipped with comfy couch, chairs, and old-fashioned candy jars (plus a computer for those who may need one), and a large breakfast room/bar, where co ee, tea and soft drinks are available all day long.

Jenny believes that one of the Hedges’ best features is its perfect location between beach and town. “Main Beach is just about a 15-minute stroll up the road, should you decide not to use our beach cruisers or drive,” she notes. “Equidistant in the other direction is the bustle of East Hampton. It’s rather quiet down here at our end of town and our location allows us to keep a low pro le. It’s calm, serene, you hear the ocean, not the tra c.”

Though guests obviously spend most of their time outside of their rooms, accommodations at the Hedges are designed for maximum beauty and comfort. The tastefully furnished lodgings range from snug full-size rooms to luxurious king-size spaces, all decorated in calming whites and light blues. Simple yet sumptuous sheets and coverlets, multiple pillows and high-end mattresses afford guests the most restful sleep possible, adding to the general experience of total relaxation.

The Hedges Inn offers the perfect location, an amazing breakfast, lovely rooms and surroundings, plus an innkeeper who is eager to welcome you. Sounds like the ideal B&B situation to us.

(74 James Ln., East Hampton, 631.324.7101)