Stay Where the Vanderbilts (and the Astors and the Whitneys) Stayed in Montauk
By Shari Hartford
Anyone who knows me well knows that my favorite place on the planet is Montauk. There's just something about the sea air, the dunes and the familiar streets that always make me feel as if I have exhaled the weight of the world. In addition to too-numerous-to-count day trips, I've rested my head at most of the motels and resorts in this past-the-Hamptons village. Recently, I spent a weekend at the Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina, an 80-year old East End tradition whose original club membership featured such blueblood names as Astor, Whitney and Vanderbilt.
Needless to say, the resort has undergone numerous facelifts and renovations over the decades, including a present-day multi-million dollar redo of the facilities and restaurant. After checking out the results, I say "job well done!"
The guest rooms and suites are nautically themed with white washed walls, wicker and skipper blue accents. Most accommodations have terraces and patios with chairs and chaises to sit and watch the world sail by. In addition to rooms in the main building and marina, there are several secluded cottages and villas for those who want the ultimate privacy.
Since this is a full-service resort, you will find a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, a terrific spa and a private bay beach. (The resort provides a complimentary shuttle service to the ocean beach.)
The highlight of my recent visit was dinner at the resort's signature restaurant, Gulf Coast Kitchen (above). The open-sided venue, with spectacular water views, echos the white and wicker hotel theme. Chef Robbin Haas has transformed a rather forgettable dining room into a memorable food-lovers experience. His menu reflects his commitment to the use of regional and organic ingredients. The generous Grilled Local Farm Vegetable Quinoa Salad, rich with ripe produce and a light herb vinaigrette was a perfect summer evening starter. For an entree we selected the Clambake — a bargain at $29. Presented in stacked Japanese wicker steaming baskets, the one-pound lobster, shrimps, clams, sweet corn and new potatoes were succulent and meticulously prepared. And since we were satisfied but not stuffed, the warm apple tarte with gelato and ginger and caramel sauce ended a wonderful meal. For lighter fare the resort also has several bars, lounges, a grill and cafe.
Although the Montauk Yacht Club is closed during the dead of winter, they are open from March through November. Fall is a great time to visit Montauk. The sunny days and cool evenings are ideal for beach combing and relaxation. And you need a base of operation, right? Why not the MYC?
For more information contact Montauk Yacht Club or call 888/692-8668.