Review: The Marram Is an Elegant Escape From Montauk’s Party Culture
The new beachside property embodies the principle of less (but better) is more
Referred to fondly as “the end of the world,” for its location at the very eastern end of Long Island’s south fork, Montauk has largely flown under the radar until recently. Now, young travelers seek out beach houses to rent in order to socialize at hotspots like The Surf Lodge and Gurney’s, but there’s still plenty of peace to find in Montauk as well.
A good place to start for travelers seeking a trip to the surfside town that involves more yoga and oysters and less blaring music can book a room at the recently reopened Marram Montauk, whose existence seeks to provide a break in the storm of the area’s party culture.
Named after the wild grass that grows on the sand dunes that surround the property, Marram is optimally located right on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean in the reinvented bones of what was once the iconic 1960’s Atlantic Terrace Motel, which was known for hosting traveling surfers.
Minimalism meets surf culture
While the setup of the property still evokes that of a motel, its vibe and furnishings are now much more refined, and Marram bills itself as a wellness retreat for those in need of salt, sand and sun salutations. A muted color palette and minimalist design lends itself to this mission, as does the property’s ample places to sit, read and socialize.
Stepping into one of Marram’s 96 rooms and suites, the first thing you might notice is the ocean just on the other side of your balcony. An understated design lets the waves remain the most poignant color pop, as hand-textured plaster walls, polished concrete flooring and jute rugs play the perfect supporting characters. Upscale touches like vintage Noguchi lamps and bath amenities by Le Labo don’t hurt the experience, either.
The beauty of vacationing at a property like Marram also lies in the lack of pressure it creates to leave, as the pleasures of surrounding Montauk are pretty simple: surfing at Ditch Plains Beach, hiking at Shadmoor State Park, drinking and eating, of course. For the adventurous, horses can be ridden on cliffside trails extending from Deep Hollow Ranch, the oldest working family-owned cattle ranch in the country.
Aside from partaking in the above, Marram encourages guests to find their zen right there in the hotel’s courtyard, while lounging at the pool or warming your hands at the open fire pits. Stick around until 7pm and the staff brings out complimentary s’mores kits for toasting and enjoying.
Marshmallows aside, the hotel’s amenities include Retrospec cruiser bicycles for getting around town, wellness activities like yoga, nature walks and the kind of beachside services you’ll feel spoiled by: lounge-style beach chairs, shady umbrellas and fresh towels. For an extra cost, sign up for surf lessons with the Engstrom siblings, a local trio of renowned surfers: Leif Engstrom, Ariel Engstrom and Lexi Engstrom.
Any way you want it
As one might imagine, the dining scene in Montauk typically revolves around the fresh catch of the day, thanks to its immediate proximity to the Atlantic. At Mostrador Marram, the hotel’s on-property cafe, Montauk’s seaside bounty takes a more unexpected form by way of oceanside grilling and a South American culinary influence.
For breakfast and lunch, expect a lot of local, seasonal produce and healthy options like raspberry chia pudding with summer berries or scrambled organic eggs with veggies and homemade sourdough. Always on the menu is a selection of Latin-inspired sweet and savory pastries.
Once the sun starts to dip, dinner is served in the form of counter service, which you can order from Mostrador and take with you anywhere in the hotel, including by the pool, in front of the firepits, or in the comfort of your room. From freshly caught fish to brisket and pork shoulder, a protein of your choice gets fired up and served with locally sourced vegetable sides.
This unique and casual way of enjoying your dinner invites guests to kick back and forget the typical dinner table. The one thing you shouldn’t forget, though, is a bottle of your favorite wine or a pack of cold ones, as the hotel is still BYOB while it works on its liquor license.
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