a kitchen with a large window

How It All Began

Our Story

In the early 70s, my grandparents, Frances and Rich Daunt, fell in love with the sleepy beach town of Montauk. They bought a small bungalow and found themselves hosting more family and friends than their home could fit. In 1977, they found a way to invite more people–they purchased The Albatross Motel, and our family’s hospitality journey began.

–Leo Daunt, third-generation owner and operator

a group of people sitting around a fire pit

Sit Back, Relax & Read

Rich, affectionately known as Poppy and not just to our family, is a veteran of the NY Police Force. For the first couple of years, while he was still working, Fran (Meme to us) ran the show at the Albatross. When Poppy retired from the Nassau Co Bomb Squad, he took up residence here as the ultimate concierge and consummate entertainer, and he and Meme ran the show together.

While Poppy and Meme ran the Albatross, my dad Jimmy set up shop in another beach town, Key West, and went to Mechanics school. He found his way home after that and worked alongside my grandparents until we lost Meme in 2000. Poppy wasn’t quite ready to relinquish his concierge duties, so he and my dad made a great team. Poppy welcomed everyone and held court in the courtyard, and my dad was behind the scenes, fixing and tinkering and making sure everything ran smoothly. My brother, sister and I had the run of the hotel, while my mom Mary was busy painting, with a focus on art restoration. I’m so proud to showcase some of her work here at the Albatross.

I loved growing up in Montauk, but I eventually went off to college, with dreams of becoming a college history professor. I never would have believed that I’d end up back at the Albatross. But after a post-college summer of being the office manager here, and then traveling through Argentina, the hospitality bug got me. In 2019, the keys were passed to me, the third generation. A lot of time had passed since my family purchased the Albatross in 1977, and it felt time for an update. I’m grateful to Home Studios for their partnership in the renovation of Daunt’s. They stayed true to our relaxed simplicity and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Poppy Daunt always welcomed people to Montauk with a warm smile, big hug, and a laugh you could hear from a mile away. I like to think we continue that tradition—a thread connecting past and present, and how you’ll always be welcomed here at Daunt’s.