What We Love
- Rate includes daily continental breakfast
- A summer camp for big kids — there’s yoga on the lawn, ping-pong, kitesurfing and paddleboarding on adjacent Fort Pond Lake
- One-stop Montauk scene, from the sandy beer garden and seasonal restaurant to the late night Electric Eel bar and alfresco Magic Garden
- The energetic staff is always happy to help
- READ MORE: Where to eat, play and shop in NY
What To Know
- Come for the top location near the beach, the hip party scene and the boho vibe; relaxation seekers should look elsewhere
- Make a reservation well in advance to score a table at the farm-to-table restaurant
- The 19 cabins are frill-free, but with all the outdoor amenities, guests don't spend much time inside anyway
Midcentury summer camp turned hipster party playground with a top restaurant, two bars and modern cabins
On three acres of woodsy land on Fort Pond Lake, Ruschmeyer’s (originally built as a camp in 1952) was brought back to life in 2011 with 19 simple cabins, a sand-floored beer garden, a hot spot farm-to-table restaurant and a late night bar. Expect a 1970s nautical bohemian vibe and Bauhaus influences; you’ll see leather butterfly chairs, old black-and-white photographs and a porthole fish tank that passes between rooms. It’s the type of place where face-painted kids roam as if they own the place, couples lounge in teepees and well-groomed groups take up residence on the outdoor picnic tables for late night parties.
Bed and Bath
Spread out in a half moon in the heart-of-the-action Magic Garden, the 19 cabins are small and simply dressed (this is summer camp, after all), with wicker beds, pops of black and yellow fabric, surf culture photographs and hammocks in every room. There are upscale flourishes such as flat-screen TVs, Frette linens, iPod docking stations and John Masters organic amenities, but luxe lodging this is not; the cedar plank walls are far from soundproof, and the furnishings are showing the wear and tear of three busy seasons.
Book in advance to score a table at Ruschmeyer’s top restaurant, which is manned by the team behind Manhattan’s hip Smile. The menus showcase regional farm-to-table fare and Montauk’s freshest seafood, but the prices reflect the quality of the ingredients, not the portion sizes. Settle into one of the six-person booths, cozy up in a corner banquette or eat and run next door to the Electric Eel bar, where lethal cocktails go heavy on the rum. Outside, the Pool is, in fact, a sand-floored alfresco bar complete with a bocce court and ping-pong tables.
In the Area
Start your day with coffee and pastries at the hotel, or head into town for blowout breakfast wraps and thick waffles at local fave Joni’s. Get some daytime exertion with a surf lesson from Corey’s Wave or Air and Speed at Ditch Plains Beach, then refuel with a pressed sandwich or healthy salad from the summer staple food truck, Ditch Witch (open until 4 p.m.). Head to Surf Lodge by late afternoon for a Montauk Storm cocktail and killer sunset views, or take your own tipple to Duryea’s Lobster Deck and dine alfresco on fresh mussels, clams, lobster rolls and more.