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Hotel Highlights

  • Vibrant drinking and dining scene
  • Bocce, ping pong and horseback riding available
  • Outdoor lounge

Overview

Ruschmeyer’s hotel, a revamped Fifties estate, is a summer camper’s dream. Mid-century modern couches and chairs mingle with nautical details such as criss-crossed roped-lined walls and tailored sail cloth. After a feast in the Manhattan-grade restaurant, slink to the low-lit Electric Eel Disco, where the leather banquettes let you lounge, but the DJ’s beats urge you to dance all night long. Ruschmeyer’s is the coolest camp you never went to, but always fantasised about.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Ruschmeyer's with us:

A picnic hamper of local produce to have in the garden or on the beach, including a bottle of rosé

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

19, including one suite.

Check–out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Also

Each room comes with its own kelly green compass, so you won’t get lost on the hiking trails. We love the minibar, actually a wicker picnic basket, packed with a canteen, a S’more-making kit, bubbles, a balsa wood glider, Mast Brothers Chocolate and more goodies.

Hotel closed

Late September to mid-May.

At the hotel

Treehouse, teepee, spa treatment room, bocce ball pitch, ping-pong table, library of books and DVDs, free WiFi throughout, bikes to borrow. In rooms: iPod dock, minibar, Frette linens and John Masters Organics bath products.

Our favourite rooms

The suite, Room 13, is the biggest cabin, its two bathroom-linked bedrooms perfect for families or two couples staying together. There’s a pair of sunset-yellow couches in the second bedroom, laden with black-and-white embroidered cushions. We also love Room 16 because you get prime views of the courtyard and a little more space. The decor of Ruschmeyer’s rooms is best described as ‘seafaring hippie minimalist’, with khaki curtains strung like sails, multicolour woven rugs, vintage wicker headboards and seafoam-green walls with prints of palm-trees and clouds. The suspended macramé swinging chairs are a cool, crafty touch.

Packing tips

Bring bug spray to minimise the time you spend leg and arm slapping. A mini head lamp for late-night strolls will make you one of the most popular campers.

Also

Mani-pedis, facials and massages can be provided either in your cabinor in the spa room – book through the concierge. There’s US$100 charge if you want to bring pets (under 40lbs). The bar and disco environs can be quite noisy at night in summer.

Children

Welcome, but discouraged on weekends during the summer, when the bar scene takes over. Even during the week, Ruschmeyer’s is more geared towards families with older children. There’s a kids’ menu at the restaurant.

Food & Drink

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Hotel Restaurant

The team from New York’s famed Fat Radish have landed in Montauk. Their fanaticism for fresh produce has travelled to the Restaurant at Ruschmeyer’s, where seasonal ingredients and locally landed seafood make the menu. Creamy white Japanese lanterns line the ceiling and the long slated pine-wood booths, with gingham-covered cushions, offer plenty of space to sprawl. The Nook, a takeaway outfit opposite the restaurant, open from 8am to 5pm, offers fresh-squeezed juice, baked-goods, salads and sandwiches.

Hotel Bar

The Pool, an outdoor sand pit that was a swimming hole in a former life, boasts a hut serving craft beer, a bocce ball pitch and ping-pong courts. Spectators can catch the action from the bleachers or picnic tables. The Electric Eel Disco, in the main house, opens at 5pm and keeps going into the wee hours. Teal Japanese fishing floats are suspended around a disco ball, walls are covered with sails, and some of Manhattan’s finest mixologists shake up old-school cocktails behind the gleaming bar.

Last orders

Sip until midnight on weekdays and 3am on weekends. The last dish is served at 10pm during the week and on Sundays. On weekends you can dine until 11pm.The restaurant is closed on Wednesdays.

Room service

There’s no room service, but the minibar is there for the pillaging.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Merit badges will be given out to those rocking casual-cool gear: skinny jeans, bathing suits and deep-v t-shirts, along with gauzy scarves for sea-breezy nights.

Top table

Pick one of the middle booths, right in the thick of it. The centre separator can be pulled out to connect seating; great for a large posse.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

What is camp without activities? The head counselor – sorry, concierge – can organise kayaking, water-skiing, fishing, horse riding and stand-up paddle boarding excursions. Play bocce ball and ping-pong at the Pool. Spend time exploring Montauk Point State Park, home of the Montauk Lighthouse. The museum, packed with relics and maritime memorabilia, is worth a pause. Head to Gin Beach on Block Island Sound to take a dip in the ocean. You do need a permit, which you can pick-up at the Montauk Playhouse Community Center on Edgemere Street (+1 631 668 5081), but it’s worth it to have a more private place to splash. Ratchet up the romance on a sunset cruise, offered during the summer by Sailing Montauk (+1 631 668 2826; www.sailingmontauk.com), which takes groups of up to six along Block Island Sound.

