Which Hamptons Hyatt property should you redeem your points at — Topping Rose House or The Roundtree?
Summer is here, and for many New Yorkers, that means Hamptons season.
Most city dwellers who “summer” in the Hamptons either own houses there or rent them, as there aren't many hotels — let alone points hotels. However, the Hamptons, a group of towns and villages out on Long Island, are home to two Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) properties that participate in the World of Hyatt program: The Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton and The Roundtree in Amagansett.
The two hotels are about 20 minutes apart from each other but have many similarities. Both are luxurious boutique hotels with less than two dozen rooms each. Both offer easy beach access. Finally, the two hotels are classified as Category 8 World of Hyatt properties, requiring 35,000 to 45,000 points per night.
So how do these hotels stack up against each other and which one should you stay at? Here's what I would suggest based on recent stays at each of the properties.
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Both properties are Category 8 Hyatt hotels, requiring 35,000 points on off-peak nights, 40,000 points on standard nights or 45,000 points on peak nights. However, the cash rates vary between them.
During the summer season, standard rooms at the Topping Rose House typically start between $1,500 to $2,000 per night before taxes and fees. Rooms at The Roundtree are usually between $900 to $1,200 per night.
Here's a tip, though: The Topping Rose House charges the same award rate for its standard "House" rooms and its higher category "Studio" rooms, which usually sell for an extra $100 per night, so you can get even more value from your points by using them there.
Regardless of which property you book, you should get well above the TPG valuation of 1.7 cents per World of Hyatt point.
One thing worth noting is that both hotels have much stricter cancellation policies for award nights than many other properties. The Topping Rose House allows free cancellations up to 21 days before arrival, while The Roundtree only allows them up to 30 days before arrival. Otherwise, you can expect to pay for the full stay if you cancel.
The Topping Rose House is located in the heart of Bridgehampton, in an upscale neighborhood with plenty of restaurants, boutiques and art galleries within walking distance. One of the Hamptons' most popular wineries, Wölffer Estate Vineyard, is very close by and there are several terrific beaches just a short drive away.
What's nice about Bridgehampton is that it's sort of in the middle of it all. It's located in between Southampton and East Hampton, and you have easy access to all the popular areas. The Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Hampton Jitney bus stop near the hotel and the drive to East Hampton Airport only takes about 10 minutes.
Related: Race to the Hamptons: What’s the best way to get there?
The Roundtree is located a bit farther east in Amagansett, putting it closer to Montauk. The town has its own LIRR and Hampton Jitney stops as well as some cute restaurants and shops nearby and is even closer to the beach than the Topping Rose House. But overall, its Amagansett location is much quieter. This is a quaint, more residential town with less of a see-and-be-seen sort of vibe. You won't find any rowdy bars or nightclubs nearby.
A perk of booking SLH properties through World of Hyatt is complimentary space-available, one-category room upgrades. This perk is available to all World of Hyatt members, regardless of status.
At the Topping Rose House, I was automatically upgraded from a Studio King room to a House King Suite. This suite actually was a two-category upgrade from the Studio King room I'd reserved, and usually costs $700 more per night, so this was a major win.
My suite was located on the third floor of the historic main house. At 700 square feet, it was twice the size of the studio room I had originally booked and larger than my New York City apartment. It featured a spacious living room, a separate bedroom and two full bathrooms. Elements like a vaulted ceiling, Frette linens and cozy decor helped give the suite an upscale, yet homey feel.
Despite the main house dating back to the 19th century, the room was equipped with all the modern necessities like easily accessible power outlets, a wireless phone charger, smart TVs and fast Wi-Fi.
All snacks, such as the Tate's Bake Shop cookies, North Fork potato chips and non-alcoholic drinks within the minibar, were included at no extra charge. There was also a welcome gift of a bottle of rose, which was a nice surprise.
