Winter is traditionally the time that Chris and I reflect and plan for the future, initiate projects, and in general, recharge for next summer season. We’re very excited about some of the projects we’ve finished in the last few months, and those we have planned for the months ahead!
We’re upping our game — and your space — around our saltwater pool. Check out our new decking — now a full deck on both sides of the pool.
We finished this at the beginning of October last year, just as the pool was shut down for the season, so we are excited to see everything put together when the pool opens May 1. Can you imagine how great it will feel to relax in the sun around the sparkling saltwater pool this year?
And since Gerry and his crew at Summit Pavers were onboard, we repurposed the original brick decking to create a new space near the pool for a gas fire pit! Surrounded by landscaping, we expect it will soon become a favorite place to gather.
Here’s a picture of the fire pit deck prior to its installation (the fire pit vessel arrived in January, with the snow — it was installed where the table is in the picture). I’ll have better pictures to share once we finalize the seating around it. But just think how great it will be to enjoy a drink in the firelight in the cool evening air…
Oh boy, is it Spring yet????
Ready to reserve your seat by the pool this summer? Call or click here to make a reservation today!
Two or three times each summer week we get a phone call from someone who has perhaps found us online but has only looked at the pictures. They’re ready to reserve for their whole family and are taken aback when we explain that we can’t make a reservation for them, that we aren’t suitable for families with children under 12 years old. It is a policy we enforce firmly. Here’s why.
Reflecting the owners’ diverse backgrounds and interests, no two bed and breakfasts are the same, and we are all different from a hotel. But unlike a hotel, most of us are fortunate to be able to define our properties in ways that complement our offerings. Chris and I have created A Butler’s Manor to be an adult-oriented bed and breakfast. Our food, ambiance, and amenities are geared to adults. Our rooms, with only one exception, sleep only two guests. We promote ourselves as a getaway from the kids, whether it be a romantic weekend or date night, a mother/daughter get together, a golfing trip with the guys, or a girls’ shopping trip.
Yes, we have a beautiful pool, and sure, the kids would love it. But admit it: As much as you love your kids, are you really going to relax around the pool to the soundtrack of “Marco! …Polo!” Nope, and nor will anyone else.
Unlike Amazon.com, we know we cannot be all things to all people, so we have chosen to do what we do very well to those who appreciate what we offer. We’ll happily redirect parents to a local property that is set up to welcome children, ensuring that everyone has a great vacation.
We know it isn’t always an option to let Grandma and Grandpa enjoy the kids so that you can get away to recharge your batteries as a couple. But when it is, come see us, and let someone take care of YOU.
Here at A Butler’s Manor, we have always taken our cleaning and guest comfort very seriously, and through the Coronavirus pandemic we have been researching best practices to ensure that our guests and our staff stay healthy. Therefore, in compliance with CDC and American Hotel & Lodging Association’s “Safe Stay” practices and health professionals’ guidelines, we have implemented the following practices to our already stringent cleaning requirements in order to reduce the possibility of transmission:
We will take your temperature on arrival.
At all times, both A Butler’s Manor staff and guests are expected to maintain a social distance of at least six feet and avoid direct contact as much as possible.
We’ll greet you, cook, and serve your breakfast wearing masks. As per NY state requirements, we ask that you wear a mask in the common areas. Masks are not required once you are seated at your breakfast table.
You’ll see us using disinfectant wipes to wipe down common surfaces before and after each check-in, especially door handles, stairway banisters, counters, guest refrigerator, ice maker, and guest bathroom.
Décor has been streamlined to allow for sanitizing between guests. Items that are difficult to sanitize, such as decorative pillows, throws, and spreads from the beds have been removed.
Soft furnishings in the rooms will be washed or sprayed with disinfectant between guest bookings
Though we’re small, at only five guest rooms, if we are fully booked we will ask guests to commit to a preferred breakfast time so that we can ensure adequate social distance at our tables.
Breakfast service is available in the garden (when weather permits) or in the dining room; both areas are set with single-party tables for safe social distancing between guests.
