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All Around The Wauwinet Inn, the Only Relais & Châteaux Property on Nantucket

June 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM | by | ()

A wedding tent goes up on the lawn

Last weekend, the island of Nantucket played host to some 46 weddings on its 50 square miles of land; that's almost one wedding per mile. One of those weddings completely took over the 32 rooms, cottages and great lawn of The Wauwinet Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property that sits at the very northeast point of the island, but we managed to sneak in and have a look around before any bouquets were tossed.

Something you should know right away about The Wauwinet is that it does not allow guests under the age of 12—no babies, no toddlers, no pre-teens. Sure, they may come to dine at the restaurant, but staying here is a get-away-from-it-all retreat thing that includes getting away from the possibility of kids running up and down the halls. And, since The Wauwinet start at $225 per night but hits $595 during the height of summer, this guarantee of peace and quiet can be worth the extra money.

All in all, The Wauwinet is made up of a main house—with 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 way—straight 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]

Archived Comments:

Nice Piece - a couple points though

This is a lovely piece on a beautiful property - just a couple of clarifying points:

While the rates may start at $225 they range in to the $1200 range in the summer.

The author calls out the en suite baths as an amenity that is not often offered at other Nantucket Inns.  That may have been true years ago but the majority of Nantucket hotels, inns and bed and breakfast offer private baths.


The prices listed are rack rates, straight off the Wauwinet's website. Also, while on the island I researched hotels to find that inns often have their lowest priced rooms with shared bath, whereas all Wauwinet rooms have baths.