Harbor View Hotel’s 132nd Birthday Celebration – July 27th, 2023
Word of the hilarious and brilliant tribute celebrating Harbor View Hotel’s 132nd anniversary made it all the way to New York. `Hepburn’ makes a comeback in Vineyard, writes the New York Post on August 3, 2023, just below a picture of J-Lo and Ben Affleck. How appropriate for the star-studded history of Harbor View Hotel. “Owner Bernard Chiu hosted a cocktail celebration for the community and brought in comedic impressionist Louise DuArt to mimic Hepburn in an interview with writer SQuire D. Rushnell. The duo told old tales of the hotel, which named Hepburn one of its “all-time favorite guests,” writes the New York Post. Read the Feature in the New York Post.
- View Photo Gallery | View History Photos
- Read the event recap in Harbor View Hotel Gets a Godwink
- Thank you to our supremely-talented storytellers: SQuire Rushnell author of the Godwinks stories, Louise DuArt impressionist, comedienne and actress, and Sissy Biggers program director at The Carnegie Heritage Center of the Vineyard Preservation Trust.
The Marvelous, Magical, Star-studded History of The Harbor View Hotel
If the Harbor View Hotel was a celebrity, she would be an A-lister, that’s for sure. Everyone from world leaders to small children would want to be around her charm. That, in fact, has been the story of the Harbor View Hotel pretty much from day one…July 23rd, 1891, to be exact. Her debut launched with an exclusive, invitation-only gala that welcomed 400 of the area’s most esteemed guests. Toasting and dancing until dawn, party goers flowed from the grand ballroom to the hotel’s veranda, adorned with exotic Chinese lanterns.
But let’s rewind a bit. These fine people flocked to Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard for good reason — it had become a Mecca for la dolce vita. Settled in 1671, the early colony was regarded to be a prime port for whaling. As that industry grew, so did Edgartown as one the most prominent and prestigious resorts along the Eastern corridor. By the mid-1800s, the town was the Vineyard’s wealthiest, and moving away from a whaling enterprise and towards becoming a top tier resort. Local leaders focused their energies on creating a tourist infrastructure, beginning with a light rail that connected the ferry port of Oak Bluffs to Edgartown, where a proposed ocean-front hotel would be built to be the finest international resort of its kind on the prime location on the island.
And so began the glamorous life of the Harbor View Hotel, where before long, the famous and far-flung as well as returning families, called her their ultimate summer escape. High profile celebrities, powerful politicians and elite athletes could often be seen strolling through the lobby. Even a shark surfaced, when a young director by the name of Steven Spielberg and the cast and crew of “Jaws” resided on an entire floor at the hotel in 1975.
Today, the Harbor View Hotel continues its legendary reputation. With a recent sweeping renovation and rebirth, the luxury resort is poised once again to be one the most elegant and exclusive properties globally. The year of 2021 marked 130 years after her grand doors swung open. Cheers to over 130 years of service!