The Charlotte Inn, regularly ranked as one of the finest small hotels in the world, is the subject of a new photography book that showcases the grounds, buildings, and unusual collections of art and antiques by both guests and travel specialist.
The book, Behind the Times on Purpose: The Charlotte Inn of Martha's Vineyard ($65, Vineyard Stories), contains 168 pages of photographs shot over two years by well-known Vineyard photographer Nina Barmhall, who regularly shoots for Home & Garden, Vanity Fair, and other magazines. The book chronicles the results of 30 years of renovation and restoration of the premier inn on Martha's Vineyard by owners Gery and Paula Conover. The inn was in 2006 voted by Travel + Leisure as one of the best small hotels in the world, and in 2007 was again lauded by the magazine for "an extremely high level of refinement, even for this cultured island."
Fodor's Travel notes, "From the moment you walk up the dark-wood Scottish barrister's check-in desk at this regal 1864 inn, you'll be surrounded by the trappings and customs of a bygone era," a sentiment that is aptly conveyed by the title of the book.
The book includes a history of both the inn and the work done by the Conovers, in additional to the nearly 200 photographs. It has personal stories form the Conovers about the dedication it has taken to amass the fine furniture, museum-quality art and unusual collection of objects that give the inn the look and feel of one of Europe's great country homes. Celebrities such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Princess Diana relied on its discreetness to help shelter them.
Behind the Times on Purpose additionally gives an inside look at both the pleasures and the pitfalls of running an elegant inn, including a chapter named "Princesses and Thieves, Presidents and Con Men."
The book was developed by Vineyard Stories, a Vineyard-based publishing company.