Each room will be different — some small and intimate, others larger with fireplaces. All will blend Old World Plymouth with modern design.

That’s Rick Vayo’s vision for two historic but rundown buildings on Chilton Street. The developer hopes to renovate them, creating a chic, high-end hotel for Plymouth visitors.

“Downtown is in desperate need of hotel space, particularly higher end boutique hotel space,” said Vayo. “We hear from tourists all the time — the Chamber (of Commerce), See Plymouth. No one can find a really nice place to stay downtown.”

If approved, the 25-room hotel, which doesn’t yet have a name, will be constructed where two houses — a three-family and a 36-room former rest home — now sit near the corner of Court Street.

The residents of the former privately owned rest home at 3 Chilton St. were relocated to another facility by the previous owner, Vayo said. One tenant continues to live in the other building, a three-family at 5-7 Chilton, but will be relocated with Vayo’s help, he said.

The existing buildings will be extensively renovated, inside and out, using colors and materials — siding, doors, windows — approved for buildings in the town’s historic district.

Flowering shrubs and trees, like dogwood, white hydrangea and honeysuckle, will surround the property.

The hotel will offer only 14 parking spaces, but there are town lots in the neighborhood, including one across the street.

The project, with an estimated cost of $7 million, already has the initial backing of the Plymouth Center Steering Committee, the Planning Board and the Historic District Commission.

It also needs a special permit from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, which is scheduled to hear from Vayo and his architect, Bill Fornaciari, on April 1.

(Fornaciari is also a contributor to the Plymouth Independent.)

One of the two Chilton Street buildings that developer Rick Vayo hopes to turn into a hotel. Credit: (Photo by Mark Pothier)

Vayo, who paid $2.2 million for the two buildings in 2022, lived across the street in a meticulously restored historic home for five years before selling it in January.

“We’re going to do the same level of detail we did in my own house,” he said. “It’s going to be a gorgeous renovation.”

Vayo – who has developed many Plymouth condos, apartments, and single-family houses – plans to operate the hotel himself, with the help of a management team he will hire.

Lea Filson, president and chief executive officer of tourism group See Plymouth, said she supports the idea of a new luxury downtown hotel — but isn’t familiar with the details.

“I think that’s a great thing for our area,” she said. “We only have one luxury property and it’s not in the waterfront area.”

She was referring to the Mirbeau Inn & Spa in the Pinehills, which is about nine miles from downtown and the harbor.

“The area the hotel will go in is within the historic district and that’s where most of our tourists go,” Filson said. “There’s a scarcity of choices and I think it would be nice to have a few high luxury choices, as well as the average rates that are offered now.”

Planning Board member Steve Bolotin called the project “a good use of what was a formerly poorly designed and operated housing,” but said he wished there was more parking.

“Ultimately, the owner and operator of the hotel will want to do what is necessary for it to be a success,” he said. “If their guests complain about the lack of parking, I suspect they will find a way to purchase parking rights elsewhere.”

The John Carver Inn, on Summer Street, which describes itself as a boutique hotel, is also undergoing a renovation.

In February 2023, its owner, Ankur Hospitality LLC of Lexington, received town permits for a complete overhaul of 74 guest rooms and bathrooms, including new flooring, new furniture and new drapes – at an estimated cost of $215,800.

No one from the hotel, built in 1969, responded to requests for information about the project.

Still unclear is how much the rooms at the proposed Chilton Street hotel will cost: Vayo said he doesn’t know yet.

But if the Mirbeau is any indicator, they won’t be  cheap. Rooms there start at $365 a night, according to the Mirbeau website.  Two hotels near the harbor charge much less, according to their websites.

Currently, you can stay at the John Carver Inn for $119 a night or more, depending on the day and the type of room. Rates at Hotel 1620 start at $129 a night.

Vayo said his hotel will offer an unmatched experience.

“We will create a hotel experience that will embody all that Plymouth has to offer, coupled with luxury and world class hospitality,” he said.

Andrea Estes can be reached at andrea@plymouthindependent.org.

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