Blue Flag taps Life House to manage historic boutique hotel

Boston-based real estate private equity firm Blue Flag Capital, part of Blue Flag Partners, has acquired The Kelley House, partnering with New York-based Life House through its Life Hospitality independent management platform on the operation of the historic 57-room boutique hotel.

The Kelley House opened its doors in 1742 when Martha’s Vineyard was a colonial settlement for whalers. Today, the property is one of the five oldest hotels in the U.S., taking up six buildings in Edgartown, Mass.

"As New England locals with deep personal ties to Martha’s Vineyard, we are honored for the opportunity to steward such a prominent and historic property as the Kelley House, located in the heart of downtown Edgartown," said Jason Brown, a partner at Blue Flag. "We're actively seeking to further our relationship with Life House, who with their advanced tech-enabled approach has enabled us to thrive in our existing portfolio by delivering a great high-end guest experience while materially minimizing operational leverage in these uncertain times."

The hotel joins a growing portfolio of locally inspired independent boutique hotels owned by Blue Flag and operated by Life House, which include the 58-room Roberts House Collection and 17-room Life House, Nantucket in Nantucket, Mass., a short boat ride away from Martha’s Vineyard.

"We look forward to respecting the heritage of the hotel, with a business plan that entails preserving the historic branding of Kelley House and Newes from America, which we know firsthand to be a favorite of both year-round locals and visitors to Edgartown alike," said Brad Guidi, co-founder and partner at Blue Flag.

Life House will leverage its independent management platform, Life Hospitality, to maintain guest safety through technology, such as implementing check-in kiosks and mobile app check in—prior to Blue Flag reinvesting into further elevating the physical asset, overall design and guest experience during the 2021 offseason.

"We're thrilled to continue working with Blue Flag and The Kelley House is another opportunity for us to bring another historic hotel to its full potential through our vertically integrated platform," said Life House founder & CEO Rami Zeidan. "There are many beautiful hotels with so much potential throughout the Northeast without operational sophistication and branding to match their financial and experiential potential and we’re excited to continue working our way throughout the region alongside Blue Flag.”

This transaction is the fourth collaboration between Life House and Blue Flag. The partners have active discussions underway”to acquire hotels in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Long Island, N.Y., according to the companies.