Generations of families return to Nantucket summer after summer to bike, boat, feast on lobster rolls and clam chowder, and linger at the beach until after sunset. If you aren't lucky enough to own a home on the island (or know someone who does) accommodations can be tricky. The island's many B&Bs and inns aren't the most family-friendly and rental cottages get scooped up sometimes a year in advance. Thankfully the Nantucket Hotel opened its doors in 2012 filling a much needed niche in the market.
The hotel, walking distance from all the shops and restaurants of downtown, can be recognized by the bright red antique firetruck parked out front. Rides on the truck are one of many activities kids will love. The hotel's kids club offers movie nights, treasure hunts, S'mores gatherings around the fire pit and even kiddy spa days. Every room and suite feels like a unique beach cottage and most have cots and pull-out sofas. Each room has a carefully curated library (just the right balance of romance, mystery and biography) and games and DVDs are available downstairs. Guests can preview room layouts online before booking and if they love their room, they can put a $200 deposit down to hold it for the next year (they get their money back if they decide not to come). Jamie, the general manager, is a wealth of Nantucket knowledge and can direct guests to the best restaurants, historical spots (the hotel offers free vouchers to climb the town's bell tower), and bike rides. The best part is, unlike most hotels in town, The Nantucket Hotel stays open most of the year so you can always return when summer ends.
The hotel offers shuttles to the island's beaches and there are two pools on site for lounging.