Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Awards

four star hotels nantucket

The White Elephant, White Elephant Village, and The Wauwinet have received the highly-coveted Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star rating, which was announced on February 22, 2017. TOPPER’s has also been recognized as one of the top-rated restaurants. The two properties and restaurant, part of the Nantucket Island Resorts collection, were the only hotels on island to receive this distinction. For the full list of winners, visit http://www.forbestravelguide.com/.

 

Forbes Travel Guide provides the travel industry’s most comprehensive reviews of hotels and restaurants, and has defined the highest standard for excellence in hospitality for more than 50 years. Each property is anonymously tested and rated on an annual basis by Forbes Travel Guide inspectors. There are 800 rigorous standards which each hotels is tested on, ranging from distinctive and memorable dining, luxurious beds, attentive service, impeccable housekeeping, and genuine interest.

wauwinet cottage

“We are honored to have received these coveted awards,” said Khaled Hashem, Managing Director of Nantucket Island Resorts. “Our newest ratings are a continuous testament to our luxurious accommodations and dedicated staff who consistently deliver outstanding guest experiences.”

The White Elephant will re-open this spring on April 13, and the White Elephant Village and The Wauwinet will re-open on April 20.  New this season, guests who book the top accommodation at each property will receive keys to a 2017 BMW vehicle for the duration of their stay.

Most of the vehicles are electric or hybrid models and charging stations are available at the White Elephant Village and The Wauwinet.

Nantucket Island Resorts will also expand their partnership with Priority Bikes by offering complimentary bikes and maps at four of the properties.

nantucket bloody mary

New amenities will include complimentary kids cooking classes and in-room “camping” with teepees at the White Elephant Village and White Elephant. New tiny cocktail tasting menu, featuring a flight of miniature drinks, and build-your-own Retsyo Oyster Bloody Mary Bar will also be offered at TOPPER’S.

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TOPPER’S Travels…

Fruili Region Italy Wineries

One of the things that Nantucket Insiders do best in the off season is travel.
Higor Valle, one of TOPPER’S certified sommeliers, shares with us notes from the road to his latest wine visit to Cantina Jermann, located along the border of Italy and Slovenia.

Cantina Jermann

This winery is often regarded as one of the most important of it locale, largely due to the innovative and passionate approach of its proprietor, Silvio Jermann. His family has been involved in wine-making in the region since 1881, when his great grandfather came over from Slovenia. Cantina Jermann currently holds several Tre Bicchieri Awards (this award is highly coveted, as it singles out a wine as being one of Italy’s best, and a validation of the winemaker’s craftsmanship). Their latest wine to receive this honor was the 2015 Pinot Grigio.

Jermann Vineyard

Higor was hosted by the winery’s Export Manager and her assistant, and greeted with a glass of wine and some small bites of local cheese, prosciutto and polenta- which were wonderful accompaniments to the wines sampled.

Friuli local cheeses

The three top picks for Higor were Vintage Trunia 2014; dry velvety and well balanced, Capo Martino 2012; intense notes of apricot, dried flowers, and honey blossom- great acidity hold it all together in this wine. Capo Martino 2012 also holds some sentimental value to the family as it was produced from the 1991 harvest commemorating the family’s great father Anton who made the journey to the region 110 years earlier. The grapes used are of historic varieties and even the label depicts elements dear to the hearts of agriculturalists; sun, water, grapes, and fish as a symbol of religion.

Cantino Jermann 2014

Higor also enjoyed the Afix Riesling with its brilliant straw color, vibrant acidity and notes of green apple with a touch of residual sugar.

Higor Valle, Toppers Nantucket

A little bit about Higor; though he’s lived in the U.S. for the past ten years, he is orignally from Sao Paulo, Brazil and this will be his second season as a sommelier at TOPPER’S. Since his first summer on Nantucket, nearly five years ago, he’s always had an interest in working at TOPPER’S because of its vast and impressive wine program. In 2017, Higor looks forward to enjoying the beautiful island and of course, opening amazing bottles of wine for the guests!

 

 

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Have You Discovered White Elephant Village?

