White Elephant Nantucket will unveil a multimillion-dollar restoration and renovation of its 54-key Harborside Hotel and 11 cottages on May 5, 2023. The event will coincide with the resort’s 100th anniversary.
Elizabeth Lowrey, principal at Elkus Manfredi Architects—the design firm behind White Elephant Palm Beach—has conceived of a bright, airy, residential-inspired refresh. All materials and finishes will be replaced, from the carpets to the fixtures and the furnishings. The patterns of the textiles will draw on the island’s history of basket weaving, and a color palette of blues and greens will draw inspiration from the coastal surroundings. The brand’s heritage will be woven throughout, with brass elephant knockers on doors, elephant door and drawer pulls, and elephant needlepoint pillows in rooms.
Ranging from 375 to 450 square feet of living space, guestrooms will be awash in rattan textiles, white oak desks, scalloped lampshades and headboards, and grass cloth wall coverings. Among the resort’s accommodations, 25 rooms and 25 suites offer direct access to the harborside lawn and the coastal surroundings.
Ranging from 400 to 900 square feet, the 11 cottages will be individually decorated and styled after plants indigenous to Nantucket: Bayberry, hydrangea, daylily, beachplum, honeysuckle, holly, arrowwood, marigold, rosa rugosa and snapdragon. Each cottage will take a plant as inspiration, with color palettes and artworks that evoke the flora—tones of buttery yellow for the Honeysuckle room, pale lavender for Beachplum, and pale pink for Rose. The two-bedroom cottages havedecks with coastal views, while the one- and three-bedroom cottages are set in a newly landscaped garden area complete with pathways that crisscross the central lawn.
The resort will also debut a redesigned lobby with an expanded retail space and more approachable concierge and reception areas. A centerpiece of the new lobby is a large-scale commissioned artwork by Israeli painter Orit Fuchs, who created an acrylic artwork for sister property White Elephant Palm Beach.
New original art will be installed throughout the rooms and corridors, resulting from the brand’s new “Artist in Residency Program,” launched in August 2022. New York-based art consultant and curator Emily Santangelo worked closely with White Elephant’s owners, the Karp family, to create a residency comprising artists from around the world. The artists spent two weeks exploring the island to gather inspiration for their works, venturing to some parts of the island only accessible by boat.