One of the best-kept secrets on the East End is Amagansett’s The Reform Club. The high-end boutique hotel is home to suites, cottages, and a four bedroom house perfect for a luxurious getaway. Chase Lerner, head of business development, tells The Daily Summer what sets this stunning property apart.
What was the inspiration behind the Reform Club?
The property was acquired in the early 2000s and officially opened in 2009. The inn was conceived and built over roughly two years. That would be considered on the long side for a construction on the East End of Long Island, but it was also by design. A small group of people, including architects and local artists— specifically Dan Rizzie, a many decade fixture—used this time to assemble a collection of photographs and magazine cut-outs, sketches, and even some watercolor drawings to distill the local architectural interior and exterior elements. This collective enterprise informed the choices of materials, sidings, and chimney details, as well as negative space to create space and a sense of room. Taken together, we settled on the name Reform Club with a view toward giving the 19th-century English institution a twist in meaning while retaining the idea that we’ve created rooms and vistas, walking paths, a garden, and an orchard that together can inspire a fresh look at personal things.
We’ve always been intrigued by the name Reform Club! How did it come about?
The name came about through a committee decision. At the time, people had a particular fondness for the Reform Club in London [one of the city’s most famous private membership clubs]. It was suggested that we repurpose the phrase to reflect our goal and mission, which is to provide an environment that creates the ability to reflect, relax, meditate, and ultimately challenge oneself to undergo some level of personal and private reform.
How have the spaces evolved over the years?
Over the past 18 months the interiors were replaced and several adjacent properties were added, and the artwork was freshly rehung. The evolution, in a way, reflects our own reforms. In fact, we even experimented with a more conventional name—in a sense yielding to industry conformity and yet drifting from some of the thematic objectives discussed above. We’ve also evolved our strategic partnerships, which has given a wider variety of guests and clients an opportunity to experience our site. As the world communicates in ever-changing ways, we’ve embraced opportunities to grow our offerings beyond hospitality, which has in turn allowed wellness, exercise, and the arts to become part of the experience we offer.
How many rooms are available?
We have 11 total accommodations—seven suites and three cottages, in addition to 21 House, our fourbedroom private home.
How do guests entertain themselves while visiting?
Over the past year, we’ve introduced a variety of events, programs, and pop-ups based on our read of guests, visitors, and the community we serve. We had outdoor yoga and mindful exercise—compliant with current COVID-related concerns. We initiated an early-evening weekly music night that featured different artists and created a warm family-oriented destination for guests and nonguests. We also used a refurbished, early 20th-century building on the property for a variety of pop-ups, including a gallerysponsored art exhibition. There’s a lot for guests to do, not only on the property but also in Amagansett!
What are some of your fave haunts close to the location?
We love Wölffer Kitchen and Main Street Tavern, both only a few minute walk from the hotel. For lunch, we frequently walk over to Rosie’s or Cavaniola’s in Amagansett Square.
What’s the nearest beach?
Indian Wells Beach is only a five-minute bike ride from the hotel!
What’s your favorite time of year in the Hamptons?
The fall. The weather is perfect, all the restaurants are open (with a lot less wait time), and the beaches are pristine. September and October are incredible; the trees are starting to change colors, everyone is riding bikes through town, apple-picking is in full effect! We recently added an apple orchard to our property.
Tell us about the orchard!
It was added as part of the recent rethinking and reimagining that we’ve undergone, and has become our favorite artistic proposition. Working with Charlie Marder’s nursery and design group, we decided to enhance our sourcing of fruit trees with a root frame of soldier-course reclaimed brick from the north of England. The effect has been to understand the orchard as a place of proportion and beauty throughout the year. We find our guests and visitors eager to walk the spaces that wind in and among the trees, just to the west of our roses and teahouse.
Sounds incredible. What do you think summer 2021 is going to look like?
Summer 2021 is back in full swing. We’re working on a lot of exciting partnerships. We have great in-room amenity partners, such as Loops, Hampton Water, Loverboy, The Hampton Grocer, Brooklyn’s Best, and BodyArmor. We have incredible fitness partners, such as the Agdal Method and Sky Ting Yoga. Throughout the summer, we’ll also be hosting an array of fun pop-ups with Elyse Walker, Material Good, Solid & Striped, and a few more!
What’s the most common feedback you receive from your guests?
How have we kept this secret for so long?