Opened in 2009 with the White Elephant Residences, White Elephant Village seamlessly combines elevated luxury with the natural beauty of Nantucket’s timeless surroundings. White Elephant Village has recently experienced several additional stages of expansion to include both the Inn and the very new Ballroom & Conference Center.  Nantucket Insider is here to give you a roundup of our favorite features of this unique and luxurious vacation getaway.



The Location

White Elephant Village is nestled in the heart of Nantucket town, seamlessly blending into the quiet residential neighborhood landscape between North Beach Street and South Water Street. Think small-town charm with world-class sophistication – and all just steps from Children’s Beach, Main Street and White Elephant Village’s iconic sister hotel, White Elephant.

The Accommodations
Outfitted with luxury accommodations to suit a variety of Nantucket vacationers, White Elephant Village offers inviting accommodations and first-class amenities in a beautiful resort setting. The Inn at White Elephant Village offers deluxe rooms and suites, while the Residences provide ideal lodging for small groups or families here to enjoy the island with spacious one-, two-, or three-bedroom residence-style accommodations. Each Residence features its own unique floor plan, and is styled with custom furniture, wool rugs, and hand selected artwork-all inspired by the natural beauty of the island. Accommodations at White Elephant Village; whether a deluxe guest room or a three-bedroom Residence are available for reservations ranging from one night to several weeks.

 

White Elephant Village Ice Cream Cart

The Amenities
Experience the best in Nantucket services and amenities at White Elephant Village. Explore Nantucket on one of the complimentary bicycles, or take a courtesy car into town. A very private heated outdoor pool and cabana area mean relaxation and recreation are never out of reach. Guests of White Elephant Village also enjoy exclusive access to a wide variety of complimentary perks, including morning coffee, afternoon port and cheese, and all-day snacks. For guests reserved in a three-bedroom Residence or the exclusive Penthouse Suite, a complimentary BMW is at their fingertips for exploring the island during their stay.

The Ballroom & Conference Center
Just in 2016, White Elephant Village introduced its Ballroom & Conference Center, a stunning space for meetings and events both large and small. The Ballroom & Conference Center is comprised of a spacious ballroom for events up to 200 and a sleek executive boardroom for meetings up to 20. Classic island tones of sand and sea, coffered ceilings, oak floors and chic and elegant lighting provide the perfect backdrop for Nantucket celebrations and events.

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New Things to Look Forward to in 2017…

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1. Hot Dates, Cool Rates 2017…
Get a jump start on planning your favorite time of year- summer on Nantucket! Nantucket Island Resorts’ Hot Dates Cool Rates guarantee the lowest rates of the season at all five hotels. And Nantucket Insiders know to get those reservations booked early for the dates you want and your favorite room!
Spring rates start as low as $195 per night.

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2. Mini Mixers and Makers…
White Elephant and White Elephant Village are known for their incredible kid friendly amenities and Nantucket is known for its delicious cuisine, so White Elephant’s new  mini- chef program is a perfect activity for Nantucket’s youngest foodies. Little guests of the hotel and the Village will have the opportunity to don aprons, sprinkle and stir with our professionals at Brant Point Grill this summer. Stay tuned for more info on this adorable activity here on Nantucket Insider.

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3.  The Keys to Your Own BMW…
Now in its fifth year, White Elephant and White Elephant Village‘s amazing partnership with BMW continues to offer a very special guest drive amenity –  your own exclusive BMW vehicle for the duration of your stay. 2017 models include the sporty XDrive40e, a 650i xDrive Convertible, and a i3 REX.
These vehicles are available for select accommodations. Click here for more details.

