I’d heard about Gurney’s Inn Resort & Spa, but it wasn’t until just recently that I finally took part in an afternoon of luxurious relaxation at Montauk’s famous oasis. With a name like Gurney’s, I half-expected an Irish pub, but clearly the Romans had their influence here. Down a flight of dock-like stairs and past a fountain, I was led through the doors to a sanctuary of Italian marble. Upon entering, I was transfixed by the sight ahead—the most stunning ocean view imaginable, no exaggeration. Gurney’s, being a multi-tiered complex cut into the hillside, offers astounding vistas from any of the rooms, restaurant, café, fitness center, and various decks and rooftops.
After a morning spent at the computer, my immediate impulse was to get outside and as close as I could to the long, rolling waves. Strategic planning got me to the spa a full two hours before my first appointment (a much-needed haircut) so there was ample time for a long walk on the soft-sand beach and a catnap on a chaise-lounge with a fluffy, blue Gurney’s towel. When I’d soaked in enough sun, if there is such a thing, I headed back indoors to shower off and take a dip in the heated seawater pool. I learned through the brochure that heated seawater “allows minerals and trace elements to pass through the barriers of the skin;” a process that detoxifies and rebalances the body, inside and out. I therefore spent a while in the pool, keeping an eye on the waves through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Next was the steam room, followed by a few minutes in the Roman bath, all while drinking plenty of citrus-infused water in preventative measures. At this point I had reached Nirvana and could have easily spent the remainder horizontally on the Veranda del Sol, perhaps with a refreshing bevvy, but it was time for my primping and priming. Clearly, one needs to spend more than a day here. Here’s where I felt inclined to Instagram/brag about my #hamptonsproblems, but alas, no internet connection. I certainly won’t complain—I’ll take any excuse for a delay in responding to the daily email flood. Just before the hair appointment, I ducked away to the café, opting for a Blueberry Blast smoothie in hopes of replenishing my most-likely depleted electrolyte levels. It did the trick. Back at the salon, Paula shampooed my hair with Moroccanoil products and proceeded to give me the perfect bang trim, haircut and blow-dry while I faced the ocean and watched the seagulls dive for fish. I will never be able to get my haircut anywhere else. The guilty feeling you get when you cheat on your stylist faded quickly. It was that good. Sorry, Roberto. I hope we can still talk about the merits of good costuming in Downton Abby, perhaps over tea sometime.
After the hair, I moved one seat over to the most comfortable pedicure chair I have perhaps ever sat in and had a vigorous exfoliating scrub and the most flawless mani-pedi imaginable from Cristina. Tempted to choose Essi’s “East Hampton Cottage,” which would have been appropriate, I went with an old favorite—“Hi Maintenance.” Wink, wink. Anyone thinking of having an East End wedding reception should consider this spot. Imagine the ease of waking up, swimming at the beach, getting done-up and dancing the night away all at the same spot. As my nails dried, I pondered this, among other things, just by driving to Gurney’s you can have a mini-vacation. You’re transported miles away without the hassle of airports. And it can be done on a whim, with barely any planning or packing. Simply call and book yourself an appointment, throw a bikini and a change of clothes in your beach bag, and spend a day relaxing and basking in the beauty of Montauk.
To book a Gurney’s Spa appointment, call 631-668-2345, ext. 7600. The Spa is open from 8 a.m.-–8 p.m. and the Salon is open from 9 a.m.—-–6 p.m. Browse their extensive list of services and treatments at