In the heart of historic Oak Bluffs a Victorian Inn has been a seaside haven to restore and relax for generations.
We welcome you to a unique destination that is engaging & trailblazing seaside community. Our beach studios curate to inspire, restore and connect. Private outdoor space overlooking the ocean, original artwork and and a color palette inspired by the sea and the sky.
See for yourself what makes Dunmere by the Sea unique...
We welcome you to our two bedroom first floor beach studio complete with a kitchen, a bathroom and direct access to wrap around porch. The house has private gardens with outdoor shower. A modern interpretation of the classic Victorian Beach cottage. The design aesthetic is a simple beach cottage city chic with a color palette inspired by of the ocean and sunrise over the inkwell beach. A seaside summer haven for generations. Max: 4 people
A sky studio tucked away at the top of the Dunmere-By-The-Sea. We proudly name this after Minister Amanda Berry Smith who visited the island in the June of 1871 and spoke at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. This sky perch has views of the Inkwell Beach, Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod. With brightly colored citron floors the palette is inspired by the hues of the grey of the clouds; mixed with the citron of sunshine creating a calming oasis. Max. 3 people
We welcome lovers of freedom and ocean air to visit our three bedroom beach suite on the 2nd floor completed with a king bedroom, a queen bedroom, a single twin bed, a kitchen and a bathroom. The private wrap around porch offers dramatic ocean views. Color palette of ruby red painted floors, rich blue hues and dove white walls inspired by the American trailblazers and patriots who worked to make America live up to her promise of freedom for all. Max 6 people. Art deposit required. Original ar
This option allows you to have both 2nd flooring third floor apartments leaving you 5 bedrooms, wrap around porch, front and back stairs connecting the two apartments. Truly the best of both worlds with outdoor space wrap around porch and stunning views from the top floor onto the Inkwell Beach and the Nantucket Sound. Perfect for a larger multi-generational family who wants everyone all together under one roof. Sleeps 10 people.
Our suites offer breathtaking views of the ocean and modern inspired rustic comfort
Available for the week - a basket of fresh bread, juice and fruit will be left outside your door every morning by 8:30am. Must be booked at least one week before arrival. Options: Every day (7 morning deliveries) or Every other day ( 4 morning deliveries)
We offer an extra mid-week cleaning service for guests who don't want to do laundry or clean on vacation. We will offer laundry service for guests. If you choose this option our cleaning staff will do a mid-week 3 hour cleaning and do any of your personal laundry. Must be booked at least one week before arrival. Cleaning time will be between 10am - 4pm the duration will be 3 hours. Laundry will be returned within 48 hours.
We are pleased to offer 1:1 yoga instruction with our resident Yogi Chrtistopher. He is happy to take you through a session in our private garden or on the beach. We are also working with some of the island best masseuse who will come to your apartment with their massage table or set up outside in the private garden
Fully stocked fridge and cabinets when you arrive with all of your favorite foods. Shopping list of 30 items available for you to choose from and will be waiting so all you need to do is go to the beach. Service fee is on top of your grocery bill. Special items on request.
We work with local chefs to provide private fine dining options in our garden or in your private apartment. Contact us for a romantic garden dinner, a BBQ clam bake or an oysters and whiskey tasting. We have it all on island to meet your needs.
My journey coming to the island started with my father who visited before I was born and then brought me as a child to play at the town beach in Oak Bluffs. He would take me to the cliffs of Gay Head (now Aquinnah) , we would go to the main street to eat ice cream and would go eat at Lolas (now Noman's). I still remember being filled with anticipation every time we set foot on the ferry knowing that across the water was going to be a place of joy, safety and freedom. In my child's mind a bubble would wrap her arms around me and strengthen me. The journey of being at home still returns every time I step foot on the island and inhale the ocean breeze. The love affair with Carpenter Gothic and Victorian Beach Cottages has grown with time, as has my understanding of the care required to preserve the whimsical wooden homes that have stood the passing of the generations. The care of the homes, porches and gardens represent the commitment and intention to preserve this community for the present and the future generations.
The Vine - Then & Now - The Dunmere
In Oak Bluffs, Dunmere-by-the-Sea (né the Dunmere Cottage) has endured the test of time in the best possible way, shepherded from decade to decade by responsible owners. The story begins at 149 Circuit avenue in 1880 (when Oak Bluffs was still Cottage City) when The three-story mansard-roofed Dunmere Cottage was built on the Circuit avenue (where Tangerine and The Lazy Frog are now) by Hamilton J. and Katherine Greene to be a boarding house for summer visitors.
