Suffolk County

Gurney’s Inn & Seawater Spa: A Sanctuary of Wellness and Luxury

ThalassotherapyApproached by winding country lanes that meander throughout the bucolic town of Montauk, Gurney’s Inn and Seawater Spa commands one of the most spectacular panoramic views on Long Island. Perched high on windswept bluffs, this idyllic destination overlooks a world-renowned private ocean beach, offering the majestic Atlantic to all who visit. It is a space for personal discovery, solace and healing; a refuge from the everyday world and a place to restore and reflect.
Founded over 30 years ago by Nick Monte, who purchased the original Gurney’s Inn in the late 1950’s, the spa was built in a European tradition, and is the only true Thalasso Center in the continental United States. Monte, also known as ‘Keeper of the Inn,’ believed in the healing and restorative properties of the sea so much that he drank a shot of seawater every day. His dream of creating a spa environment that encompassed the sea’s finest qualities became a reality in 1979 with the opening of the International Sea Water Health Spa and Fitness Center at Gurney’s Inn.
Thalasso Therapy comes from the Greek word for “sea,” and refers to a variety of treatments that use seawater and seaweed, each designed to tone, moisturize and revitalize the body and skin, and in many cases to improve circulation. “Our facilities are renowned throughout the International Spa Communities as one of the principal healing spas, using the latest and purist natural products,” explains Spa director Candice Monte. “The spa includes a heated indoor seawater pool overlooking the Atlantic, seawater Roman baths, finish rock saunas, Russian steam rooms and Swiss showers.”
Beach setup kellyA Thalasso program at Gurney’s includes hydro massage in specially designed hydrotherapy tubs filled with filtered sea water, exercise in heated seawater pools, body treatments, massage, relaxation and good nutrition. “The effect of Thalasso Therapy is profound,” says Candice. “Our treatments have a beneficial effect on the skin, cellular exchanges, the respiratory system and the body as a whole with a better oxygenation, an increased elimination of toxins and a revitalization of the mind and body.” After a long, hard week in the office, people are stressed and off-balance. Taking a day at the spa to reconnect and rebalance is a wonderful way to boost your bodies’ natural defenses and immunity.
The spa pumps in genuine ocean water and then heats it. “Heated seawater allows minerals and trace elements to pass through the barrier of the skin,” describes Candice. “The ions that penetrate into the body will selectively wander and fix themselves in the organs where they are most needed. The body recharges itself with minerals and trace elements, therefore detoxifying and rebalancing all body functions.” Seaweed offers an even greater concentration of sea water minerals and beneficial elements. Candice explains the important benefits offered: “Seaweed products used in our spa are created by Spa Technologies, using the rich seaweeds harvested off the coast of Brittany in France. The special properties of seaweed help elasticize the skin tissue, increase circulation, stimulate metabolism, and promote detoxification.” The spa offers a multitude of customized treatments- one of their signature therapies is the Brush and Tone Seaweed Wrap, combining gentle dry exfoliation with a nourishing wrap and lotion. “A soft natural brush is used to promote circulation and to exfoliate the skin, followed by an application of our pre-warmed seaweed gel,” says Candice. “The wrap facilitates the absorption of all the rich minerals and bio-trace elements from the seaweed and helps to tone and detoxify the body. This treatment finishes with an application of our signature seaweed body cream.” What bliss!
It is no wonder that for over 3 decades the spa has been frequented by celebrities and dignitaries who flock from far and wide in search of spiritual and physiological healing that is unrivaled in the U.S. Many people come for the day on the Hampton Jitney, enjoy a treatment, take a walk on the beach, stay for dinner, and then head back home. Full week or day spa plans are available and the resort offers reasonably priced rooms with stunning views, in which to relax and vacation for a week or more. “Many of our guests return season after season to benefit from the abundant use of our natural therapeutic products and the healing hands of our professional therapists,” Candice reports.
logo_and_beach_shot-540x360_450_300also features two of Montauk’s finest restaurants, where you can experience classic oceanfront dining in a superb setting. The Sea Grille offers fresh seafood and locally-grown produce, while Café Monte serves up casual Italian fare and is open for breakfast daily. The al fresco lounge is the perfect spot for an after dinner drink or morning coffee, allowing you to admire the splendor of the vast ocean.
Luxury and wellness is not only reserved for the rich and famous- we must all seek out our own healing, no matter the cost. Rest assured, a day at Gurney’s is priceless in every sense, and well worth the trip.
Gurney’s Inn and Seawater Spa
290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk NY 11954

