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Nantucket Hotels

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Cliffside Beach Club
46 Jefferson Avenue
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 508 228 0618
ackbeach@aol.com
www.cliffsidebeach.com

The Cliffside's big draw is its right-on-the-sand location, just west of Jetties Beach a mile from town: You can walk out of your room or suite (there are 26 total) and a minute later be in the water. A private club since 1949, the Cliffside owns its stretch of shore and has a healthy respect for its history. The beach pavilion and a set of wooden changing rooms have been there since 1904, and some of the interiors (especially in the 10 Gold Coast rooms and the beach cottage) have a vintage feel, with patchwork quilts and antique wood or wicker furniture. There's a 3,000-square-foot exercise room, hydrotherapy spa, and a guests-only bar and café. The outdoor pool complex is great for lap-swimming, but otherwise superfluous, since the waves beckon just outside. Although certain rooms are designated adults-only, the hotel is very family-friendly; you'll see more than a few tykes making sand castles or napping under the trademark yellow, blue, or green beach umbrellas.

Open mid-May through mid-October.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin
24 Old South Wharf
Nantucket , Massachusetts
Tel: 866 838 9253 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 325 1499
www.thecottagesnantucket.com

With downtown Nantucket and the Boat Basin within walking distance, this property provides "the best of the island," reflected in the perfect location score. Harborfront-facing cottages—with full kitchens, polished pine floors, slate bathrooms, and dormer windows—overlook the docks, "hearing the water softly lapping against the pylons, seeing boats bobbing around, it just felt so appropriate." There is no restaurant on-site, but meals are available in town, or at sister hotel, the White Elephant.

(24 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Jared Coffin House
29 Broad Street
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 800 248 2405 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 228 2400
Fax: 508 228 8549
www.jaredcoffinhouse.com

Built by a wealthy ship owner in 1845, this elegant property in the middle of town is an island icon and one of the few Nantucket hotels open year-round. The main house (a mansion, really) is a good example of the island's Federal-style architecture, and the main floor still looks and feels as if a 19th-century sea captain lives upstairs. There are 43 units in the main house and 13—the only ones with air-conditioning—in the adjacent Daniel Webster House. Room sizes and rates range widely; a few singles go for $155 a night, a steal during high season (although they really are singles—even svelte couples will find them cramped). Avoid front-facing rooms, which are subject to street noise. The place feels slightly grandmotherly, with a mix of antique and reproduction furniture, and worn flowery fabrics. At Harbor Wok, the island's only Chinese restaurant, General Gau meets Captain Coffin. But if you didn't come to Nantucket for the crispy spicy beef, or even lobster Cantonese, take advantage of the 15 percent discount at the White Elephant's Brant Point Grill (breakfast, lunch, and Sunday brunch only). The bar, the Tap Room, remains closed.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Union Street Inn
7 Union Street
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 800 225 5116 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 228 9222
info@unioninn.com
www.unioninn.com

This mint 1770 house in central Nantucket Town has more style than most—not a surprise, given the pedigrees of proprietors Ken (ex-general manager of the Royalton in New York City) and Deborah (a display manager at Henri Bendel) Withrow. They've decorated the 12 rooms in impeccable New England-by-way-of-France style—Pierre Deux wallpaper, Frette linens, high-poster beds, polished original wide-plank floorboards, Matouk robes, and a few non-fusty antiques. All were renovated and redecorated in 2000; six have working wood-burning fireplaces. Guests often return year after year, partly because the day starts with breakfast on the patio (try the challah-bread French toast with fresh berries), the staff sets out just-baked cookies every afternoon, and the concierge is able to score hard-to-get dinner reservations.

Open late March through mid-November.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Vanessa Noel Hotel and Vanessa Noel Hotel Green
5 Chestnut Street
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 508 228 5300
Fax: 508 228 8995
vnh@vanessanoel.com
www.vanessanoelhotel.com

Vanessa Noel's eight-room boutique hotel looks traditional from the outside—it's set above her chichi women's shoe store in an 1847 gray-shingled building. But it's the antithesis of Nantucket's preppy, old-guard aesthetic. Not only is the decor minimalist in the public spaces and the eight tiny but trendy rooms; it's also luxury-brand fabulous. There are Armani Casa night tables, Philippe Starck fixtures, Bulgari toiletries, and 300-count custom-made Frette linens (the beds have nine—yes, nine—pillows apiece). On the first floor, mod Café V serves three meals a day, and the lobby sports a 1930s Baccarat chandelier (as well as the 1847 building's original pine-plank floors). An eco-friendly sister property, Hotel Green is housed in an adjacent historic building. Here, the nine guest rooms sport furnishings made from recycled cardboard and glass and organic cotton bedding, and hemp towels and Ayurvedic bath products outfit the bathrooms (www.vanessanoelhotelgreen.com).