I wasn't quite as lucky at The Roundtree, as I was assigned just a standard room. However, this still was no ordinary hotel room. The rooms were spread across a barn and a collection of cottages dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Similar to the Topping Rose House, it felt like I was staying in a vacation home or a friend's guest house, but this room had a more modern, minimalist design. Standard rooms range between 250 and 330 square feet, but the room felt bigger than that thanks to separate living and dining areas.
The bed was also dressed in luxurious Frette linens, but it was just a queen rather than a king. Like at the Topping Rose House, the room was stocked with complimentary local snacks and soft drinks. I was also left delicious fresh cherries. A unique feature I hadn't seen in a hotel room before was a UV light sanitizer box for items like the TV remote, keys and phones, which I appreciated in today's day and age.
Both hotels provided nightly turndown service, which included neatly placed slippers at the side of the bed and indulgent chocolates.
Activities and amenities
Unusual for a hotel of this size, the Topping Rose House offered an array of amenities similar to what you'd find at a large, full-service hotel. For starters, there is a beautiful outdoor lap pool and hot tub. Even better, it's heated so you can dip in even during chillier weather.
If you're more of a beach person, you have access to several great beaches in the area and can even borrow beach equipment like umbrellas, chairs and towels. The hotel offers guests much-coveted beach parking permits, or you can get there with the hotel's complimentary BMW shuttle service or house bikes.
Other amenities include a small, 24-hour gym, which has two Peloton bikes, free weights, a few other cardio and weight machines, a sauna and a spa treatment room. There is also a library in the main house and a fire pit out on the lawn.
The Roundtree has beach parking permits for all East Hampton Town beaches except for Indian Wells and Ditch Plains. There is also a complimentary beach buggy to transport guests or you can borrow one of the hotel's beach cruiser bikes.
The Roundtree doesn't have a pool or gym, but there is a large lawn with lounge chairs, day beds, games and a fire pit. It was a nice place to soak up some sun, but unfortunately, the Wi-Fi didn’t reach out here.
Every day from 3 to 5 p.m., the Roundtree staff served freshly baked cookies at the reception. Then, at 7 p.m., the hotel lit the fire pit on the lawn and provided complimentary supplies to make s'mores.
Parking is included at both hotels — valet at the Topping Rose House, self at The Roundtree.
Food and beverage
Another perk of booking SLH properties through World of Hyatt is daily complimentary continental breakfast, even if you don't have elite status.
At the Topping Rose House, I was in for a real treat, since this meant a free meal at the on-site Jean-Georges restaurant from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. I was allowed to order a drink, entree and side, which I thought was generous — but oddly, the tax wasn't included.
As expected, the food was absolutely delicious and included many locally sourced ingredients. Among the standout dishes I tried during my stay were the avocado toast with a poached egg (normally $25), and signature crispy salmon sushi ($25), roasted cauliflower ($28) and seared black bass ($45) when I came for dinner one evening. Food from Jean-Georges was also available via room service.
The Roundtree didn't have a full-service restaurant, just the complimentary breakfast that was served outside on the lawn or available via room service. Although tasty, it was very basic compared to the Topping Rose House. The selection consisted of fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries and bagels.
I loved my stays at the Topping Rose House and The Roundtree and would stay at either of these hotels again. Both made for a perfect escape from hectic days in New York City, with idyllic grounds and fabulous service. However, if I had to pick just one, I'd give a slight edge to the Topping Rose House.
Even putting the amazing suite upgrade aside, I appreciated the Topping Rose House's additional amenities like the pool, gym and its destination restaurant. Small touches like the valet parking, the BMW house car and welcome bottle of wine gave it a more luxurious feel. Plus, with just 22 rooms total, the hotel still had an intimate bed-and-breakfast vibe.
Still, if time allows and you have the Hyatt points, I would recommend trying out both hotels. They each have a unique vibe so it'd really be like getting two vacations in one. Given the high cash rates, you're almost guaranteed to get outsized value from your World of Hyatt points at both of these unique hotels.