Social Life Magazine | Luxury Publication for the Hamptons

Montauk 2023

By Inna Desilva 


I have been going to Montauk for the last 25 years, and every summer there’s something new to gossip about on everyone’s favorite peninsula. The big news this summer was Montauk Yacht Club being sold and under new management.  

The Montauk Yacht Club has a storied past and was built  by Carl Fisher, an automotive industrialist and real estate magnate.  Fisher was the man who built Miami. He stumbled upon Montauk and thought he could build a New Miami out East. He mapped out the area and designed the streets, which remain today. Planning for summer tourists, he built a golf course, tennis courts, beach cabanas, a lighthouse, and more. After dynamiting the shoreline to create a harbor, he opened the Montauk Yacht Club in 1928. But then The Great Depression began and Fisher lost everything.  

It’s taken only 85 years, but it seems his vision for Montauk is getting there.  The original yacht club attracted members like J.P. Morgan and John Jacob Astor’s son Vincent, while Charles Lindbergh would fly his seaplane straight to the marina.  

In its present-day iteration, the Montauk Yacht Club is beloved by both families and hipsters alike. The accommodations, which are quite roomy with huge bathrooms and closets for those who are planning a week out East, include 107 waterfront rooms, villas, and plenty of acreage for your dream wedding. The marina is the largest in the Hamptons and it is always busy with yachts and sailboats. 



The hotel has refreshed its menu at Showfish Restaurant this summer under its executive chef, Matt Murphy, who took it back to its roots of serving the freshest seafood. Tuna tartare, fluke ceviche, and local cod are some of the crowd pleasers. The best pizzas in Montauk and a very impressive wine list can be found here too. The cocktails are strong and so are the beats from a curated music program on weekends. Great wellness classes help to work off those pizzas.  

The restaurant scene has gained three newcomers this year. Mavericks leads the charge with excellent food and beautiful sunsets. I didn’t try Talya, but it certainly has a buzz going on. Maison Close (sister of the one in Soho) tragically burned right before it was to open on Memorial Weekend, but it is operating an outdoor restaurant. Classics like Surf Lodge, Harvest, and Scarpetta continue to attract huge crowds and waitlists for tables.  



If you unluckily get a rainy day, which has happened a little too often this summer, book yourself into Gurney’s Spa, which underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and has a stunning indoor pool overlooking the Atlantic, along with a bathhouse that reminded me of Aire in Tribeca. The lathering body buff will get rid of toxins from the night before. But the real reasons we all keep returning to Montauk are pristine beaches with a gentle breeze, surfers riding waves on Ditch Plains Beach, healthy breakfasts at Joni’s, and the concerts on Sundays at Surf Lodge.