When the Daunt family opened their beachside motel in the 1970s, a drive down the pine tree–lined Montauk Highway brought visitors to a sleepy village that called itself “the end.” Nowadays, Montauk, New York is almost as scene-y and fancified as East Hampton, its very tony neighbor, but it still attracts visitors looking for a laid-back vacation along some of the East Coast’s most scenic beaches.
Changing times prompted Leo Daunt, the third-generation owner of Daunt’s Albatross, to contract Brooklyn-based Home Studios for a gut renovation of his family’s 23-room motel. Its last major renovation wrapped when Eye of the Tiger was the song of the summer, so the design team had carte blance to update the lobby, guest rooms, and outdoor areas according to Daunt’s contemporary vision and sensibilities.
In keeping with the motel’s family-friendly tradition and long standing in the community, the revamp broadcasts warmth and openness via a palette drawn from the surrounding landscape, specifically the beachside bluffs of nearby Shadmoor State Park. In the lobby, vacationers are greeted by custom and reworked furniture: The reception desk is hewn from knotty alder and Ceppo di Gré limestone, while the wait-for-check-in sofa is a reupholstered one from Article that Home Studios fitted with custom carved pine legs.
Inside the guest rooms, pine abounds in original and reworked vintage decor. Custom heart pine bed frames are complemented by antique pine, French country–style armoires. The trim around the walls is in the same material. Bedside, some nightstands hail from the 19th century, while others are vintage cherry candle stands or American Country Sheraton in style. A Holiday Inn this is not; no two rooms are exactly the same.
Many of the guest rooms overlook a string-lighted central courtyard scattered with Adirondack chairs and smokeless Breeo fireplaces that practically beg for a marshmallow roast. While guests break in the new rooms and enjoy the courtyard, Home Studios is preparing to expand the lobby with a wood-burning fireplace and dining area. A renovation of the pool and the construction of a new yoga pavilion will commence after the 2022 summer season.