With Massachusetts entering phase two earlier this month, hotels and short term stays are now allowed on Nantucket. While the island might not feel quite like it did pre-COVID, signs of summer are starting to show. To start, one of the hospitality icons of Nantucket, The While Elephant,—which has accommodations ranging from cottages to lofts to multi-bedroom residences—opened on June 17th. Bettina Landt, the property's general manager, spoke with T&C about what extra health precautions the hospitality brand is taking and how to spend the perfect day (socially distant) day on Nantucket.
What do you consider the best room at The White Elephant? Why?
Guests especially love the three-bedroom residences, which allows families and groups traveling together to feel at home, while enjoying the luxury of being on vacation. Each accommodation offers an apartment-like feel with living and dining space as well as kitchenette. There’s a full size fridge and we can stock up on all of the guest’s favorites before they arrive. Guests also love the in-unit washer and dryer. The residence comes with keys to a BMW for the duration of their stay. We’re also one of the few in-town hotels to offer a swimming pool, as well as being walking distance to many nearby beaches and Brant Point Lighthouse.
What does it cost per night?
The starting rate is $2995 per night.
Something that is top of mind for travelers these day--what extra healthy and safety precautions is the hotel taking right now?
We have been working behind the scenes for more than three months to ensure our procedures continue to reflect and exceed The Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols. We are using hospital-grade cleaning products to sanitize high-touch points frequently. Vehicles, beach toys and pool chairs will also be deep cleaned between each guest use. We removed all print materials from the rooms and introduced new technology such as in-room QR codes allowing guests to order room service from their phone. We are fortunate to have access to a significant amount of outdoor space for dining and lounging, and look forward to taking advantage of that again this season.
The White Elephant is made up of so many parts—the residences, the htoel, the cottages—where would you suggest families stay? And what about couples looking for a romantic getaway?
The Residences are perfect for families. The units range from one-to three-bedroom. Young kids will appreciate the small beach and playground across the street, and since the hotel is steps from town, teens will enjoy their independence. Jetties Beach is nearby and offers gentle surf and is also a great place to spend a day in the sun. The White Elephant provides all the necessities like beach toys, cribs, and strollers. The Hotel is great option for couples. The lawn is a nice to take in sun with a glass of rose. We’re also known for our Lobster Bloody Mary, which includes a quarter pound of lobster.
How would you describe the vibe at The White Elephant?
Calm, peaceful, and a place rooted in tradition—some families have been visiting for generations.
How would you spend a perfect day on Nantucket?
I'd start with breakfast overlooking harbor, followed by a bike ride on one of our many bike paths. Then a beach or yachting excursion on one of our Barton & Gray Hinckley boats is also hugely popular. The Critter Cruise, which brings kids up close to sea life, is great for families. The Endeavor–a three-masted ship is another great on-the-water option. The Juice Bar for ice cream is also a must—they have more than 30 flavors that are all made in-house. History buffs should visit the Whaling Museum. It’s the backbone of our island. Or take part in one of the Nantucket Historical Association’s walking tours. There’s more than 800 pre-civil war homes on island that can be explored. During the warmer months, we offer a complimentary boat ride across the harbor from White Elephant to The Wauwinet for lunch or dinner service at TOPPER’s. The northeast end of the island is one of the best spots to also catch the sunset.
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