Over the past few centuries, the Hamptons have made a dazzling name for themselves, synonymous with coastal charm and glamor. Much like the Amalfi Coast, the town that makes up the waterfront hamlet of Hampton Bays is the chosen getaway location for the wealthy and famous alike. Hampton Bays sits near the end of Long Island, opposite New York City, and is known as the “first stop out east” as it is the closest Hamptons beach town to the city.
Here, you’ll find an elegantly understated take on the Hamptons lifestyle where friends, families, and cultures have come together since 1697: Canoe Place. The site of the nation’s oldest inn, this special place has been everything from a waterside retreat to a discreet celebrity rendezvous to a fun late-night scene. But this Hampton Bays hotel wasn’t always this way.
Canoe Place History
In 1697, Canoe Place first opened its doors to weary travelers and water horses, its name a nod to the property’s early use as a Native American portage site. Post Revolutionary War, these simple accommodations transformed into the refined social gathering spot that we know today. For the next few centuries, the now historic Canoe Place Inn built their reputation and property into the prime destination for vacation. During this time, Ernest A. Buchmuller of the Waldorf Astoria and his stepson Louis developed the inn into a complete and reputable resort hotel despite misfortunes relating to a disastrous fire and more.
By 1917, the inn was owned by prominent NYC restauranteur Julius Keller and became a popular destination for celebrities and politicians. Luminaries ranging from Lucille Ball and Albert Einstein to John D. Rockefeller used Canoe Place Inn as the home base for their visits to the Hamptons. Years later in the 2000s, the venue operated as a popular nightclub with celebrity appearances and performances by Billy Joel, Led Zeppelin, Jon Bon Jovi, Ramones, Starship, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and P. Diddy.
The history of the Hamptons began around 1640 when English colonists arrived and established Southampton Village. During this time, they used the land for hunting, fishing, and harvesting of marsh grasses and plants. In 1869, the Long Island Railroad was established which opened up the area for tourism. Many boarding houses and hotels appeared in the 1880s which further encouraged the expansion of the tourism industry.
Later on, tourists began to build their own summer houses, many of which are now gone due to fire, storms, or construction. However, the landscape of the deep blue sea and sandy beaches of Long Island stay stunning.
Stay at Canoe Place
This history of gathering and memory-making carries through to this day. This historic inn near Westhampton recently reopened after years of careful restoration and thoughtful, luxurious enhancements. The return of this beloved inn and the opening of the beautifully landscaped grounds, classic pool, bars, and dining areas mark a new chapter in the long history of this special place.
Next time you seek a place to stay in The Hamptons in Suffolk County, Long Island, look to Canoe Place. As beautiful as they are comfortable, the suites and cottages are your home away from home out east. Book a room and experience all that the site of America’s oldest inn has to offer.