Should you prefer a takeout continental breakfast, please arrange it with us in person or by text prior to 7 PM the night before and let us know when you would like it left outside your door.
For the safety of our guests and our staff, we have discontinued the following:
Daily room refreshes. For long stays (greater than 7 days), we will consult with you about a mid-stay sheet change and deep clean.
While we encourage reuse of towels, if you elect to have yours changed, there will be a laundry bag provided in your room which you can use to leave them outside your door to be picked up, and we’ll leave you fresh towels. Similarly, leave trash cans outside your door for us to change out. We encourage texting to alert us to your needs.
Community self-serve afternoon tea service with “endless cookie jar” (you’ll still have them prepackaged in your room) and five o’clock happy hour. (Need an afternoon pick me up? Text us, and we’ll make you a cuppa.)
Community self-serve morning coffee service. Instead, coffee and/or tea will be delivered to your door at whatever time you specify between 7:00 AM – 9:30 AM.
We will be happy to provide some of our signature amenities by request, such as:
Morning coffee or tea delivered to your door at a time you specify
Sherry decanter and glasses
Wine glasses and openers for your use
A second robe (one is provided in the room)
This is how you can help:
1) First, and most obviously, if you are not feeling well, PLEASE STAY HOME. If we suspect that you may be getting ill while staying with us, we will have to cancel the remainder of your stay and ask you to leave. Please remember that while you may be able to survive COVID-19, another guest might not be.
2) You will see hand sanitizer containers all over. Please use them when you return from your travels off the property.
3) Please be patient if some of our enhanced cleaning procedures mean that some things may take a little longer than usual (for example, we’ll need to wipe down the doors and seats in the “Butler Beach Mobile” between beach runs, and will only be able to transport one party at a time).
It’s been a difficult time for the whole world, and we hope that your stay at A Butler’s Manor will help to ease the stress you’ve endured over the past several months. We look forward to a better, safer future ahead!
And, just to lighten the mood a bit, here’s a classic scene from “Cheers” that’s particularly apropos today!
We are finishing up our time here as Managing Innkeepers at
A Butler’s Manor. On October 1, beloved owners Chris and Kim will resume
their role of running this magnificent B&B in the Hamptons. They have been
missed by many of their returning guests.
It’s interesting for Ralph and me to look back on the experience, remembering how nervous we were in the beginning. After all, Chris and Kim left us with big shoes to fill. Their 17 years of dedication to their home, their business and their loyal guests provided us with a solid foundation, but it was up to us to maintain the high standard of service their regular clientele had grown to appreciate over the years and their new guests eagerly anticipated after reading the countless 5-star reviews on-line. Although everyone seemed genuinely happy to meet us and were happy for Chris and Kim that they were taking a break, some couldn’t help but express just a tiny bit of disappointment that they wouldn’t be seeing their old friends this year.
The good news is that unlike years past, this year all of you will get the opportunity to experience the Hamptons and the top-notch service at A Butler’s Manor throughout the entire fall season, as Chris and Kim resume operations through the December holidays.
The summer months had a unique personality, buzzing with energy as second homeowners and tourists “summer” in the Hamptons. All of the villages were bustling, parking could be a challenge and dinner reservations at some of the Hamptons “hot spots” were not always easy to score, but nobody seemed to care. It was fast-paced and fascinating and fun as only the Hamptons can be.
And then Labor Day came and went, and the energy shifted to
tranquil and calm. The weather is perfect, the prices have come down, the crowds diminished, and the restaurants are still open for business, without the frenzy.
We can’t figure out why people haven’t figured this out, so
we thought we’d remind all of our readers that if summer got away from you, there’s still time! That lounge chair at our pool is just waiting for you!
One final note: Our heartfelt thanks to all of the guests we had the pleasure of hosting during our tenure as managers at A Butler’s Manor. We had a blast. We learned a lot about the Hamptons, the B&B industry, human nature and each other. And we hope our paths cross again someday.
