A boutique hotel company plans to reopen a West End hotel in Portland under a new name, and has also purchased three historic inns in Kennebunkport, a summer tourism hot spot.

Lark Hotels intends to open the doors of Blind Tiger Guesthouse and Gathering Space, a renamed version of the former Danforth Inn, in February. Lark bought the historic hotel, at 163 Danforth St., last year for $1.7 million.

“Blind Tiger is a complete redesign of the property, accentuating some of the great architectural details, a full update, more of a residential feel than it did in its previous versions,” said Lark President Rob Blood in an interview.

The nine guest rooms will be renovated, and Lark intends to focus on the first-floor common spaces to make the property a “home away from home,” said Lark Creative Director Megan Kennedy.

The hotel was built as a private home in 1823 and operated as a Catholic rectory until 1991.

There are no plans to reopen the inn’s restaurant, but Blood said he would like to use the property’s commercial kitchen for pop-up dining events and as a community space for Portland art, dining, music and brewing scenes.


Renovations began in early January, and Blood hopes to have the project finished and ready to begin booking rooms in mid-February.

Lark specializes in small, high-end lodging – most of its properties have fewer than 30 rooms.

The company owns and operates more than 20 hotels in Massachusetts, California, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Its Maine properties include the Pomegranate Inn on Neal Street in Portland, Whitehall in Camden and the Captain Fairfield Inn in Kennebunkport.

Lark recently acquired three historic inns near its existing Kennebunkport property: the Captain Lord Mansion, Captain Jefferds Inn and Mainestay Inn.

“These three properties have been on the market for about a year now,” Blood said. “We looked at it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring them together under one ownership umbrella.”

Blood would not disclose the purchase price of the three buildings. All three were originally built by sea captains and have been operated as inns and bed-and-breakfasts for years.

“One of the things that really drew me to these particular properties is a long history of really great hospitality,” Blood said.

The intent is to renovate and update the properties, but not until at least operating them for a full season.

“We want to get a chance to get to know the buildings, the staff and the guests,” he said.

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