New hotel opens during the pandemic: A stay at The Roundtree on Long Island

New hotel opens during the pandemic: A continue to be at The Roundtree on Prolonged Island

Amagansett, New York (CNN) — In the most effective of circumstances, opening a lodge tends to be a demanding and cash-draining endeavor for any operator, not to mention risky.

Opening a home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, nonetheless, has the possible to unnerve even the most stouthearted businessperson, throwing well-laid strategies into whole upheaval.

Enter Sylvia Wong, who was preparing for a May well 2020 opening of The Roundtree, her brand-new, 15-home house in the tony town of Amagansett, New York.

Located in the coronary heart of the Hamptons, The Roundtree was nicely-situated for immediate achievements — a new structure-centric presenting in 1 of the most expensive and chicest summer season beach places.

“I was quite nervous about opening for the duration of a pandemic, but there was no choice except to go forward and convey my eyesight to existence,” she states.

Owner Sylvia Wong on The Roundtree grounds on Prolonged Island.

Courtesy The Roundtree Amagansett

Just do it

Wong’s selection to proceed with the debut is an primarily daring transfer contemplating this is her first hotel venture.

Originally from Hong Kong and now living in New York, she’s a associate at the investment decision company WTI, which has very long been included in true estate bargains. Soon after numerous a long time of traveling internationally for business enterprise and satisfaction, she turned more and far more fascinated in opening her very own hotel, although she wasn’t established on wherever.

One particular day in spring of 2019, she was browsing authentic estate listings on-line and examine about a lodge for sale in the Hamptons termed Gansett Eco-friendly Manor.

“Subsequent detail I know, I took the [Hampton] Jitney from the metropolis to the Hamptons to see the home that 7 days and realized it was the location for me,” says Wong. “It was like a concealed gem in a gorgeous location.” (The house was funded by WTI.)

Historic context

The Roundtree started accepting guests on June 1, a date when New York was continue to formally in lockdown and a thirty day period after its primary intended opening.

Set on two acres of land about a mile from the seashore, the home has a rich historical past dating again to the 17th century. The website was household to a single of the founding households of Amagansett as very well as a doing work farm.

Buildings represent the area’s storied earlier, with a cottage that is much more than 250 several years previous and a most important building that is close to 125 yrs outdated.

Wong entirely renovated the resort although keeping the authentic buildings intact and gave it a new title.

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A good deal of open spaces make social distancing at The Roundtree a snap.

Courtesy The Roundtree Amagansett

Examining in

The Roundtree is the to start with resort I have stayed in considering that February and the very first time I have slept wherever other than my Manhattan condominium since early March, before the pandemic. I wasn’t guaranteed of what to expect.

My excursion to the Hamptons coincided with a weekend when outdoor dining was allowed yet again in its jurisdiction of Suffolk County, and most of the resorts in the place were being open up and in total swing for the summertime time.

In truth, by Sunday of the same weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, upon getting thousands of problems of social length violations in the Hamptons, warned that he would shut down firms that didn’t perform by the principles.

I noticed persons out and about, but most everybody wore masks, and tables at dining places had been spaced far more than 6 toes aside.

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The 15 rooms are all accessed from the outside.

Courtesy The Roundtree Amagansett

Small distinctions

My concern likely into the weekend was: How a great deal various would my continue to be be in comparison with the hundreds of instances I have stayed at motels all over the environment in advance of?

Not so much, as it turned out. In a world where the phrase “the new typical” has turn into ubiquitous, it nearly felt like the outdated regular.

The staff wore masks, and visitors had been essential to do the exact same when they were being within. The manager took my temperature upon check out-in, a required phase for all visitors.

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The keychains are an example of The Roundtree’s interest to detail

Courtesy The Roundtree Amagansett

Other than that, it was like a remain at an upscale boutique lodge with exceptional services and an ambiance of currently being at a treasured friend’s dwelling who goes out of her way to be hospitable and has wonderful flavor.

New protocols, homey touches

The aesthetic is minimalistic modern-day and incorporates a great deal of modern day artwork from Wong’s international travels.

In addition, facilities these as the minibar, treats, afternoon tea, evening S’mores, breakfast and laundry for beachwear are involved in the space price, and guests get cost-free use of bikes, beach front chairs, umbrellas, seaside toys and seashore baggage and towels. High-class, indeed, but in an understated way.

But for Wong and her employees, providing significant-contact services although adhering to protocols just isn’t rather as easy as my check out was.

“I experienced to make several improvements to comply with the new wellbeing criteria and social distancing constraints,” she suggests.

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Frequent indoor areas are airy.

Courtesy The Roundtree Amagansett

The price of doing business enterprise

These changes meant additional cash: Wong will not likely disclose how substantially she invested on renovating The Roundtree (the assets itself price $6.1 million to invest in) but says that adapting to protocols value 15% more than her original investment decision.

Acquire breakfast, for illustration. The morning meal was likely to be a buffet the place company could support by themselves, but a self-services buffet increases the chance of a most likely ill man or woman infecting the meals and therefore other attendees.

Now, Wong has more staff members on her early morning change who bring merchandise to tables. And as an alternative of selecting a team of 8, she experienced to employ 12. “We have to have extra manpower to deal with the more function involved,” she says.

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You will come across clear strains and heaps of brilliant mild in the guestrooms at The Roundtree.

Courtesy The Roundtree Amagansett

Wash and go

Other variations include detachable slipcovers on the couches in guest rooms that are washed right after just about every examine-out. Visitors also have entry to a mini Upang sterilizer that disinfects objects that all of us commonly use this sort of as pens, pcs, telephones and guides.

In addition, the staff disinfects surfaces in visitor rooms and in public areas regularly. They also clear bikes and beach equipment such as toys, umbrellas, chairs and baggage after every visitor use, which is labor intense.

Wong planned to have a seashore lose in which company borrow and return these products, but now, employees convey them on ask for.

Spacial relations

There are a couple of aspects of the opening that have labored in Wong’s favor.

The property’s format is a major boon for practicing social distancing, for 1, because the 15 rooms are spread out among the six buildings, and the entry for just about every place is on the exterior — company don’t ever have to stroll in a hallway.

And considering the fact that Wong’s employees hadn’t been educated still, she failed to have to commit added time and dollars to retrain them on hospitality in wake of Covid-19. “They discovered about the lodge and health and fitness and security protocols at the similar time,” she says.

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Personal spaces abound all around the house.

Courtesy The Roundtree Amagansett

If Wong had any uncertainties about regardless of whether people today would want to stay in a lodge once lockdown constraints eased, they’re gone now. The house is pretty much entirely booked via August with numerous of the stays spanning two weeks or additional.

“It is really shocking in a excellent way how excellent business enterprise has been,” suggests Wong. “It has been my dream to open a hotel that experienced components of all of my favored inns all around the globe, and to see it turn into a reality during a pandemic is that much extra gratifying.”