“We’re not just a hotel brand,” said Rami Zeidan, founder and CEO of Life House hotels. “We’re a belief in the fulfilling value that meaningful travel brings to our lives.” Zeidan, a seasoned hospitality entrepreneur who has expertly curated a concept for the discerning, modern traveler, just opened the doors to his latest addition of boutique Life House properties: a coastal, Federal-style retreat on Cliff Road in Nantucket.
An alum of Starwood Capital and Sydell Group (the umbrella of award-winning properties like NoMad), Rami Zeidan started Life House in 2018 with a new take on boutique hotels geared toward the modern traveler looking for a greater purpose, which he describes as someone focused on substance versus ego. “It’s a higher rung in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” Zeidan said. “They’re not just looking for kind hospitality and being comfortable. They’re looking for something more thoughtful, more intentional, and more meaningful.” Understanding modern travel desires and consumer behavior is exactly how Life House has been able to create an experience that feels fresh and authentic, and one that can be contextually translated throughout their ecosystem. Their recipe is finding a covetable, locally-rooted location that embodies its neighborhood versus city at large, charming decor that feels whimsy, not kitsch, amenities like Le Labo bathroom products that add the right touch of luxury, and creating versatile community spaces for both leisure and socializing. Though above all, each hotel feels deeply inspired with its own enticing story to tell.
For all of Life House’s outposts, there are three design pillars that are identified throughout creative planning, which helps Rami Zeidan’s team continue to cultivate the romantic and soulful concepts that are unique to Life House. “We joke internally that we see ourselves as screenwriters telling a story, not just designing a physical space,” Zeidan jested. He describes these design pillars as “the house”, which speaks to the architectural context, “the protagonist”, which personifies the story, and “the protagonist’s spirit”, which embodies the protagonist’s personality. The final product harmoniously fuses local flavor, the vibe of Life House and contemporary travel needs without compromising important factors like price or comfort. But what makes the new Nantucket location so special in particular is that it took over the oldest, continually operating inn on the island dating back to 1833.
Its storied past began as a personal retreat for Captain Robert Calder in between whaling expeditions before properly opening up to travelers in 1870. “We redesigned the historic inn to honor the building’s history with the design language taking the approach of ‘a nonchalant innkeeper’s humble abode’, as Captain Calder had intended, with playful nods to Islander Botany,” Zeidan explained. The house is decked with quirky celebrations of native New England flora through artistic touch-points like galleries, bespoke hand-panted light fixtures, ceramic floral tiles, and private gardens for tranquil day-time reading or afternoon aperitifs.
Life House Nantucket boasts 14 bedrooms that range from a cozy nook called “Floral Quarters” with a full bed and private access to a hall bathroom for $300 per night, to a more spacious deluxe king; a room flooded with light featuring a raffia writing desk, fireplace, and walk-in shower for $480 per night. While the homey rooms give you no reason to leave, the property sits on the highest point of the island and is just a few steps away from the cobblestone streets of town, making it easy to come and go.
When asked what his favorite part of the Nantucket property is, Rami Zeidan confidently replied, the gardens. “It’s a serene, tranquil place to start your day or to read a book in the afternoon. In the evenings, we serve an exquisite cocktail and music program for guests, which really makes you feel like you’re sharing a summer mansion with the most interesting crowd. That said, the best part of this project was the collaboration with our local partners on the Blue Flag team. Their families have been an important part of the island for generations and they really allowed and entrusted us to bring a unique perspective to the island. Working with them has been an absolute delight.”
Rami Zeidan doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. He is hoping to expand into up-and-coming areas and historic buildings that he feels need the Life House brand the most, in terms of fostering healthy and respectful neighborhood growth. “We fundamentally feel that we’re solving a problem by creating spaces that cultivate meaning in peoples’ lives,” he explained. “Our brand responds to each locale to help preserve the history and culture, while catalyzing more meaningful engagement in the community, whether that be Little Havana or Nantucket. Ultimately we seek to serve a greater purpose for our communities and the universe and are looking for places where we can have the biggest positive impact.” Coming soon to the Life House roster include hotels in Bushwick, Chattanooga, a second location in Nantucket on India Street and a fourth location in Miami on Ocean Drive.
Life House Nantucket is celebrating its opening weekend with a crop of fashion and travel influencers, along with programming additions like sunrise yoga, a Coco Shop pop-up and apertifs in the afternoon. Book your stay here.