Montauk may be ominously known as ‘the end of the World’, but there’s huge potential for feeling anew here among the sand dunes, luxuriant forests and wild Atlantic, largely thanks to boutique hotel Marram. This peaceful crash pad tones down the tech, settles you right by the beach and organises gentle daily programmes of sunrise meditation, coastal cycles, arts and crafts and hikes in local parkland, until you’re happily snuggled by the fire pit eating s’mores by sundown. Plus, one of Uruguay’s top chefs conceived the market-style dining concept and local surf legends run lessons here.
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A seasonal gift from the hotel and a bottle of prosecco
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.
Double rooms from £228.22 ($278), including tax at 14.125 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $171.19 per room per night on check-out.
Rates don’t include the à la carte breakfast, but a resort fee of US$81.47 a night covers hire of Retrospec Cruiser bikes, beach-umbrella service, a daily programme of fitness and wellness activities and nightly s’mores around the fire pit.
In your downtime you can play cornhole in Marram’s courtyard, or ask staff to point out the local sea and birdlife – they have a keen eye for this sort of thing.
Each year after Thanksgiving the hotel is closed until the end of April.
At the hotel
Private beach, bikes to borrow, high-speed WiFi. In rooms: Nespresso machine, Kassatex beach and pool towels, minibar, bottled water, air-conditioning and Le Labo bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms are dressed in the same style, with soothing hues of cream and white with the odd flash of terracotta, pale wooden beams and tadelakt walls – and the Noguchi sculptures, handwoven jute rugs and art by Sean Spellman and Brian Mielmann make them feel more homey. However, we like the Beachfront King for its Atlantic-view private balcony and a seating area with a day-bed to stretch out on.
The outdoor heated, chlorinated pool is on the beachfront, so you can choose between paddling in the water or the waves. Burnt-orange sunloungers sit around the sides shaded by umbrellas and attendants are quick on the drawer with towels and drink orders.
No need to bring beach towels; each room has a smart Kassatex set to use. Barefoot luxury is the style here, but you’ll need comfy shoes for hiking nearby.
The Dune King and Double Queen rooms are both ADA accessible with adapted bathrooms and special communication kits for guests with hearing issues; however some public spaces can be trickier to navigate.
Kids are welcome although this is a laidback, grown-up kinda stay. Children over the age of one are counted as an extra guest and charged US$25 a night. Book a ground-floor room for fewer stairs to navigate.
The hotel has a healthy respect for Mother Nature. Food is foraged, sought at local farms and wild fished. Tadelakt walls and concrete floors keep rooms cool in summer and reduce energy consumption, as do low E-glass windows. Marram also works with the Save the Waves foundation, participating in beach clean-ups and conservation education.
You dine wherever you wish in the hotel, so perhaps take lunch on your balcony or by the fire pit.
Barefoot luxury is the attitude here; however, some tailored shorts and floaty dresses – with eligible footwear – won’t go amiss.
The open-air hotel restaurant Mostrador Marram was conceived during the owners’ travels in Uruguay, where he encountered ‘mostradors’ or market-style counters for fine dining. So renowned Uruguayan chef Fernando Trocca and restaurateur Martín Pittaluga of José Ignacio’s La Huella and Mostrador Santa Teresita were brought in to recreate this unique dining concept in Montauk. Here you start the day with eggs scrambled with pork belly and spigarello broccoli (with breakfast dessert of housemade bombolone doughnuts and cookies), so things just get better from there on. At lunch, lobster rolls get a swish Italian makeover with focaccia fino, lovage and aioli, and there’s a daily selection of just-picked salads, light fish and meat dishes. Pizzettes are served at aperitivo hour and the four-course prix-fixe menu changes daily to show-off as many of the local delicacies as possible (much gleaned from Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett). There are weekly asado or paella nights, too. The restaurant closes from mid-October as the evenings get colder and re-opens during the summer season.
This super laidback drinkery sits alongside the café. Alongside a variety of chilled limonadas (watermelon and mint, grapefruit and thyme, mint and ginger), barkeeps make refreshing cocktails with a Latin twist: caipiroskas, mojitos… And Marram’s signature drink with watermelon and vodka.
Mostrador is open from Thursday to Monday and serves breakfast from 8am to 11am and lunch from 12 noon to 3pm.
Marram sits in between Fort Pond and Shadmoor State Park in take-it-easy Long Island village Montauk. And it’s the only oceanfront resort along this beachy stretch – for now, anyways.
You need to fly into Long Island MacArthur Airport, where most American airlines fly direct. Marram is by the easternmost tip of the island, around a two-hour drive away. If arriving from abroad, it’s easiest to change in New York or fly into John F. Kennedy International airport and hire a car for the three-hour drive.
