Main Street Hospitality, made up of a group of owners, operators, developers, and designers, has grown in just five years from one property—the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts—to seven hotels spread across the New England region. Though the company as it exists now is young, it is built on a longstanding tradition of family hospitality and a consistent thread of quality experiences evident in each location.
CEO Sarah Eustis, whose family has owned the Red Lion Inn for 50 years, got her start in hospitality at a young age. “The Red Lion was always just a part of our lives,” she says. “That’s where you worked in the summer and throughout college to earn money. I started as a housekeeper and worked almost every job in the place.”
Before rejoining the family business eight years ago, Eustis worked in merchandising, executive leadership, and management roles for retail brands including Ralph Lauren, Gap Inc., Limited Brands, and Etam in France. She finds clear parallels between the retail world and hospitality. “You create a great product that is valuable to the customer, price it fairly and respectfully, provide an environment that is welcoming and aesthetically pleasing, and you smile and are nice to people when they walk in,” she says. “It’s the same thing.”
Main Street places great importance on getting the basics right—from the mattress to the bathroom—but takes it a step further to ensure guest satisfaction. “In this day and age, especially with COVID-19, when people are feeling generally down or might have a little less disposable income, they don’t want to mess up on a bad experience,” Eustis explains. “A unique hotel visit can be very restorative.”
The most recent venture, on Newport, Rhode Island’s waterfront, is the Hammetts Hotel, an 84-room property that instills a sense of belonging. The space is designed in homage to the city’s past, present, and future as well as its working-class roots and turn-of-the-century mercantile wharves. Despite opening in June in the midst of the pandemic, the hotel’s rooms sold out in the first week.
Union Studio Architecture & Community designed the building, while interiors were executed by DiLeonardo, both based in Providence, Rhode Island. Located in the center of the bustling town, the design conveys both quality and simplicity with elements like brick, wainscoting, and an abundance of wood. In tribute to the oceanside lifestyle, an expansive outdoor deck is perfect for lounging and watching ships coming and going, while the large lobby with ample comfortable seating provides a space to work or relax.
“A unique hotel visit can be very restorative.” – Sarah Eustis, CEO, Main Street Hospitality
When it comes to location, size, or partner, Main Street Hospitality remains flexible, as it is steadily growing and can afford to be opportunistic—though is doing so responsibly to maintain the intimate relationship between the properties and the people involved. Currently, it has a foothold in historic renovations in the Northeastern U.S., but Eustis is looking to expand to other markets as well. “There’s no magic to what we do,” she says, “but we do it with a lot of sincerity and a lot of integrity.”
Photos: Main Street Hospitality