Do you have a rich uncle who sailed the world on a merchant ship amassing extraordinary nautical antiques? Who then moved to Nantucket and outfitted a sunny house with the fine wood paneling of the captain’s quarters, Dutch doors, and Portuguese hand-painted azulejo tiles? Who then, most importantly, invited you to visit whenever you wanted? Well, me neither.
Happily for us, Nantucket’s new Greydon House offers up an island getaway at the home of the worldly relative we never had.
Summer may be primetime in Nantucket, but after the last tourists have trudged onto the ferry back to the mainland, the island relaxes into its natural, off-season rhythms. Greydon House, in the center of Nantucket Town, is the perfect place to experience this dreamy transformation.
The angle of the sun shifts, literally casting a new light on the natural and manmade beauty here. The stoic Quaker houses are side-lit like Hollywood screen idols; the two-toned lighthouses seem even more sculptural; the ocean continues to shimmer and roll. The town quietly reemerges as itself in this light.
Greydon House changes with the season, too. Because half of the 20 guest rooms are shuttered, among the guests that do come there’s a feeling of being an insider, an honored guest, a favorite.
Also recommended: Long walks on empty stretches of beach. Brisk bike rides on the paved trail to Sconset Beach. As you explore, you’ll be inspired to sketch or paint or Instagram. Winter here is an ethereal palette of golden dune grass, ocean gray-blue, and weather-beaten houses, punctuated by a red door or a pyracantha branch laden with scarlet berries.
After exploring, it’s equally satisfying to settle in to a fireside loveseat at Greydon House, armed with a drink and a book. From the moment you’re welcomed at the door to the moment of the warm farewell, you’ll taste dishes that elevate local ingredients to the next level. You’ll relax in guest rooms that take the elegant bones of classic New England décor and add the modern polish of Roman and Williams designs. You’ll find service that’s warm and friendly, without needless fuss or ado.
It’ll feel like it was meant to be. It’ll feel like you ran into a favorite uncle and he told you to use his Nantucket place anytime, just call ahead to let the staff know you’re coming, dear.