Dezeen Magazine

Koda suite living area at Daunt's Albatross

Home Studios refreshes Daunt's Albatross motel in Montauk

Brooklyn-based Home Studios has turned a dated motel into a boutique hotel near the beach in Montauk, New York, using vintage furniture to make it feel like a "remote family home".

The revamped Daunt's Albatross has 23 guest rooms located two blocks back from the sand in the Long Island beach town.

Living room and kitchen in the Koda Suite
Home Studios has renovated the guest rooms at Daunt's Albatross, including the hotel's Koda Suite

A family-run establishment since 1977, the hotel was last fully renovated in 1982, so proprietor Leo Daunt decided it was time to make improvements while retaining the family-friendly layouts.

"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," said Home Studios founder Oliver Haslegrave.

Daybed in the Koda Suite
Pale colours and wooden furniture feature in the space

"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," he continued.

The complex comprises two buildings separated by a narrow courtyard, populated with Adirondack chairs arranged around fire pits on areas of gravel.

Deluxe Double room
Deluxe Double rooms were furnished with only the essentials

In the lobby, a patchwork of flagstones across the floor and reclaimed oak ceiling beams complement a custom limestone and alder wood reception desk.

Bright and airy Deluxe Double and Standard Queen bedrooms are sparingly furnished with an assortment of vintage and antique pieces from multiple eras, "as if a the hotel were a remote family home" according to Haslegrave.

Deluxe Double room furniture
An assortment of vintage and antique pieces are used through all of the spaces

The hotel's Koda Suite includes a living area with a wood-burning fireplace, a kitchenette with a small dining area and a daybed tucked behind a linen curtain.

In all of the guest rooms, there are pastel blue doorways and cabinets, dark blue tile backsplashes, wooden furniture and woven textile artworks.

Guest room bathroom with green tiling
Black fixtures add a contemporary twist to the green-tiled bathrooms

"The furniture, lighting and decor are handpicked antique pieces and unique, custom elements that prioritise function, simplicity, and materiality," said Haslegrave.

"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."

Bathrooms are lined in pale green tiles and accented with black fixtures and hardware that provide a contemporary touch.

The site also includes a swimming pool and terrace area at the western end, and guests are encouraged to go out and explore the area's clifftop walks and state parks.

Daunt's Albatross hotel lobby
A custom reception desk sits upon flagstones in the lobby

"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," Haslegrave said.

At the far eastern tip of Long Island and nicknamed The End of the World, Montauk is a popular summer vacation spot for New York families, surfers, party-goers and wealthy homeowners alike.

View of lobby from outside
The property has been run by the Daunt family since 1977

Typically more affordable than the Hamptons down the coast, the town has a mix of relatively inexpensive and luxury accommodation.

One such luxury hotel is the Marram Hotel, which opened in 2019 following renovations by Studio Tack.

Courtyard populated with Adirondack chairs
The courtyard is populated with Adirondack chairs and fire pits

Daunt's Albatross is Home Studios' third hotel project to date, following The Hu Hotel in Memphis and the Mediterranean-influenced Alsace in LA.

Founded by Haslegrave in 2009, the studio has also recently completed a brasserie in Salt Lake City, a townhouse overhaul in Brooklyn and a restaurant in a Wisconsin.

The photography is by Brian W Ferry.