TEXT BY ALEXANDRA HALL
PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAN RAJTER
Rumor has it that, in the early 18th century, the pirate Blackbeard steered his stolen vessel, Queen Anne’s Revenge, into Bar Harbor’s Frenchman Bay to hide from British naval ships. The prospect of a fearsome buccaneer in the town’s midst gave local hotel developer Peter Hastings a name for the collection of summer cottages he was turning into stylish lodging — their narrow hallways remind him of a ship’s interior, he says — and a design theme.
ABOVE On the wall above the hand-built concierge desk: a quote by Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard, whose early-18th-century ship inspired the inn’s name.
Queen Anne’s Revenge opened in June after a whirlwind seven months, during which Hastings — whose Henry Hotels group also operates Bar Harbor’s Acadia Hotel and Ivy Manor Inn — consolidated five neighboring mostly 19th-century buildings that had been part of two separate inns. He added new clapboards and roofs, refurbished run-down porches, balconies, and brick fireplaces with ornate surrounds, removed 80,000 square feet of fusty wallpaper, and revamped existing furniture, such as a chest his woodworker aunt refinished and fitted with drawers; now it serves as a television console.
To unify the buildings, Hastings instituted a palette of crisp white with black and gold accents. “Then I started adding splashes of color” — in emerald-green velvet saucer chairs in the lobby, pink octopus arms he painted on the pirate-inspired rum-bar’s inky countertop, and navy-and-white stylized-wave wallpaper in a guest room. In other rooms, floor-to-ceiling photos of tall ships backdrop the headboards. As for the narrow hallways, Hastings papered them with nautical charts of local waters.
One such hallway in the principal building — a turreted 1886 Queen Anne constructed for an Austrian ambassador — leads to a concierge desk Hastings built with a backlit oak front panel that glows red, then green, then blue. “The colors found on most ships,” Hastings says, and a fitting emblem for his mash-up of marine history and modern design.