Since March 13th, our family had been in Quarantine mode in our FiDi apartment, doing online real estate while our teens mastered online learning. After 2 months, we took advantage of a change of scenery by flying to LA and sheltering in place in Laurel Canyon. Since we didn’t have much of a plan to rent a home in the Hamptons (as we often do each summer), we decided to go back and forth from the city to Marram in Montauk.
I usually refer to Conde Nast or Vogue when choosing a place to travel, and thanks to the article I’m sharing below, we found one of the best hotels I’ve been to in 13 years of spending our summers in the Hamptons.
What we appreciate most about Marram is that the hotel is on the beach. We don’t need to fuss over towels and chairs. Our kids can go surf every day or ride their bikes around town while we get work done. We love that the rooms don’t have screens. It’s styled uber-chic and reminded us of our Uruguay family vacations in Jose Ignacio.
Another game-changer is having Il Buco food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was absolutely delicious. The hotel is also 5-7 minutes from our favorite eateries like Duryea’s Lobster Deck and The Crow’s Nest. We couldn’t recommend Marram enough.
Montauk’s Newest Hotel Brings a Bit of Peace Out East
Credit to ELISE TAYLOR
Lately, it seems Montauk’s equilibrium has been out of whack. Where the beach town on the tip of Long Island once attracted surfers and artists, it now attracts surfers, artists, and well, a whole lot of revelers. It’s great for those who love a lively apres-beach scene. But with every hotspot, every DJ, Montauk loses some of the serenity that made it so special in the first place.
That’s why Marram, a new boutique hotel opening August 23, doesn’t want to blow up. In fact, it wants to help Montauk chill out.
Marram, which takes over Montauk’s old Atlantic Terrace, describes their vibe as “barefoot luxury.” It’s apparent from the movement you arrive. The buildings are built of weathered cedar. Burnt orange umbrellas, white chaise lounges, wood beach chairs, cornhole boards, and fire pits—complete with homemade marshmallows and roasting sticks—dot the beachgrass-filled courtyard. (“Marram” is the English name for the plant normally found on dunes.) A pathway waltzes through the center straight to the Atlantic Ocean, open to guests and the public alike. There are picnic benches aplenty. When you reach the water, a friendly beach attendant tells you excitedly about the whales and where to spot them— “they’re at 1 o’clock, look for the birds!”
“We wanted to emphasize the center of the show, Montauk, in its natural state, so we brought dunes back through the property then paired them with materials and color inspired by the landscape,” Atit Jariwala, founder and CEO of Bridgeton (the hospitality company that owns Marram), tells Vogue.
Whereas other hotels’ activities might center around a pool scene, live music, and bar, Marram’s focus more on culture. The surf shop offers lessons by the Engstrom siblings—Leif Engstrom, Ariel Engstrom, and Lexi Engstrom—a local trio of powerhouse surfers (seriously, just check out Leif’s Instagram) who are as friendly and laid back as can be. They offer on-site yoga classes and art workshops, and there’s always a guide around for a nature walk.
The rooms are different from anything else out east. Much of Montauk’s decor seems to adhere to a “nautical” theme, but Marram embraced a desert color palette for its interiors. There are handwoven jute rugs, white oak ceiling beams, light sculptures by Isamu Noguchi, and stools made of recycled wood from fishing boats. On the walls hang surfing photographs by Brian Bielmann, and minimalist paintings from Sean Spellman. The crisp white linens contrast with the muted concrete floor.
Marram may be on the tip of Long Island, but its soul is connected to a town 5,000 miles away—José Ignacio in Uruguay. During a vacation there last year, Jariwala was stuck with the similarities between the two places: “great surfing, check; great food, check; focus on health and fitness, check; great beach, check,” he says. It’s there where he fine-tuned his version for what his Montauk property could be: a place of “unstudied luxury and breezy sophistication.”
He also fell in love with the romantic culinary concept of a “mostrador”—or gourmet counter dining. Jariwala partnered with two chefs from Uruguay, Fernando Trocca of Mostrador Santa Teresita and Martín Pittaluga of the Parador La Huella, to create Mostrador Marram. The cafe, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks, is a little slice of South America in the North. All the food and produce is local—much of it comes from Amagansett’s Amber Waves farm. For breakfast, it serves up things like scrambled eggs and granola bowls with yogurt and fresh fruit, and coffee with homemade almond milk.
Come noon, guests choose from delicious buffet-style dishes (carrots and chimichurri, asparagus with green tahini, and ratatouille are just some examples) and grilled meats like flounder milanese or pork shoulder in a make-your-own market plate experience. Washed down with one of their signature lemonades—watermelon and mint was a particular favorite—it makes for the perfect summertime lunch.
At dinnertime, guests are encouraged to explore local haunts in town, or curl up with rose by a fire pit (Marram is BYOB—so take a quick ride on one of the hotel’s cruiser bikes to the local liquor store.)
It’s never been easier to get to “The End of the World”, with new car services and helicopters supplementing the jitney and train. Accordingly, new bars and yoga studios pop up every summer. But especially as summer turns to fall and the crowds thin out while the waves improve, Marram stands to become a year-round oasis by the ocean for surfers and getaway-seekers alike.