Story and photos by Sharon King Hoge
Gurney's Montauk Resort & Saltwater Spa
290 Old Montauk Highway,
Montauk, NY 11954
Short term vacationers to the Hamptons, who don't want to sign on to a $10,000 - $250,000 weekly or monthly rental have the option of a stay at Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa. Dating from 1926, the classic resort has been updated and remodeled into a wonderful mix of understated contemporary tradition. What you'd pay per day for a low-end long-term rental provides a comfortable oceanfront balcony room with a beach club, fitness center, saltwater spa, and world class restaurants on the premises.
Weathered gray shingles still line the outside structures, but the facilities have been updated with a soothing decor in woody shades of beige with umber accents. New hardwood floors, twisted rope partitions in the dining room, black-edged white beach umbrellas, upholstered leather-like headboards are among updated features.
Guests enter the lobby where one of several seating areas welcomes out with putty linen couches and lounge chairs. Rooms are scattered in outbuildings above and below the multi-story parking lot. Inevitably over the years it seems that rooms, decks, stairways have been added almost willy-nilly and it's a joint challenge and pleasure to discover your way around the space.
Guestrooms are outfitted with sofas, desks with a lower surface that slides out to double as a dining table, ironing boards and refrigerators, Keurig coffee makers, large-screen TVs with 30 cable channels, complimentary wi-fi, safes, terry cloth slippers, and bathroom amenities by Gilchrist and Soames. There are extra blankets in the closet for the king size beds and turn down service arrives to open the sheets and close the black-out curtains.
Oceanview guestrooms open out to baloneys furnished with chaise lounges and tables for outdoor relaxation.
Supplementing beach activities, guests can swim in the indoor sand-filtered, ocean-fed saltwater pool, participate in yoga classes, pump iron and pedal away in the fitness room, or play chess, checkers, and Scrabble on giant outdoor rooftop game boards.
Cosmetology and salon body treatments in the Saltwater Spa include active green argilite mud therapy and the popular Blush and Tone Seaweed Wrap. Manicures, pedicures, and facials can be booked at the Oceanview Salon which also does makeup and eyelash applications. The locker rooms have steam rooms and Finnish rock saunas.
Food and beverage services provided by LDV Hospitality include In-Room breakfast, lunch, and dinner or three on-site dining rooms with ocean views. Meals are served all day at Tillie's which features lobster rolls, burgers, and steak frites at lunch and dinner and a rustic morning buffet with eggs and bacon, steel cut oatmeal, granola yogurt, and Belgian waffles.
Sunbathers can order sandwiches, burgers, wraps, fish tacos, topical drinks and smoothies served on the sand at the Beach Club.
The dining highlight is Scarpetta's, the latest branch of LDV's popular Italian restaurants in NYC, Miami, LA, and Las Vegas. Pre-dinner cocktails at the bar include the Avion Daisy, a chartreuse and pineapple version of the Margarita and Cucumber Gimlets with a splash of black pepper. Once settled on a blue velvet ocean view banquette, the bread basket alone includes three types of bread: Stromboli, ciabatta, and home-made rosemary focaccia served with mascarpone butter, citrus oil, and eggplant caponata.
Appetizers include slivers of yellowtail tuna garnished with sprouts, crunchy salt, and pickled red onion and a creamy polenta served with an add-on fricassee of wild mushrooms. White dish domes lift to reveal lobster tagliatelle or tomato and basil spaghetti served in a savory mound. The blackened cod perches on a bed of concentrated tomatoes and peppers and carmelized fennel. Three choices each of red and white wines are local or Italian vintages.
Before dinner, guests gather on the deck to relax in hammocks or congregate at the blazing outdoor fire pit, nestled into cushions on the wicker sofas to sip creative cocktails while watching the sunset.
After dinner, the cocktail crowd moves to Regent. Candle lit with two fireplaces, LDV has fashioned it after its cousin in Miami's South Beach which was named the "Number One Bar in the World."
George Clooney, Dick Cavett, Bill O'Reilly, Julianne Moore, Ralph Lauren are among celebrities with homes nearby, but you don't have to rent a mansion to be their "neighbor." Gurney's stays open year round with lower rates in winter, but any time of year it's a beachgoer's bargain.
© August 2015 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.