Luxury Check In

White Elephant Nantucket Review: The Best Nantucket Luxury Hotel

White Elephant Nantucket view of hotel overlooking the water

I love Nantucket and visit a few times every summer. Each time I come over on the ferry, the stately White Elephant hotel catches my eye—so I knew I had to book a stay and see for myself what it’s like inside and share my review with the Luxury Check In audience.

The White Elephant has been a fixture of Nantucket since the 1920s. A prominent local socialite, Elizabeth T. Ludwig, launched the hotel as a collection of rustic cottages and dreamed of growing it into the preeminent resort on the island. Locals nicknamed the project “Mrs. Ludwig’s white elephant” and the name stuck. 

Today, the newly revamped luxury Nantucket hotel is one of the most beautiful (and well-known) on Nantucket. Occupying a prime location on Nantucket Harbor (with a rare amount of Nantucket beachfront property) the hotel’s rolling green lawn, dotted with cushy Arhaus chairs entices guests to walk right off the boat and settle in with a drink. 

The Unforgettable Moment: Sipping an ice-cold cocktail on the lawn and watching the boats come in and out of the harbor. Service at the White Elephant is attentive without being overbearing, so I enjoyed that I was left alone to relax (unless I needed a drink refresh.) The chairs are all equipped with towels as a thoughtful touch. On a Sunday afternoon, the White Elephant quiets down, so I had the entire lawn all to myself. 


  • Prime location within easy walking distance to town and ferries.
  • Next door to Children’s Beach
  • Newly renovated
  • Impeccable service
  • Popular on-site restaurant
  • Drivers on call to take you anywhere you want to go in town (for free)
  • Boutique shops in the lobby
  • Two fitness centers
  • On-site spa
  • No resort fees


  • The hotel advertises BMW self-drive vehicles as an amenity, however, guests have to enter a raffle which is held twice a day for the chance to win the opportunity to borrow one. Guests must be present in person to win. When I visited, the hotel was not running the raffle, which was unfortunate as I had been looking forward to this perk. 
  • The hotel is frequently fully booked, which makes it harder to get a late checkout or early check-in time. When I tried to get a late checkout by even an hour, my request was denied.
  • When I did take the complimentary driver into town, I often had to wait a long time to be picked up.
  • It’s a fairly long walk between the main hotel and some of the other White Elephant buildings. You can ask a staff member to drive you around in a golf cart, but again, expect to wait.


Standard guestroom at the White Elephant Natucket

The White Elephant is one of the largest hotels on Nantucket, offering five different accommodation types spread out over multiple buildings.


Located in separate buildings next to the Inn, the Residences are styled to feel like private vacation homes. One, two, and three-bedroom apartments are available to book, and guests will have access to all the amenities of the main resort.


Set two blocks away from the main hotel, the Inn offers a quieter escape. Standard guestrooms and suites are available, some of which feature in-room fireplaces.

Harborside Hotel

Guestroom at the White Elephant Harborside Hotel

The newly renovated main hotel features 66 guestrooms and suites, many of which offer harbor views.

Garden Cottages

The popular Garden Cottages are standalone houses located right next door to the main hotel. These classic Nantucket-style houses offer all the benefits of having your own house, along with the service and perks of staying in the main hotel. 

Downtown Lofts

Located a few blocks from the hotel, these large vacation rental-style apartments are right in the heart of downtown Nantucket. Equipped with gourmet kitchens, these spacious family-friendly Nantucket accommodations are perfect for group getaways. 

The Best Room at the White Elephant Nantucket: My favorite room at this luxury Nantucket hotel is the Harborview Suite on the second floor. These rooms all have a king bedroom, a separate sitting room, and a private balcony with views of Nantucket Harbor.


  • Free parking
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Beach toys (including boogie boards)
  • Board games
  • Bath amenities, toys, diaper genies, disposable diapers, cribs, check-in gifts, strollers, and Pack n’ Plays for families traveling with children
  • Complimentary Wave passes for Nantucket public buses
  • In-town courtesy vehicle service
  • Transfers to and from the Hy-Line ferry terminal
  • Free Priority Bicycles
  • Loaner BMWs


The luxurious White Elephant Spa by Darya offers a variety of indulgent treatments including massages, algae wraps, and facials. I really enjoyed my deep tissue massage followed by time spent spent relaxing in the beautiful and peaceful Serenity Room which overlooks the gardens and harbor.

I definitely recommend booking spa treatments in advance, as it tends to fill up quickly especially for popular times during the week.

Food and Drink

Brant Point Grill White Elephant Nantucket

The White Elephant Nantucket has one main restaurant, Brant Point Grill, as well as a few other options.

Brant Point Grill

Overlooking the hotel’s lawn and waterfront, the Brand Point Grill is famous around the island as one of the best restaurants on Nantucket. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and a decadent Sunday brunch).

The dress code for the Brant Point Grill is resort casual. 

Topper’s at the Wauwinet

For a change of scenery, guests can take a complimentary water shuttle to the White Elephant’s sister resort, the Wauwinet, for dinner at the award-winning Topper’s restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, Topper’s tends to be closed often in the summer for private events (like weddings), so be sure to make a reservation before heading over.

The dress code for Topper’s is resort casual. 

Poolside Dining

From Memorial Day through mid-September, the snack bar at the pool serves up light bites including salads, wraps, ice cream, and smoothies.

Room Service

Room service is available throughout the day and night at the White Elephant. You can also pre-order picnic baskets from room service to take with you to the beach or on an island adventure. 

Who’s It For?

The White Elephant is a Nantucket beachfront property that caters to an upscale crowd, but guests range to young honeymooners to families gathered for a wedding.

Location + How to Get There

The White Elephant is located on Nantucket, an island off the coast of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. The easiest way to get to Nantucket and the White Elephant is via ferry from Nantucket (read our comparison of the Steamship Authority and Hy-Line Cruises ferries to Nantucket here to find out which company is better for you.) You can bring your car over on some ferries.

Cape Air and a few other airlines offer seasonal flights to Nantucket from New York City, Boston, and Washington DC. 

The Seastreak Ferry runs ferries from New York, New Bedford, and New Jersey to Nantucket. 

Luxury Check In Tip: The White Elephant Nantucket is extremely busy during peak season, so book your room early. 


When is the White Elephant Nantucket open?  The hotel is open seasonally from April through the end of October, reopening for Thanksgiving through the first weekend in December. 

Does the White Elephant Nantucket host weddings? The White Elephant has a variety of spaces available for weddings and other events. See more information here.

How much does a night at the White Elephant Nantucket cost? Room rates start at approximately $350 per night.

Does the White Elephant Nantucket have a spa? Yes, there is the White Elephant Spa by Darya available to both guests and non-guests. 

When was the White Elephant Nantucket renovated? The harborside hotel and cottages were completely renovated in 2023. 

Does the White Elephant Nantucket have a pool? Yes, there is an outdoor pool.

Does the White Elephant Nantucket charge a resort fee? Despite the numerous amenities, the White Elephant does not charge a resort fee. 

Book Now

I booked my room on Booking.com, which featured the best rate. Check prices for your trip to the  White Elephant now. 


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