For a small island, Nantucket, Massachusetts packs a lot of style into its 48-square miles. It’s a well-known artists colony, a favored vacation destination for fashion moguls and celebrities alike, and has even laid claim to its very own style of pants (that would be Nantucket Reds).
The island is also home to a blossoming boutique hotel scene, with properties popping up that blend big city luxury with intimate, small-town charm. It was one such place that recently caught our eye while planning a weekend trip to ACK: 76 Main, a 20-room bed and breakfast owned by Boston-based real estate developer, Bruce A. Percelay and managed by Lark Hotels. The B&B, designed by Boston-based Rachel Reider Interiors, epitomizes the classic-but-casual, preppy-but-approachable Nantucket vibe. The bright, light-filled guest rooms are appointed in seafaring shades of blue and green, and comfortable common areas showcase work by local artists. There’s even a Vineyard Vines suite.
We were sold, and so enamored with the design, that we were inspired to curate an event around it, which will launch on Joss & Main on Sunday, June 15. In the process, we also got a chance to chat with the hotel’s creative lead, Dawn Hagin, about the inspiration for the design, island style, and more. Here’s what she had to say.
How would you describe the style and vibe of Nantucket?
Nantucket is one of those places that creeps into your soul and finds a home. It offers the charm of a beautiful historic town, the feel of the “good life” without the snobbery, and the glorious light and air of an island. It has energy and wit and a colorful heart.
You hired designer Rachel Reider to decorate 76 Main. What was it about her work that drew you to her?
Rachel had worked with Lark Hotels before on a few of our other boutique hotels. She has a distinct ability to draw on the brand of each property. She also understands and always keeps in mind our Lark Hotels motto of embracing “sense of place” with imagination and a touch of mischief. And, in our opinion, Rachel is a leader in defining new coastal design.
Overall, what was the look you were going for when designing 76 Main?
The vision was that the hotel would truly show guests what it feels like to live on Nantucket instead of just visit it. Guests should feel like they are visiting the upscale home of their prosperous island friend, not a campy, “over-themed” B&B or an impersonal hotel.
The hotel is located right on Main Street. Did that influence the design at all?
Absolutely — both the brand and design. It is the tony, landmark address of your upscale island friend!
How do guests respond to the design?
We get fantastic feedback. The decor is almost always mentioned (and raved about) by guests in person and in Trip Advisor reviews. Phrases like “refreshingly chic” and the “perfect boutique hotel with designer touches” sprinkle every review.
Do you have favorite rooms or details throughout the Inn? What are they?
It’s hard to point to a favorite! We love everything about the guest lounge and the “built-in wall,” which includes Nantucket artifacts, books on Nantucket and such. It really feels like a den on a local’s home. The black-and-white rivets wallpaper in one of the room schemes is a great blend of classic and fresh.
There’s a courtyard in the hotel with a BYOB bar – you stock the mixers, guests supply the liquor. Do you have a cocktails you recommend they come prepared to make?
The mixer bar is certainly a guest favorite. We stock seltzer, tonic, fresh juices, limes, lemons, fresh mint, olives, cocktail onions, cherries and a selection of bitters. We try and make it so folks can mix up their favorite thing. Anyone who brings vodka, gin or bourbon will surely find what they need to mix up some of the best classic cocktails around!
What are the things anyone coming to the island must pack in their suitcase?
1. Swimsuit (or two) for the all the beaches
2. Nantucket reds (if you’ve got ‘em. If you don’t — you’ll learn about them soon!)
3. Bike shorts for long bike rides
4. Hat, sunglasses and sun block for that day on the boat
5. That novel you keep putting aside
6. Your smart phone — only cuz’ you’ll wanna Instagram everything you see
7. Sassy sandals for cocktails at Dune, Cru, or American Seasons
8. Sneakers or a yoga mat for working off all that great food you’re gonna indulge in!
Shop our curated collection inspired by 76 Main starting Sunday, June 15 at 9:00 p.m.