Historic Martha’s Vineyard hotel preps for May 1 reopening

The Harbor View Hotel, a property that opened in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., 128 years ago, is slated to reopen on May 1 following a top-to-bottom renovation that will introduce a fresh design throughout the hotel’s guestrooms and public spaces. It will also include a four-bedroom penthouse suite and two new restaurants.

Owner Bernard Chiu, whose Upland Capital Corporation acquired Harbor View Hotel in early 2018, worked with a team that included Boston-based designer Peter Niemitz, who created the aesthetic for the hotel that respects its original architecture and 128-year history while introducing fresh elements throughout.

Guestrooms are being refurbished in the historic Main Building and Governor Mayhew Building, both of which are being given new names.


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Those in the main building will have a fresh and luxurious style that will be respectful of Harbor View Hotel’s legacy. The island’s natural beauty will be reflected in a color palette of café au lait, blue and cream; and in fabric with a native oak tree motif applied to curtains, bed skirts and headboards for a classic European look. Carpeting will feature a white lattice pattern on a soft brown background. Furnishings will be of polished, high-gloss mahogany with brass and other nautical details in a nod to the Vineyard’s whaling and sailing heritage. Cobalt blue walk-in showers will be the focal point of the new bathrooms.

Rooms in the former Governor Mayhew Building will have interiors that will evoke a 1960s vintage surfer vibe. Glossy whitewashed deck planking on the walls will create a white backdrop to upholstered headboards in sand-and-blue stripes. There will be furnishings with simple modern lines and a weathered driftwood finish to enhance the ambience, with accents in pops of red reminiscent of a Martha’s Vineyard sunrise. Many rooms will have French doors opening out to a private balcony, while others will have large windows with views of the hotel gardens and pool. 

The hotel lobby will have new area rugs and furniture placed in groupings. There will also be a concierge desk with guest seating. Furnishings will include high-polished mahogany and will be complemented by new lighting and artwork. The lobby’s color scheme of blue, white, cream and chocolate brown will continue throughout the hallways.

Harbor View Hotel’s event spaces will also have a new look. New wood floors, lighting and wood-trimmed mirrors in the Edgartown Room will give the space an expansive appearance. The Menemsha and Chilmark Rooms will be similarly redesigned to provide greater continuity and flow between the spaces.

Photo credit: Harbor View Hotel