Once a former whaling community, this compact, affluent island with a relaxed, slow pace is one of the most picture-perfect travel destinations in the US.
Located off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket has a unique historic significance, beautiful scenery and plenty of activities on offer in both summer and winter. Scenery here includes rosed-dotted gardens, cobblestone streets, dune-backed beaches, fine buildings, steepled churches and striking lighthouses.
Go sightseeing, go shopping in the high-end boutiques, visit the museums, hike or bike the many scenic trails, dine out at one of many fine restaurants and then discover some of the lively bars.
Now you just need to find somewhere special to stay, so from gorgeous boutique inns to grand resorts, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Nantucket (in no particular order)...
1. Blue Iris by Life House – a unique, upscale and instagrammable hotel offering a delicious complimentary continental breakfast
Infused with European design elements, this gorgeous property is an art collector’s Greek Revival vacation estate, which comes with a lush garden patio.
A Patroness of the Arts, the woman settled here in the late 1800s and welcomed travellers, neighbours, and local artists to use her home as a studio.
The house has since been designed to reflect her passion for the rustic Mediterranean seaside design, and Portuguese art. Each room is adorned with layered and patterned textiles and antique wood details.
This is the perfect holiday home for the traveller who wants to add a creative flair to their Nantucket vacation.
- To book, check prices or availability for Blue Iris by Life House
This is more than just a hotel, it’s a mindset. The young at heart are invited to step out of the norm, and experience an unexpected mix of wild and familiar, at Faraway Nantucket.
The well-appointed guestrooms are light and airy, boasting coastal details inspired by the maritime adventures of an exotic captain – Art objects and a folly of quirky textiles reflect her tropical port visits, and her story unfolds within the walls of a classic New England architectural masterpiece.
The hotel features a lively bar lounge, which offers an elevated cocktail program inspired by Mediterranean travel. The hotel’s courtyard features a grand open living room, a brass-clad café, and private dining rooms.
- To book, check prices or availability for Faraway Nantucket
3. The Nantucket Hotel & Resort – a historic, charming and modern hotel located in the heart of Nantucket
Built in 1891, the typical, grand seaside exterior perfectly contrasts the modern interior. A whole host of family-friendly accommodations are on offer here, including guestrooms, one-to-four-bedroom suites, and one and two-bedroom cottages.
In keeping with its island location, the hotel features quirky details such as a custom-made steampunk whale hanging over the reception desk, and period telescopes scattered about the interior.
Adirondack rocking chairs by the front porch offer a relaxing vibe upon entrance, this is lived up to by a charming staff presence.
The hotel’s facilities include two seasonal, heated swimming pools, an outdoor whirlpool, a sauna, and many classes and treatments to create the perfect pampering experience.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Nantucket Hotel & Resort
4. 21 Broad – one of the most up-and-coming boutique hotels in Nantucket that has an elegant, modern and urban vibe
Historic yet fresh, hip yet local, fun yet stylish – This Nantucket hotel emanates the atmosphere of the entire surrounding neighbourhood. The spacious dining room with a free-standing fireplace and the designer guest lounge are the perfect spots to gather with friends.
The 27 modern, bright accommodations feature luxury linens, blackout shades, and a vitamin C shower, which make for the perfect remedy after wandering around the historic downtown.
A curated small plates breakfast, with homemade scones and other baked goods and pastries, are there to be savoured every morning. Located a mere two blocks from the Steamship Authority ferry terminal, the buzz of the city centre is on your doorstep at 21 Broad.
- To book, check prices or availability for 21 Broad
5. White Elephant Hotel – an upscale, chic boutique hotel featuring an on-site spa and oceanfront view
Much like its sister properties, the White Elephant’s focus is on luxury, pampering, and comfort. The hotel and its many cottages share a light-filled, lavish island décor, whilst the downtown lofts have a more residential feel.
A Nantucket mainstay for almost a century, this stunning property is situated right on the harbour. It boasts a sprawling lawn facing the water, and common spaces which include a comfortable library, a business lounge, a spa, and a small fitness centre.
All the rooms are individually designed, yet all feature a coastal décor, plush king-size beds with Patesi linens, a fireplace, and either a private deck or patio.
