Home Sweet Home - Topping Rose House

May 2013

Original article is from Hamptons Magazine

History and money are familiar bedfellows in Hamptons residential real estate: Even an imperfect piece of the past costs a pretty present penny. It's a different story on the hotel side, where the twain hardly ever bed down. Classic luxury accommodations in historic buildings are rare on the East End, which is why the Hamptons has been saddled with that hyphenatedadjective "hotel-starved" for so long. (True, there are renovated motor courts with Frette sheets, but that's more retro-chic than five-star.)

This year that distasteful descriptor comes a step closer to retiring with the opening of Topping Rose House, an 1842 Greek Revival mansion in Bridgehampton. (The fact that the effort took eight years to come to fruition tells you why such hotels are so scarce out here.) With Topping Rose in the mix, there's now a trio of Hamptons properties where history and money have coupled to create hotels at a Relais & Châteaux level. Here's how each plays on the past in its quest for a present perfect. "I have always liked the juxtaposition of something edgy with something soft," Alexandra Champalimaud, who designed the interiors of Topping Rose House, told the Financial Times this past January. She was referring to her fashion sense-black leather leggings from The Row, feminine blouse, sharply tailored blazer-but as she quickly confirmed in our interview, it's her design sensibility in a nutshell. Which is why the rooms at Topping Rose have a Windsor chair (but painted black) at a midcentury trumpet-pedestal side table in real marble.

Juxtaposition is the thread that defines Topping Rose House, a 22-room luxury compound in Bridgehampton. It consists of the 1842 Greek Revival Topping Rose House, named for its original owner, Judge Abraham Topping Rose; a small addition; a 19th-century barn turned event space; and a L-shaped new complex that houses the spa and 15 "cottage" guest rooms.

"Everybody came out of the woodwork," says Roger Ferris, the head of Roger Ferris + Partners, who designed the architecture and shepherded the project down the Via Dolorosa of approvals required. He's referring to the cast of government officials, preservationists, historicists, and "not in my backyard" Hamptonites who sprang to life when it became known that Bill Campbell, a Hamptons resident and senior adviser to Jamie Dimon, CEO and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase, had bought the property and planned to turn it into a luxury hotel. (Simon Critchell, the former head of Cartier North America, and Tom Colicchio, who is in charge of the hotel and restaurant, are also partners now.)

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