Just 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket Island feels like its own little world. An ideal one, where the beaches are always perfectly windswept, the lighthouses are straight out of a postcard, and life goes at a slower pace. There must be something really special about this place National Geographic called it “the best island in the world”. Nantucket is an idyllic island escape with miles of sandy beaches, centuries-old mansions, quaint shops and a classic small-town charm. Swimming, surfing, boutique shopping, fishing, and dining on fresh seafood are all glorious ways to spend a day, or a week, here. Ans stay at our favorite hotel on the island, the idyllic White Elephant.
Originally a collection of rustic cottages, White Elephant has graced Nantucket’s waterfront since the 1920s. The hotel was the dream of a prominent Nantucket socialite, Elizabeth T. Ludwig, who truly believed that the property would, one day, be a fine harborside hotel, and in time her vision became reality. Over the years the lodging business prospered and additional buildings were added, as were a new dining room, lounge and cottages. Today, the ultimate east coast chic resort features luxurious rooms, suites, residences, garden cottages and downtown lofts, as well as an acclaimed restaurant and fun vacation activities for the whole family, including pet friendly areas. For almost a century, the breathtaking White Elephant has been the talk of the town and a prominent piece of Nantucket history making it one of the finest waterfront hotels on Nantucket Island.
From private yacht charters to outdoor excursions and new suites, this is everything you need to know/ to book:
An Island Escape: Hold the Passport
Leave the passport at home for an island escape with White Elephant’s one-, two- and three-bedroom Residences. Much like personal beach homes, the residences feature private entrances, pantry-style kitchens and in-room laundry that invite guests to linger longer. When booking a five- or seven-night stay at the Residences, families will also enjoy a complimentary four-hour Barton & Gray Hinckley yachting excursion through the brand’s exclusive partnership as well as a $150 or $250 resort credit, respectively.
Located just steps from town and one of the only hotels on Nantucket with a pool, White Elephant allows for easy access to the island’s restaurants, shopping and water activities.
Beyond the Beaches
From the walking trails of Sanford Farm and Masquetuck Reservation to the grassy lands of Tom Nevers and the Pitch Pine Barrens, more than 50 percent of Nantucket is under permanent conservation and much of the protected land is available for exploration. The Wauwinet, which borders the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, offers walking tours through the nature reserves’ salt marshes, along the miles of beaches, and to Great Point Lighthouse located on the extreme northeastern tip of Nantucket. For those looking to get out on two wheels, couples at the adults-only resort can set off to explore the island with the Ride and Rosé package – a two-night stay with access to complimentary Priority Bicycles, a custom bike map around the island and a rosé champagne picnic courtesy of the award-winning TOPPER’S restaurant. The Wauwinet reopened on April 17, 2021 with nightly rates starting at $205.
Girls Still Run the World
While 2021 is making history with the first female Vice President of the United States. Nantucket was home to more history-making women than anywhere else in the country throughout the 1800s. Whaling, the island’s isolated location and Quakerism all played a role in championing women’s rights. As a nod to the island’s history-making females, each of the four new suites at the Jared Coffin House, a former whaling merchant’s home, is named after an influential woman from Nantucket. Anna Gardner was instrumental in calling an anti-slavery meeting in 1841 during which Frederick Douglass gave his first speech as an abolitionist speaker. Lucretia Coffin Mott participated in the country’s first meeting about women’s rights in 1848. Maria Mitchell was the first professional female astronomer who opened her own school in 1835 that was desegregated, a controversial move at the time, and Mary Coffin Starbuck is recognized for bringing Quakerism to Nantucket in the early 1700s. Jared Coffin House reopened on the season on April 4, 2021 with nightly rates for the suites starting at $715.
A Family Reunion
The whole family (four-legged members too!) are welcome at the one- and two-bedroom Woof Cottages located at the Nantucket Boat Basin. The closest thing to staying on the water without being on a boat, the Cottages feature all the same amenities at the regular cottages with extras for the furry friends including beds, a welcome basket of treats and toys, food and water bowls and personalized pet tags. Guests can also turn to local insider and pet concierge Bailey on the best pet-friendly activities on island. The resident black lab / Britney spaniel mix can share tips on the best places to run free, play fetch and settle down for lunch. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Cottages reopened for 2021 season on April 8, 2021 with nightly rates starting at $175.
How to Travel to and Around the Island
JetBlue, United and American Airlines are re-launching direct service to the island beginning in May from east coast cities including Boston, New York, Newark, Washington D.C. and Charlotte. New this season, American Airlines will also add a direct route between Chicago and Nantucket. Roundtrip flights from New York start at $250 while nonstop service from Washington D.C. dips as low as $180 roundtrip. Seastreak Ferry’s seasonal service between Manhattan and Nantucket will also return on weekends beginning June 26.
Once on island, guests of White Elephant Resorts will enjoy complimentary access to BMW vehicles thanks to the brand’s partnership. Guests can be chauffeured in a 7 series or borrow the keys to take a spin on their own.
Courtesy of White Elephant Resorts for all images in this article