Why Go: Nantucket avoids change like the plague. Cobblestones line the main street in this tradition-loving seaside town; there’s always a pie-eating contest on Independence Day and the Christmas Stroll in December. Nary a traffic light or chain restaurant has infiltrated Nantucket’s steady charm. Yet in October, the 20-room Greydon House opened downtown in the largest building to go up in 100 years. Granted, the new construction on the corner of Water and Broad is fused with an 1850 structure that was renovated and moved to the site.
What to Expect: The hotel’s Bostonian owners—Elliot Gould, and Jeremy and Alex Leventhal—grew up coming to the island, which is about 30 miles south of Cape Cod. While they have nostalgia for Nantucket, the trio also understands the wishes of modern travelers. They recruited the executive chef from Manhattan’s Aureole to helm Greydon House’s restaurant. A cocktail cart regularly makes room calls. The Federal Suite expands to three bedrooms. Food, alcohol, and flexibility aside, what really sets Greydon House apart is its interiors by Manhattan’s Roman and Williams. The inside of Greydon combined contemporary and historically accurate elements, starting with employees’ buttoned-up uniforms by shirt-maker Elliot Gant, known for making button-down shirts mainstream (Gant’s grandson is also a co-owner of the hotel). Antiques, fine art, and custom furnishings were carefully tailored for each room and public space. Brass fixtures by Waterworks shine and Portuguese maritime murals recall an even older way of life.
How to Get There: Fly directly to the island from Boston, JFK, and DCA. The fast ferry from Cape Cod takes about an hour. (greydonhouse.com)