Hamptons Style

If you’re desperately searching for a luxurious vacation spot, Daniel Rattiner‘s new book, Hamptons Private, suggests you could do a lot worse than the timeless beachside town. The Hamptons has been a luxury vacation spot of some of the biggest names in the country for generations. The coastal getaway instantly conjures images of poolside soirées, grandiose waterfront estates, and endless days on the beach socializing with the upper echelon. Through Rattiner’s vivid descriptions, one can practically smell the sea air as he discusses the eagles that swoop and soar overhead, the whales that roll up to the surface to spout, the thunder of the sea, and the whistle of the wind. 

Eunice Bailey Oakes Gardiner and husband Robert David Lion Gardiner picnic with guests on Gardiners Island in 1968. (Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

But Rattiner’s love letter to the Hamptons also explores the fascinating history surrounding the peninsula. Before the New York getaway became the summer haunt of the glitterati, its 40 miles of rolling sand dunes provided the perfect landscape for English settlers. Once New York high society caught wind of the charming hamlets and salty air, its members—from the Fords to the Vanderbilts—soon turned the Hamptons into a summer oasis. Next came the creatives seeking solitude, a place to write and sketch, away from the urban cacophony. Famous names who took root in the Hamptons include famous creatives of the past like John Steinbeck and Andy Warhol, as well as some of the biggest names of today, like Jay-Z and Madonna. 

Delfina Blaquier (Courtesy of Delfina Blaquier)
(Courtesy The Baker House 1650)

What unites these Hamptonites is the locale. It boasts a unique allure that morphs to meet the desires of whoever should find themselves there. Hamptons Private invites readers to join the big names in absorbing the charms of the Hamptons, from chartering a yacht off the shore of the Springs to attending a polo match in Bridgehampton. Each page envisions the quintessential leisure of the Hamptons and showcases the unique quality of life that artist Willem de Kooning once called a “miracle.” One can almost hear the thwock of tennis balls at The Meadow Club, the whisperings of exclusive parties, the rhythms of seaside music at The Surf Lodge—even the first bite of a lobster roll at Lunch. Rattiner weaves fascinating tales about the history of the island, from the first settlers in the 1640s, to prohibition, to the radar station built to search for Soviet missiles. The rich and untold story of the Hamptons comes to life as not just a hot spot for the elite, but a vibrant retreat that exudes a boho-chic spirit reflected in the beauty of the peninsula.

Nick Hunt (Patrick McMullan/Getty Images)