What makes Nantucket such an ideal summer holiday spot isn’t its expansive beaches, abundance of rental bicycles, harbour full of yachts or even the top-notch lobster rolls. No, this iconic New England whaling island perfect is because it looks and feels like nowhere else you’ve ever been, from the colonial-era clapboard houses to the popularity of clothing covered in tiny embroidered whales. Oh, and its postcard-perfect boutique hotels.
To kick summer off, your New York editors road-tripped around New England’s most iconic warm-weather destinations, but it’s no exaggeration to say we left our hearts in Nantucket. We packed sandwiches from Provisions and cycled our way out to the cottages and mansions on the beaches of ‘Sconset. We lingered on the wharves and sipped brews with the locals at Cisco Brewery. We meandered through the cobbled lanes and ate an absurd amount of fresh seafood at restaurants like Corazon del Mar, home to some of the best Mexican food we’ve tasted on the East Coast of the United States.
And, naturally, we stayed at one of the most stylish boutique hotels in Nantucket. We’ll leave it to you to take your pick for your own adventure…
Style Colourful coastal cool
Setting Preppy port
Survey tidy Nantucket harbour from this 1864 landmark island perch, iced with three dramatic tiers of white gingerbread-trimmed porches, all of which offer premier views of the historic clapboard neighbourhood and the charming town. Rooms are classically cool, as befits a modern New England inn, and you can’t beat the prime location just two picturesque blocks from the sophisticated shops, galleries and world-class restaurants of the nautical town.
Style Nautical whites
Setting Main Street Nantucket
From the outside, the only hotel on Nantucket’s Main Street looks like it’s entirely old-world, with its 1800s white Federalist façade, but, inside, it’s all contemporary New England, outfitted in crisp and classic nautical patterns by Vineyard Vines. Rooms are bright and airy, the breakfast café serves house-made baked goods and the BYOB courtyard practically beckons you and your book after a day exploring the island.
Style Chic beach boutique
Setting Harbour-side hamlet
This refreshingly revived 19th-century inn is a design disciple’s dream. Cleverly concealed behind the subdued salt-box exterior are 11 intimate rooms bursting with the colourful corals, exotic ikat fabrics and elegant custom furnishings of a mod beach retreat. And, naturally, it’s just a few stone lanes from both the happening town and brilliant beaches.
Style Mod beach house
Setting Nantucket cobblestones
Perched on a pretty corner a few minutes from Nantucket’s main drag, this stylish, unpretentious inn has been breezily restored from its early days as a Victorian whaling captain’s house. One of the only hotels on the island open year-round, it’s a charming, beachy home-from-home no matter when you come.
Style Nattily nautical
Setting Cobbled captain’s way
Nestled in a row of historic homes on a quiet brick-and-stone lane, this cosy little inn recently underwent a bow-to-stern refurb that has it looking ship-shape – and super chic, too. The interiors reveal a mod makeover of bold colours and chic furnishings of this former captain’s home, add to that home-made breakfasts, an attentive innkeeper and a prime location to get you fully on board.