Think going out east has to end after Labor Day? Think again—especially if Montauk is your destination. Last weekend I ventured out to see what the Surf Lodge was all about and got the relaxing and recharging weekend that I had been searching for all summer. With the crowd dying down just a bit, it was a quick drive with no traffic to long Island’s furthest town. Once arriving at Surf Lodge you can’t help but embrace your inner bohemian—but with all upscale amenities.
The Surf Lodge summer season was a drastic success, due to some very positive changes. Part of the draw were the concerts! GrandLife’s, Tommy Saleh and Mandy Brooks oversaw the Summer 2012 concert series, which brought in acts like The Kills, Chairlift and Ra Ra Riot. Also, for NYers who can’t go a day without shopping, local favorite, The Surf Bazaar boutique owned by Bethany Mayer had exclusive designer collections filled with chic summer staples including kaftans, tunics, jumpers, Baja sweaters and swimwear from designers like Rebecca Minkoff and Tori Praver.
The property was transformed under the direction of Design Director Brook Klausing and Creative Curator Alexandra Cassaniti. New owner Jayma Cardoso enlisted Klausing to oversee the redesign of the hotel. My room was completely adorable and much more lovely than expected! Although the Surf Lodge seems rustic from the outside, once in my room I had a gorgeous window view out onto the water, and surf décor that made me feel like even the most novice surfer could catch a wave. And the in-room amenities are a treat as well! Forget the tiny bottles of lotions—here you get full sized organic products to chill out that sunburn, and instead of white towels, you get colorful tie-dye set to keep with the fun yet quirky surf vibe.
Everyone at Surf Lodge congregates out on the patio or on the makeshift beach, complete with a bonfire. I don’t know what happens in the more crowded summer, but beds and lounge areas are opens to all on a first come first service basis so no need to deal with the headache of reserving somewhere to just relax. As the summer sun set and the evening hit the bar area heated up with live music and patrons feel free to mingle with each other, really enforcing the sense of community and overall friendliness.
At dinner, Byron was packed as Partner and Executive Chef Chris Rendell from the Highlands Restaurant Group NYC turned out what was a mix of high-end seafood with great feeling comfort food. The most notable feature was that the ingredients were crisp and fresh, and the menu was packed with simple flavors, cooked perfectly. And seeing that I might have been up for a surf the next morning, nothing was too heavy. It was great food that you feel good eating.
New owner Jayma Cardoso says, “The idea for the transformation was to bring on board people who live and breath the lifestyle we are trying to offer our guests at The Surf Lodge.” We’d say this was more than accomplished and I felt as though I could continue life as a boho surfer chick—if only just for the weekend.