The Hamptons' hip, historic beach escape
Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa, located about 120 miles from Manhattan, is the easternmost of the posh shorefront villages collectively called the Hamptons. Its 2,000 feet of pristine oceanfront abuts miles of soft, white sandy beach. For 90 years, Gurney’s has been an iconic summertime destination in Montauk, in part because it is easily reached by automobile, jitney, train, private plane and boat.
In 2014, new owners invested in a multi-year, multi-phase and multi-million-dollar head-to-toe redo of the sprawling complex. Designer Michael Kramer enhanced the function and design of public spaces and a wing of rooms. He introduced a contemporary beachy vibe — using earth tones, reclaimed woods, white custom-built sofas and one-of-a-kind pieces — to make you feel as if you have your own spacious, airy and comfortably-casual beach house. Other facets of the revamp included the addition of 38 new Ocean Front rooms, the renovation to 42 Ocean View rooms, a redesign of the Beach Club, the debut of the hotel's ocean-fed swimming pool, and the opening of five new food and beverage venues.
Enjoy limitless views of the Atlantic and the sound of waves lapping the shore no matter where you stay in the Montauk hotel, whether in the seaside cottages flanked by beach grass and fronted with decks, the Ocean Front rooms in the Forward Watch Building or the Ocean View rooms in the Chart House, Flying Bridge, Promenade and Forecastle buildings.
The Ocean Front rooms feature a cool, contemporary beach style with whitewashed walls, multi-toned custom wood furnishings, wood floors and neutral linens. Each is furnished with either a king-size bed and sofa or two queen beds and opens to a beachfront terrace through sliding glass doors.
In-room TVs include options for guided meditation and workout programs. A kitchenette-sized area stores the mini-bar, safe and closet and the bathroom features non-slip composite flooring, faux wood-plank wall tiles and an oversized shower clad with subway tiles. Room amenities include hypoallergenic pillows, microfiber robes with terry linings and slippers, plus custom-blended Gilchrist & Soames bathroom products.
In the 32,000-square-foot The Seawater Spa, the newly reconstructed Olympic-size indoor seawater pool attracts guests for aquatics classes and offers amazing ocean views from its wall of windows. The entire spa facility — lobby, boutique, locker rooms, 40 treatment rooms, salon, high-tech oceanfront fitness center and a couple’s lounge — is exemplary of the top-of-class amenties you can expect from the resort.
Because Gurney’s Seawater Spa pumps and heats ocean water for use in the pool, baths, hydrotherapy tubs and therapeutic treatments, it qualifies as the one true Thalasso center in the United States.
It also features Roman baths, Finnish rock saunas, Russian steam rooms and Swiss showers. The spa offers a full range of fitness options from yoga, Pilates, CrossFit and cardio sessions to pop-up fitness events and yoga on the beach. A partnership with Wellthily targets health aficionados by offering weekend retreats featuring healthy menus and the expertise of health, nutrition and fitness gurus.
As an added beauty bonus, guests can visit The Hairspace Salon, helmed by celebrity stylist Ric Pipino and Gil Haziza, for day-to-day hair maintenance or for added pizazz for special occasions.
In 2015, the Hamptons hotel inaugurated five food and beverage outlets managed in partnership with LDV Hospitality, notable for chef Scott Conant’s award-winning Scarpetta restaurants. Scarpetta Beach, the resort’s signature dining venue, incorporates local and seasonal ingredients in its sophisticated Italian cuisine. The menu is served in an expansive, oceanfront space with a subtle nautical theme. Navy banquettes face the view under a unique, custom-crafted macramé wall divider, made of sailing rope.
Corso Coffee, at a corner counter in the lobby, offers housemade croissants, pastries and light fare in a great room setting complete with a captain’s table where guests mingle. Tillie’s is a casual all day café where booths view the ocean. The Beach Club offers daily beach barbecues (depending on the season), and a newly opened late-night Regent Cocktail Club attracts young weekenders who have recently “discovered” Montauk nightlife.
On the beach, hundreds of beach chairs, daybeds and umbrellas await. Active types beach walk, hike the Walking Dunes, mountain bike on hillsides and ride and golf seasonally. In summer, activities range from kayaking or surfing to sailing or deep-sea fishing.
Many guests are lured to the community’s oceanfront state parks, including the famous Montauk Lighthouse. Most spend a few hours driving around to get feel for its marinas, clam shacks or seafood restaurants, the village boutiques and, especially, the scenic natural beauty of Montauk.