Long Island’s ‘Green’ Vineyards: The Future of Agriculture

The fundamentals involved in the ancient art of winemaking haven’t changed a great deal throughout the centuries, but one of the most exciting developments in recent years is the rapidly growing area of organic wine. Since grapes are among the most pesticide-laden produce, it is no wonder we are reaching more often for organic wines to fill our glasses. There is a global movement to promote ‘green’ practices in all walks of life, including the use of sustainable methods in agriculture; in the raising of farm animals, produce or viticulture. Long Island’s wineries have been using these methods for years and continue to make strides in their organic farming practices.

Framed by sandy beaches, bustling fishing villages and rolling farmland, Long Island wine country is unlike any other region in America. The North and South Forks of the island, collectively known as the East End, extend into the Atlantic Ocean like a two-prong fork. Just a two-hour drive from Manhattan, the area is a unique fusion of metropolitan influences and a core of deep-rooted, agricultural tradition. Family-owned farms, artisanal food producers and small-production winemakers share the wealth of the region’s land, sea and vines.

Macari Vineyards,Macari Vineyards, located on the North Fork in Mattituck, is owned and operated by the Macari Family. What were once potato fields has been transformed into a 200-acre vine garden with additional fields of compost and fallow farmland. The biodiversity of the Macari family farm provides an extraordinary grape growing environment that yields some of the finest fruit on the East Coast. At the helm of the winery is Alexandra Macari, “We believe in bio-dynamics because it promotes biodiversity on our farm. We have four children that work with us on the vineyard and in our cellars. The organic approach to farming was the only option for us. We didn’t want our children exposed to harmful pesticides or chemicals” she explains.

MacariAs part of the vineyard’s biodynamic farming methods, Macari has a herd of 25 longhorn cattle who provide manure and a horn additive to the soil. “The biodynamic approach to farming has helped us create a very diverse ecosystem where grapevines can thrive” says Alexandra. The Macari family is proud to showcase a collection of world-class wines from the emerging North Fork region. “We are well known for our red blends. Bergen Road is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. We have been sold out of this wine for several years as we only make it in the best vintages,” reports Alexandra.

Wolffer Estates VineyardSequestered on the South Fork of Long Island, where vineyards are less abundant, is the bucolic Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Located in Sagaponack, this 55-acre winery has recently succeeded in meeting all 200 requirements of the Long Island Sustainable Winegrowers (LISW) program and obtained its certification for sustainable winegrowing. LISW provides education and certification for Long Island vineyards in terms of sustainable practices – the first such program in the eastern United States. Roman Roth, winemaker/partner and Richard Pisacano, vineyard manager are the team that together produces some of the best Long Island wines. “Since the first vines were planted here, we have had a close eye on organic approaches to farming” Richard explains.  “We have carefully implemented many effective organic practices that we’ve learned can be included in our sustainable program. The results of this shift have been remarkably successful and rewarding.”

imageWhatever approach one takes in farming, it is filled with fierce challenges. Timing of decision making is critical to any agricultural success. “There is a belief that organic farming somehow leads you to become one with nature in a harmonious way. This can’t be further from the truth” says Richard. “Nature, as we know, is so often not kind to herself so being in a protective posture at all times is the first line of defense in ensuring a healthy crop.” Along with its wide range of varietal wines, Roman has his favorites – the Christian Wolffer Cuvee 2010 Merlot. “This is our flagship Red wine from our oldest Merlot plantings. It is a perfect expression of our terroir, with its moderating ocean breeze and the special Bridgehampton Loam,” describes Roman. “The Perle Chardonnay 2010 is fermented and aged for 7.5 month in French barrels with wonderful structure, minerality and great longevity.”

Though only just created and compiled last year, many of LISW’s guidelines are not new concepts. Practices for maintaining healthy vineyards, while producing quality fruit, have constantly been developed throughout Long Island’s 40-year history. Still, the rapid growth of this program provides a glimpse into the future of Long Island winemaking.


Click here for further information on The Long Island Sustainable Winegrowers Program