- To book, check prices or availability for White Elephant Hotel
6. Greydon House – a historic, elegant and classic hotel featuring a world-class restaurant for guests to enjoy an eclectic culinary experience
This upscale, 20-guestroom house was built as a sea captain’s home in 1850, and has been revamped into a lavish inn. Greydon House boasts an idyllic location in Nantucket’s historic district.
The guesthouse is warm, elegant, and refined. A soothing tone is set by rich colours and dark woods scattered through the property, as well as an eclectic mix of antique furnishings and artwork inspired by the travels of the whaling captain.
The inn’s restaurant is headed by Michelin-starred chef Marcus Gleadow-Ware, who provides a menu featuring fresh-off-the-boat seafood such as snapper ceviche and pan-roasted cod.
All 20 rooms sport reclaimed chestnut wood floors, John Robshaw and Les Indiennes bed linens, and bathrooms with hand-painted blue and white Portuguese tile showers.
- To book, check prices or availability for Greydon House
7. Union Street Inn – a stylish, trendy and charming accommodation in a perfect location to explore Nantucket’s most popular attractions
Union Street Inn is Nantucket’s standard bearer for exquisite interiors, exclusive experiences, and immaculate service. Guests from all over the world travel by air and sea to unwind in style under this historic roof.
Acclaimed by Conde Nast as an Impeccable New England By-Way-Of-France Stylish hotel, this is by far the most gracious house-turned-inn on the island.
Here, guests can wake up to the soft cross-breeze and sparkling daylight, in a room infused by rich patterns, a hint of greenery, one-of-a-kind artwork, and soft pastels. Guests’ senses are delighted by the Malin + Goetz luxury bath amenities, and the Matouk linens. Each of the 12 guestrooms is a showpiece boasting a very unique character.
- To book, check prices or availability for Union Street Inn
8. Nantucket Resort Collection – a unique, contemporary and chic accommodation steps away from beautiful beaches and Downtown Nantucket
At Nantucket Resort Collection, visitors can breathe in the delicious island aroma and indulge in the comfort of a boutique accommodation, surrounded by endearing and enchanting gardens.
The accommodations include the Chapman House, Regatta Inn, and Sherburne Inn. Each come with their very own personality and boast restored and refurbished 17th-century buildings with modern coastal designs.
The property is located steps from the pristine beaches of Nantucket, as well as the quaint shops and gourmet restaurants of this historic whaling town.
Guests can enjoy luxury amenities and a generous continental breakfast on the Veranda House terrace each morning. An unparalleled level of hospitality is on offer here.
- To book, check prices or availability for Nantucket Resort Collection
9. Brass Lantern Inn – a quiet, sleek and beautiful accommodation ideal for a couple’s romantic getaway
This 17-room inn is housed in a building dating back to 1847, however thoroughly updated to offer comfortable, luxurious accommodation.
The interior design is clean and unfussy, yet shares a nod to its tremendous history. The room’s nameplates, which are named after historic whaling ships and flowers, are custom-made by a local scrimshaw artist to add a lovely touch.
The rooms are decorated in period style, with oriental carpets and antique furnishings.
The garden wing rooms boast a more contemporary look, with bright colours and modern embellishments. Complimentary afternoon tea and biscuits are laid out for guests in the afternoon.
- To book, check prices or availability for Brass Lantern Inn
The epitome of mid-century flair, Hotel Pippa combines a timeless style with lively sophistication. Each of the guestroom’s iconoclastic, playful interiors is framed by classic Nantucket architecture and boasts vibrant pops of colour to compliment its worldly attitude.
This is the perfect home base for late nights, spontaneous adventures, and a touch of the unexpected, with Nantucket’s most seductive experiences mere steps from the front door.
Pieces by innovative Nantucket artists are also showcased in the guestrooms, as are a beautifully curated selection of top-shelf bath and skincare products.
A continental breakfast can be enjoyed each morning, which fuses local ingredients with healthy produce. Complimentary chairs and towels are provided for guests to hit the beach feeling relaxed and inspired.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Pippa
11. Seven Sea Street Inn – a rustic, cottage-chic accommodation that is only a walk away from Main Street and Harbor Beach
If there was ever a place to enjoy true, refined island hospitality, it is at the Seven Sea Street Inn. Guests can wake up to the glorious sight of sailboats, and whales marking their migration with joyous plumes of water.
