This laid-back surf town at the end of the South Fork of Long Island has long hidden in the shadow of the Hamptons, just up the beach. Now a group of Manhattanites is infusing it with some glitz, in the form of a destination hotel and restaurant they hope will lure more city sophisticates.
D é cor: The turquoise wooden floor of the main building, where surf movies play on an endless loop and a chalkboard advises daily wave heights, sets the haute surfer vibe. The rooms have airy, all-white décor and private balconies with hammocks overlooking Lake Montauk.
Dining: The chef, Sam Talbot, is a former "Top Chef" winner, and takes a high/low approach to his menu, which is heavy on seafood and other local ingredients. Dine in the tropical-themed dining room or at outdoor picnic tables on pickled melon salad, fried Long Island oysters and crab seviche with blueberries and ginger. The huge deck has plenty of low-slung seating for sipping Endless Summers (vodka, white wine, grapes, sugar, lemon juice) from the outdoor bar.
Amenities: Take surf lessons at Ditch Plains beach, get a facial in the spa or rent a bike to check out the lighthouse. Yoga classes on the deck are in the works. In case of rain, the front desk is stocked with a well-edited selection of DVDs that leans heavily toward surf flicks like "Gidget" and "Point Break."