The Montauk Beach House, a boutique hotel and beach club that opened last week, brings an air of sophistication to the former digs of the Ronjo Resort Motel. Many remember the popular spot from decades back for its gaudily painted Hawaiian tiki statue. The statue is still out front, but it's been made over in a burnished shade of copper that suggests time spent tanning at the beach -- a 200-yard walk away -- or on one of the oversized canopied lounge beds surrounding the two pools.
The pool area serves as the nucleus of the hotel and will be the scene of sunset acoustic music for guests and anyone who buys a summerlong beach club membership. Among other activities offered at an additional cost: Surfing, paddle-boarding and fishing. Weekend yoga is complimentary.
Here, it's all about relaxing in style. The hotel's 33 rooms, done in tranquil beach tones of gray and pink, have expansive views of either the pool or the town; a few offer glimpses of the ocean. There are luxury linens and flat-screen TVs, too. Quirky accent pieces individualize each space. In one room, a vintage-style claw-foot bathtub sits a few feet away from the impeccably made-up beds. In the bathroom, the British World War II motto imprinted on the shower curtain: "Keep calm; carry on."
All this reflects the sensibility of British-born co-owner Chris Jones, a hotelier who is also a partner at the unaffiliated Sole East hotel-restaurant in Montauk. Creative director Walt Linveld guided the project, as well. Said Jones: "We tested every little detail," right down to the lavender and lemon-scented Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.
Still, there are things you won't find at the Montauk Beach House: A kiddie pool. A beachfront location. A restaurant. The hotel does, however, sell portable fare, such as lobster rolls, along with Stumptown coffee and light breakfast items from the nearby Montauk Bake Shoppe.