Dropping Anchor At An Oceanside Hotel Inspired By Its Seafaring Past

Cottages at the Boat Basin is one of the best at giving travellers a taste of Nantucket Island's unique brand of luxury.

Once known as the whaling capital of the world, Nantucket Island, the tiny rock mere minutes away from Boston by plane, is now famed more for its plethora of boutiques, five-star restaurants, and spas than for blubber. With its shingle-clad houses scattered across the pastoral landscape and connected by cobblestone streets, it has been the quintessential quaint but luxurious summer playground for New England’s fashionable elite since the middle of the 20th century, but now Nantucket Island is home to a number of high-end hotels that offer outsiders a glimpse into one of America’s most storied vacation destinations.

Cottages at the Boat Basin is one of the best at giving travellers a taste of the island’s unique brand of luxury. Part of White Elephant Resorts since 2002, the 29 cottages, named after whaling ships, dot three wharfs extending into the harbour from downtown Nantucket. Most of the units, which range from cozy studios to grand three-bedroom lofts, feature private outdoor decks, and all of them have full kitchens so guests can feel as at home as any of the island’s summer-season regulars. And with the recent completion of a six-month-long renovation project, they are doing so in contemporary style.




Local interior designer Audrey Sterk, drawing on the island’s maritime history and maintaining original details such as vaulted ceilings, developed a breezy, nautical aesthetic so evocative that guests will feel the sand between their toes before even stepping out onto the dunes that back Nantucket’s pristine beaches. A colour palette of blue, grey, and white blankets the rooms, which feature subtle maritime design elements such as caged lighting, nautical charts of Nantucket, brass instruments, and rope and jute detailing. Artwork includes pieces selected by the hotel’s owners, as well as Sterk’s own mural depicting early island settlers.

No matter which one you choose, all the Cottages at the Boat Basin’s updated lodgings provide the ideal home base for visitors to have a whale of a time experiencing Nantucket Island.

Photography courtesy of White Elephant Resorts.