Six weeks into our new experience as Innkeepers at A
Butler’s Manor and Ralph and I are finally feeling as though we’re getting in
our groove. We arrived on April 1st enthusiastic, energized, a
little nervous and oh, so naïve!
Kim and Chris were handing their “baby” over to us. Their
pride and joy – the spectacular English gardens that Chris is deeply devoted
to, their immaculate home which they have lovingly opened to guests for the
past 17 years and just as precious, the guests themselves (brand new and
frequent fliers) who we planned to take care of as though they were our own family.
First, a bit of history about how we wound up as Innkeepers
for 6 months…it’s something I’ve always wanted to do (hasn’t everybody?). Ralph wasn’t quite as eager as I was, at
first. An introvert by nature, he wasn’t sure how he’d fare with the
constant flow of people in and out of the house and daily meet and greets, but
we agreed that I’d take on the lion’s share of cooking and hosting and he’d be
back of the house, managing the administrative part of our new responsibility
and tinkering in the garden, keeping the grounds immaculate.
Now I often find him chatting it up with guests in front of
the fire, telling stories about what it’s like to own restaurants in New York
and curiously asking guests to share a bit about their lives in England,
Australia, Germany, New Jersey or wherever they’re from. I notice him wandering
out into the dining room offering to refill coffees, just to have an excuse to
ask them about their dinner the night before. He’s a natural.
Together we agreed that we’ve always wanted our lives to be
a series of adventures. We’ve lived up to that promise to each other, sometimes
going out on a limb to help the other follow a dream. In the end, it wasn’t
hard to convince him that living in the Hamptons for 6 months, hosting interesting
people and being part of their Hampton’s vacation experience was going to be
fun and would satisfy our craving for something new.
Living in a ski town in Colorado enticed many of our friends
and family to come visit often, so we are natural hosts and enjoy the
experience. This adventure is a genuine extension of who we are and Kim and
Chris have masterfully equipped us with all of the tools we need to succeed.
As they handed over “the baby” and headed west, we felt like
new parents slowly learning to rely on our own instincts and putting
procedures in place that helped us function as real Innkeepers. Once a guest
asked me if I felt like I was “playing house.” I smiled and replied, “Yes,
that’s exactly how it feels!” And I don’t mind one bit foraging the garden in
the pouring rain for flowers to decorate my breakfast plates . . .
It’s early May and still off-season, quiet and calm, but not
for long. The calm before the storm as they say. Because we’re still new at
this, the Manor has felt busy, but we know better. Very soon, the Hamptons will
be in full swing as tourists flock to enjoy the pristine beaches, charming
villages and renowned art galleries. They’ll spend their afternoons enjoying
the scenery at the festive wineries or at the Montauk Music Festival.
They’ll spend their evenings reveling in the top-notch restaurants and the
brand new “pop-ups” shops and eateries that make cameo appearances during the
busiest summer months.
Our phone is ringing off the hook as people secure their
accommodation at this sweet spot, using it as a haven to return to after their full
and fun days of driving out to Montauk or the North Fork or using this
cool article as a guide to fill their days, Memorial Day weekend and well
into the summer.
We’re grateful to Kim and Chris for their trust and for this
unique opportunity. We’re eager to make new friends, explore this fabulous area
and make A Butler’s Manor a home for ourselves as well as our guests for the
We look forward to meeting you when you visit our Southampton bed and breakfast!
A Butler’s Manor opened for the season on April 1, and the following day we toasted Dina and Ralph, ABM’s new managers, who will take the helm here for the 2019 spring and summer season.
It’s been a jam-packed, intense couple of weeks as we’ve been training them in all aspects of running ABM. But it has truly also been a lot of fun. We find the four of us are very simpatico and training flows from early morning coffee service into shared dinner preparations, underscored by continual conversation. We joke that we’ve been living a communal life these past two weeks (“Wait! Whose apron is this?”…”I think that was my coffee cup…”) but amazingly, despite the close quarters and the level of detail, I think I can speak for us all that it has really been a fun, enjoyable experience.
