No other island reveres and revels in its history quite like Nantucket. And no other hotel on the island is quite like The Wauwinet, which has been attracting vacationers to its special stretch of sand between the Head of the Harbor and the open Atlantic since 1875.
Of course, The Wauwinet has had a few upgrades since then. But one thing hasn’t changed: guests come for the lawn, the beach, the dock, the dining, and most of all to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of town.
In addition to the genuine warmth of the attentive staff, highlights from my first stay at this special hotel earlier this season include: seeing wild deer on the lawn while drinking my morning coffee on the porch, running for miles along the utterly uninhabited beach out to Great Point Light, and eating a fabulous dinner at Topper’s restaurant.
There’s no shortage of sailboats, bicycles, and stand-up paddleboards for those who want to get some exercise, but cruising around the harbor on the Lady Wauwinet with Captain Rob and relaxing on the lawn can be pretty transformative too.
Simply put, the White Elephant hotel is a Nantucket institution. It has over 60 luxurious rooms and suites but doesn’t feel big. It’s close to town, has stunning views of the harbor, and its spa and the Brant Point Grill restaurant are top notch. But as I found out for myself recently, select guests also get to enjoy a unique driving experience. Thanks to a long-running partnership between Nantucket Island Resorts and BMW, select guests of the White Elephant, While Elephant Village, and the Wauwinet receive complimentary use of a brand-new BMW for the length of their stay.
The fleet of available cars includes large 7 Series sedans, hybrid X5s, and the all-electric i3. All guests at the White Elephant and White Elephant Village have access to a courtesy BMW car service for jaunts in and around town. But when it comes to classic top-down cruising out to Sconset and beyond, nothing compares to the fun of driving the 6 Series convertible in the fleet.
Cliffside Beach Club
Independently owned and operated by the Currie family since 1958, the Cliffside Beach Club is a one-of-a-kind Nantucket retreat that’s a boutique hotel and private beach club combined. That means in addition to its 22 rooms and suites that are right on the beach, Cliffside also has a spa, café/bar, and a pool that are only open to members and guests. Situated only a mile from town, it’s just close enough for guests to enjoy the shops, restaurants, and quaint cobblestone streets but far enough away to unwind in the peace and quiet of an oceanfront room.
On an island known for its history, Greydon House stands out because it’s so new…well, sort of. The original building was built for one of Nantucket’s many master mariners in 1850, and the current hotel stayed true to this original aesthetic but also underwent a massive renovation that spared no expense. The result is a “new” boutique hotel offering 18 sophisticated in-town rooms and suites and a restaurant.
The Summer House Cottages
Located in the historic village of Sconset, the timelessly elegant Summer House Cottages are almost too cute to be true. When you really need to unwind, there is nothing more soothing than the Summer Houses’ simple stand-alone cottages, ocean beach, heated fresh water pool, and lively Beachside Bistro nestled into a dune just below the bluff. summerhousecottages.com
Nantucket Hotel + Resort
The Nantucket Hotel & Resort is an all-season, full-service resort that really does have something for everyone. Of course, it offers upscale accommodations (rooms, suites, and cottages), killer spa services, two heated swimming pools (one for kids and one for laps), kid-friendly programs, and impeccable service. But it’s also a prime location for weddings, meetings, and events. Meanwhile, the new “Nantucket Supper Club” held in their Grand Ballroom features a changing lineup of live bands and a three-course fine dining menu, cocktails, and dancing.