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Veranda House
3 Step Lane
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 877 228 0695 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 228 0695
reserve@theverandahouse.com
www.theverandahouse.com

This 17th-century house, now owned by a young couple, has hosted guests since 1881 (members of the Coffin family, one of the first clans to settle the island, stayed here for a reunion). Completely redecorated for the summer 2008 season by Boston interior designer Rachel Reider, the rooms are white on white, accented by handblown Simon Pearce lamps, Frette linens, four-poster feather beds, and Italian tile. The renovation also increased the number of rooms from 16 to 18, including four one-bedroom suites, two of which have private access to those namesake wraparound verandas. (Room 23 has the best harbor view, but if it's booked, ask for room 11 or, for that matter, any room facing the water.) A breakfast room opens onto a patio high above the private yard where wine-and-cheese receptions are held for guests on Wednesday and Saturday evenings; continental breakfast, including Green Mountain coffee and wild Maine blueberry muffins, and daily afternoon tea are also included. Everything here is as charming as you'd expect from a Nantucket hotel, and the friendly staff stands at the ready to make your stay perfect: If you're not into schlepping your gear to the water, the "beach concierge" will arrange for chairs, umbrellas, picnic lunches, and a taxi.

Closed mid-October through mid-May.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Wauwinet
120 Wauwinet Road
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 800 426 8718 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 228 0145
email@wauwinet.com
www.wauwinet.com

When you want to truly get away from it all, the Wauwinet—on the island's northeast tip, half an island's distance from the bustle of town and surrounded by 26 miles of beaches—is the place to be. For every guest, there are two staffers who pride themselves on remembering your name and keep quite busy bringing extra towels, plopping more ice in G&Ts, planning nature tours to nearby wilderness preserves, and arranging water taxis to a private beach. The 28 rooms and six cottages have a tasteful country look—floral prints, Pratesi linens, lots of wicker and pine. (Room 105 is the biggest, although room 302, with its wall of windows overlooking the bay, is the best; most first-floor rooms have private decks.) As at many Nantucket hotels, some rooms are surprisingly small. Luckily, the center of life here is the rolling main lawn set with comfortable cushioned wicker chaises and the cell phone–free sand beach just beyond. The day starts with breakfast at Topper's restaurant (try the lobster frittata and just-made apricot biscuits); the Spa by the Sea's menu includes locally inspired treatments such as a cranberry-crush body scrub, and a caviar facial.

Open early May through late October.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
White Elephant
50 Easton Street
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 800 445 6574 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 228 2500
Fax: 508 325 1195
www.whiteelephanthotel.com

As with its spiffy sibling the Wauwinet, the air at this 1920s harborside resort (the island's biggest and the best upscale choice in Nantucket Town) is rarified, and so are the prices. The waterfront lawn leads down to private docks, where seasonal renters park their Hinckleys and Herreshoffs and pop ashore for lunch. All 53 rooms, many with working fireplaces and water views (generally of the harbor where the ferries dock), are decked out in red- or blue-checked fabrics and handsome pine furniture. The 11 two-bedroom garden cottages have no views, but compensate with family-friendly touches: two bathrooms apiece, kitchenettes, pull-out sofas, and (in some) washer-dryers. There's also a two-story "loft" a few blocks away in the shopping district, with three bedrooms, four baths, and a full kitchen—concierge, housekeeping, and chef services are available upon request. Hotel guests without such advantages can eat waterside at the renovated Brant Point Grill, which has an expanded outdoor bar and nightly cabaret-style entertainment until 10:15 p.m. (in deference to guests whose rooms are nearby). Another restaurant is scheduled to open in 2009. A spa, opened in 2007, embraces its waterside location with sea facials and seaweed body revitalizations; daily port-and-cheese receptions take place in the comfy library; and if Saturday night on the island leaves you feeling a bit rough, there's a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar at Sunday brunch.

Open late April through early December.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.