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    An inn reimagined on Martha’s Vineyard

    The Sydney
    Kim Foley MacKinnon for The Boston Globe
    The Sydney

    EDGARTOWN — From the outside, the charming Victorian house on North Water Street looks like any other small boutique inn. You might imagine The Sydney is filled with antiques and precious little knickknacks, but anyone staying there knows the truth: The aesthetic of the traditional inn is turned on its head. Colors pop, luxury abounds, and there’s not a porcelain figurine in sight.

    Last year, Anne and Charles Hajjar (who also own the Charlesmark Hotel in Boston), bought the property, formerly called the Fallon, and completely renovated it. In short order, they also bought another inn just down the street (called the Christopher). The couple, who have a home on the island, live full time in Milton.

    Certainly Martha’s Vineyard has its fair share of B&Bs and small hotels, as well as large resorts and even a campground, but Anne Hajjar wanted to bring her own sense of style to places she would want to refer her friends to when they come to visit.


    “I wanted an eclectic, modern edge,” said Anne Hajjar, who admitted the Vineyard inns are mainly her pet project. Without undermining any of the home’s character — it was built by Captain Charles W. Fisher in 1892 — she worked with Robin’s Nest Interiors of Hingham to make the eight bedrooms, located on the second and third floors of the house, fun and lively. The first floor is home to the l’etoile restaurant, definitely a plus for guests looking for fine dining or French cuisine.

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    Each room at the inn is just a bit different from the others, but they all feature crisp white linens with accent pillows in bright colors, contemporary bathrooms, flat panel TVs, free wireless Internet, and modern art. If you have a choice, book Room 1 for views of the harbor, or opt for Room 6, which, with its slanted ceilings and dormer seating area, feels like your own private hideaway.

    There are large Turkish bath towels you can take to the beach, saving you the trouble of packing them, as well as beach umbrellas, sunblock, coolers, and ice packs, all thoughtfully provided if you want to borrow them. Breakfast is also included, though you have a two-minute walk to the Christopher, the inn’s 15-room sister property down the street, where it is served. The Christopher has a similar feel to the Sydney, but with more communal spaces.

    Incidentally, the name “Sydney” means “wide island south of the water,” a pretty accurate description of Martha’s Vineyard, but it’s also the name of Hajjar’s daughter. Christopher is, you guessed it, the name of one of her sons. It’s just one more fun element of the two whimsical properties.

    THE SYDNEY 22 North Water St., Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard . 508-939-9299,

    Kim Foley MacKinnon can be reached at kimfoleymackinnon