Daunt’s Albatross by Home Studios
A third generation-owned motel-turned-boutique hotel in the heart of Montauk, NY reopening May 2022, Daunt’s Albatross marks the third hotel project for us at Home Studios, after we were approached by proprietor Leo Daunt, who was familiar with our New York-area hospitality interior design work, including The Spaniard, a West Village gastropub featuring an early 20th century-inspired design direction.
Leo’s authentic love and passion for Daunt’s Albatross – its history and the land where he grew up – was immediately evident in our initial conversations and thoroughly attracted us to this special project. A family-run business since 1977, the story of Daunt’s Albatross is one rooted in a family’s passion for sharing Montauk’s natural beauty with visitors and locals alike, welcoming them to a space that feels like home, even if just for a short stay.
Our gut renovation of Daunt’s Albatross pays homage to a time when the village of Montauk, nestled in the far end of East Hampton and affectionately dubbed “the end of the Earth,” felt like a hidden gem; an uncharted land with unparalleled beauty; and a secret known only to those willing to make the trek.
Featuring an updated public-facing lobby, landscaped courtyard, and twenty three guest rooms, the hotel, which was redesigned over the course of a year (having received its last major renovation in 1982), remains authentic to its origin as a family-friendly accommodation located less than a hundred feet from the ocean.
The design narrative blends idiosyncratic, natural and architectural materials, such as knotty pine and flagstone flooring, with a minimal and locally-sourced vintage approach to furniture, lighting and decor – as if a the hotel were a remote family home, first settled by ancestors who brought only the essentials and then ultimately furnished over the years with unique heirlooms collected by its future generations.
Our guiding design principles included three overarching themes: the rugged beauty of untouched nature; the collected warmth and family history; and the comforts of a modern sanctuary.
When it came to the principles of the rugged beauty of untouched nature, we left the stone floors unadorned as the organic shapes provide texture and pattern, grounding the space and connecting us to the earth beneath our feet. Warm woods clad the ceilings of the lobby to create softness and comfort. The tile possesses a handmade quality. The color palette is as subtle and varied as the Montauk cliffs: shades of white, warm grays, browns, faded yellows and ocean blues ranging from pale and light to deep and moody.
The collected warmth and family history theme is reflected in the characteristic of a space built over the course of multiple generations, like a family-run bed and breakfast on an ancient Mediterranean island. The furniture, lighting and decor are handpicked antique pieces and unique, custom elements that prioritize function, simplicity, and materiality. Layers of art and decor – from paintings of the original owner, Grandma Daunt, to handmade textiles – add a layer of sentimental warmth throughout the lobby and guest rooms.
With the aesthetic aim of a modern sanctuary, simplicity and approachability in design direction provides a visual escape and serene atmosphere. Instead of overly stylized guest rooms, each is filled with only what is essential – including fully updated kitchenettes and salt-air-swept balconies – allowing us to put precise care and attention into each of those elements. Visitors are encouraged to explore the hotel’s surrounding nature, the convivial outdoor amenity spaces, and the familial warmth of the lobby space, allowing minds to remain at ease.
With all Home Studios projects, creating an interior is a collaboration with the client, bringing our personal process to theirs. Ultimately, the Albatross represents a modern and charming haven where guests can enjoy Montauk’s surrounding natural beauty with a sense of comfort and relaxation that only an intimate and regionally inspired hospitality experience can provide.
Photography by Brian W. Ferry
Visit Home Studios- by Matt Watts