Hamptons to Hollywood sat down with Jayma Cardoso; the Founder of arguably the most popular destination in the Hamptons: The Surf Lodge. The Lodge, as it’s affectionately referred to by locals and tourists alike, brings together local surfers, celebrities, fisherman, and New York City’s elite all under one roof – for one reason: to have fun.
Having opened some of NYC’s most sought after nightclubs, Jayma focused her sights out East to expand her hospitality empire. Below she talks about how she incorporates her Brazilian heritage into her business ethos and how Californians might be getting a west coast Surf Lodge sometime in the future…
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After success opening successful venues in NYC, what made you shift your focus to Montauk?
Jayma Cardoso: I always wanted to do a hotel as it afforded me the opportunity to create a much richer experience for guests. So, when the opportunity came available to do something amazing in Montauk, I poured all my love into it.
For those unfamiliar with Montauk history, can you tell us about what the Surf Lodge space was, B.J.? (before Jayma)
Jayma Cardoso: It was the Lakeside Inn. The property had such great bones, I knew the first time I went there that I could make something very special.
What hurdles have you faced running one of the most sought-after destinations in the Hamptons?
Jayma Cardoso: I don’t really think of things as hurdles, but more so as an opportunity to do something better. Fortunately, our opportunities have been based on the complexities of success and perpetually challenging ourselves to be better.
You’ve had a Surf Lodge pop-up in Miami and just opened The Snow Lodge in Aspen. Any plans on an LA pop-up?
Jayma Cardoso: We’ll do something more permanent than a pop-up, but LA and California are in the cards.
What do you hope to have achieved in 5 years, professionally or otherwise?
Jayma Cardoso: Being the best mother I can be to my son.
10+ years on, attracting A-lists guests, acts, and locals alike, what makes the Surf Lodge so special?
Jayma Cardoso: Storytelling; we work with new artists, musicians, chefs, wellness instructors, and create new wrinkles to the hotel design each year. It’s an ever evolving story. Same theme, but new characters sharing their creativity and personal stories with guests.
What have you learned about yourself from being a female founder?
Jayma Cardoso: That even in heels, I can run with the best of them.
What Brazilian sensibilities or values have you brought to your business empire?
Jayma Cardoso: Querer é poder. Wish is power. I believed in the power of my wish, my dreams, and I worked hard to make them come true.
LA or the Hamptons?
Coast to Coast; why not have sunrises and sunsets?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Double scoop. I’ll have one of each.
Red or white wine?
Rosé, but of course.
Dressy or casual?
Attend a dinner party or stay at home with takeout/your own recipe?
Dinner at home…and I’m cooking.
What can you never leave home without?
A good bag, as it already holds all the other things you need.
Advice you’d give to a 21 year-old girl coming into her own?
Live your dreams.
Advice you’d give to 21 year-old you?
““In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” ― Coco Chanel
What do you love most about yourself?
Being a mother, I never knew I could create something so beautiful.