The Harbor View Hotel is the Classiest Place to Stay on the Vineyard
We took a tour of the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown with the lovely Rebecca Bartlett, sales director for Scout hotels who manage this and eight other waterfront hotels, and she showed us the penthouse. She explained that this 1880s era hotel was once owned by a local man named Bob Carroll, and when he sold it to investors, he had one caveat. He’d get to keep the fourth floor penthouse as his personal apartment, with its commanding view of the Edgartown Lighthouse and the busy harbor, full of passing boats.
Carroll lived until he was 90, and died just last year. So far no plans have been made to rent out his former place, but like so many things at the Harbor View, it’s a wonderful memory. Along the hotel corridors are old photos of old timey bathing beauties all dressed head to toe, enjoying the tonic of the seabreezes.
Once the hotel stood along in its spot, but today it’s all built up on t his very toniest of streets in Edgartown, once one of New England’s richest towns due to the whaling fortunes.
The Harbor View is the most legendary propertes on this big island. No other place combines the view, a downtown location, and the number of rooms 116, which affords many different choices of accommodation. There is the main hotel, where room number 216 is the star, perfectly positioned in line with the lighthouse with high ceilings, a large bathroom, and everything you’d want in a luxurious high end hotel room.
With a 98 percent occupancy during their 10-week summer season, this room isn’t very easy to snag, and it goes for about $650 a night. There is also a newer section called the Governor Mayhew building which looks more like a modern hotel, but is right next to the pool. This area is great for families and is priced around $400 a night.
There are also six Captain’s cottages which are two story houses with the kind of heavy doors that signal high quality construction, as well as plenty of marble, very comfy beds, and decks on the front and the back. These are available for sale, from $600,000 to $1,000,000, and just below our unit number 62 is the model home that potential clients can check out if they want a nice place to stay when they visit Edgartown. When they’re not here they can rent it out. You can order room service from the two restaurants and since the hotel is open year ’round, get rental income even in the cold months.
We dined in the restaurant that’s now called the Lighthouse Grill, and it was a memorable experience–everything was fresh, the service was perfect, and we learned from the top chef, Caleb Lara, how this new incarnation differed from the previous menu, when it was called Water.
“It was hard for people to pronounce the menu items, and some times it took a little too long, ” he explained. Now it’s more straightforward–local seafood and veggies, Bouillabaisse, aged steaks, all at a lower price point. The woody ambience, view of the lighthouse with the candlelight, and the staff, who are from all over the world, made dinner a wonderful experience.