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The collection of villages on the East End of Long Island are famously known as the Hamptons, offering vacationers soft-sand beaches, golf courses, wineries, water sports and marinas Historically, the Hamptons have been a summer getaway for city dwellers of New York – particularly among the wealthiest individuals. Although hotels in the Hamptons are notorious for being extremely expensive, you don’t have to be making six figures to bed down in this area. And Montauk, on the easternmost tip, can be just as sceney, but fortunately there are still a handful of reasonably priced mom-and-pop motels scattered throughout (just know that you'll be sacrificing some style and amenities). Here are the six best budget hotels in the Hamptons.
Best for Families: Ocean Surf Resort
With friendly service and a beachfront location in Montauk, Ocean Surf Resort is perfect for families on a budget. The heated pool area is dotted with lounge chairs and a sun deck facing the ocean, with stairs that lead straight down into the sand. A family fun center and numerous restaurants are less than a five-minute walk from the hotel, or the Montauk Brewing Company is 10 minutes by foot. Families can also save some cash by cooking themselves, since all rooms have kitchenettes with refrigerators, stove tops, microwave ovens, toasters and coffee makers, as well as air conditioning and cable television. Oceanfront Rooms have private balconies, but otherwise accommodations are basic, clean and cozy.
Best Beachfront: White Sands Resort
The White Sands Resort is sandwiched between two state parks (Napeague and Hither Hills) on a prime stretch of sand in Amagansett (East Hampton), so if you want some peace and quiet, this is it. The no-frills hotel is a well-kept secret with simple (but useful) amenities such as barbecue grills, beach chairs and umbrellas, beautiful gardens and a courtyard picnic area. Rooms, efficiencies and suites have comfortable, memory foam mattresses, Scandinavian décor and flat-screen televisions (but no air conditioning). Guests should be aware that there is no pool (but the ocean is at the doorstep), and that cell service and Internet are spotty at best. There are a handful of seafood joints nearby (a 10 to 20-minute walk), but otherwise the hotel is secluded and peaceful.
Best Amenities: Harborside Resort Motel
A popular choice for travelers who love to fish, the Harborside Resort Motel is steps from the fishing charters, marinas and bars and restaurants (like the fabulous Clam and Chowder House at Salivar's) that line the shores of Lake Montauk. To unwind, the motel features a pool with chaise lounges and tables with umbrellas, or for active guests, there are two tennis courts and a basketball hoop. Added freebies include use of the boat launch, wash-down service, parking, free WiFi, and continental weekend breakfast (during the summer). Rooms have basic amenities (cable television, air conditioning, sitting areas and patio access) and a mix of décor ranging from rustic wood-paneled walls to floral comforters and bold paintings. TripAdvisor members rave about the friendly owners and frequently note the cleanliness of the rooms.
Best Mom and Pop Inn: Sail Inn
If you just want the basics and can appreciate the old-fashioned way of Montauk, the Sail Inn is a great budget-friendly choice. As TripAdvisor members have noted, it’s not fancy, but it’s homey and the owner and small staff are very hard-working and friendly individuals. There are only 10 simple, but clean rooms (so book early), each with a television, WiFi, desks, private baths and water views ( some even private terraces). Mingle with local characters in the bar area or grab some comfort food from the restaurant after a long day. The inn is within walking distance to the fishing boats and restaurants that surround the Gosman’s Dock area and range from seafood joints to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
Best Motel: Oceanview Terrace Motel
Located on a side road, but still offering views of the Shinnecock Bay, the 16-room, Oceanview Terrace Motel is a simple and cozy option in Hampton Bays. The outdoor area feels like your own backyard, with lounge chairs with water views, tables, flowers and a swimming pool. Standard Rooms have simple décor (a few paintings on the wall), as well as WiFi and separate baths. Efficiencies and suites have couches, balconies, kitchenettes or full kitchens. The motel is a few minutes by car to marinas, golf courses and the Meschutt Beach Park. Many TripAdvisor members return to the motel annually, and call it “a home away from home.”
Best Boutique: Hotel Indigo - East End
Once a Best Western, the 100-room, Hotel Indigo - East End has been completely remodeled, so if you're looking for accommodations that are more design-forward and a bit removed from the scene, this is a great choice. The boutique hotel is located in Riverhead (near Northampton), just a short drive from several wineries, a waterpark and 20 minutes from Hampton Bays. Relieve some stress with a workout at the fitness center, or head to the spa for aromatherapy, deep tissue and hot stone massages. Rooms have modern spa-style bathrooms, Keurig coffee makers, flat-screen televisions, free WiFi and stylish décor with geometric shapes, unique murals and hardwood floors. Guests can utilize the business center, relax by the pool or hang out by the fire in the outdoor lounge area. The restaurant and bar serves new American fare for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.