This inviting inn is nestled in a quiet, tree-lined side street, just north of Main Street. With 11 relaxing guestrooms dressed in the ‘cottage chic’ décor, in keeping with the inn’s colonial post-and-beam architectural style, Seven Sea Street Inn offers a sophisticated seaside ambience.
With delicious morning meals, and an onside concierge service, an exceptional, unconventional vacation experience is offered here.
- To book, check prices or availability for Seven Sea Street Inn
12. Martin House Inn – a classic, quirky-chic and cozy accommodation that is the place to stay to experience Nantucket’s heart-warming charm
Originally built in 1803 by a sea captain, the charm and romance of a bygone era are combined with the recently restored comforts of home.
An unrivalled collection of original Nantucket artwork is featured in all guestrooms. Fireplaces, and many gathering areas including a peaceful veranda and panoramic view-steeped roof-walk, make for a truly mesmerising experience here.
A bountiful continental breakfast is served each morning, featuring homemade granola and fresh scones. Complimentary treats are given each afternoon to guests, who may also enjoy private labelled wine and artisanal cheeses on Fridays.
The inn is a short walk from the beaches, museums, galleries, theatres and restaurants of downtown Nantucket.
- To book, check prices or availability for Martin House Inn
13. Cliff Lodge – a beautiful, pet-friendly and quiet accommodation where guests can enjoy a home away from home stay
Built in 1771 as a whaling master’s home, this cosy and historic lodge is nestled in the hills above and between Nantucket’s most pristine and popular beaches, and the downtown cobblestone streets.
This resplendent mariner’s mansion provides a restful, casual vacation experience, full of beauty and enchantment. The décor of the rooms and outside area is special, featuring a gorgeous pastel colour scheme.
The friendly atmosphere and gracious dependability of the staff is bolstered by heart-warming comfort and fresh cleanliness. The tastefully appointed rooms boast a certain sunlit loveliness which is the reason many guests decide to return here year upon year.
- To book, check prices or availability for Cliff Lodge
14. Periwinkle Inn – a bright, petite and quirky accommodation in a great location for a Nantucket escape
Nantucket Periwinkle offers an ideal location, situated on the picturesque Greek House Row. The perfect blend of historic charm and modern comfort is topped with a quirky twist – All of the rooms were named after a character in the classic Herman Melville novel, Moby Dick.
A copy of the novel is even available in some rooms for guests to read at leisure. Via Mare, the inn’s restaurant, offers a whimsical dining experience, where every visit is a journey through the Venetian tradition of small-plate dining and spirited drinking in bacari taverns.
Inspired by the city’s long history as a central hub in the spice trades, the menu features locally-sourced fare from the garden and sea, topped with an eclectic, international wine list.
- To book, check prices or availability for Periwinkle Inn
15. The Cottages & Lofts – a contemporary, stylish and pet-friendly accommodation well equipped for a perfect family vacation
Backdropped by the stunning blue waters of Nantucket Harbour, the pet-friendly Cottages & Lofts at the Nantucket Boat Basin feature a front-row view of the island’s natural wonder and provide the perfect base from which to explore the downtown gems.
Picture a pristine seaside setting which echoes the wonderful island charm! Each of the accommodations comes complete with luxury amenities, and breathtaking views.
Guests are greeted at the Hy-Line ferry and transported via golf cart to check-in. Within a 15-minute walk visitors can reach the Brant Point Grill at White Elephant, which offers fresh seafood, delicious wine, and handcrafted cocktails.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Cottages & Lofts
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Born and raised in Brazil, Gaby has always had a taste for the intriguing, the off-beat and the far flung. After travelling around most of South America, living in Spain and Italy and then moving to England, her feet have stayed continually twitchy. Studying for a degree in Spanish translation and then learning five more languages only poured more fuel onto her travelling ardor.
Gaby likes nothing better than discovering new destinations and meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine and hearing about the local stories. Her other indulgences include French cinema, boxing, photography, colourful manicures and soaking up the rays on a sun-infused beach. She counts Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon and Cornwall as her most favourite places in the world.