Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Calm waterfront scene, though it can get busy during the summer
Quietly located in a small neighborhood village on the far side of the island, The Wauwinet has expansive views of Nantucket Bay from its lawn, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side of the hotel. With its classic 19th century New England architecture, it feels like stepping back in time, but with all the modern updates travelers have come to expect.
It’s not near anything and is about a 20-minute drive from downtown, but that is part of the allure for some. Guests come here to relax, and take in the quiet (although during the summer, it can get busy and sometimes that quiet can be interrupted by other guests), and the views. It’s easy enough to get to civilization when you want to, however, with The Wauwinet’s free shuttle that goes between downtown and the hotel.
On property, guests can enjoy the spa, the library, the beautiful lawn area overlooking the Bay, and Topper’s restaurant, which is considered by locals and tourists to have some of the finest dining on the island.
Secluded on the northeast part of the island, flanked by the bay and the ocean
Tucked away on the northeast part of the island, The Wauwinet is one of the more secluded hotels on Nantucket. Set away from the hustle of downtown, with the bay on one side and the ocean on the other, serene is a good word to describe the feeling at this location. Guests who want to check out the downtown area, however, can take advantage of the hotel's free shuttle service -- the ride takes about 20 minutes.
Nantucket is an island 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, next to Martha’s Vineyard. While the Vineyard boasts some very lovely homes, Nantucket’s real estate puts it to shame. This is where the very rich come to vacation, and the prices around town reflect that. Don’t expect to run into the Hollywood crowd though -- here it’s more CEOs, politicians, and billionaire businessmen who have their second homes on the island. The atmosphere is relaxed but polished at the same time.
Nantucket is about history and natural beauty. It features some of the highest concentration of Pre-Civil war structures and oldest operating windmill in U.S. You’ll find cobblestoned streets downtown (always fun to drive over), plenty of historic mansions converted into bed-and-breakfasts, and boutiques shilling expensive brand names. While the shopping and dining is fantastic, the beautiful beaches are probably the main allure. The southside beaches are key for surfers (Cisco is a local favorite), Madaket has phenomenal sunsets, Jetties is close to town and great for families, and Great Point Beach is accessible only by four-wheel drive.
In the historic downtown area, you can easily walk everywhere to the shops, restaurants, and bars. And if walking isn’t your thing, there are more than 25 miles of bike paths around the island. With the island being less than four miles wide and 14 miles long, you really don’t even need a car.
There are a number of ferries to get to and from the island, but The Steamship Authority ferry from Hyannis is the only way to bring a car across the water, although travelers are strongly discouraged from bringing their cars. During the summer, when the population swells from 10,000 to 50,000 people, finding parking can be next to impossible and you’ll need a 4-WD to get to some of the spots on the island anyway, such as Great Point Lighthouse. It’s easier to rent a car once you’re on the island (plus, the ferry fee for cars is pricey) and just stick with the fast ferry.
Rooms and cottages with New England seaside country decor
Each room at The Wauwinet has its own unique touch, but there is a consistent theme throughout: classic New England country decor. Rooms and cottages are outfitted with pine wood, hand-stenciled finishings, floral chintzes and fluffy bedding.
Some of the guest rooms in the main historic building are on the small side, without a lot of room to store belongings. The self-contained cottages are bigger, but the tradeoff is that they don't have water views.
Two beaches -- one bayside, one oceanside -- are spectacular
Guests come to Natucket to get away from it all -- and with a remote location away from downtown, The Wauwinet is about as away from it as you can get. The charming New England property is surrounded by both the bay and the ocean, and some (bayside) guest rooms offer amazing sunsets. One of the island's most loved restaurants is here, which is just another reason the rates are so high -- especially during the peak summer months.