Set a block back from the beach, the Montauk Beach House strikes a pleasing balance between chic retreat and casual beach shack. No one balked when we walked through the lobby sandy-footed and half-dressed from the beach; they just gave us a breezy hello, as if we’d just dropped by to say hi, which many of the locals seem to do. They have street art and photography displayed on the wall, alongside some handcrafted bespoke skateboards, which you’re welcome to borrow if you want to zip along the road to the beach or pick up a tofu wrap or “Buddha burger” from Joni’s Kitchen around the corner.
Beyond the casual beach shack vibe, the rooms are sleek and spacious, the service impeccable, and lying on the striped day beds surrounding the two pools with a Tommy’s Margarita in hand feels like luxury without the airs and graces.
The same style themes and standards run throughout the range of rooms. The Moonlight Room – the closest to suites – had something of a luxury safari tent vibe. Perhaps it was the mini stand-alone bathtub in the bedroom, too small to share with a lover (which can be an advantage), or the wood-framed mirrors, the baskets and air streamer-style bedside tables – a traveller’s haven. The only downside of these rooms is with the curtains open there isn’t much privacy from people walking past. There are also no tea, coffee or minibar facilities, though there is a fully-stocked café, bar, and grill downstairs.
The Whitewater Garden rooms are slightly smaller with no standalone tub, but still ample space for a family. The reason they fall in the lower price bracket is they face onto the road. Each of these has a pair of sun loungers on a terrace, which is as lovely as it can be with a view of the car park.
Throughout our stay, the concierge at the front desk was a friendly source of reliable advice, adapted as we chatted, and she learnt more about what we liked. On the hunt for a local haunt with great seafood she sent us to The Dock, a great tip, which many tourist guides leave out. You’ll find everything you need in Montauk town – The Left Hand for excellent coffee, Tacombi for tacos, and Naturally Good Foods for organic groceries – and the beach is a two-minute walk away; you could run straight into the sea and not break a sweat.
The atmosphere is sociable. Even on a weekday afternoon the hotel was bustling poolside with women in stylish bikinis and big sun hats and young city breakers, who come to surf and drink. Locals congregate at the bar as well, and families take the sofas on the lawn or the seats around the smaller, shallow pool. But come weekend live bands and DJs takeover and the party is ramped up another level.
MBH is certainly riding the wave of Montauk’s current ascendency of cool, displacing the Hamptons as the spot to boast about having a quick sunshine fling. People moan about fedora-wearing hipsters ruining the fishing town’s lowkey surfer ambience, leaving trash lying around and being noisy and reckless, but it’s hard to complain in earnest while here. From the staff of many lifelong locals to the good times vibe, it is a charming hotel offering pretty much everything you might want – and some.
The Montauk Beach House, 55 S Elmwood Ave, Montauk, NY 11954, USA
Tel: +1(631) 668-2112
The hotel is situated in the heart of Downtown Montauk on Long Island and just a few minutes’ walk from Kirk Park Beach. Montauk itself, is approximately 120 miles from New York City, upwards of three hours by car or the Hampton Jitney bus (one way from $28). The trip takes three-and-a-half hours by Long Island Rail Road (one way from $20.50).
Type of Hotel: Boutique Hotel
Number of Rooms: 33 rooms including free Wi-Fi and parking
Insider Tip: Families with young children might want to stay during the week, as the weekends can get pretty party-focused.
Price Band: Medium
Reviewer’s Rating: 9/10
Tyler Wetherall is a Freelance Travel Writer who spends her time between London and New York.
Photographs courtesy of The Montauk Beach House