You’d think that after five days at the office and four hours on the L.I.E., you would have earned the right to relax. But before you head for the hammock, take a look around. Perhaps inspired, or terrorized, by the bethonged bottoms on display at Gibson Beach, Hamptonites are putting down their Kathleen’s cookies and reaching for cross trainers. Spin, yoga, step, and boxing classes develop cultlike followings; hairstylists and manicurists clog Newtown Lane, motoring from one postmodern manse to the next. Out here, keeping up with the Joneses has as much to do with glutes and abs as with commercial kitchens and temperature-controlled wine cellars. Here’s where you can get buffed and polished with the best of them.
LOTTE BERK METHOD
264 Butter Lane, Bridgehampton
The quadricep-killing pliés taught here would make a triathlete whimper like a 6-year-old at her first ballet class. All the same, April Gornick, David Salle, Brooke Shields, and Blaine Trump are devotees of the classes held in a massive nineteenth-century barn amid the potato fields of Bridgehampton. “Lotte Berk has cult appeal,” declares Gornick. Like the rest of us, they’re hoping that if they hang from the stall bar long enough, or at least manage to perfect the Lotte Berk pelvic tilt, they might someday look half as good as the incredibly lithe instructors.
5 Railroad Avenue, East Hampton
Speaking of hot trainers, former Rockette and studio owner Pat Grantham is so obsessed with finding the right instructors for her fitness-savvy clientele that, besides bringing in exercise gurus from New York and L.A., she has been recruiting from as far afield as Sweden, Australia, and Brazil. Her West Coast crew, who teach challenging step, spin, boxing, and now body-sculpting classes, have their own following, so you may find yourself grunting and grinding alongside such varied Hollywood types as Julia Roberts, Yancy Butler, Jennifer Grey, or Jordana Brewster.
GOODSON PARKER WELLNESS CENTER
87 Newtown Lane, East Hampton
Fiercely competitive parents with overachieving infants will thrill to the news that “Yoga Baby” has come to the East End. After having the little one’s chakras adjusted, Mom can tone and lengthen her torso by strapping into one of the center’s seven Pilates “reformers.” There are also meditation classes and an exceptional shiatsu massage that incorporates stretching and rocking motions to ease tense muscles into submission.
BEACH BOOT CAMP
Focused on fitness, but can’t bear to miss a single beach day? Madison Square Club owner David Kirsch, who trains James King, Heidi Klum, and Naomi Campbell, conducts a fat-burning hour that consists of cardio and high-repetition lunges, squats, crunches, and sprints on Gibson Beach every weekend. “Working out with David is a full-body experience,” gushes Campbell. “Each time there’s a connection between the body, mind, and spirit.” To get connected yourself, call for an appointment.
75 Main Street, Sag Harbor
Christy Turlington, Gabby Karan, and others seeking to free themselves (temporarily, of course) from all trappings of the material world have discovered this new spot in Sag Harbor co-owned by Colleen Saidman, who teaches at the Jivamukti studio in New York. Indian fabrics adorn the walls, and Chinese lanterns shed subtle light on the two studios, where five different types of yoga are taught. Other pilgrims include Russell Simmons. “I was an insomniac, but yoga has settled me,” he reports. “But I come out sweating like a slave. I brought Andre Harrell along a couple of times. He plays basketball, but he had to walk out.” Private sessions at home are available for $125; group classes are $15.
74 Montauk Highway, East Hampton (631-329-2525)
Stress wilts upon contact with the essential-oil-laced air at this fascinating apothecary of holistic potions. In addition to homeopathic remedies and aromatic balms, the emporium has an elixir bar, serving up herbal tinctures to cure or prevent various ills, as well as a full menu of spa treatments. Choose from four body exfoliations, including Balinese coconut paste with jasmine and clove, and sea salt with rosemary, lemon, blood orange, lime, and red mandarin. There is also a wide array of facials and massages. For more active stretchers, there are daily yoga classes at the adjoining studio.
FIFI LA ROO
61 The Circle, East Hampton
After the return of the string bikini, it was only a matter of time before a cellulite-fighting machine arrived on the South Fork. The GX-99 Endermatic, which exfoliates and tones, is now in residence at this month-old day spa tucked away off Main Street. But that’s not what brings Christie Brinkley, Star Jones, Claudia Cohen, and Marci Klein (as far as we know); they come for Donna Lupu’s manicures and pedicures. Always in the latest shades, they’re among the best around.
NATURAL BEAUTY SPA
10 Main Street, East Hampton
You can’t hurry love. Which is why when guests arrived at Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy’s Fourth of July bash, the hosts were nowhere in sight. Eventually, Sarah Jessica Parker found them in a back room, with Deborah Weiner of Natural Beauty Spa hunched over their cuticles. “It’s not just about nails; she makes you feel taken care of,” says Donna Karan. The salon also did Chynna Phillips for her wedding, and makes house calls to Barbra Streisand and Ron Perelman. The Vitamin E-chamomile manicures do wonders for dry hands, and a mixture of tea-tree oil and peppermint will invigorate weathered feet.
KEVIN MAPLE SALON
46 Jobs Lane, Southampton
“I don’t want to encourage any more frizzy Saturday-afternoon blowouts,” insists Kevin Maple, declining to discuss his celebrity clients. When he’s not engaged in the high-humidity hair battle, Maple and his salon specialize in corrective color for clients whose shades have suffered from salt air, chlorine, and, in at least some cases, hot klieg lights: Christie Brinkley, Joan Rivers, and Kim Basinger are regulars.
34 Pantigo Road, East Hampton
The same luxurious, cleansing aromatherapy facial that is the signature of the Manhattan branch is available here in East Hampton, but here you can combine it with facial acupuncture to stimulate and lift sagging muscles, hopefully restoring that youthful glow you lost after closing the bar at Jet East. General acupuncture for pain relief is also available, as are Amma, a gentle pressure-point massage, and Reiki.
290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk
Recent guests at this oceanfront spa have included Elvis Costello, Gene Hackman, Goldie Hawn, Jessica Lange, and Kevin Costner (Hillary Clinton is penciled in for August). But you don’t have to be famous to enjoy Gurney’s array of European-style treatments. It’s got nine types of facials and a complete body-work menu. Seawater hydro-massages and hot fango backpacks with a foot rub are client favorites. But we like the fact that you can take your massage alfresco, where the pounding surf provides the soundtrack. Now, doesn’t that feel more like a beach vacation?