Montauk Blue Hotel
Montauk, New York
I woke up in the middle of the night to the sliding door open and the air conditioner off. Okay, wait...I definitely did that on purpose. I couldn’t bear to shut out the scent of beach bonfires and salted sea air. Oh, and the sound of the waves crashing 20, maybe 30, yards off—that, too.
The best part about Montauk Blue is that it is unapologetically all about the beach. It’s plopped at beach’s edge, and the majority of first-floor guests can step out onto a deck that hangs over the sand; nearly all second-floor dwellers score a balcony with an oceanfront view (there are just two stories). It’s an egalitarian beach-goer’s paradise in that sense.
That beachfront-for-all stems from the hotel’s motel past. Before a top-to-bottom renovation in 2014, this was the Ocean Beach Resort, and its motel layout affords exterior wall entrances and back-of-the-room sliding glass doors. Décor is cast in a pleasant blue motif, and overall, the accommodations are large and comfortable.
Montauk Blue is within easy walking distance to town. Beach bonfires and 20-somethings at night give way to bathing-suit- and flip-flop-friendly sidewalks by day, not to mention art fairs, organic cafés, and tourist shops. Overall, there’s a casual—at times crunchy—end-of-the-earth vibe, which brings me to the final point: If it’s luxury you crave, it’s best to stay in the Hamptons. If it’s beach without pretense, and a beautiful beach at that, then you’ll love it here.
Explore: For a dose of on-the-water relaxation, Mon Tiki offers day and sunset catamaran cruises lasting two hours. Bring your own snacks and drinks (beer and wine allowed). Otherwise, bike or drive to Montauk Point State Park up the road for a look at the oldest lighthouse in New York State.
Dine: Navy Beach on Montauk’s north side is a see-and-be-seen hangout serving casual coastal fare. Set on 200 feet of private beach, it offers on-the-sand dining and drinks. The younger set should hit up La Brisa de Tacombi, a taqueria in the center of town that doubles as a bar after dark.
Insider's tip: On your way out, stop at The Lobster Roll Restaurant, now in its 50th season. You wouldn’t be wrong to think it’s called “Lunch,” since there’s a giant “LUNCH” sign on its roof. (And extra points for recognizing it from Showtime’s The Affair.)
Distance from White Plains: 2 hours, 30 minutes by car (without traffic). Rates: in-season rates from $438/night.
108 S Emerson Ave, Montauk, NY