Developing on Brand - Stanmar

Case Studies > Mattakesett and Winnetu Oceanside Resort

Developing on Brand

The Stanmar Difference

  • Complex property buy-out secured hotel site

  • Achieved 20+ year business mission

  • Developed resort community for hotel and residences

  • Update property annually, securing top US hotel ranking

  • Phased winter construction reduced project costs

  • Project added value to local community

Project Overview

Stanmar has a multigenerational approach to responsible development. In the 1960s, Stanmar acquired a 150-acre oceanside parcel in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. Over the next 10 years, Stanmar developed a new community named Mattakesett—meaning “homes by the sea” in the language of the Wampanoag people who are native to the island. The community ultimately included approximately 150 condominiums that were sold to individual buyers.

More than three decades later, in the 1990s, Stanmar embarked on a strategic expansion that would dynamically change the Mattakesett operation and create the brand and template that would eventually lead to the creation of Little Gem Resorts. Over a period of years, Stanmar acquired 50 individually owned condominiums that had fallen into disrepair on an adjacent property to the Mattakesett development. 

Once the final purchase was complete, Stanmar demolished the existing buildings and designed and constructed the Winnetu Oceanside Resort—Winnetu meaning “beautiful” in the Wampanoag language. The Mattakesett community was absorbed into the Winnetu. This strategic move has resulted in stronger home values and top-dollar rental properties for Mattakesett owners and enhanced experiences for vacationers through the Winnetu Oceanside Resort, as demonstrated by the multiple Top 10 Best Hotel & Resort in the US awards by TripAdvisor.

One of the cornerstones of the Stanmar company is to give back to the local community. When Stanmar developed the Winnetu, Stanmar also gave land for permanent conservation. In 2015, Stanmar founded and led a non-profit, the MV Theater Foundation, to successfully raise money to rehabilitate and reopen two historic movie theaters on the island. Stanmar’s project managers led the successful restoration which provides important community facilities to year-round and summer residents.

Whether Stanmar is working for ourselves or for our clients, we are passionate about long-term business and environmental sustainability and have extensive experience working with local constituencies—be they neighbors, boards, or birds. Balancing these considerations is just one aspect of successful planning and goal-setting ahead of any design and construction effort.


Guests come back to the Winnetu year after year and are delighted because of Stanmar working with our team to consistently plan, design, and build, refreshing our accommodations, cottages, dining areas, pools, and other amenities. This keeps our resort at an award-winning level.

Matt Moore

General Manager, Winnetu Oceanside Resort

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