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July 02, 2014

A New England Inn Turns on the Charm

By Christina Valhouli | Hotels

A New England Inn Turns on the Charm
Michael J. Lee

Lexington, Massachusetts, is known as the birthplace of the American Revolution. Following a tip from Paul Revere that the British were coming, the first battle shots were fired on Lexington’s Green in 1775.

Today the Boston suburb features historical sites, biotech companies and Nobel Prize–winning residents. And now, for the first time, there is a stylish place to stay. The Inn at Hastings Park, which opened in February, is owned by local resident Trisha Pérez Kennealy, a former investment banker who purchased the inn (a onetime assisted-living home) and two adjacent buildings that are located steps from the Battle Green.

Just 22 bedrooms inhabit the three 19th-century buildings, which include the Isaac Mulliken house and the Barn, a former casket factory. Kennealy hired Lexington interior designer Robin Gannon, of Robin Gannon Interiors, to create a contemporary but streamlined look. “We wanted to stay true to the history of Lexington but give it a modern twist,” says Gannon. “The goal was for the inn to be traditional but not feel like your grandmother’s house.”

The result? A cozy and eclectic spot that looks nothing like grandmother’s house unless grandma happens to be passionate about Sister Parish design. Guest rooms (each decorated differently) are united with bold wallpaper and a palette of tangerine, turquoise and lavender mixed with crisp whites and blues. Gannon showcases New England artisans often, including Peter Fasano wallpaper, Dunes and Duchess candelabras and O & G Studio wood furniture. Some rooms display Americana like flags.

Although the inn is small, it is operated as a full-service hotel. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at Artistry on the Green restaurant, run by chef Matthew Molloy, formerly of Boston’s Beacon Hill Bistro. The menu highlights fresh, seasonal cuisine, such as native oysters and braised lamb shank with creamy polenta. During our stay, which coincided with Patriots’ Day, the restaurant was packed but service was seamless. A steady stream of locals who had kept an eye on the renovations popped in for a look; Kennealy is aiming for Relais & Châteaux status—a goal that seems within reach. Rooms start at $260 (including breakfast); 2027 Massachusetts Ave.; 781-301-6660; innathastingspark.com.

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