by Kasey Caminiti | October 8, 2020 11:00 am
Life House, Nantucket is the island’s newest hotel and the first northeast property in the brand’s collection. Developed with New England-based Blue Flag Partners, the duo transformed the oldest inn on the island into a timeless and exclusive boutique property with just 14 guest rooms.
“The challenge to design a space that paid homage to the inn’s predecessors while evolving it to create a modern experience presented a daunting but exciting opportunity to pursue,” says Brad Guidi, co-founder of Blue Flag Partners.
“We decided to celebrate the property’s layered history by keeping it ‘the cottage of a well-traveled innkeeper,’ says Rami Zeidan, founder and CEO of Life House, adding that the inn was originally built in the 1830s as the personal home of Captain Calder, before Calder opened it to travelers in 1873. “Nantucket is an island, so we wanted to cater to the escapism energy that brings our guests here and make them feel as though they were staying at their own summer home.”
The team brought the idea of a summer home to life through their storytelling approach to design, working with local artisans—a theme across all Life House properties from Miami to Denver—to incorporate the destination throughout the hotel and connect the hotel to the destination.
“We wanted to showcase the beauty of the island’s natural botany throughout the property. Two notable examples include the hand painted paper lanterns crafted by a local artist that feature native Nantucket flora and the check-in cabinet that boasts restored brass signage that also pay homage to Nantucket’s local flowers,” say Guidi, who also mentions certain aspects of the decor such as the bold color palette, lacquered millwork, the tiger runner climbing the stairs, framed vintage scarves and quirky mementos as thematic additions to accurately portray this worldly innkeeper’s home.
Aside from working with local artists, the property collaborated with local restaurants, bakers, and mixologists to create a vibrant breakfast menu (think almond butter toast and fresh-baked pastries) as well as an intriguing aperitivo list for nightly happy hours in the gardens (the mezcal-based More Fabulous Than Famous is a must).
The cozy nooks at Life House were formatted to allow guests to organically engage with one another, swap stories from their island adventures and perhaps, meet new friends. “The design language, from the curated collection of furniture to the music, reflects the relaxed sophistication of the worldly travels—nothing is too rigid, and the furnishings are either custom or vintage which makes guests feel at home,” says Zeidan. “It’s all made for our guests to feel like they belong.”
It’s not often you find this kind of bespoke, charmingly intimate property, so when you do you want to keep it to yourself. But it’d simply be selfish not to share this island inn beckoning you to unwind in all its allure. We talked more with Rami Zeidan, Founder and CEO of Life House, to learn about his favorite room, the property’s history and the brand’s commitment to storytelling.
What is the most requested room?
The Deluxe King is our most popular room.
What makes it so special?
It’s the highest room category, therefore the largest room on property. They all have fireplaces, spacious bathrooms, and a working desk which is pivotal for guests who stay with us during the work week.
What is the rate?
They start at $499/night.
What room is your favorite?
While it’s not the most spacious room, my favorite room is room 103–known as the Black Orchid room. It’s technically a Deluxe Queen room, but it’s so much more, as it also has a private terrace and access to the garden on the north side of the House. It’s the perfect place for a couples retreat, as you can start your day or end your night in the garden with a cup of coffee or bottle of wine (respectively) as if you’re on your private porch. There’s also a fireplace, while unused in the summer, adds an element of warmth to the room.
Are there any fun facts about the hotel or rooms?
Its history is the utmost special asset of this property. It was an incredible pleasure for me and my design team to thoroughly research the building’s history, the architecture, the culture, and the environment that ultimately frame the conversation for us to determine what timeless story is begging to be told here. Our approach to storytelling pays homage to the past, but adds a new energy to help a neighborhood evolve in a healthy, authentic way for the future.
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