Originally built in 1894 as a private school for boys in Washington, Connecticut, the 35-room Mayflower Inn & Spa, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, is a New England icon. Now, the airy white spa, one of the property’s most beloved features, has morphed into The Well at Mayflower Inn, the second outpost of the New York holistic health center.
The Well cofounder Kane Sarhan coveted this locale as the brand’s first retreat given its proximity to the city and that “guests are immediately transported into 55 acres of nature.” Thanks to New York designer Nina Gotlieb, the space now sports “a bright, fresh dressing,” adds Sarhan, who joined forces with New York landscape designer Luz LeStrange to piece together the biophilic thermal pool and its throng of purifying plants that “will continue to grow over time to take over the room.”
Coinciding with the rollout of The Well is an overall revamp of the property led by Celerie Kemble, the New York-based partner at Kemble Interiors, which also has offices in Palm Beach, Florida, and London. Sensitive to the Mayflower Inn & Spa’s history, Kemble set out to create what feels like a well-appointed country estate instead of a traditionally swank hotel.
Much of this homey atmosphere comes courtesy of wallpaper patterns, some of them even covering ceilings, that “elicit a “complex puzzle,” Kemble points out. “The Paul Montgomery mural feels as though you are under the canopy of a willow tree, so there is a romanticism and whimsy to those rooms, and the Sister Parish dot and stripe is a pattern I love for its softness around the edges and elevating geometry.”
In the parlor, an egg yolk yellow woven silk wallcovering commands attention, looking the way “it feels to have a sunbeam warm you,” she adds. This social space also captures the “the intersection of artistry and craft, which I felt was appropriate for a New England hotel,” Kemble explains. Here, 19th-century tinsel art is deftly paired with Pop Art cake paintings by Gary Komarin and handmade paper flowers that reference Connecticut gardens.
A reverence for the past is also expressed in treasures like four-poster beds and tea tables that Kemble salvaged from the previous owner’s collection, except now they are buoyed by layers of gingerbread trim, antique mirrors, cane, and vintage chintz—materials that were chosen, says Kemble, “because of the human fingerprint and the warmth of patina.”