Jonathan Baker, the mastermind behind many great original works of art and entertainment, has elegantly reestablished The Maidstone, a unique boutique hotel in East Hampton. Originally constructed just before the Civil War by the Osborne family, the current structure has foundations dating from the 17th century. In the mid-1920s, the space began service as a full-time inn and became known as The Maidstone Arms. The inn became a fashionable destination as East Hampton grew into a world-famous summer colony. Jonathan Baker and his wife, Jenny Ljungberg, have artistically and eclectically renovated the space into a boutique hotel, which is not only a beautiful place to stay, but a place to experience unique amenities, activities, and relaxation.
Jamie Agoglia: What is your synopsis of The Maidstone?
Jonathan Baker: The Maidstone is a unique space, consisting of nineteen rooms, with three cottages on the grounds, and a house. The grounds are The Maidstone Hotel, The Maidstone House, and The Maidstone Residence. The House is where [my wife and I] live when we are on property. It connects to the hotel and the three individual cottages, which are a one bedroom studio, a one bedroom cottage, and one bedroom town house. And there’s The Residence, which is where we do conferences, yoga retreats, charity poker nights, and more. It fills in the heart of The Maidstone. Revamping it was the brainchild of my wife who wanted to open up a hotel in the community of East Hampton. The idea of this is how to have style, decadence, and beauty all blend together. Were all about the curation of in entertainment and design. Over the years, I wanted to bring Hollywood to the Hamptons. It’s all about style and sophistication.
Where does the design inspiration come from the Maidstone?
Our colors are rich and everything has these Scandinavian influence in the background. A few years ago, Scandinavian imports were on the foreground, so that made it very unique. Over the years, I wanted to bring Hollywood to the Hamptons. When you drive by it, you see a white building with pink chairs, and inside we have pink ceilings. When you walk in, you see salamander green. My wife Jenny and I like to think of ourselves as designers, and Jenny is Scandinavian, so she wanted to bring in that influence. I wanted to bring in essence of Hollywood with the rawness of New York.
Where do you find the beautiful unique photography that can be seen in the rooms?
My wife and I love photo art, so we hand-picked collections every May. We keep the art displayed for a six months to a year. We sometimes do photo exhibits where we have artists come in from Europe and New York City, and we do an event to celebrate them and their work.
What unique amenities or activities can guest indulge in during their stay?
We have yoga deck with a yoga teacher that teaches for free every morning. There is a beach butler who will drive you to beach, with picnic and alcohol. When you’re ready for lunch, you call usand we bring a fine-dining lunch, chair, and umbrella. We do music, classic Rock ‘n Roll bands. Our grounds are used for a variety of events; we curate weddings, have a lot of authors come in and speak about their books. The magic of the hotel is that is walking distanct from the town of east hampton, so within 5 minutes you’re. We’re dog friendly and kid friendly. We have eight games in the back for kids, ping pong, shuffleboard, corn toss, a giant game of Connect Four, and a giant game of Jenga. There’s something there for everybody but really pulls you in is the colors, the photo art, and the amenities.
What products from your lifestyle line, Jonathan Baker 1962, are offered at the Maidstone?
We have pure aromatherapy products that are fully organic in 11 different notes (some include lemongrass, petrul, rose oil, and lavender) That is our signature in every room. The oils are sold for $100 a bottle, but we give some samples to the guest to try. We also diffuse our essential oil blends in the lobby, and the scent is intriguing.
Tell me about The Restaurant.
We are a slow cooking restaurant. Everything is grass-fed and organic. We’re environmentally conscious about the foods we use. We like to keep everything local; local people, local produce. Most everything has a seafood theme to it. Our raw menu consists of a lot of lobster, shrimp, oysters, all local and fresh. We also do a fine dining menu with salmon, free range chicken, grass-fed beef, and then we also hand designed the small dishes. For instance we prepare our guacamole at the table as well as our version of a caesar salad.