September 16, 2020
Written By Ellie Nan Storck | Departures
A stay at the Jared Coffin House is, simply put, something any history buff visiting Nantucket should experience. The hallways of this charming mansion-turned-hotel buzz with stories of whaling town yore, and the elegant decor is a nod to those who made the island what it is today.
In the mid-nineteenth century when the island was in its whaling prime, a successful ship owner, Jared Coffin, purchased the property. Over centuries it has withstood a devastating fire, seen a three-story addition, and undergone multiple restorations. The result? One of the most iconic and important landmarks on the shores of Nantucket.
Now, the hotel is getting another revitalization—one that pays homage to four historical women of Nantucket who helped change the course of history. Four new super-luxe suites will debut this season, each dedicated to one of these impactful women: Anna Gardner, who helped call an anti-slavery meeting in 1841 where Frederick Douglass gave his first speech as an abolitionist; Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer; Lucretia Coffin Mott, a fierce women's rights activist; and Mary Coffin Starbuck, who brought Quakerism to the island.
"We wanted to pay homage to the ladies who have really become very well-known—not just in Nantucket, but within the U.S.," said General Manager Jason Curtis. "We thought it was a great opportunity to really take those namesakes and share their story."
Local designer Audrey Sterk, who oversaw the restoration of the rooms, made sure to highlight the history of the space while giving it a modern aesthetic with natural and earthy tones to play off of the fact that Nantucket's such a popular island destination. Each room includes a book either written by or about the namesake of the suite, a Crosley record player with a selection of vintage records, and complimentary beach umbrellas to enjoy on the beach.
"A nice little touch," Curtis added, "is that each suite comes with two bicycles that guests can use during their stay."
But guests don't have to worry about giving up modern amenities while on vacation. The hotel includes spa access at White Elephant, excursions with Barton & Gray Hinckley Cruise, and a complimentary continental breakfast, ensuring a flawless blend between the historic and the luxurious.