This Family-owned Montauk, New York, Hotel Just Got a Gorgeous Redesign — and It's Right in the Heart of Town

Looking for the perfect late-summer or fall escape? Look no further than Daunt's Albatross.

Outdoor courtyard at Daunt’s Albatross in Montauk
Photo: Brian W. Ferry/Courtesy of Daunt’s Albatross

While Montauk is known as the anti-scenester alternative to its Hamptons neighbors to the west, that doesn't mean this wildly beautiful, windswept region at the eastern tip of Long Island isn't without creature comforts and refined hospitality — it's just not in your face about it.

Daunt's Albatross, a newly renovated, 23-room, family-owned and operated hotel in the heart of Montauk's commercial district, is the perfect testament to that philosophy.

The lobby from the outside courtyard at Daunt’s Albatross in Montauk
Brian W. Ferry/Courtesy of Daunt’s Albatross

"Our goal with the Albatross has been to spread the beauty of Montauk and welcome everyone — from newcomers to those who have been coming with their families for decades," says Leo Daunt, the third-generation proprietor and general manager.

The Daunt family has run this property since 1977, when Richard and his wife, the late Frances Daunt, purchased the property after settling in Montauk in the 1960s.

Today, the motel-turned-boutique hotel retains much of its rustic, familial charm from a half-century ago, while receiving a much-needed modern refresh. "In this new chapter, we're excited to build on this legacy and continue to make guests feel a part of the family," says Daunt.

The hotel reopened this summer after the first phase of a year-long renovation led by Daunt, in collaboration with Brooklyn-based design firm Home Studios. Creative director Oliver Haslegrave is no stranger to telling a story through design. Haslegrave, a former fiction editor, and his team have designed buzzy spots including The Spaniard in Manhattan, Hu Hotel in Memphis, and Alsace Hotel in Los Angeles.

"The story of Daunt's Albatross is one rooted in a family's passion for welcoming guests to a space that feels like home, even if just for a short stay," says Haslegrave. "Our gut renovation pays homage to a time when Montauk felt like a hidden gem."

Part of that natural beauty is a design inspired by the rugged landscape of nearby Shadmoor State Park, with custom knotty pine woodwork and a color palette of whites, warm grays, browns, faded yellows, and ocean blues.

Koda Suites living room and kitchen at Daunt’s Albatross in Montauk
Brian W. Ferry/Courtesy of Daunt’s Albatross
A guest bathroom at Daunt’s Albatross in Montauk
Brian W. Ferry/Courtesy of Daunt’s Albatross

All the furniture is unique and vintage, with no two rooms exactly alike. (Speaking of rooms, they range from standard doubles and queens up to the Koda Suite, affectionately named after Daunt's golden retriever.) The Koda Suite sleeps six and is the original apartment where Richard and Frances Daunt lived when they first purchased the Albatross.

A deluxe double room at Daunt’s Albatross in Montauk
Brian W. Ferry/Courtesy of Daunt’s Albatross

A revamped, landscaped courtyard sits at the center of the property with smokeless fireplaces, overhead string lights, and Adirondack chairs (ideal for complimentary nightly s'mores). A pool renovation will follow later this year, with guests able to enjoy the existing one for the summer.

Across the street, the Daunts also own The Bird on the Roof, a boutique-and-restaurant concept serving an elevated breakfast and brunch menu with a full liquor license and live music.

While Montauk isn't the sleepy fishing village it once was, it doesn't feel like the rest of the Hamptons either. Elsewhere, you might find multimillion-dollar yachts, luxury retail chains, and Citarellas galore. Here in Montauk, two-person kayaks, an old-fashioned general store, and a cozy pizzeria are more the norm. And nestled in between the beach and downtown is Daunt's Albatross, the only family-owned hotel left in Montauk to receive a full-scale renovation.

The property is a treasured remnant of the good old days, now infused with modern sensibilities and the personal warmth of the Daunts.

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