Dina has lots of fresh ideas for yummy, healthy breakfasts. Ralph is all about making things run smoothly and efficiently. Both are interested, engaged and on point…and both have the passion for creating awesome guest experiences.
Which is why we are so pleased to hand over the reins to Dina and Ralph for the next six months, absolutely confident that our guests will have every bit the same careful, personalized experience during the spring and summer of 2019 as they have had throughout our previous seventeen (!!) seasons.
I can’t wait for you to meet them! Join us at our Southampton Bed and Breakfast and see what we mean!
Chris and I are excited to announce that we are expanding our team at A Butler’s Manor!
Meet our new Innkeeper Managers Ralph Landi and Dina Ferrante. This dynamic couple has had a long and varied background in restaurant ownership and management, construction management, life coaching, and more.
Dina has owned her own yoga studio and still does worldwide retreats. Ralph is an accomplished restauranteur, currently a partner in two restaurants, one of which is in NYC. They have spent much of the past eight years in Colorado raising their now college-age son, and as you can imagine from living in such a locale are avid outdoor enthusiasts. They love to travel, love new experiences (ask them about running a treehouse inn in Costa Rica!) and love providing a nourishing experience, not just culinarily, but for the heart as well. Spend a little time talking to them and you are going to want their life!Just to be clear, Chris and I still own and operate A Butler’s Manor and will be in and out, but we are stepping away from full-time hands-on management. But should your visit dovetail with Dina and Ralph’s tenure, we are certain you will experience the same welcoming and relaxing experience that has been Chris’s and my mission to provide since 2002.
Noon, Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, and the town is hopping. There’s excitement and a touch of panic in the air as everyone does their last-minute spit and polish before the Grand Opening of the Summer Season. In some cases, this is literally true, as a couple of our newest merchants in Southampton Village are putting the finishing touches on their summer pop up shops — Sydney and I passed one merchant who was installing their sign! Our funny weather (overcast but warm) means that clothing on the shoppers runs the gamut between jeans, boots, and scarves to shorts and flip flops. No one knows what the weekend will bring, but everyone’s hopeful for some sunshine!
Chris and I have been putting our own spit-shine on A Butler’s Manor, with some exciting changes of our own. First: Goose Creek has gotten a makeover…and now features a KING bed! A little creative work with the wardrobe has allowed us to add a little seating area to the room. What do you think?
Secondly: Check out the new layout of our dining room!
And a fun little change: We’ve updated the nameplates on the doors to reflect bit more of a “butler” feel (think Downton Abbey). When you visit, take a picture in the hat and post it to Instagram and hashtag us! #abutlersmanor #bowlerized
It always feels like High Spring when the cherry trees are in bloom. Chris is busy putting in all sorts of vegetables, while Sydney crashes through the bushes on squirrel patrol.They are both sooooo happy to be out in the garden.
I was talking to our guest Karen today who wondered if there were any houses or gardens that were open to the public, like the mansion tours you find in Newport, RI. (Or the Downton Abbey tours of Highclere Castle in Berkshire, England.) Sadly, that’s not a Hamptons thing; all the houses that aren’t historical properties are in private hands, and the only time you’ll find them open to the public is for a charitable cause.
With one exception! THIS FRIDAY, May 12, is National Public Gardens Day, and therefore, three of the most beautiful public gardens in our area are offering a free one-hour guided tour. The participating gardens are Bridge Gardens(Bridgehampton)–10:30 AM, Madoo Conservancy (Sagaponack)–1:00 PM, and Long House Reserve(East Hampton)–3:00 PM.
