Inspired by Japanese principles of wabi-sabi and a spirit of openness and exploration, Shou Sugi Ban House offers spa, healing arts, nutrition, fitness and complete wellness experiences in a holistic, educational setting. We welcome diverse points of view and are especially galvanized by the strength of women and the wisdom of community.
Discreetly luxurious, grounded in sustainability and a deep love for raw natural beauty, Shou Sugi Ban House is an intimate and integrative wellness experience.
We learn from practices, scientific and spiritual, from the world’s greatest wisdom traditions and we are dedicated to sharing them in a genuine way.
At Shou Sugi Ban House we believe in the strong connection between personal health and planetary well-being. Therefore, a conscious perspective of sustainability is rooted in our design, development, operational standards, retreat programs, and plant-rich culinary program.
All buildings on property integrate a geothermal system for heating and cooling, while solar panels on the barn produce sufficient electricity to significantly reduce our carbon emissions.
Our landscaping was intentionally designed in undulating beds to distribute rainwater evenly to all plants, thus reducing the need for irrigation. Largely guided by an appreciation for the local environment and the use of native plant species, our bio dynamic gardens fruitfully provide sustenance through a similar holistic approach.
We believe in knowing where our food and medicine come from, and many of the meals and healing tinctures we offer make use of herbs and plants grown on local farms as well as in our own gardens.
As an integral part of our community we assume a deep commitment to honoring the environmental, cultural and human resources on the East End.
Shou Sugi Ban House aims to remind those of connection through a holistic, kind, collaborative approach. We believe it is vital to protect the ecosystem we inhabit, and in our minds this can only be done through strength of community, culture, and care for the environment.
We are proud to hold space with local cultural institutions like the Parrish Art Museum and the Watermill center.
We actively take part in sustainability efforts within the community such as beach and trail cleanups and support farms who have an equal commitment to the wellbeing of our home through the purchase of fresh, organic produce.
It is our sincere hope to inspire this planetary connection, as it is through the land air and water that we thrive together.
Amy Cherry-Abitbol is the creative force behind Shou Sugi Ban House, the first boutique wellness destination in the Hamptons. Guided by a belief that each person walks a unique path to wholeness, she and her business partner purchased the property in 2015 to create a sanctuary outside of the everyday and establish an innovative experience that blends global wellness philosophies with state-of-the-art practices.
Amy lived in Japan for many years and Shou Sugi Ban House reflects her lifelong connection to Japanese culture, along with her appreciation for minimalism and the healing properties of the natural world. Inspired by the beauty and light of the Hamptons, where she has lived for the past two decades, Amy created Shou Sugi Ban House as a multilayered experience, with design that embodies quiet luxury and treatments and programming that are tranquil and transcendent.
Following a successful career as an attorney specializing in corporate law and government affairs at esteemed firms in both the United States and Japan, Amy became a co-founding partner of Abitbol & Cherry LLP. A graduate of Barnard College and the University of Chicago Law School, Amy attended Harvard Business School’s “New Paths” Executive Education program in 2014 for women seeking to change careers and explore new opportunities. This experience became the catalyst for her inspired transition to combine her interests in health, wellness and design and create Shou Sugi Ban House.
After spending twelve years in Europe, Kathleen Kapnick became interested in alternative medicine, which is prevalent there. She believes in using food as medicine, embraces all aspects of nutrition, and considers herself a beauty-product enthusiast. Kathleen and Amy met in school, have been friends for many years and shared the vision of creating a wellness sanctuary.
Jodie Webber’s career as a creative director in design and product development has spanned over 20 years. Looking to expand her horizons, she began studying therapeutic horsemanship in 2012, working with children who have developmental challenges. In this space, she began to observe the multisensory ways in which humans take in the world. This inspired her to intensely study the art of sound healing. In addition, she is a certified aromatherapist and an energy medicine and reiki practitioner. Jodie brings her keen eye to Shou Sugi Ban House, as well as her multisensory approach to design and the healing arts.
A life enthusiast, Nela Grigoras is driven by her passion for hospitality, culture and travel. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economy of Commerce, Tourism & Services, and a masters degree in Tourism and Hotel Management, Nela followed her dreams and relocated from Romania to the United States. For the past ten years, Nela has been involved in hotel development projects in Miami as well as commercial real estate projects in New York City. Nela has been an integral part of every aspect of the project – from research and documentary videography to accounting, operations and project management.
A longtime Hamptons resident, Debbie Kropf has over three decades of experience in the field of architecture and planning, specializing in both commercial and residential design projects. Shou Sugi Ban House gave Debbie the opportunity to combine her experience in resort architecture and site design with her passion for fitness and wellness. She designed each of the spaces at Shou Sugi Ban House with consideration for the effect of the building’s design and construction upon the occupants, with the aim of nurturing sustainable and holistic experiences. Debbie studied Environmental Design at the University of Colorado at Boulder and received her Masters in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. She currently serves as the President of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Peconic and has been a member since 1998.
Studio Lily Kwong is a next-generation landscape design firm whose mission is to reconnect people to nature, by combining horticulture, urban design, and visual arts to create a cultural impact. Founder Lily Kwong was named by The New York Times as one of the “Nine Young New Yorkers Poised for Creative Greatness” and inducted into Forbes’ “30 Under 30: 2018.” Lily’s botanical art installations have been featured on The High Line and in Grand Central’s iconic Vanderbilt Hall. She serves as Landscape Editor for Cultured Magazine and is a member of the New Museum’s NEW INC incubator program. Lily, who partnered with Topiaris of Lisbon (Portugal), for Shou Sugi Ban House’s unique and tranquil landscape design, was inspired by Japanese gardens and the natural beauty of the Hamptons.
Born in Denmark, chef Mads Refslund is one of the co-founders of the Danish restaurant Noma, which has repeatedly been named the greatest restaurant in the world. Mads went on to open MR, his own Michelin-starred restaurant in Denmark, before moving to New York City where he created the menu at ACME NYC, which The New York Times awarded two stars for successfully integrating Nordic philosophy with North American seasonal ingredients. He is also the co-author of “Scraps, Wilt & Weeds: Turning Wasted Food into Plenty.” Mads has developed Shou Sugi Ban House’s innovative, plant-rich culinary program which incorporates his no-waste philosophy with the property’s guiding principles of wellness and sustainability.