Lovingly known as ‘The End’ for being located at the furthest tip of Long Island, New York, the once rustic seaside hamlet of Montauk has today become famed for its surfer-friendly beaches as well as its millionaire residents. 

Regardless, Montauk has still successfully retained a lot of its local charm and flavour, making it a popular retreat for city folk looking to take in the salty sea air. From exploring neighbourhood restaurants serving fresh seafood hauled in from fishing boats stationed at docks nearby, to pitching up at Ditch Plains Beach, the beloved surf mecca with cliffside views and some of the best waves in the region, a visit to Montauk can be rather idyllic, to say the least.

One of the biggest challenges of visiting Montauk, aside from the traffic, is simply finding a place to stay. Rentals in the summer months are hot commodities, and it can be hard to weed out the true gems that are available. Here’s a quick cheat sheet taking you straight to our top picks in the area.

Sustainably designed beach house, on Airbnb 

Photography: Courtesy Brittany Ambridge/OTTO, styling by Nina Freudenberger

The perfectly formed A-frame home of fashion designer Maria McManus and restaurateur Mark Gibson is a dream in every sense of the word. A five-minute walk from Ditch Plains, the sustainably designed house makes the most of the natural climate by eschewing air conditioning. Laid out with the bedrooms on the lower level, and its living room, kitchen and dining areas upstairs, the house is designed to be opened up so that the ocean breeze can cool it down naturally. Boasting a black-stained cedarwood exterior and white-stained pinewood interior, the simple and nature-focused material palette mirrors McManus’ own sustainable design philosophy of her eponymous fashion label.

There is no shortage of thoughtful elements that pay homage to beach life here; be it the upstairs deck/terrace nestled amongst the trees, perfect for enjoying meals, an outdoor shower with just the right water pressure, or the assortment of bikes and body boards to enjoy a perfect day at the beach. Comfortable, yet elevated, this home is an ideal landing pad for visiting Montauk at any time of the year.

McKinley Bungalow Edison, on Airbnb

Photography: Nicole Franzen

The fourth pop-up rentable concept by design firm Studio Robert McKinley, the Edison Bungalow is a traditional New England Cedar Shake House that boasts five bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. Built in the aughts and sitting on 1.5 acres of land, the large bungalow has been fully renovated and decked out with products and furniture by brands including Hay, Design Within Reach, Reform and Heath Ceramics, which are mostly available for purchase.

Photography: Nicole Franzen

Interior designer McKinley looked to historic Northeastern colour palettes for inspiration and created a melange of natural textures that nod to Peter Beard and Axel Vervoordt. Some of the major changes in the house include building an organic pool that seamlessly fits into the site’s topography and updating the front porch, roof, windows and doors.

Filled with contemporary artwork and a mix of vintage and custom-designed furniture, the home also boasts a fitness studio, media room and three-car garage – making it ideal for larger groups and families.

Marram Montauk

Photography: Heidi Bridge

Should you be missing the communal experience of staying at a hotel, Marram Montauk will leave you satiated in the best possible way. Located amongst the sand dunes in the centre of Montauk, Marram brings the nostalgic charm of its former incarnation as a beach motel from the 1960s right into the 21st century.

Open since April 2020, the hotel boasts 96 hotel rooms, a South American café, a surf shack and a communal lounge, designed by the New York design firm Post Company, in partnership with its developer Bridgeton Holdings. Each of the guestrooms and suites is effortlessly appointed with white oak lumber beams, plaster walls, and furniture made from saur wood reclaimed from old homes and fishing boats.

Photography: Read McKendree

Whether its a room facing the ocean or one overlooking the hotel’s verdant courtyard, where fire pits provide an ideal locale to roast s’mores, all guests have the hotel’s beach chair, umbrella and towel service, arsenal of complimentary cruiser bicycles, swimming pool, and menu of wellness activities and nature walks at their disposal.

21 Oceanview Terrace
Montauk, NY 11954