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4. Raising the Bar at TOPPER’S…
TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet has long been a favorite spot for sipping sundowner cocktails on the hotel’s lush lawn overlooking the bay. Now there will be a few new reasons to enjoy a toast at TOPPER’S. The elegant Saturday and Sunday brunch service will  feature a Bloody Mary bar, complete with delicious fixings for creating your own personalized brunch beverage, and maybe a baker’s dozen of local Retsyo Oysters to go with it.
While TOPPER’S cocktail menu may has many tempting creations to choose from, the 2017 menu is set to include a few mini versions of cocktails highlighting local Triple Eight vodka, so you can sample more than one (or two!).

nantucket kids hotels

5. Join the Crew at Nantucket Boat Basin…
Nantucket Boat Basin really caters to boaters’ children with fun amenities and friendly staffers often armed with little surprises to hand out to mini mariners along the docks. For 2017 look for a few enhancements to the Boat Basin’s kid friendly offerings, like an interactive calendar loaded with events and Nantucket happenings for children and families, scavenger hunt prizes like tokens for free ice cream cones at nearby Stars Ice Cream. And don’t forgot to check in with the Boat Basin concierge office to borrow fishing gear for the Boat Basin’s ‘Rock the Dock Scup Cup’!

WAU distance exterior

6. Summer on Nantucket for More Nights, Less Money…
Who doesn’t want to spend at least three nights on Nantucket this summer? Get the best rates for any three consecutive night stay at Jared Coffin House, White Elephant, White Elephant Village or The Wauwinet by booking dates included in Nantucket Island Resorts “Summer for Less” promotion. To learn more click here.

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Annual Nantucket Island Resorts Kids’ Party

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Each year around the holidays, Nantucket Island Resorts hosts a fun filled fest for their employees’ children at Brant Point Grill. Human Resources Director, Sally Remick has long been the company’s go-to party planner for this event-and several other employee events throughout the year! Nantucket Insider caught up with Sally to find out what goes into making an amazing kids party.

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She’s definitely not new at this, as a mom of two children one can assume Sally’s had her share of organizing birthday parties and other activities for her own family, but she’s also been at the helm of ten company kids’ parties- and counting! There are about 25 to 3o children at these events, so a fair amount of prep work goes into the party.

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Each year’s party features a different theme which requires some planning and ‘research’, as Sally puts it; “I love having new themes every year to brainstorm and come up with a great WOW factor for the kids!”

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The planning starts at least six weeks out from the date of the event. But all of the decorating in the Brant Point Grill takes place one day ahead of the event, with the help of many other Nantucket Island Resorts team members.

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This year’s theme for the kids party featured “Kung Fu Panda”, which incorporated lots of Chinese decorative elements, like parasols, bamboo accents, dragon decals, and plenty of adorable “Po” stuffed pandas atop the tables.

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Activities and entertainment were in strong supply with a bouncy house, face painting, arts and crafts tables, and Nantucket’s party-essential Bobby Lamb of Last Minute Productions on hand for balloon twisting!

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Parties like this are a wonderful opportunity for co workers to get together before holiday vacations and watch the little ones have such a great time!

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 *All photos were taken by Lisa Getter of Nantucket Event Media

 

 

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Christmas Stroll Recap from Jared Coffin House

nantucket christmas carolers

Nantucket has been recovering this week from a very busy and very successful annual Christmas Stroll weekend. With Jared Coffin House‘s prime location at the top of Centre and Broad Streets, the energy was fun and festive all weekend long!

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With its nostalgic, old New England charm, the hotel has been a long time fan favorite for Nantucket Christmas Stroll– all 43 rooms nearly sold out by the end of October for this highly anticipated holiday celebration.

nantucket santa

For the past several years, an added element of holiday spirit is the official stroll visit of Santa Claus. Santa himself arrived at Jared Coffin House this year aboard a vintage style fire truck following his Coast Guard vessel’s docking at Straight Wharf and a cheerful journey up the cobblestones of Main Street.

santa

Jared Coffin House General Manager Michael Sharlet reported that an estimated 200+ children waited in line at the hotel to meet Santa and have a photo taken by Nantucket photographer Ron Lynch. An added bonus for the kids this year was sent by Nantucket’s favorite storybook character, Barnaby Bear. Barnaby provided adorable canvas gift bags with crayons and a Barnaby Bear coloring book (all images hand drawn by author and illustrator,Wendy Rouillard).

nantucket christmas elves

To relieve any fatigue of waiting in line to see Santa Claus, a few holiday elves were on hand, passing out hot cocoa!

