Nantucket Weekend: Getting There and Staying There

I took a zillion or so pictures during our Nantucket weekend getaway last weekend, which is certainly rare for me. I often fall into the “bad blogger” category when I don’t feel like lugging my camera around on vacation (my phone is pathetic and doesn’t take pictures), failing to capture some of the best moments. This time around I knew I wanted to document the entire experience fully, so I made sure to not be lazy and keep my camera by my side at all times. Since I have so much to share, ranging from scary hotels to celebrity sightings to off course, great food, I am going to split up my Nantucket weekend getaway 2012 recap into as many posts as I think I need! I hope you enjoy these recaps I plan on peppering into my usual weekly posts– at least they make for a nice change of pace.

Nantucket holds a special place in my heart because we visited this beautiful island for our first honeymoon. Due to my husband’s work schedule, we could only go somewhere fairly close to Providence for our honeymoon, and Nantucket fit the bill nicely. Basically, from Providence, we have to take an hour and a half drive to Hyannis in Cape Cod to catch an hour-long ferry ride to get to Nantucket. That’s not bad at all, especially since once you land on the island, you feel like you are worlds away!

So, this time around, we drove to Hyannis on a Friday afternoon in order to catch a 3:30 ferry. When we arrived at the Hy-line ferry terminal in Hyannis, I saw this sign for a raw bar.

hyline raw bar sign

I got excited for a second, until I realized that the place didn’t feature my kind of “raw” cuisine at all! How cool would it be though if a bar did serve all raw, vegan food at a ferry terminal? Just sayin’!

We arrived a bit early, so we waited patiently in the air-conditioned waiting room, studying up on some Nantucket facts!

hyline 1

The waiting room also was equipped with free wi-fi, so I watched a bit of the ridiculous CW show The Catalina on my IPad, about a Miami hotel and beach club.  Hey, it got me in the vacation mood!

Soon enough, it was time to embark on the ferry! 

IMG_5007 hyline ferry entering

I love how comfortable this ferry ride was– since we went early in the tourist season, the boat had plenty of room to spread out and relax!  It too had (spotty) free wi-fi!

hyline 3

A short hour later, we found ourselves disembarking the ship and entering the crowded streets of lovely Nantucket!

IMG_5008 hyline ferry departing

The views just off the dock were stunning and got me really excited for the upcoming few days!

IMG_5009 hyline ferry entering nantucket view

One thing about Nantucket is the hotel situation can be tricky– many require a 3 night minimum stay and most too are uber expensive.  My husband did some scouting around a few weeks ago online, and found a well-regarded hotel that was willing to accommodate us for two nights instead of three.  It was still fairly pricey, but that’s expected if you go to Nantucket.  We stayed at a boutique hotel housed in a charming, quaint building called the Vanessa Noel Hotel.

IMG_5012 canessa noel sign 1

The lobby was small but adorable, with beautiful wood furnishings. 

IMG_5010 vanessa noel lobby

So some interesting background about this hotel– apparently Vanessa Noel is an American shoe designer who owns and designed this eight room luxury hotel.  All the furnishings, chandeliers, beds, decorations, and so on are really upscale, boasting designer names like Armani and Baccarat.  Also, her own name brand shoe boutique is housed in the hotel itself– in fact it connects to the lobby.  There was definitely a shoe theme going on– check out this American flag perched proudly in the lobby! 

IMG_5013 vanessa noel shoe flag 2

I don’t honestly care about all of the flash and fancy, but I do like the hotel kind of has a theme and a good story behind it!  We stayed in one of the medium-sized guest rooms.  Nantucket hotels are notorious for having tiny rooms since most of them are housed in such old historic former homes, so by Nantucket standards, it was pretty comfortable but certainly not big.  However, it was really nice– all white and quite swanky in a very beachy, summery way!

IMG_5015 vanessa noel bedroom

The bathroom was nearly the size of the room itself, which I kind of loved– big bathrooms are a girl’s dream right?  The sink was very cool, if I do say so myself!

IMG_5014 vanessa noel bathroom

The Vanessa Noel hotel is right in the heart of downtown Nantucket, and it was really the perfect spot for us.  It was comfortable, within walking distance of all the major attractions (aka shopping and restaurants), and it too had free wi-fi which is such an important amenity these days.  The staff was pleasant and unobtrusive, which is also key considering it is such a small hotel.  Both my husband and I agree we would stay here again without hesitation.

I think that’s enough for my first Nantucket recap– sorry there’s no food in this one, but I promise that’s coming next!

What are your hotel must-haves?

For me, it’s wireless (preferable free but no more than 10 dollars a day) and if I am staying during the winter, a fitness center!

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