BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Curators, content providers and brand ambassadors are nearing epidemic proportions, but that hasn’t deterred Lark Hotels’ brass from adding “editors” to their job descriptions.
The boutique hotel chain has unveiled On a Lark magazine, an annual that not only spotlights its 18 properties but also encourages shopping locally. To date, 7,500 issues have been published for the 50,000 guests who are expected to stay at Lark’s 450 hotel rooms this year.
With locations in Newport, R.I.; Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Mendocino, Calif., and Kennebunkport, Maine, and other tony towns, Lark is well-suited to champion the buy-local movement. Rather than sell the items in its own hotels, Lark uses the Buy Local page in its magazine to direct readers to local stores. The current issue, for example, features Sea Bags $165 metallic tote bag, Kiel James Patrick’s $40 rope bracelet and Murray’s Toggery’s $102 women’s skinny Nantucket Reds, as well as regional craft beers, cocktails and restaurants. Chief inspiration officer Dawn Hagin said, “We wanted to feature things that are available nearby in local shops in order to support the small boutiques and companies in our hotels’ communities. Essentially, our magazine staff just selected products we love ourselves in each of the areas we personally are familiar with. For the areas we are less familiar with, we reached out to hotel staff and friends who live in those areas for advice on products.”
Privately owned by Hagin, chief executive officer Rob Blood and director of design Rachel Reider, Lark considers itself a brand, hotel collection and management and marketing company. (Reider, a Boston-based interior designer, has handled the decor for 10 of Lark’s hotels.) Interestingly, each hotel is owned either by a group of investors or a private individual. Lark’s owners plan to publish twice a year in 2017. In June, there are also plans to open a hotel in a former department store in Salem, Mass. The Hotel Salem’s design and branding will feature photography and decor that will pay homage to New England’s downtown stores.