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Hamptons Life

May 17, 2017 11:50 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Historic Village Latch Inn Refurbished As Latch Pop-Up Inn

The Latch Pop-Up Inn.    DANA SHAW
May 24, 2017 1:21 PM

Come Memorial Day weekend, the Latch Pop-Up Inn will usher in a fresh new look and aesthetic for 101 Hill Street as a luxury—albeit temporary—accommodation, following an extensive refurbishing and the legacy of historic inns that came before it.

The 5-acre property in Southampton, which is currently awaiting a rezoning to allow for a condominium complex, was formerly home to the Village Latch Inn, which was originally the Grand Annex to Southampton’s Irving Hotel in the early 1900s.

“We fell in love with the property the first time we saw it,” explained Steven Dubb, the property’s new owner and principal of The Beechwood Organization. “It’s quiet, it’s large, it has beautiful trees on it, these old historic buildings, and it’s just a special property, especially because of its proximity to Main Street and the village and to all the village’s beaches.

“We knew from day one we wanted to buy it, it was just a question of figuring out how to do it.”

In January 2016, after more than four decades of welcoming high-profile guests from movies stars to vice presidents and everyone in between, Marta and Martin White sold the Village Latch Inn to The Beechwood Organization for $23 million. It was a “tough deal” to make, Mr. Dubb said, noting it is one of the few inns of its kind on the East End.

“I think the reason for that is the Hamptons is so seasonal. It’s tough to make the case to invest in hotels because you only get your money between Memorial Day and Labor Day,” he said. “But I think that’s changing. Everybody knows that the Hamptons has become less and less seasonal every year. I think the time for something a little bit nicer is approaching and we certainly felt like it was worth spending the money to upgrade these rooms and to continue to upgrade the hotel because we feel that we’ll be pretty full.”

With a few hundred thousand dollars—Mr. Dubb declined to disclose a specific amount—his team got to work. In two months, they renovated and refurbished 20 rooms, bringing in new beds, nightstands, lamps, rugs, linens, door hardware and televisions, installing new air conditioning, heating and phone systems, and gave everything a fresh coat of much-needed paint, he said, while keeping much of the original flooring and structural elements.

“The rooms we inherited are pretty dark, a little bit musty, old finishes and needed an update,” he said. “So we thought it would be nice if our guests could stay in rooms that were bright and felt fresh, felt cheery, felt like they were part of the 21st century, while still enjoying the property, which hasn’t changed much in the last 40 or 50 years.”

Because this is not a traditional hotel, nearly every room is different, but they all reflect the same vibe, Mr. Dubb said: “simple, clean and letting the Hamptons, and the property, speak for itself.”

“I think for our guests, they’re going to find it relaxing, they’re going to feel like they’re in the country, they’re not going to feel—at least not when they’re on our property—how busy the Hamptons can be in the summer,” he said. “We were just going for simple and clean and relaxed, and I think that’s what we’ve done.”

By the end of the summer, Mr. Dubb said he plans to have the property’s remaining 45 rooms complete and available to book. Whether the inn will be open next summer, though, remains unclear.

“We have an application in with the village to rezone the land for a condominium project, but in the meantime, we figured it would be nice to share it with everybody who wants to come and stay there,” he said. “There aren’t many places in the Hamptons where you can stay at a hotel and really feel like you’re on a private piece of property. Most hotels in the Hamptons, you feel pretty congested when you’re there. In this case, you can walk outside your door in the morning and you look out on a 2-and-a-half-acre meadow, and there’s nothing there but a couple of chaise lounges and sunshine.”

The Latch Pop-Up Inn, located at 101 Hill Street in Southampton, will open Memorial Day weekend. Nightly single and double occupancy guest rooms range from $125 to $300 on weekdays and $175 to $650 on weekends, with premium pricing on holidays. For pricing information on group accommodations, or to make a reservation, visit latchpopup.com.

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