The Surf Lodge is an iconic must-stop spot in Montauk—synonymous with summer, youthful cultural programming, and an overall good time. To both locals and visitors to East Hampton, it’s a space where you can enjoy fresh seafood along Fort Pond, bask in live music, and sip curated cocktails far after the sun goes down.
Regarded as much for its cool-kid vibe as it is for its wellness experiences, automobile partnerships, and rotating stores found in its storefront boutique, The Surf Lodge has also spent the past 14 years dedicated to art and design, shining each season with an array of new installations, murals, and objects by emerging and established talent.
Last weekend, ahead of the summer season closing in Montauk in October, Whitewall ventured to the hotel to explore its 2022 offerings—particularly a rotation of artists-in-residence showcasing works like Tarsila Schubert, Heart Evangelista, Danielle Orchard, Brooke Wise, and Anthony James.
At first, murals by Danielle Orchard reeled us in. Lounging women, reading books and sipping wine, were painted as large-scale ingénues throughout the lobby. Influences seemingly found in Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso’s work seemed to infiltrate the movements of Orchard’s brush, with sharp lined defining shapes of faces and curves of the body and smooth hues blending backgrounds, hair, and flesh. From the entrance throughout the lobby, Orchard’s works carried our attention from inside to outside, where we found light sculptures by the Los Angeles-based artist Anthony James.
Scattered throughout the property—including the lobby, at its front exterior, and wiggled in the sand in the hotel’s backyard—were glowing geometric boxes of James’s works. Sculptures (or “portals,” as James like to call them) made of stainless steel, glass, and LED lights gleamed in different shades of light blue and hot pink as the sun went down and people flooded their surrounding spaces.
After a refresh in our room, complemented by a haul of Dermstore partnership goodies and a rest on the backyard hammock, we ventured to the deck for dinner. For the first time in eight years, The Surf Lodge refreshed its backyard beach set up through a partnership with Arhaus. All furnishings on the terrace and sand were items that were artisan-crafted and responsibly sourced, evoking both a do-good and feel-good sensation across the property.
From our seats, as the sun set, we experienced a live performance from the reggae performer Matisyahu, who performed hits from their latest self-titled album and all-time favorites like King Without a Crown. A whole Maine lobster, spicy cucumber salad, and spicy tuna crispy rice bites filled our plates.
In the morning, we indulged in Australian café culture on the shore of Long Island with The Surf Lodge’s collaboration with Two Hands Hospitality Group. Brunch items—like banana walnut bread, avocado toast, lemon poppyseed waffles, and salmon bowls—complemented fresh coffee and juice, and a selection of daytime cocktails. And before heading to the train, we took one of the hotel’s Mini Cooper models for a spin. As the hotel’s car sponsor for the summer, there were convertibles in a zesty yellow color to choose from, guiding our route from the hotel to the shore for one more glimpse at the sea.