Local restaurants

For a diner-style breakfast of crêpe suzette, omelettes, and pancakes, head to John’s Pancake House on Montauk Highway (+1 631 668 2383). There’s usually a queue in high season, so show up early. Beachy bites such as fish tacos are served in the restaurant at Surf Lodge, across Fort Pond (+1 631 668 1562). For NY style slices, and saucy pastas delivered to your spot on the beach, try Sausages Pizza & Pastabilities on Montauk Highway (+1 631 668 1144; sausagesmontaukpizza.com). Pan-Asian fare and fresh local seafood is on the menu at East by Northeast on Edgemere Street. Carnivores, be sure to try your hand at the Japanese hot rock (+1 631 668 2872; www.harvest2000.com/ene).

Local bars

The picnic tables at the back are prime sunset gazing posts at Montauket (+1 631 668 5992) on Firestone Road. Drink local brews while you take in Fort Pond Bay panoramas. Supposedly the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones song, the Memory Motel off Montauk Highway is a divey, hipster-haunted after-hours hotspot (+1 631 668 2702).

Local cafés

With a surfboard on the roof emblazoned with its name, Joni’s at 9 Edison Drive is hard to miss. Make a pit stop here for coffee, smoothies and the much-loved breakfast burritos (+1 631 668 3663). For genuinely good coffee, massive pastries and takeaway lunches, Montauk Bake Shoppe should be on your radar (+1 631 668 2439; www.montaukbakeshoppe.com).

+ Enlarge
Into the woods

Ruschmeyer's

161 Second House Road, Montauk, New York NY 11954, United States

Planes

The closest commercial airport is Long Island’s MacArthur (+1 631 467 3210; www.macarthurairport.com), about an hour and a half away, which carries domestic services to Chicago and the east coast. If you’re arriving by private plane,land at Montauk Airport (+1 631 668 2484), three miles from the centre of town, or East Hampton Airport (+1 631 537 1130), 19 miles away in Wainscott. Transfers cost about US$22 from Montauk Airport; US$65 from East Hampton; and US$300 from MacArthur by cab, give Lindy’s Taxi a call (+1 631 668 8888).

Trains

The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) can get you to Montauk in three hours from NYC. The local station is located at the intersection of Edgemere Street and Fort Pond Road (+1 718 217 5477; mta.info/lirr), five minutes from the hotel by car.

Automobiles

The Hampton Jitney will get you to Montauk in about three hours, depending on traffic. For a cushier trip, reserve a seat on the Hampton Ambassador, offering fewer passengers, more legroom and free WiFi (+1 631 283 4676; www.hamptonambassador.com). The Hampton Luxury Liner (www.hamptonluxuryliner.com) is another more comfortable cruise. It’s handy but not necessary to have a car in Montauk unless you plan on exploring neighbouring towns. From June to September, traffic slows to a crawl on Interstate 495 East and Montauk Highway (Route 27A). If you’re staying put, rent a bike. Get wheels at Ruschmeyer’s for US$20 for a half day or US$40 for the day. If they’re all out at Ruschmeyer’s, try Montauk Bike Shop (+1 631 668 8975; www.montaukbikeshop.com). Get a car at Enterprise at 32 Star Island Road (+1 631 283 0055; www.enterprise.com), about five minutes from the hotel. You can park free at Ruschmeyer’s.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Philip Gaedicke , Cool creator

As great as New York is, you always hear people complaining about city life: too stressful, too fast, too much concrete, too superficial, too loud. So, acting like real Manhattanites in August, we wanted to get out of there. But where to go? Yeah, I hear all of you saying: the Hamptons! Forget the Hamptons. Montauk is the place, my in-the-know friends told me. Mysterious claims of Secret Service …
Read more

Ruschmeyer's

Anonymous review by Philip Gaedicke, Cool creator

As great as New York is, you always hear people complaining about city life: too stressful, too fast, too much concrete, too superficial, too loud. So, acting like real Manhattanites in August, we wanted to get out of there. But where to go? Yeah, I hear all of you saying: the Hamptons! Forget the Hamptons. Montauk is the place, my in-the-know friends told me.

Mysterious claims of Secret Service associations and science-fictiony time travel lace Montauk's historical tales, which sure piqued our interest. But none of this is the Montauk of today: the furthest tip of Long Island has undergone a serious upgrade in recent years with a handful of well-known gastronomes opening up hotels, lodges and restaurants eclipsing any talk of weird Montauk Monsters.

