MARTHAS VINEYARD, Mass. — Boston-based real estate private equity firm Blue Flag Capital, part of Blue Flag Partners, has acquired The Kelley House, partnering with Life House through its Life Hospitality independent management platform on the operation of the historic, 57-room boutique hotel.
This transaction represents the fourth collaboration between NYC-based Life House and Boston-based Blue Flag. Their partnership includes multiple additional assets under contract and active discussions underway to acquire hotels in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Long Island.
The Kelley House opened its doors in 1742 when Martha’s Vineyard was a colonial settlement for whalers. During those days, whalers maintained their own custom houses, including the likes of the Kelley House. More than 275 years later, the Kelley House hotel one of the five oldest hotels in the United States.
“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,” said Jason Brown, a partner at Blue Flag. “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 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 in Massachusetts.
The Kelley House includes a pool, Wave Bar, and The Newes from America, a Colonial pub serving traditional food and spirits.
“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, such as implementing check-in kiosks and mobile app check-in. Blue Flag plans to reinvest in the asset, its overall design, and the 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,” said Rami Zeidan, Life House founder and CEO. “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.”