Where Everybody Knows Your Name: The Surf Lodge, Montauk

by J. J. HUNSECKER · May 20, 2008

    A GofG pal and I frequently talk about how we enjoy Amagansett and Montauk so much because their beaches remain the least touched by Manhattan glamour. When I beach, I do it casually, so maybe I'm really still a Hamptons girl, but I like the peace and laid back vibes that you can only find in Montauk. Now there's a new kid on the block where everyone can enjoy the cool energy for a long weekend, mid-week retreat or just a cocktail on the water.

    Rob McKinley (he's designed it as well), Steven Kamali, Jamie Mulholland, Jayma Cardosa and Steve Kasuba have created the hippest new hangout in the Hamptons - The Surf Lodge. They are the grand Manhattan kings and queen of Goldbar and Cain - they've successfully had spots in the Hamptons and currently have the hottest beach spot on Paradise Island in the Bahamas at their Cain at the Cove. Cain at the Cove is like a lush beach/pool/club playground and I expect the Surf Lodge will be a great addition to the family.

    As you enter the sunken lobby you'll be greeted by one of the hotel's glam, yet so kind staff - if you're lucky and it is highly likely, it will be one of the owners or GM, Summer Strauch. Aptly named for the season she loves, the blonde beauty is witty, efficient and beyond friendly. Their staff has been hand-picked and each member will make you feel as if you are a part of their family for the length of your stay.

    The Surf Lodge is located on Fort Pond in Montauk - it's really quite a bit larger than a pond. I'd safely consider it a sizable lake and the beach is just a short half mile away. There will be bicycles, surfboards, kayaks, canoes and a cool, re-habbed 6-wheel beach transport to take visitors to and from the beach all day. (Refurb'd Army vehicles are tres chic now...)

    Many of the rooms overlook the lake and have all glass-walled bathrooms with waterfall showerheads. While each room is warm and surf-friendly with local art, all are outfitted with flatscreens, iPod docks, wi-fi, Frette sheets and hammocks on their personal decks and balconies - in case you actually want to spend time in your room!

    Your likely hangout while at the Surf Lodge in the evenings? The restaurant or outdoor lounge and deck. Sexy Sam Talbot, of Top Chef fame, has a home as executive chef where he plans a Montauk produce-driven menu. We love a guy who supports the local economy. The Den is the indoor bar and there is a 2600-plus square foot outdoor bar overlooking the water. Of course, guest or not, you can enjoy the restaurant and bars anytime this summer. I recommend a sunset cocktail or romantic dinner.

    As a special treat, this Sunday will feature their first Snow Queen Concert Series. Julian Marley will be performing with special guests (think multiple Grammy nominee) onstage to celebrate owner, Jamie Mulholland's birthday.

    Hit up The Surf Lodge website to reserve a room or get directions.