 

 

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Late Fall Nantucket Weekends

nantucket bogs

One of our own Nantucket Insiders, Christina Hall, has the enviable job of showing some of Nantucket’s visitors- namely those in the media and tourism industry- the best the island has to offer. This would seem an easy task in the summer and even early fall, but as the season progresses towards less beach and boating weather, it takes a bit more effort to pack a weekend itinerary with enough activity to keep world-class travelers entertained. Thankfully, Christina rises to the challenge,  and she has shared with us a sampling of some of her favorite stops along the way to a late fall weekend on Nantucket.

nantucket harbor in fall

Where to stay: Choose your hotel stay based on the kind of Nantucket experience you’re looking for. If you seek a location in easy walking distance to Nantucket’s center, with shops and dining just steps away, White Elephant, White Elephant Village, or Jared Coffin House are fantastic options and all are open (though some are at reduced schedules) throughout the fall.

nantucket suite

For more of an experience that lets you feel away from it all, The Wauwinet’s unique location, at about nine miles from town, will set you at ease. For added privacy and quiet, try to book a cottage (as pictured below), situated just across the drive from The Wauwinet’s main building. The hotel is open through the last weekend in October.

wauwinet cottage

Step Oustide: Regardless of season, Nantucket visitors should always embrace the outdoors. There’s so much spectacular scenery to take in if you come out in the fall. 

If you opt for an in-town hotel stay, take advantage of strolling the charming streets of Nantucket town in the morning. Don’t miss a walk along the docks of Straight Wharf and Old South Wharf, dotted with iconic Nantucket shingle cottages perched along the wharves.

walking tour nantucket

To make the most of walking the streets of town sign up for  a guided downtown walking tour with Nantucket Historical Association. The tour is 90 minutes and covers the people, places, and events that transformed Nantucket from a remote island outpost, to the whaling capital of the world, to a resort destination of international acclaim.  Tickets are available at the Whaling Museum on Broad Street.

nantucket beer

Rain, or shine, a trip to Cisco Brewers is a must for Nantucket visitors; it’s such an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. And if the weather is mild enough, biking is a great way to get there from town! Packing a lunch to enjoy at one of the picnic tables on site is ideal and several cafes like Lemon Press, The Corner Table, or even Brant Point Grill, offer wholesome and delicious food to go.

Dining: While it’s true that some of Nantucket’s eateries do shutter after Columbus Day Weekend, on an island as food-centric as Nantucket, there are still plenty of dining options in late fall. A few fall favorites include, Brant Point Grill, TOPPER’S (open through October 29), and Ventuno on Federal Street for a cozy ambiance and relaxed Italian fare.

brant point grill nantucket dining

Shopping: The island has long been known for its unique shops with hardly a chain store establishment in sight along the streets of town. And a Nantucket insiders know that another great perk to visiting Nantucket later in the fall (or even in winter), are the sometimes steep discounts on merchandise once the busier end of the retail season is past.

nantucket shopping

 

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TOPPER’S 2016 Spooky Season Finale

Krug Nantucket

For their last dinner service of the 2016 season, TOPPER’S pops the cork on a special and spooky evening with the second annual “Trick-Or-Treat Dinner”.

toppers dining room october

The dining room at TOPPER’S was completely sold out to a combination of house guests staying at the hotel, and guests who came out for dinner only. As the hotel and the restaurant are closed as of October 30 until April 20, 2017; this was the last chance until spring to enjoy the cozy, yet elegant ambiance of TOPPER’S Dining Room and the exceptional cuisine prepared by Chef Kyle Zachary , with favorites like Lobster Pasta and Tarte Flambe on the menu.

lobster pasta

Dinner guests were treated to discounts of 30, 40, or even 50%, determined by picking a ticket from TOPPER’S Magic Cauldron. From TOPPER’S renown wine cellar, all Peter Michael wine was enjoyed at discounts of 25%.

