Harbor View Hotel on Martha's Vineyard is Steps from the Water
For more than a century, the Harbor View Hotel has welcomed guests to its privileged location. The view overlooking the waterfront, with small boats anchored offshore and the Edgartown lighthouse, is so scenic that it may suddenly evoke a craving to paint watercolors.
The circa-1891 property has been continually updated and expanded during its history. The last major rehab took place in 2008 and rooms are kept clean and up to date.
At this member of the Historic Hotels of America, wi-fi is free, strong throughout the property, and no password is required. There's also a charger if you drive in with a Tesla. And the hotel, as well as the swimming pool, are handicap-accessible.
Guest Rooms at Harbor View Hotel
Accommodations consist of 114 units including 18 Captains Cottage suites. Given the choice, choose to stay in one of the one-bedroom cottage suites; standard rooms in the main building are quite small.
Decorated like a classic beach house with white plank walls, a sisal carpet, and comfortable-casual seating, a private cottage is a fine spot to prepare for the day's activities and decompress in the evening. There's also a gas fireplace for chilly nights.
Cottage suites feature a king-size bed with crisp sheets and soft foam pillows. Pocket doors separate it from the living room and small kitchen area equipped with a mini-fridge, microwave and well-supplied Keurig machine.
Bathrooms have a shower in the tub with both an overhead and handheld unit. Silky robes are generously sized.
A 36" flatscreen TV and Tivoli audio can provide entertainment you don't create on your own. Porches feature rocking chairs in the hotel's signature turquoise shade.
Note: Captain's Cottages are available for sale as an investment. The hotel maintains and rents them to guests when not in use by owners.
Dining at Harbor View Hotel
In season, the hotel maintains two restaurants. The airy Lighthouse Grill, surrounded by windows; and Henry's, a place for pub grub.
Breakfast is not only the most important meal of the day; it's the best one here. Seated in the Lighthouse Grill, a couple can order from the menu and items arrive hot and tasty. Starbucks coffee is served.
After Labor Day, only Henry's remains open for dinner. From the menu, stick with the basics, although the quartet of mini lobster tacos is tasty. Henry's is quite small, so if a loud group gets in their cups (the bar is adjacent), they're impossible to ignore — and couples may not be thrilled to sit in their presence.
Alternatives include getting a meal from Henry's to go and eating on the main building's wide porch overlooking the water or in your cottage. Or head to the shore for a beach picnic or into town where several restaurants serve. Note: Don't expect flavor ecstasy; Massachusetts is far from a foodie paradise.
The hotel stays open throughout the year and is especially popular at Thanksgiving, when the staff prepares a heaping meal served in one of the large event rooms.
Destination Weddings at Harbor View Hotel
Weddings are so popular here that smaller Martha's Vineyard hotels (including the charming Charlotte Inn) send customers who need ceremony and reception space to the Harbor View.
Choose from a variety of indoor event spaces. Bare, the rooms aren't particularly attractive, but a skilled florist and designer can convert them into eye candy. The Lighthouse Grill, which seats 80-100, can be reserved for a private wedding dinner.
One space that doesn't need much in the way of flora or decor is the Great Lawn, which has a long white archway under which a bride can make a dramatic entrance. The hotel's Catering & Events Manager can handle the details, including setting up tents and arranging catering.
Packages at Harbor View Hotel
Although there's no dedicated honeymoon or romance package at this writing, the hotel does offer a bed-and breakfast package that is good year round.
Couples who travel with their most beloved do need to buy the pet-friendly package, which sets aside certain rooms and levies a cleaning fee but also provides a goody from the island's Black Dog store.
Activities at Harbor View Hotel
The outdoors awaits. A pathway gently slopes down to a small beach across the street from the hotel; the larger Fuller Street Beach isn't far. In season the waterfront concierge can provide stand-up paddleboards and other equipment.
There's also a heated pool on the premises surrounded by lounge chairs, shady cabanas and table-and-chairs setups with umbrellas. A small fitness center is open 24 hours and contains standard workout equipment.
There are no bikes on the premises for guests, but stores in town can outfit you with two-wheelers.
Nearby Harbor View Hotel
Downtown Edgartown is about a 5-10 minute walk away. Restaurants, affordable ice cream parlors, a movie house, and expensive boutiques (just try finding a sweatshirt for less than $50) await.
Guided historic tours (fee) of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House, the Old Whaling Church, and the Vincent House are available from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. Adjacent to the house is a small garden with a romantic gazebo, so stop and smell the roses.
Island activities include golf, horseback riding, sailing, harbor cruises, deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, and kayak and jeep rentals. The hotel's concierge can help to arrange them for you.
Drawbacks at Harbor View Hotel
We wish the hotel had a small lobby shop where we could pick up a tube of toothpaste, an apple or banana, a magazine, an extra helping of SPF, and a postcard or two. Lacking that, it's a walk into town to get supplies if you don't have a car.
Find Out More About Harbor View Hotel
The hotel attracts couples old and young, groups of friends and families with kids. It's casual and relaxed, and everyone does their own thing.
Harbor View Hotel
131 N Water Street
Edgartown, MA 02539