The Surf Lodge’s Jayma Cardoso

Jayma Cardoso is somewhat of a Fairy Godmother in Montauk. If she knows you, your time at her acclaimed property The Surf Lodge is like returning home after a long work week. And even if she doesn’t, you’ll be treated as a new friend, with warm compassion and utter abundance. Jayma is the host to end all hosts, attentive but on top of all the gritty details of your party so you don’t have to be. A sunset summer concert at The Surf Lodge is truly iconic, and Jayma’s diverse background brings an eclectic vibe to the space. From innovative perks like in-room weekend essentials curated by Alise Collective and the surprising number of languages she speaks, The NuWa gets the inside scoop.

Hey Jayma! Thanks so much for spending some time with The NuWa. You have such a diverse background. When did you move to New York?  

Twenty years ago.

What led you to Montauk and The Surf Lodge?  

Montauk was always my beach town of choice after moving to America from Brazil.  It reminded me of home.

It’s such a great, proven concept. Have you ever thought about opening different locations in the future?  

Yes, we have something in the works but at this time holding off on the reveal.

That’s so exciting. Where would you most like to travel this year?

I’m obsessed with Japanese culture. So, Japan. They have an amazing surf culture there as well. I’d really love to open The Surf Lodge in Shikoku.  

You have a Brazilian background. Have you ever thought about adding Brazilian inspired cuisines to diversify the menu at The Surf Lodge?

We currently have Alex Atala who is an amazing chef.  We are also doing dining experiences with James Beard award-winning chef Daniela Sotto-Innes of Cosme. She is a Mexican chef, and is amazing. We’re also working with Chef Camille Becerra as well as Neal Harden of abcV. I would love to partner with a Brazilian chef at some point. Montauk is really blessed with some of the best fishing and farms in the world. I think it’s a treat for the guest when we do collaborations with these high-caliber chefs. 

How do the countries that you’ve lived in influence you?

I’ve only lived in Brazil and America. I’m definitely Brazilian — very fiery — but, I have really embraced being an American and I credit it, in many ways, for making me who I am in a professional sense. I dream of living in Paris someday. Hopefully, I take on some Parisian qualities as well.

How many languages do you speak and what are they?

4 languages; Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, English.

We know that The Surf Lodge is booked so fast during the summer season. Tell us about the work you do with celebrities and influencers.

Hmmm. Nothing really. I try to treat all guest equally. We’re just lucky enough that the hotel resonates with celebrities and influencers.

You’ve pioneered some amazing new amenities at The Surf Lodge this season. How did you come up with the Mini Bar Weekend Essentials concept?  

I was brainstorming with my friend Dria Murphy on how to elevate our guest experiences. We really wanted to create a “Wow!” factor for guests. I wanted guests to have something they could take home with them, not just enjoy at the hotel. Dria came up with the idea of a welcome package of things people need on a weekend beach getaway. It is called Alise Collective‘s Weekend Essentials and includes $500 of complementary products for all weekend guests. 

What are some of your favorite items?

I’m really a fan of Shiseido‘s ‘Sun Protection Lotion Wet Force’, Well Told Heath ‘Relaxation + Energy Booster’ and Clark’s Botanicals ‘Anti Puff Eye Cream’. They are full-size products… trust me, nobody ever leaves any of the Mini Bar Weekend essentials behind.

What do you love most about your job?  

Meeting guests, creating experiences for them, and learning about their travels.

For the remainder of the summer season, you can catch Jayma buzzing around The Surf Lodge in Montauk. In the fall, she lives with her son in the Tribeca. Follow her on Instagram at @jaymacardoso.


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Madison Russell

As a Southern Belle turned Manhattanite, Madison Russell is a contributing editor based in New York City. Most days, you can find her writing in a coffee shop or cuddling with her rescue pup, Talullah. Her work has been published on Guest of a Guest, The Select 7, The Sunday Issue, and more. Visit for the latest.

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