In the early 1900s the building was lifted and moved in its new home on Pennacook, a new foundation was added, raising up the building and allowing a partly above-ground basement with windows. Fortunately, all the charming Victorian details of the “wedding cake” design stayed firmly in place through the move and over the years following. The new location was only a stone’s throw from the Inkwell.
The property now commands ocean views and overlooks the Inkwell Beach with grace and poise. Original balconies and ornate corbels adorn her balconies and her porch.. In 1960s the house was listed in the historic "Green Book" as a welcoming beacon for travelers. This is a community that has a long tradition, going back to the Methodist Campground of the 1800s as a community that respects and welcomes diversity of people - all are welcome and humanity rules here.
Before the move, Oak Bluffs Land and Wharf Company president Erastus P. Carpenter had sold the land on Pennacook to one R. Flanders for $125 on September 20, 1871. It was Flanders who sold the land to the Greene family. In later years, the building changed hands almost a dozen more times. Perhaps one of the more notable owners was Joseph A. Sylvia – of Joseph Sylvia State Beach fame – who owned the establishment from 1925 to 1946.
A poignant part of the Dunmere Cottage history was its listing in the (coincidentally named) Green Book . Published for more than 30 years starting in 1936, this was the travel guide (also called The Negro Motorist Green Book and later the Travelers' Green Book ) that provided marginalized Black people with advice on safe places to eat and sleep when they traveled through the United States. The 1963-64 edition of the Green Book listed eight establishments in Oak Bluffs where rentals were acceptable, one of which was Dunmere-by-the-Sea. In the 1960s the cottage was also advertised in Ebony magazine.
In 1970, the Dunmere was converted to four apartments, one on each of the four floors. Operated continuously as a hotel/guest house (most recently by the Haney family from 1977 to 2020), the Dunmere became a second home for several Vineyard families who rented summer after summer for decades, among them Dennis and Maureen Jackson, Janice Benson and husband Barry Mizock, and sisters Doris Pinn and Eleanor Hughes. They all became friends at the Dunmere, sharing views of the beach and fireworks, food, libations and a camaraderie typical of Oak Bluffs and its history of inclusion.
The new owners are wasting no time in readying the Dunmere to open for weekly rentals this summer... In an April announcement, Kahina wrote, “My mission is to honor and preserve this property and this community by creating a place that all feel welcome to gather, connect and restore. A place of kindness. A place of inspiration. A haven.”
The Green Book predicted, “There will be a day some time in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please, and without embarrassment.”
Dunmere-by-the-Sea’s history exemplified that prediction – and now new owners will extend the circle of its life.
Republished from the Vineyard Gazette, April 2021, Skip Finley
We feel passionately about maintaining Oak Bluffs tradition and The Dunmere as a haven that gracefully intertwines the past with the present while inspiring us to push ever forward to the future. A strong community history that gathers together and has similarity of values and purpose - a community that is generative, respectful and kind to one another. The history of the community in Oak Bluffs is unique and meaningful truly a model for diverse communities coming together in a peaceful co-existence and ongoing investment in the community. The Dunmere is a special property that honors the past and welcomes all who enter to restore, reset and recharge. The property has been designed with intention to maximize your comfort but also to honor spaces that move guests to contemplation, inspiration and connection. The views are full of sky, water and ocean breezes.
Our Hospitality Family on the Vineyard
We hope you can visit us at The Narragansett House or The Dunmere-By-The-Sea. 2021 is the first year of us inagural season owning the Dunmere, and we are so proud and honored to continue the legacy of family-owned hospitality in Oak Bluffs. We are not a chain hotel or a corporation, we are simply a family who loves this island and wants people to feel at home when they visit, to get a taste of that vineyard magic that will inspire them to return year after year; generation after generation.
Our sister property, the Narragansett Bed and Breakfast is just around the corner and we welcome guests of the Dunmere to check out our programming that is full of wellness, yoga, arts and music throughout the summer. The Narragansett B&B is perfect for a long weekend and with breakfast served every day, morning yoga, sundowner Fridays and ongoing events we would encourage you to stop by and consider our hybrid package that allows you to use both properties. After your first stay with us you will become a member of our Inkwell Haven family circle and this will entitle you to advanced bookings and special event invitations. We believe once you are a guest with us, you become a member part of our community. We welcome you to join us on the island.
Be the first to hear about local events and new amenities.
In order to maintain a strong feeling of community, the Dunmere by the Sea is open to guests who have stayed with us before at either the Narragansett House or are referred by guests or neighbors. If you would like to stay with us please send a waiting list inquiry. Ready to book with us? Have a question about our rooms or services? We'll be happy to help!
7 Pennacook Avenue, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts 02557, United States
9am - 5pm