Nantucket Nice: The White Elephant Hotel Residences

 

The Hotel Residences
The Hotel Residences combine at-home comfort with luxury hotel services and amenities.

 

We recently ferried from Hyannis, MA, to Nantucket to check out the White Elephant, which recently opened up its spiffy Hotel Residences. Ideal for an extended-stay vacation, the Residences, which opened last June, sit on five acres, a few blocks from the main building and offers guests a homelike stay while enjoying hotel amenities and services.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom units—25 are completed, and plans for a second phase of development are in the preliminary stages—include open, pantry-style kitchens with full-size refrigerators and ovens (cleverly hidden behind pretty paneling); combination living/ dining rooms with soaring ceilings and hardwood floors; flat-screen plasma TVs; and touch-button gas fireplaces for instant warmth. One detail we appreciated in our two-bedroom residence was the washer/dryer tucked in a hall closet, so convenient for drying out rain-soaked clothes. Also, each bedroom is paired with a full bath; masters boast gorgeous, footed tubs.

On an aesthetic note, adding to the Residences’ impressive living space is their décor, which is consistent with Nantucket’s preppy-casual vibe (think of a color palette of bright, crisp white and soothing neutrals).
Details like circular mirrors add a nautical touch.

Insider Tip: The only feature noticeably absent from our residence, Surfside, was access to the outdoors from our individual unit. To secure a residence with outdoor space, request one of the following: Jetties (private porch), Moby (private porch), Cisco (private deck), Wanoma (two private decks), Shawkemo (two private porches), Quaise (two private decks) or Nonatum (private outdoor space).

As the new Residences arguably are the island’s premier accommodations, booking well in advance is necessary, particularly for a stay in the peak summer season. Contact Ryan Grant (rgrant@niresorts.com; 508-638-2446), director of hospitality for Nantucket Island Resorts, to make reservations. Whether they arrive by air (Cape Air flies in from a half-dozen regional airports) or ferry (suggest Hy-Line or Steamship Authority), Grant can arrange a private transfer to their residence. Another convenient service of note for guests is a separate key-access concierge lounge, which is stocked with board games, DVDs and magazines for them to enjoy throughout their stay. It also serves as a relaxing pre-departure point. We dropped in several times to sample complimentary snacks and beverages that were set out each day and hear that an evening port and cheese display is a pre-dinner draw.

 

Pool
The Pool stays open Memorial Day through mid-September. Cabanas are available for rent.

 

Grant and the White Elephant’s concierge staff can see to it that guests have their pick of activities, which could include anything from a beach picnic to water sports to a Jeep rental for sightseeing around the island. Of course, guests can pay a visit to the White Elephant’s intimate spa, which overlooks Nantucket Harbor and employs a variety of natural products. Note: The spa currently has just four treatment rooms, so it’s best to reserve treatment times when accommodations are booked. Staffers tell us that the master plan of the Residences’ includes a spa of its own that will be part of the second phase of development.

Much to our delight, we discovered one incredible restaurant after another during our stay, beginning with the White Elephant’s own Brant Point Grill. There, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests can dine indoors or alfresco on a covered patio overlooking Nantucket Harbor. Our seasonal prix-fix dinner menu included delicately grilled fish, sweet Nantucket Bay scallops and a to-die-for dessert of seasonal berry and apple cobbler. The Grill’s knowledgeable staff confidently helped us pair a complimentary bottle of wine.

Not only is Nantucket’s downtown easy to maneuver, dining off-site is an absolute must as well. From comfort-style pub grub to five-star bistro fare, here are a few of our favorite finds: Black-Eyed Susan’s for made-to-order omelets and grits; Arno’s (www.arnos.net; 41 Main Street) for Eggs Benedict and fluffy Belgian waffles; and Lola 41 for A-plus sushi (the menu is split into sushi and bistro sections; suggest clients snag a seat at the sushi bar and sip a glass of Cabernet while they wait for dinner to arrive). Locals and longtime visitors also herald Boarding House, 21 Federal, American Seasons and Town, all of which we’ll be sure to try out the next time we’re in town.

Tip: The White Elephant and the Hotel Residences are part of the Nantucket Island Resorts company, which owns and operates several properties on the island, each with its own unique style. We loved the Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin for their overwater location and jaw-dropping views.

The properties are open seasonally, so be sure to check out the company’s website for availability.

 

Living room
No Two Residences are Alike. Each has its own, unique floor plan. Living room shown here.