With end of The Wauwinet’s season typically falling on or around Halloween, and the popularity of the Trick or Treat Dinner, this is a tradition that is sure to continue.

fall at wauwinet

 

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Yoga for PASCON at White Elephant Village

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In recognition of breast cancer awareness this month, and in support of PASCON Nantucket, White Elephant Village‘s new ballroom was the venue for a morning yoga session with Nantucket yoga instructor and breast cancer survivor, Caitlin Marcoux.

caitlin marcoux yoga nantucket

During a recent event at the new Ballroom & Conference Center, Marcoux connected with Nantucket Island Resorts Business Development Manager, Christina Hall to inquire about uses of the new space in relation to her course, “Grace + Fire”, which teaches mindfulness through yoga to navigate cancer treatment . With White Elephant’s long time support of local cancer care charities, it seemed a perfect tie in to work with Caitlin on an event for the hotel’s annual October breast cancer awareness initiative.

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The class was filled with members of the local community to practice yoga and to support PASCON (Palliative & Supportive Care of Nantucket), a specialized health care program dedicated to providing excellent physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care for persons with life-threatening illness and their families.

Palliative & Supportive Care of Nantucket Foundation is dedicated to funding all of PASCON’s programs and services so that they may be provided free to the community without insurance reimbursement and to educating the community and raising awareness about palliative and supportive care issues.

 

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Fall Back in Time on Nantucket

nantucket pumpkins
With bountiful pumpkin displays and fall temperatures just starting to take a dip later in October, it’s a great time to experience Nantucket’s quieter side, especially if you’re a history buff.

Just steps from Jared Coffin House, Nantucket Historical Association’s Whaling Museum is always a must see sight on any Nantucket visit, but the organization has several other fun and fascinating events to check out in the later part of fall.

moby dick nantucket

If you’re a fan of Moby-Dick, (and really, is there a Nantucket Insider who isn’t?!), be sure to mark at least two upcoming NHA events on your calendar. As part the NHA’s popular ‘Food for Thought’ lecture series, writer Christine Harding shares her limericks inspired by the great American novel, accompanied by Susan Boardman‘s exquisite embroidered narratives, which are based on the story. This event takes place on October 20 from 12-1pm at the Whaling Museum and is free to the public.

moby dick embroidered narrative

From October 21-23, the NHA will host a Moby-Dick Reading Marathon, which will take place over the span of three days, with a break each evening. Approximately ninety participants will take turns reading aloud all 135 chapters plus the epilogue from Herman Melville’s classic American novel, Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale.

nantucket library

The reading will begin at the Atheneum at 1 India Street on Friday, October 21, 2016 at Noon and move to the Whaling Museum at 13 Broad Street at 6 P.M. on that same evening, concluding at 10 P.M. It will reconvene at the Atheneum on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 10 A.M. and last until 9 P.M. that day. The final day of the reading will take place on Sunday, October 23, 2016 from 10 A.M. to approximately 2 P.M.

nantucket ghost story

Nantucket Insiders know Halloween on Nantucket is a special highlight of the fall season. To celebrate Halloween, NHA in partnership with Theatre Workshop of Nantucket (TWN) presents a night of themed storytelling by costumed actors with the evocative Old Gaol property as the backdrop. This event will be held on Wednesday, October 26 at 6pm at 15R Vestal Street.

The Old Gaol (old English, pronounced “jail”), an iconic historic landmark, is one of the oldest extant jails in America, and the oldest remaining intact jailhouse on Nantucket. Beginning in 1676, several Nantucket locations were used to hold miscreants, but in 1768, in response to Nantucket’s emerging status as an international seaport, which brought with it an increase in the number of transients, a dedicated structure went up on High Street.

“In the crisp fall air, these ghostly tales take hold of the Old Goal as the NHA and TWN collaborate a night of Halloween magic, says Justin Cerne, TWN Artistic Director. “This is another fantastic moment when two wonderful organizations come together to bring a fun night of spookiness to the Nantucket community!”

Admission to this program is $5 per person.

For more information, about the programs and events at the Nantucket Historical Association, please visit www.nha.org or call 508-228-1894.

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