Article by Sam Dostaler
The newly renovated Harbor View Hotel on Martha’s Vineyard is open and ready for summer 2019. At the end of the 2018 season the iconic hotel, now in its 128th year, closed its doors and went through a seven-month $15 million renovation that will have guests new and returning saying, ‘wow’ when they walk through the doors.
“That is one of the things that is fantastic, the jaws dropping when they walk in and just the wonder,” says Harbor View general manager Chris Bird. “We have upgraded everything, from the service level of the team that is greeting our guests to the team checking them in and taking care of anything that they need.”
Located in Edgartown and looking as if it belongs on a postcard, the Harbor View Hotel sits at the end of North Water Street looking out at the ocean and Edgartown Harbor Light. The views from the front porch are almost so good that you won’t want to go inside.
In early 2018 the future of the hotel was very much in jeopardy until seasonal resident Bernard Chiu and founder of Upland Capital Corporation, an asset management and real estate investment firm, stepped in and bought the property.
“(It is great to have) somebody who cares so much about the island and Edgartown and has the real estate background to get things done,” said Bird. “But also has the high taste and can get the design and bring his vision to life, whether it is working through the architect or the design firm and he was able to bring that together.”
Taking just seven months to complete, the renovations included redoing the shingling, the outdoor areas, two new restaurants and upgrading the service.
“The level of the renovation combined with the level of service upgrade, it is very easy to talk about it and see immediately what was done with the renovation. The ability to be able to (redo) the shingles of the historic building is probably my favorite because it makes such a splash from the outside and anyone driving by can see and then walking in and everything else fitting in with that,” said Bird.
The newly renovated Harbor View Hotel is making a splash on the inside as well with the opening of the new Bettini Restaurant and Roxana Bar under executive chef Patrice Martineau. French-born and world renowned, Martineau has worked around the globe at London’s Savoy Hotel, DANIEL in New York and The Peninsula Hotel in Tokyo.
“He brings with him significant experience launching and repositioning restaurants and has led some of the finest hotel and independent kitchens on three continents,” Chiu said of Martineau in a press release. “We’re excited to see how his creative vision unfolds and we look forward to introducing an elevated culinary experience to our guests, whether they are dining in one of our restaurants or planning a wedding or other social or business event at the hotel.”
The food will be locally sourced from the nearby farms and of course the Atlantic Ocean. “To come to the Vineyard and have so much local produce and fish to work with and cheeses to put into it. With a focus on seafood but still a real nice grill menu and with prime cuts and local farms bringing in has just been fantastic for us just do that,” Bird said.
Each restaurant, named after Chiu’s daughters, offer a wide-ranging menu. Bettini is the hotels signature restaurant with windows offering expansive views of the coast while Roxana’s menu includes international tapas and craft cocktails.
Of course coming to Martha’s Vineyard isn’t about what you can do inside, it is about what you can see and experience outside and the options are nearly endless. The Harbor View Hotel offers bikes and through a partnership with Mercedes-Benz cars that allow guests to see the island. In Edgartown itself there are restaurants and shops to explore along with beaches to lounge on. Outside of Edgartown there are a number of lighthouses to check out, towns to visit and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum recently reopened in Vineyard’s Haven.
“It is fantastic opening the restaurant and the hotel. (We are) looking forward to Fourth of July celebration and hosting our first wedding in the renovated hotel. We are excited for all the milestones,” said Bird.
Photo credit to Alison Shaw