In Bridgehampton, Topping Rose House Opens For Guests

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After several years of disputes and construction, the Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton, formerly the historic Bull’s Head Inn, finally opened for hotel guests last week.

Since 2005, the 22-room inn, which features a spa and restaurant, has been the topic of many meetings, with Bridgehampton residents weighing in on the inn’s preservation and concerns about issues like traffic and parking.

Now that the hotel is finally open, owner Bill Campbell said he is confident that he and his business partner, Simon Critchell, have answered their concerns, while at the same time providing a luxury inn in the Hamptons.

“I hope we have met head-on the concerns of the people,” Mr. Campbell said. “We have always wanted to build a great place. Most of the uses … were in both the Southampton Town plan and the Bridgehampton hamlet plan, so we have really tried to be responsive to the community, and so far I think everybody is pretty happy.”

Fred Cammann, a member of the Bridgehampton Citizens Advisory Committee, said the group wishes the best for the new establishment. He added that Mr. Campbell and Mr. Critchell have worked very hard to appease the community and to keep the aesthetic of the inn at heart. He also said that several members of the CAC attended the grand opening party on Wednesday and had nothing but positive things to say about the business.

“A lot of us hope that it is a success,” Mr. Cammann said. “They have been very courteous about the inn, and I think they have done their damnedest to encourage people to come and see it and be comfortable with it.”

The house was originally built in 1843 by Judge Abraham T. Rose. It is known for its square frame and Greek Revival architecture, which is mirrored across the street in the Nathaniel Rogers House, also built by Judge Rose. The house went on to have several owners throughout the 19th century, including Samuel Wilkeson (1867-1873), William Gardiner (1873-1880) and Henry Corwith (1899-1944).

Beginning in the middle of the 20th century, it housed restaurants and inns, including the Colonial Manor in the 1950s, and, upon being bought in 1973 by antiques dealer Charlie Vandeveer, became a succession of antiques shops.

The current business sits on 4 acres and features several buildings, the main mansion, a barn and four cottage buildings. The mansion, whose architectural integrity has been kept intact, features four rooms and two suites for guests. The barn, which was also preserved, is being used as a studio building containing the spa, several conference rooms and three guest rooms. Each of the cottages has two guest rooms on the first floor and a suite on the second. Each suite has access to a private rooftop garden. The regular rate for rooms ranges from $950 to $3,000, though specials also are available.

The main building also contains a 50-seat gourmet restaurant that will be open year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner with brunch on weekends. It will also have a 25-seat bar. The restaurant, which is being run by Chef Tom Colicchio and Chef de Cuisine Ty Kotz, will serve all-local produce, some of which is grown on a 1-acre farm on the property. Mr. Colicchio is the operator for the entire property.

According to Mr. Cammann, the only concern he still has about the inn is parking, which he does not see a solution to. However. Mr. Critchell said that there are 66 parking spaces on the property, and that the town has granted permission for off-property valet parking service.

Mr. Critchell said the hotel is already booked for most weekends this summer and has already been contacted about hosting its first wedding.

“It was a great opportunity to do something that really brings back a beautiful house from the middle of the 19th century,” he said, “to bring it back to its former glory, to what it looked like when it was first built.”

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