Bay Point at Mill Falls undergoes major renovation
Nautical theme, technological upgrades update Lakes Region hotel
Bay Point, one of the premier inns of the Mill Falls at the Lake in Meredith, NH, has undergone an extensive renovation.
The 24-room hotel on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee boasts a crisp, modern ambiance with a nautical theme and many updated features.
Situated at the tip of Meredith Bay, with long, direct views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Belknap and White Mountain ranges gracing the horizon, Bay Point at Mill Falls has unparalleled vistas.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, the spot was home to a restaurant, but, in 1968, the property was redeveloped into a three-story office building that became the home of Meredith Bank and Trust. When it came up for sale in 1993, the owners of the nearby Mill Falls Inn and Marketplace were able to work out an agreement to purchase the site.
“When I went over to look at the building to understand what it was like … I realized it was set up to be very easily converted into a hotel,” said Rusty McLear, owner of Mill Falls at the Lake and longtime resident of Meredith. “It was flat-roofed and concrete. It looked like anything you’d see in New Jersey. But I realized we could put a peaked roof on it, and we could really make it look like something. It was a pretty easy renovation and restoration.”
Like the cupola on the Marketplace building, which came from an old church in northern New Hampshire, the historic cupola on Bay Point came from a church in Williston, Vt. A restored antique weathervane loaned by a friend completed the look. In May of 1995, the Inn at Bay Point and the Boathouse Grille (now Lago) opened to the public.
“When we built Bay Point, instead of diluting our occupancy here at Mill Falls, it actually increased our occupancy, because it gave us more of a critical mass,” said McLear. “We now had waterfront access, rooms with lake views, and we had another restaurant, so it made us more attractive. People wanted to come, and it really helped the town, too. It was a big addition to town.”
In selecting a design company for the renovation, McLear chose TruexCullins, a firm based in Burlington, Vt., with a distinguished background in creating spaces for the hospitality industry and resorts throughout the country.
The design team at TruexCullins helped to create the new interior of Bay Point, with an eye toward the rich maritime culture and craftsmanship of the Lakes Region, along with modern elements of whimsy and relaxation.
“There is an inherent beauty and an intrinsic value to wooden boats that has inspired our design,” said TruexCullins design team. “A thoughtful and intuitive aesthetic is revealed in their design and construction. The craft embodies an honest strength in the use of materials, practical and clever in function within a limited space.”
The new interior design brings this maritime tradition and aesthetic to Bay Point. The updated interiors will provide a fresh and modern twist to the nautical history of Mill Falls and Lake Winnipesaukee. The spaces are layered with materials such as rich navy upholstery, patina brass fixtures, and dark wood flooring and furniture. The rooms will be welcoming and unpretentious to promote wellbeing and relaxation, as well as to celebrate a beautiful view of the lake.
“This time we went with darker wood features, like an old boat,” said McLear. “We put down hard wooded floors in half of the rooms, all the rooms are wooden sided, the hallways have been clad in wood, and they’re painted white and blue. The carpet has a wave or chevron effect to it, and the fixtures on the walls are of antique boats. The biggest element that we kept from the former design is the wainscoting, fireplace, and bookshelves in the lobby, but everything else is brand new.
“When we built this in 1994, there really wasn't a need for USB ports, but now the nightstands have USB ports in them, the desks have USB ports, and the lighting will be better. It’s much more up-to-date.”