Ask anyone in commercial real estate and they’ll know the name Charles (Chuck) Hajjar, the Boston-based developer with more than 100 projects, from shopping centers to apartment buildings, mostly in New England. What they may not know is that the driving force behind three of Martha’s Vineyard’s newest and most posh boutique hotels is his wife, Anne Hajjar.
In 2012, when friends were selling 22 North Water Street in Edgartown, Anne saw an opportunity to create a jewel box of a hotel, a place her “St. Barth’s and New York friends would want to stay,” she says. She enlisted interior designer Robin Pelissier of Hingham, Ma. and later Rachel Reider of Boston (the star creative behind Summercamp hotel in Oak Bluffs) to bring her vision of clean, sophisticated, fabulous rooms to life. Hiring Lark Hotels (the co-owner of Summercamp) to manage daily operations rounded out her A-team.
The Sydney opened in 2014; the following year, Anne opened The Christopher, a 15-room inn enhanced with a healthy dose of turquoise and purple thanks to Annsley Interiors, and regular BYOB cocktail parties for guests. This summer marks the opening of The Richard, her third property in Edgartown’s historic village. In addition, The Sydney is expanding from eight to 22 rooms, and debuting a larger bar for its acclaimed anchor restaurant, L’Etoile.
Today, the Hajjars also own a 14,000-square-foot home in Oak Bluffs adjacent to Farm Neck Golf Club, another in St. Barth’s and a primary residence in Milton, Ma. Their love for the Vineyard is apparent not only in their hotels but in the organizations they support. The Hajjars, who have four children for which their hotels are named, are founding members of MV Youth, an organization that provides college scholarships to local students, and are loyal supporters of Camp Jabberwocky, the MV Preservation Society, MV Hospital and the local YMCA.
The Massachusetts natives agree that the Vineyard is a magical place and as Chuck summarized, “it’s the fun people, from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, coming together—that’s what really makes the island.”