Martha’s Vineyard, MA – One of the 5 oldest hotels in the United States has a new owner and operator.

Boston-based real estate private equity firm Blue Flag Capital, part of Blue Flag Partners, today announced that it has acquired The Kelley House, a historic 57-room boutique hotel on Martha’s Vineyard.

Blue Flag Capital is partnering with Life House through its Life Hospitality independent management platform on the operation of the hotel.

The Kelley House opened its doors in 1742 when Martha’s Vineyard was world-renowned as a colonial settlement for whalers. Fast forward more than 275 years and the Kelley House hotel remains renowned as one of the 5 oldest hotels in the United States, with nearly three centuries of history unfolding within its walls. It stands amongst the most historically and culturally significant properties on the island, commanding an unmatched presence across 6 buildings in the heart of Edgartown, MA.

The hotel joins a growing family of locally-inspired independent boutique hotels owned by Blue Flag and operated by Life House, which include the 58-key Roberts House Collection and 17-key Life House, Nantucket on Nantucket.

“As New England locals with deep personal ties to Martha’s Vineyard, we are honored for the opportunity to steward such a prominent and historic property as the Kelley House, located in the heart of downtown Edgartown,” says Jason Brown, a Partner at Blue Flag in a statement. “We’re actively seeking to further our relationship with Life House, who with their advanced tech-enabled approach has enabled us to thrive in our existing portfolio by delivering a great high-end guest experience while materially minimizing operational leverage in these uncertain times.”

The Kelley House sits steps away from the island’s best activities, exquisite beaches, dining, shopping, ferry service, the Edgartown lighthouse and harbor, Chappy ferry, galleries, and much more. The hotel encompasses a pool, the “Wave Bar”, and an award-winning restaurant, “The Newes from America”, a world-famous Colonial pub that serves traditional food and spirits, Named by Travel + Leisure as one of the best places to eat on Martha’s Vineyard, and voted Best of the Vineyard 2019.

Life House and Blue Flag confirm in a press release which that they have multiple additional assets under contract in key target markets, and active discussions underway to acquire hotels in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Long Island.

“We look forward to respecting the heritage of the hotel, with a business plan that entails preserving the historic branding of Kelley House and Newes from America, which we know firsthand to be a favorite of both year-round locals and visitors to Edgartown alike,” said Brad Guidi, Co-Founder and Partner at Blue Flag.

Life House will leverage its independent management platform, Life Hospitality, to enhance guest safety in a post-Covid-19 environment leveraging tech-enabled means, such as implementing check-in kiosks and mobile app check in – prior to Blue Flag reinvesting into further elevating the physical asset, overall design and guest experience during the 2021 offseason.

“We’re thrilled to continue working with Blue Flag and The Kelley House is another opportunity for us to bring another historic hotel to its full potential through our vertically integrated platform,” explained Life House Founder & CEO Rami Zeidan in a statement. “There are many beautiful hotels with so much potential throughout the Northeast without operational sophistication and branding to match their financial and experiential potential and we’re excited to continue working our way throughout the region alongside Blue Flag.”


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