No place reflects the ocean life meets nightlife vibe of Montauk more than iconic hotel The Surf Lodge. However, the exclusive twenty room hotel is more than just a place to stay, a restaurant, or a popular nightlife and concert venue— it’s home to some of the most scenic views in one of the chicest fishing villages in the world.
Surf Lodge founder and creative director Jayma Cardoso tells me, “[The vibe of The Surf Lodge] is bohemian chic and beachy. We make use of lots of natural textures and light colors and the whole property has a really easy indoor-outdoor flow.”
The seasonal spot which opens in mid-May and closes during the first weekend of October is also known for its incredible art. “One way that we stay true to our core design ethos but still keep things fresh every year is through our annual artist-in-residence series. Art is one of the core pillars of The Surf Lodge experience and we use every opportunity on the property to highlight artists, from the decor in the rooms to the mural behind the stage and a series of installations in the lobby and restaurant,” explains Cardoso.
The artist-in-residence program at both The Surf Lodge and sister property The Snow Lodge in Aspen has featured a remarkable list of talent including Harland Miller, Daniel Arsham, Ai Weiwei, Katherine Bernhard, Kenny Scharf, Dustin Yellin, Joel Mesler, Brandon Boyd, Danielle Orchard, Rajni Jacques and Norman Reedus, among others. Pieces are on display in the lobby for the full season (for example, this year’s light sculptures by Anthony James) as well as for shorter showings.
There’s also a small space adjacent to the lobby that changes every weekend for different retail experiences, one of the most notable of 2022 being the YSL Beauty launch of new cologne, Y Eau de Toilette. The event included unique activations complete with a bottle-filled vintage Land Rover, ideal for capturing memories and posting to social media.
In addition to all the launches and incredible music performances this summer including Macy Gray and Zed, was the refresh of the outdoor areas in collaboration with Arhaus.
The Perfect Partnership
Because the space had not been revitalized in recent years, Cardoso was very excited to work with the family-owned company. “I was first introduced to Arhaus when they opened their Aspen store during our winter season at The Snow Lodge and was immediately drawn to their timeless design and artisan craftsmanship. Their pieces are beautiful and of such high quality,” she says. “They’ve been great partners and really brought a cleanness and sophistication to our space that I love.”
With so many people needing to access and enjoy the space— quality, durability, and comfortability were absolutely essential, as was eco-friendliness. So the team opted for sustainable teak wood pieces.
Arhaus was equally enthused about the partnership. “Partnering with The Surf Lodge has been a true collaboration that felt organic from the very beginning. Jayma is a creative force with a special way of bringing together the right people, brands, and talent that contribute to the great energy and experience at The Surf Lodge. We immediately bonded over our shared love and appreciation for art and quality craftsmanship, which is at the heart of Arhaus’ brand ethos. This shared commitment made for an effortless synergy that helped us create an inspiring outdoor environment for visitors and locals to enjoy for years to come,” says Hannah Wickberg Champaign, PR and experiential marketing senior manager.
A True Montauk Look
Because Montauk has a different landscape and feel than the rest of the Long Island enclave, it was important for the design to reflect that. So, after considering approximately half a dozen options, the team decided on a muted palette grounded in natural, high-quality materials. “At its core, Montauk is a sleepy fishing town with a bit of a bohemian spirit. There’s so much natural beauty around us with the beaches and Fort Pond (and of course those amazing sunsets) so keeping our design simple, natural, and integrated into our surroundings is important,” says Cardoso.
The Arhaus executive shares a similar sentiment. “Jayma came to us wanting to do something different that would surprise and delight patrons while honoring the essence of Montauk, which is special and apart from the ‘Hamptons look’ or other coastal vibes. From there, our talented team of in-house designers worked closely with Jayma to create an elevated outdoor concept with a sophisticated sensibility that is modern, warm, and inviting.”
However, it was a truly collaborative process. “First we reviewed the general vision and I shared some of my favorite pieces from their newest outdoor collection. From there, we considered the needs of the space in terms of capacity and function to ensure we’d have enough seating and could mix and match pieces while still creating a cohesive look. I hardly had any tweaks to the first round of selections they showed me! Once we had the major furniture pieces picked out, we got to do all of the fun work of picking accessories and decor to really bring the space to life and I absolutely love how everything turned out.”