Montauk railway station is a five-minute drive (or 30-minute walk) from the hotel. If you’re arriving from New York, the quickest route is to catch the Long Island Rail Road from Pennsylvania Station to Jamaica then Montauk – a journey of around three-and-a-half hours.
There’s free parking for onsite (one space for each room), and free valet parking during peak season.
Hop on the Hampton Jitney to ride from Manhattan to Montauk.
Worth getting out of bed for
Days play out differently here depending on the season and which creative-in-residence is taking the reins, but they usually start with a little reflection by meditating on the beach as the sun rises. Then you’re ready to venture out to immerse yourself in Montauk’s famously winsome nature or partake in the hotel’s activities, be it a yoga class, singing-bowl session, or one of the weekly creative workshops that could be jewellery making or cookery. The easiest way to venture out is to use one of the hotel’s cruiser bikes (free for guests to use). You could ride out to Shadwell Estate Park for a self-guided nature walk, or go wandering in Hither Hills State Park, Montauk Point State Park or an 18th-century lighthouse – Captain Kidd is said to have hidden treasure along the Money Pond Trail leading off from there. Montauk’s lean promontory is lined with beaches, so you can take your pick for lazing on the sand: there’s a private beach on the doorstep, and further along the coast you’ll find family-friendly Gin Beach, lively South Edison Beach and gentle Hither Hills. On the Atlantic side, surfing is a huge lure and Marram is close with surf-champion family the Engstroms, who hold lessons twice weekly (for an extra charge). Terrace break unfurls close to the hotel, but you can also ride the consistently sized waves at Ditch Plains, Turtle Cove near the lighthouse, or Camp Hero, which is a little harder to reach due to its wild location. Sailing can be arranged too – as well as a roster of watersports – but book early if you’d like to charter a boat for a sunset cruise – these romantic excursions are very popular. Seal-watching is at its best from January to April, and from July to September whales crest off the coast. Montauk is also a cultured sort, with several art galleries – some of the best for eye candy are the Depot Art Gallery set in Montauk LIRR station, Karma’s alt-art collection and the Woodbine Collection’s local heroes.
There’s a bounty of upmarket upstate eateries close to Marram. Book a table for sunset at elegant Italian restaurant Harvest at Fort Pond to watch a fiery orange sky change to deep purple, with some dramatic shifts in between. The food is also quite commendable, with a considered pasta edit and intriguing pizza toppings. Just a short wander away, Naturally Good Sushi has artful platters of very fresh fish, and Muse at the End is your go-to for American comfort food: apple-butter pork chops, steamed lobster with slaw, gorgonzola-slathered strip steak… And John’s Drive-In is a kitschy throwback with a fine line in burgers and homemade soft serve. For date-night dining, take a 10-minute drive to East Hampton Grill for filet mignon and rotisserie chicken – or a lunch of hefty French dips. Due north, the convivial Surf Lodge would put Poseidon’s cooking to shame with its knack for ocean-to-plate fare.
Goop-approved Carissa’s is a gleaming white bakery where good things happen – namely, flower-dotted meringues, the signature pickled sourdough rye bread and an array of toothsome pastries and cakes. Stacked sandwiches and wholesome salads can be enjoyed in a garden space for lunch. For jelly- and cream-filled croissants, excellent egg sandwiches and even six-foot heroes for the brave, Montauk Bake Shoppe does big ballsy brunches.
Sip on suds (and pick up a case to enjoy in your room) from Montauk Brewing Co – a brewery and taproom with a chatter-filled patio set within stumbling distance of Marram.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this blithe beachside hotel in Montauk and unpacked their Lululemon leggings and newfound sense of inner peace, a full account of their back-to-nature break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Marram in Long Island…
Nature holds a cherished place in Marram hotel’s heart – after all, the stay is named after the long grasses that grow on the nearby beach’s dunes. As Montauk’s party scene gets ever more packed, this low-key hideaway acts as a kind of chill-out room for burned-out bohemians or those seeking respite from NYC. Rooms in the weathered-cedar-clad main building are device-free and utterly serene, many with views of the Atlantic or the beach. Beautifully curated interiors include objets such as Isamu Noguchi sculptures and furnishings made from reclaimed fishing boats, and a pallid palette keeps things calm. Days start with sunrise meditation and end with s’mores and wine by the fire pit, but it’s not all about powering down. The hotel has links with the Engstrom family – a group of surf savants who teach lessons here, like how to ride the gnarly Terrace surf break, which barrels in just by the hotel. You can fish for striped bass, hike to a historic lighthouse and catch wind of the local cultural scene (art workshops are held weekly onsite) – and culinary kicks are found at the ‘mostrador’, a South American-inspired market-style lunching spot where spoils have been sought from local farms and fishermen. So, you could just kick back on one of the teak beach chairs with a pimped-up lobster roll or carrots and chimichurri, washed down with an icy limonada, and watch the grasses grow.