FFG Travels: Wauwinet, Nantucket Island

posted on: Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Whenever I get the chance to share tales of my American adventures, I always find myself talking of the charming towns that can be found throughout all fifty states. The America I know and love isn't found in a massive city, but is rather hidden in the smaller towns and cities that will steal your heart after just one visit. Nantucket Island has done exactly that. And The Wauwinet, located on the other side of Nantucket Sound to The White Elephant, will forever be stamped on my brain as the most relaxing getaway I've yet to discover not just in America, but on a global scale. 

We arrived at The Wauwinet soaked from head to toe. It wasn't the best start to our adventures there, that much I'm certain of. But, it was a true test of what this hotel is actually capable of achieving in guest services. Our boat, which had delivered us that morning from The White Elephant in Nantucket, swung alongside the dock just as the clouds opened. We were greeted with umbrellas and quickly ushered inside. Sadly, there is no brollie in the world that can combat rain coming from every single direction. As we opened the doors to The Wauwinet, a fire was roaring, warm apple cider was being distributed and promises of warm showers and comfy beds were made. It almost seemed, at that moment, that the rain was intentional! We had come in from the worst and entered a comfort paradise. 

I will say, upfront, that The Wauwinet is not for every traveller. This is a space that is soothing, calm and surrounded by natural beauty. It isn't for the ravers, the party animals or those looking for debauched activities over the course of their break. One comes to The Wauwinet to escape the modern world. There are TVs in every room, but you'll feel almost guilty switching them on. This is a resort made for long afternoons on the lawn with a good book in one hand and a glass of chilled rose in the other. Even mobile phones feel like you're fraternising with the enemy while you're in residence. People here smile, say "good morning" and comment on the beauty of sunsets and sunrises. And yes, this is the first hotel I've stayed in where you can see the sun set on one beach and the sun rise on the other. It is the best of both worlds and there was no way I was going to miss an opportunity to take in every elegant moment. 

Now, this isn't to say that the location of The Wauwinet doesn't come with adventures aplenty. For those looking for a true taste of Nantucket living, Sconset is just a short drive from the hotel, past several cranberry bogs and houses that can set you back as much as $42 million. There is no place like this on earth. I can say that with hand on heart. It's a magical town with houses that date back hundreds of years. These simple beach cottages with a view, however, are priced as if they are made out of gold. Real estate here is no joke. Don't believe me? Crack on over to Sotheby's Realty and check out some of the listings for the area. You won't be laughing, you'll be crying. However, you might also be inspired to start playing the lottery. If you win, and buy a house on Sconset, I want an invite.

After you've visited Sconset, stop back at the hotel and let the air out of your tires in preparation for another charming moment on the island - a trip to the Great Point Lighthouse. This was most definitely a highlight of our trip to Nantucket. In a large SUV, with deflated tires, we drove onto the beach and down towards the lighthouse. With the car windows down and families of seals following us along the way, bobbing up and down out of the sea, none of it felt as if it could possibly be real. It all appeared too good to be true. We ran into two other cars throughout our journey, otherwise we were completely on our own. This beautiful beach was ours and ours alone. In my head, I was already scheduling a return visit for next October. Who knew that the end of the season was actually the best time to visit? And it is important to note that there is a season here. The Wauwinet does, in fact, close its doors when the season ends. This year, however, they will be undergoing a rather exciting renovation during the closing months. So, book now to be one of the first to see it come 2019! 

While you're booking, I'll have to insist you allow time in your visit to eat at the famous Toppers restaurant. To come to The Wauwinet and not stop into Toppers would be a great misstep. For 38 years I've been a total snob about seafood, having spent every summer of my life on the coast of Maine with my family. But, never before have I had a better lobster roll than the one that was served at Toppers. There are no words, people. No really, I had a mouth full of lobster. There were no words coming out as long as that giant roll of sensational seafood was in my hands (see picture below). 

The Wauwinet was home, for me, for only one night. It wasn't enough. It wasn't nearly enough. It took a full day to release the stress of the city from my shoulders. I can only imagine what a week would do here. I believe I'd come back an entirely different woman. So that's the plan? Well, it's to return, with books, suntan lotion and an agenda of doing absolutely nothing but eating good food, taking in glamourous sunsets and asking for refills on margaritas. 

Nantucket Island

 Driving out to the lighthouse on the beach. 

Rambling through Sconset and falling even more in love with this beautiful part of the world.