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Harbor view from the White Elephant hotel in Nantucket, Massachusetts
White Elephant

SmarterTravel Spotlight: White Elephant, Nantucket

The stately White Elephant has been a fixture of the Nantucket scene since it was opened by a local socialite in the 1920s. The property recently celebrated its 100th birthday with a complete renovation and restoration and has since emerged with a fresh, modern feel befitting the location. 

The refresh upgraded the hotel’s rooms and common spaces with Nantucket-specific elements—like ceilings painted the same hue the island’s skies turn in the summer and grasscloth wallcoverings inspired by local dune grasses. The effect is luxury without stuffiness—as evidenced by the whimsical touches throughout the rooms like elephant door pulls and pillows. 

The Location

White Elephant hotel and adjacent harbor full of boat on Nantucket, Massachusetts
White Elephant Nantucket

On an island where bringing a vehicle over can be prohibitively expensive, location is key, and the White Elephant occupies one of the best spots on Nantucket. The prime location on Nantucket Harbor puts guests within easy walking distance to ferries to the mainland and just a few blocks from the cobblestone streets, boutique shops, and restaurants of downtown. 

No island vacation is complete without a trip to the beach. Fortunately, Children’s Beach, a calm sandy area with a playground, is right beside the hotel, making it a great spot for families. 

Jetties Beach, one of the most popular beaches on the island, is an easy one-mile bike ride from the property.

Amenities

People riding bikes that they rented from White Elephant Nantucket
White Elephant Nantucket

The resort makes it easy for guests to get out and explore Nantucket, offering free Priority bicycles, complimentary Wave public transportation passes, and an in-town courtesy vehicle service that will drive guests anywhere they need to go. Guests can also enter a twice-daily raffle to win a loaner BMW that they can borrow for up to four hours.

A heated pool is open on-property from late May to September, perfect for those who don’t want to brave the chilly Atlantic waters.

In the morning, complimentary coffee, tea, and pastries are offered for guests looking for a pre-breakfast bite. In the afternoon, a daily port and cheese hour provides a chance to mingle and unwind before dinner.

If you need to work off all that free food, the White Elephant’s two fitness centers are open 24 hours a day and are thoughtfully stocked with earphones, chilled towels, and hydration drinks.

The White Elephant caters to families with a variety of kid-friendly amenities including:

  • Beach toys
  • Cribs and Pack ‘n Plays
  • Radio Flyer Wagons
  • Strollers
  • Check-in gifts for kids
  • Nantucket kids’ adventure guide

The Rooms

A cozy green guest room at White Elephant hotel on Nantucket, Massachusetts
White Elephant Nantucket

The sprawling property is broken down into five different accommodation options

Residences

Designed to feel like a private vacation home (but with all the amenities of a resort) the Residences offer one, two, or three-bedroom rentals, all with kitchens and living rooms.

Inn

The cozy Inn features standard guestrooms and suites in a building two blocks from the main hotel.

Harborside Hotel

The newly renovated Harborside Hotel features 54 guestrooms and suites, some with fireplaces and harbor views.

Downtown Lofts

Feel like you have your own pied-à-terre on Nantucket with the White Elephant’s Downtown Lofts. These two spacious house rentals are perfect for groups or family getaways and include access to all the amenities of the main resort. 

Dining

Outdoor patio dining area at Brant Point Grill at White Elephant hotel on Nantucket, Massachusetts
White Elephant Nantucket

With a picturesque location overlooking Nantucket Harbor, White Elephant’s main restaurant, Brant Point Grill, is the place to go any time of day or night. The breakfast menu offers options from the healthy (a fresh fruit plate with mint syrup)  to the indulgent (a brioche french toast served with whipped mascarpone that you can pair with the restaurant’s signature Lobster Bloody Mary). 

At dinner, locally sourced ingredients, like baby heirloom tomatoes from nearby Bartlett’s Farms, highlight the ever-changing seasonal menu, especially when accompanied by a bottle of wine from the restaurant’s extensive cellar. 

For a change of scenery, guests can take the Wauwinet Lady boat to the White Elephant’s sister property, the Wauwinet, for lunch or dinner at the AAA Five-Diamond restaurant, Topper’s. 

For something more casual, a poolside snack bar serves up light bites, ice cream, and smoothies. 

Price and How to Book

Room rates start at approximately $350 and can be booked on SmarterTravel Hotels. The White Elephant is open seasonally from April through the end of October, reopening for Thanksgiving through the first weekend in December,  

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