As to those tours for charitable causes, there are a few of them coming up:
Saturday, June 3: The Southampton Historical Museum’s “Insider’s Tour” of private homes in Southampton’s finest neighborhoods runs between 1:00-4:00 PM, followed by a champagne reception at the Museum’s Rogers Mansion. Tickets are $95 in advance, $110 on the day of the tour. For info or to purchase tickets, call 631.283.2494 or visit southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org
Saturday and Sunday, June 10 & 11: Parrish Art Museum’s “Landscape Pleasures” weekend kicks off with a Saturday morning symposium, followed by Sunday’s self-guided garden tour of East End gardens and properties. Tickets for the two-day event start at $175 and may be purchased by calling 631-283-2118, ext. 133, or visiting parrishart.org
Saturday, June 17: Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF)’s 31st Annual Garden Tour will feature a self-guided tour of 6+ gardens around East Hampton. Tickets are $85 for the tour, or $175 which includes a pre-tour cocktail party on Friday, June 16, at a private residence. Tickets are available by calling 631-537-0400 or visiting arfhamptons.org
Friday, July 7: Join the annual Friends of John Jermain Library house tour of area home in Sag Harbor between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Tickets are $45 in advance, $50 the day of the tour. More info: 631-725-1396.
Friday, July 14: Westhampton Performing Arts Center’s annual house and garden tour and luncheon at the Westhampton Beach Country Club from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM features homes in Westhampton, Quogue, and East Quogue. Tickets are $85 (tour only) or $125 (including the luncheon). Call 631-288-2350 for tickets, or visit whbpac.org.
So grab your idea sketchbook and your garden party hat and make your plans now to come visit us at A Butler’s Manor, your Southampton, NY Bed and Breakfast. Take a tour and benefit one of our great causes, then return and spend all the time you like in our English garden, without the crowds…we’ll have the tea ready for you!
Early spring is always such a tough call. The weather may be clear and cool, as it was earlier this week, or it can be drizzly and chilly, as it was today. Or sometimes, we even get a heat wave! In our first year of operation, 2002, we were serving breakfast in the garden this week because temps had spiked to near 80 degrees.
It was the first day of the Spring Sidewalk Sale in Southampton Village, and the merchants on Main and Job’s Lane gamely battled the periodic drizzle. Thankfully, the weather seems poised to clear tonight, so that tomorrow’s Sidewalk Sale should be a warmer experience! Saw this cute display of merchandise on a recent walk down Main Street, Southampton. Bet this line will sell out fast!
In the meantime, our wood burning fireplace is creating a great place to return to after exploring the area.
Got word of an article just published in Architectural Digest that listed nine of America’s most beautiful golf courses. At the top of the list, of course, is Augusta National in Georgia, where the annual Master’s Tournament was recently held. But how gratifying is it to learn that THREE of the remaining eight courses are located right here in the Hamptons: Shinnecock Hills Golf Club and National Golf Links, next door to each other here in Southampton, and The Bridge in Bridgehampton. Pretty impressive! (And no, sadly, we don’t have an in at any of them to get a tee time, alas.)
Chris and I are busy planting, painting, and rearranging to add new touches to A Butler’s Manor. In the next few weeks, look for some tweaks in our dining room, Goose Creek, and Villefranche. Watch this space for details!
And here’s our new take on the doors to our rooms, playing up our butlering background. Fans of Downton Abbey will recognize the ubiquitous bowler worn by the venerable Mr. Carson. Make sure you take a selfie in the bowler hat when you visit! Extra credit for posting it to Instagram and or Facebook! #abutlersmanor #bowlerized
This past Wednesday, I had an opportunity to demonstrate some of our signature breakfast dishes at Rogers Memorial Library. The theme I chose was entrees that can be prepared the night before and baked off in the morning. We featured one savory dish and one sweet dish, and our Raisin Bran Muffins. Chris came along to serve out the samples and charm everyone and generally play magician’s assistant. It was a lot of fun!
Speaking of creativity in the kitchen, I’ve been having some fun making some breakfasts I can only really do when the house isn’t full…menus that are just too labor-intensive for a full house. This is what was on the menu this morning: Orange Ebelskivers –a filled pancake–with fresh strawberries and Nutella…looks yummy, no? One of the perks of offseason visits!!
Spring is a great time to explore the Hamptons and the North Fork before the crowds get here, and where you stay is an important part of your Hamptons experience. Come visit us at A Butler’s Manor, your Southampton, NY Bed & Breakfast. Click here to check out our available rooms.