The 5 Best Hotels In Nantucket 2023

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Kim Peiffer, Forbes Staff

Forbes Vetted

A charming island off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is one of the most quintessential vacation spots to visit on the East Coast. From its idyllic charm (think cobblestone streets, hydrangea-covered entrances, perfectly-manicured yards and grey cedar shake-sided homes) to its bustling summer vacation scene, the island—once a whaling town back in the nineteenth century—has become a sought after spot to visit for travelers around the world, from Boston-area weekenders to international jet setters alike.

In this quaint town, the island’s rich history is blended with modern charm, as amplified by the charismatic hotel scene that has been established. Smaller, more intimate properties rule here, some which offer direct ocean access and others that offer desirable walking distance to Main Street and many of the island’s downtown bars, restaurants and shops. Below, we’ve rounded up the best places to stay in Nantucket in 2023 for soaking up all the charm this island has to offer.

Best Luxury Hotel In Nantucket: Wauwinet

The Wauwinet

Who Will Love It: Luxury seekers; high rollers; couples looking for a romantic summer getaway

All-Star Amenities: 400-thread-count fine Italian linens

What Not To Miss: A lobster expedition on The Wauwinet Lady; locally harvested oysters at Toppers

Location: Wauwinet

As the island’s only Relais and Châteaux property, you can rest assured that a weekend getaway at The Wauwinet will be a luxurious experience every step of the way. The oceanfront property is one-of-a-kind, from its picturesque beachfront access on the shores of Nantucket Bay to its unique location away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nantucket, ensuring relaxation and privacy will ensue. The historic inn features 32 luxury guest rooms and suites, including four unique cottages just steps from the main hotel, perfect for friends or families.

Dinner on the patio at acclaimed restaurant Toppers is a must; watch the sun sink into the ocean as you nosh on locally sourced modern coastal cuisine from one of the best restaurants on the island. Oysters on the half shell are harvested just 300 yards away from the kitchen, while the property’s impressive cellar selection boasts over 1,550 wines and rare vintages. Another added bonus: a day on the bay aboard the Wauwinet Lady, a 20 passenger boat that will take you on a lovely sunset cruise.

Best Hotel For Families In Nantucket: White Elephant

White Elephant

Who Will Love It: Families; friend groups; wedding parties

All-Star Amenities: Ocean-inspired treatments at White Elephant’s Darya Spa; harborside suites with fireplaces and private decks

What Not To Miss: Sunset cocktails at Brant Point Grill; Lobster Bloody Marys on the harborside lawn

Location: Nantucket Downtown Historic District

This family-friendly property continues to be one of the most iconic places to stay on Nantucket, whether you’re coming with family or hosting a larger group of adults (weddings there are truly epic). This year, to tie into White Elephant’s 100th anniversary, the resort unveiled a multi-million dollar restoration and renovation to its 54-rooms and suites, alongside its 11 cottages. Coastal chic is the name of the game here, with many of the cozy rooms harborfront rooms featuring fireplaces and private decks with views of the resort’s legendary perfectly manicured lawn.

The fare definitely doesn’t disappoint either—Brant Point Grill is an island favorite, featuring locally sourced seafood, steaks and other specialties, including the famous Lobster Bloody Mary. Another can’t miss moment of indulgence is Sunday brunch. If rejuvenation is on the agenda, pay a visit to the Darya Spa for a signature ocean-inspired treatment, and emerge feeling like you’re truly on vacation.

Best Hotel In Downtown Nantucket: Faraway Nantucket

Faraway Nantucket

Who Will Love It: Those who prefer to be right downtown in the middle of the action

All-Star Amenities: Complimentary beach cruisers; Bellino Italian linens; Byredo bath amenities

What Not To Miss: Coffee and a croissant in the flower and ivy-draped courtyard; a stay in the Federal suite; Caviar and crab toast at on-site restaurant Sister Ship

Location: Nantucket Downtown Historic District

Location, location, location: It’s hard to beat the GPS coordinates of Faraway, one of the newer kids on the block to Nantucket’s existing hotel scene. Comprised of six buildings of various styles all tied together with a beautiful ivy-draped courtyard bow, Faraway has become a sought after hotel destination, just steps from shops, restaurants, ferries and more. For groups or families, book the historical Federal Suite, an entire single-family home which sleeps up to six and spans over 1,700 square feet.

