We love Nantucket for being a quintessential New England destination. Simplicity is key here, which those in the know refer to by its airport call letters, ACK. Nantucket is the place to embrace air dried beachy hair and simple flats like Jack Rogers to navigate the cobblestoned streets. And please ditch any thoughts of flashy cars. The preferred wheels of choice on the island are beat up Land Rovers or a classic Woodie station wagon. Here on Nantucket, the older your car or LL Bean tote bag is, the better.
While change happens slowly on Nantucket, the island has a new hotel, the just opened Greydon House, which is located in the heart of everything on Federal and Broad Street. The hotel has deep ties to New England. Two of the owners are the grandsons of GANT co-founder Elliot Gant, who helped to make that all-American classic, the button down shirt, fashionable.
The buzzy design firm Roman and Williams tackled the interiors. They have also worked their magic on a few Ace Hotels, as well as the Highline Hotel in New York and the Chicago Athletic Association.
Designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch went far beyond the typical blue and white nautical theme that you’d expect from a Nantucket hotel. Their starting point was the history of the hotel’s building. The 19th century Greek Revival building was originally a ship captain’s home, and they were inspired by the captain’s imagined travels as well as the people and cultures who would have passed through Nantucket during its heyday as a whaling port.
So instead of lobster traps and blue and white vases, the hotel blends Asian and European design touches, such as Indonesian teak chairs and French antiques. A mural behind the bar depicts the 18th Century tea trade with China. The hotel’s color palette is also filled with rich greens and purples to evoke the exoticism of travel.
There are just 20 guest rooms but each one is decorated individually with a mix of custom and vintage furniture. The look is boho luxe, thanks to bedding from Les Indiennes as well as John Robshaw. The bathrooms are also global, thanks to blue and white Portuguese tiles which line the shower stalls.
Greydon House is also shaking up the island’s culinary scene, thanks to head chef Marcus Gleadow-Ware, who was the former executive chef at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole in New York. His menu offers plenty of raw food and lighter dishes. For breakfast, try the yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and toasted oats or go for the high protein choice. A chilled tomato gazpacho with peekytoe crab, cucumber, and watermelon is the perfect light lunch.
If you want to treat yourself to a pre-dinner cocktail, the bar will not disappoint as drinks are made with fresh juices so nothing is too sugary. The Little Grey Lady refers to the island’s nickname when it’s wrapped in fog. It’s a mix of Plymouth gin, Cocchi Americano, St. Germain, fresh lemon juice and Peychaud’s bitters, shaken, strained and served up in a classic gurgling cod cup.