Property

This 19th-Century Victorian Became a Luxury Boutique Hotel

Located in Portland, the Francis boasts beautifully restored woodwork, uniquely decorated guest rooms, an onsite spa, and more.


The building’s original woodwork includes species such as Douglas fir, ash, and mahogany. / Photo by Irvin Serrano

Tony DeLois was sipping coffee at a café in Portland, Maine, when he noticed an abandoned house across the street. Empty for roughly a decade by then, the once grand Victorian abode—originally built in 1881 by noted local architect Francis Fassett—was in dire need of a makeover. Still, DeLois was intrigued. “I manage two hotels in Ogunquit and was looking to do something on my own,” the Yarmouth native says. “[I] took a walk through [the building], and it spoke to exactly what [I] wanted to do. The layout was perfect.”

THE FRANCIS
Portland, Maine

15 rooms, starting at $199 per night

Come for: Impeccably restored woodwork and updated Victorian details
Stay for: The onsite spa and the made-in-Maine goodies

After eventually purchasing the property and working to get it listed on the National Register of Historic Places, DeLois and his business partners—who include his brother Nate—focused on restoring the 19th-century space. “[Our goal was to] take the historical elements and update them so [the hotel] didn’t feel like it was stuck in the Victorian age,” DeLois says. Opened as the Francis hotel in late 2017, the building features 15 revamped guest rooms, each uniquely decorated and furnished. Untouched moldings frame leaded glass windows, illuminating the house’s original woodwork. New additions include custom headboards and side tables, fabricated by Saco-based Pond Cove Millwork, and stocked mini bars, chock-full of locally made snacks and drinks. “Everything [in the hotel] is, as much as possible, local and unique to Maine,” DeLois says. “We wanted to bring a neighborhood experience to guests coming in.”

The hotel’s spa exclusively offers products from Farmaesthetics, an all-natural skin-care brand based in Rhode Island. / Photo by Irvin Serrano

Each fireplace inside the Francis is uniquely tiled. / Photo by Irvin Serrano

Guest rooms feature Matouk throws, made in the Bay State, and duvets from Maine-based Cuddledown. / Photo by Irvin Serrano

Named after architect Francis Fassett, the hotel first served as the private residence of merchant Mellen Bolster in 1881. / Photo by Irvin Serrano

Architect
Archetype Architects
Contractor
Wright-Ryan Construction
Interior Designer
Urban Dwellings