By Meghan Dwyer
Centrally located on India Street on posh Nantucket, the tiny island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the 62-room Faraway Nantucket is a revelry tucked into a historic collection of four cedar-shingled buildings. A partnership between Boston-based owner Blue Flag Partners and New York-based operator Life House (part of a longstanding relationship between the companies), it is the first outpost for Faraway, which seeks to redevelop existing urban core historic properties in high-barrier-to-entry resort markets.
“The brand was an idea that was truly gifted to us from the history and location of the buildings that we ultimately brought back to life to create the first Faraway,” says Jason Brown, partner at Blue Flag Partners. “When we purchased the buildings in the heart of Nantucket a few years ago, we were drawn to the fact that one was a historic meeting house. It was with that thought, coupled with Nantucket’s deep roots of whaling and exploration, that we created the story of Faraway.”
The inspiration for the hotel is grounded in a narrative that the design team created about a woman who grew up in Nantucket and stole away on a ship in her teens, only to arrive back on the island decades later with her own ship, a pile of treasure, and stories to tell. “We loved the idea of designing a space that felt as if she bought this old collection of houses in the center of it all, dropped her belongings (collected over the years on her rum and spice routes), and opened her eclectic residence to those looking for a bit of fun, a bit of inspiration, and a good laugh,” says Brad Guidi, partner at Blue Flag Partners, which overhauled the interiors along with Jenny Bukovec, Life House’s vice president of design and creative.
A 140-seat restaurant and bar is the heartbeat of Faraway Nantucket and a destination in itself in the cobblestoned downtown. Partially occupying a formerly unused courtyard, guests can enjoy coffee during the day, while come nightfall, Sister Ship comes to life. “We always felt that Sister Ship was her living room and we were guests at her table,” says Brown of the plant-filled retreat. “The guests experience the hotel through this lens—it feels residential, but also exotic and sexy. We envisioned a property where our guests would experience something similar to what happened back in the 1920s in Gertrude Stein’s living room in Paris—a place where stories are told, ideas are exchanged, and art and curiosities adorn visitors.”
To manifest Blue Flag’s vision of a locally rooted lifestyle hospitality experience, the design team embraced lacquered sea green walls in the public spaces that play with the reflections of candles in the evening. “Objets d’art that were sourced from all over the world adorn the property as treasures that were taken back from a worldly adventure,” says Guidi. (Think a siren made of seashells and semi-precious jewels, which admires the action from above the Sister Ship bar.) “Public spaces are wildly eclectic while guestrooms offer a more tranquil take on our exotic design—playing off of a historic palette,” with custom bleached-wood furniture that nods to the island location.
The Blue Flag team has identified a yet-to-be-disclosed second location for the brand, along with several other projects on Nantucket. “We always felt Faraway would be well received,” adds Brown, “but the response that we have gotten has gone way beyond our expectations.”
Photos: Matt Kisiday