So, my stand-in Mrs Smith, Marcelo Burlon and I took the bus from NYC to Montauk. Greyhound? Think again. I’m talking luxury business liner with spacious leather seats, movies, magazines, food and drinks. Yup. That’s how this Berliner and Milanese men roll. Passing through the Hamptons seeing all the beautiful colonial-style houses and gardens, I felt the tranquility of the countryside, but could taste all the old money. In my mind I had figured out our hotel: big and fancy. Boy did we get it wrong. Ruschmeyer’s is far from being typical Hamptons. As is Montauk. The village is utterly unpretentious, attracting hippies, hipsters and surfers of all ages.

The concept behind Ruschmeyer’s is centred around a fictional voyager – Commodore Captain Ruschmeyer III – a Jacques Cousteau-ish character who travelled the world collecting artefacts. This grown-up, summer camp-style boutique hotel is his would-be home: part estate, part explorer’s clubhouse, part Wes Anderson film set. All this whimsy, however, is tempered with careful touches; there’s no heavy-handed kitsch here.

Arriving at Ruschmeyer’s we were surprised when faced with this rather simple wooden house. Very charming, but different to what we had expected. Maybe even better since we wanted to get out of the city and escape all the gossip and usual small talk about who does what and who knows who. We wanted to take some time to calm down and relax. And who should be the first person to come running towards Marcelo? Bursting out a big and long ‘H-i-i-i-i-i-i-i!’, it’s Rihanna’s stylist. A super-lovely woman with energy for three. So there we were again. Small-talking about who knows whom. But in a really nice way.

Cushions on the low couches in the wood-planked lobby are scout-uniform green and succulents, books and photos stand to attention on the shelves. A leather butterfly chair sits next to a roll of vintage maps on the wall. At first glance, the aquarium built into the wall, behind the counter, looks like a TV. A shock of electric coral greets you when you walk into the restaurant, before heading to the lounge where air plants are suspended above the bar in glass globes.

Walking out of the reception we saw the array of bungalows in a half circle. Two big beautiful trees are in the middle, a swing hanging from one, ping-pong tables, teepee tents and wooden benches throw us back in time. It definitely felt like we had entered our first day of summer camp.

An über-stylish young couple sitting reading their books indicated that there is a certain clientele at Ruschmeyer’s. People that care about design and that have a passion for detail and quality. Folks that love the simple but good life. At reception a woman in her Sixties was overwhelmingly friendly; showing us around she twigged that I’m from Germany and started speaking German to me. It turned out that we’d both been living in Frankfurt – 30 years apart – patrons of the same iconic club, Batchkapp, where all the big bands from Rammstein to the Scorpions have performed.

After a chat she showed us our cosy room which, though fairly basic, blew us away with its welcome basket: the ‘mini-bar 2.0’. We voted the underwear in an envelope the funniest treat and the wooden toothbrushes the most useful. The dark chocolate with sea salt also got our seal of approval.

Checking out the beaches and surf spots that Montauk is famous for was top of our list, but unlucky for us the weather gods banished us to our room. Dark-grey clouds and an uncharacteristic amount of rain had us instead hitting the restaurant. Ben Towill and Phil Winser of Fat Radish fame are behind the menu. The perfect place to gaze out of big windows into the dark grey sky over fresh mussels and excellent wine. The fact it was fully booked out with people not even staying at Ruschmeyer’s was a great sign.

Montauk is full of cute cafés and restaurants and souvenir shops – no signs of nuclear time travellers or aliens, boringly – just lots of laidback young families and surfers. After asking some locals where best to eat we ended up at the West Lake Clam & Chowder House: the fish restaurant apparently. Entirely authentic full of local fishermen at the bar and mingling Montaukians. The fish sandwich I had was one of the culinary highlights of our trip to the States. And despite a big ‘locals only’ sign on the wall, we still felt very welcome.

Back at the beachside hotel, the garden looked glorious by night: lamps hanging from the trees, a girl sitting on the swing, and kids playing in the teepee. This is the dream place you imagine celebrating your wedding at with all your family and friends. Nothing too fancy, just low-key romance. A place filled with little details that make all the difference. Sway to DJ-selected jams, make new friends (with city slickers and locals) and toss back easy-drinking rum punch in the sunshine – well, usually. That was exactly what our stay felt all about: loveable details. And Ruschmeyer’s is definitely all about feeling the love.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Ruschmeyer's's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the deoration, food and ambiance.

Don’t expect

It was calm and quiet during the week but seemed very noisy to me on Friday and Saturday nights.

 

Rating: 6/10 stars