Edgartown’s perfectly placed Kelley House gets a major refresh

The Kelley House has been renovated to coincide with its 275th anniversary.
The Kelley House has been renovated to coincide with its 275th anniversary.

EDGARTOWN — With its classic clapboard siding and historical architecture, an abundance of New England charm, and a downtown location that can’t be beat, the Kelley House seemed like the hotel of choice on a recent visit to Martha’s Vineyard.

The fact that it was under new ownership and had undergone a major renovation to coincide with its 275th anniversary added to the draw. The property has five buildings, including the main structure — the 42-room Garden House — where we stayed. The newly painted main lobby is spacious, with a fireplace, and beautiful ocean, sunset, and other island photographs in rotating digital screens that are part of the Kelley House Gallery. Upon our arrival, my daughter and I were greeted by a very helpful front desk employee, who escorted us to our room on the second floor and made sure we were all set.


We were. The room was more spacious than expected, and the crisp white linens offset by nautical blue blankets — as well as the high white-planked ceilings, recessed accent lighting, and weathered wood floors with woven beige sisal rugs — gave it a nice beachy vibe. The bed was comfortable, but the walls are thin and we would have had a better night’s sleep had we brought earplugs.

The rooms have refrigerators — perfect for leftovers from The Newes From America Pub, an on-site island eatery that features award-winning regional brews. Complimentary coffee, tea, and muffins are served in the morning, and milk and cookies are offered in the hotel lobby in the afternoon.

The pool was closed during our off-season stay, but it looked like a nice space — especially with the poolside bar. For those who want to explore the island by bicycle, the hotel offers guests vintage-looking three-speed cruisers for $25 a day.


As impressive as the new and improved Kelley House is, its greatest asset is its location smack dab in the middle of downtown Edgartown, just a stone’s throw from the harbor and Chappaquiddick ferry, cafes, shops, and art galleries — including the Old Sculpin Gallery, a unique shingled building that is home to the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association.

Off-season room rates start at $119. For more information, visit kelleyhouse.com.

Juliet Pennington can be reached at writeonjuliet@comcast.net.