All in all, The Wauwinet is made up of a main housewith several levels of rooms (some with private patios), a library/sitting room, reception and TOPPER'S restaurant, the latter making a mean lobster roll. This building, with its traditional Cape Cod looks, faces out to the calm waters of the Bay where the hotel's boat sits moored to the hotel's dock, waiting to take guests out for daily complimentary trips to go lobstering (sadly you cannot catch a lobster and then turn him into your TOPPER'S lobster roll).
There's only one tiny road up in these parts, and it divides the main house from the private cottages, which face the other waystraight out into the ocean. Being on both a bay and the sea means The Wauwinet has two beaches, but its the Atlantic-side one that brings about the most privacy and makes for the better noon picnics and evening bonfires. You just tell the hotel what you want to happen on that beach, and they'll make it so; you just have to show up on the sand.
In terms of the interiors, the rooms are decorated with traditional prints (read: floral or check) and plenty of maritime hints; there's even a case of scrimshaw art in one of the hallways. As the structures are historic the rooms can be small, but at least they all come with their own ensuite bathrooms, unlike many other Inns on the island.
Once you've checked into The Wauwinet, there's not much left to worry about. WiFi is free and fast (we used it), the library always has refreshments offered (cheese, sherry and port in the evening!), breakfast is complimentary at TOPPER'S, the daily boat excursions and other activities around the property are included, and even the hotel's vintage Chevrolet will drive you around for free. It's not going to give you a half-day tour of the entire island or anything, but arriving in style to shop in Nantucket town? Oh yesss.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for HotelChatter]