Regardless of the accommodation type, a stay at Faraway will put you right in the center of it all. Carve out some time to buzz around town in the hotel’s complimentary beach cruisers. When you get back, kick back on the patio and have a cocktail (the people watching will be divine). Then, settle in for a lovely dinner at on-site restaurant Sister Ship, serving up Mediterranean fare locally sourced from New England.

Best Boutique Hotel In Nantucket: Greydon House

Greydon House

Who Will Love It: Bibliophiles; antiquarians; design lovers

All-Star Amenities: Fully stocked beach bags to use during your stay; Aesop bath amenities; in-room Bose speakers

What Not To Miss: An afternoon spent reading in the library; dinner at Via Mare

Location: Nantucket Downtown Historic District

Originally a sea captain’s home back in the 1850’s, Greydon House underwent an immaculate restoration to morph itself into the upscale Bohemian 20-room boutique hotel that it is today. Riddled with antique furnishings and historic pieces from the island’s rich whaling heritage, this luxurious inn marries charm and classic island style with a window into the past. No room is furnished the same, but all rooms offer quiet, classic charm and upscale amenities that welcome a relaxing experience. If you do choose to leave your room, don’t miss a trip to the library downstairs, where its easy to get lost in your favorite book for hours on a rainy Nantucket afternoon.

Although the boutique location is ideal, just steps from all the hustle and bustle of downtown dining, you may not even want to leave when hunger strikes. In-house restaurant Via Mare, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Marcus Gleadow-Ware, offers impeccable Venetian cuisine in a lively setting. On a perfect summer evening, opt for dinner outside on the open-air terrace for excellent people watching.

Best Hotel For Urban Travelers In Nantucket: 21 Broad

21 Broad

Who Will Love It: Urbanites; modernists; millennials

All-Star Amenities: Super soft bed linens; waffle Kimono robes; designer guest lounge

What Not To Miss: Cocktails on the back deck with surrounding fire pit; homemade scones at breakfast

Location: Nantucket Downtown Historic District

A good night’s rest is key at 21 Broad, where the 27 modernly-designed rooms are decked out with incredibly soft sheets, blackout shades and noise machines to insure a restful night’s sleep. Just blocks from the ferry terminal, this buzzy property always has something going on, from get-togethers in the designer guest lounge to lively cocktails on the back patio in front of that coveted fireplace.

After a full eight hours of rest (or more—you’re on vacation, after all), schlep downstairs for a glorious breakfast feast, featuring homemade scones and pastries, house-made jams, overnight oats and locally roasted coffee. For dinner that night, slip across the street to Dune for a Nantucket summer evening to remember (complete with the easiest walk home ever).

About Kim Peiffer, Your Nantucket Guide

I have been covering travel for nearly two decades, from reviewing luxury hotels to visiting off-the-beaten path locations throughout the world. I’m always in search of a new ski town, a remote beach and a stellar cocktail (and the perfect spot to sip said cocktail, of course). I’m also always down for adventure on a vacation, whether its doing aerial acrobatics in a fighter jet over the desert or heli-skiing down a glacier in Italy. Nantucket is one of my favorite places to visit—one that I find myself returning to again and again, and I’ve personally visited every hotel on this list. As Forbes Vetted’s Executive Editor, I oversee our travel and hotel coverage. I’ve also written for Vogue, Robb Report, Travel + Leisure, InStyle, GQ, DuJour, Glamour, Oprah and many others. Follow my adventures on Instagram: @peifferk1