East End: Family-run motel Hampton Maid in Hampton Bays
Spring may have just started, but many Long Islanders are already making summer vacation plans.
Right off busy Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays sits a family run motel called the Hampton Maid.
Josh Poulakis was born and raised on the property. At 12 years old, he started working as a dishwasher at the motel and restaurant that his grandparents started.
The Hampton Maid was known for years for its breakfasts, its park-like grounds and its cozy rooms.
"They used to be open from 7 a.m. until 3 in the afternoon and do 500-plus people," says Poulakis.
Now the Hampton Maid serves dinners in its refurbished restaurant with tapas style menu items, including paella.
The rooms have been the main attraction for thousands of visitors over the decades. The cottage-style buildings include the iconic windmill room. There are also newer, upscale suites set back on the Hampton Maid's sprawling property.
"People come back year after year," says Sharon Poulakis. "There's three and four generations of people that come and stay here, and they feel like they're part of the family."
Poulakis says the goal was to keep the family friendly feel of the Hampton Maid but also bring it in to the modern age.
"That's why we built the suites," says Poulakis. "And I want to make it a destination where people come and just stay here for the weekend, and they have breakfast and they have dinner and they can just enjoy the quiet."