The White Elephant – Nantucket

Nantucket, the small and perfectly formed island off the coast of Cape Cod, id one of those places that you might only visit once in your life. Sure, you may fall in love with it – and if you did it would be with good reason – and decide to stay there every year; it’s more likely, however, that the island will be somewhere you’ve decided to visit while on a road trip around New England, or indeed of Massachusetts itself.

So if your visit really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, then you need to treat it as such, and by that we mean you should stay at the very best hotel on the island. Which is undoubtedly the White Elephant.

GQ stayed at the White Elephant last summer, at one of its residential cottages, and we felt as though we had been ushered into a world fashioned by Ralph Lauren. Built in the traditional Nantucket style (the island’s nickname is “The Little Grey Lady of The Sea”, and while this refers to the fog that sometimes surrounds the place, it could just as easily refer to the cedar houses are made from), these cottages feel more like home than home often does, with the added advantage of having almost instantaneous room service, gas fireplaces and fully stocked bars.

Beyond the pale: Recliners overlook the harbour at the White Elephant, Nantucket, the New England Island known as “The Little Grey Lady Of The Sea”.

Some unkind souls say that Nantucket is a little too twee for the modern world, yet the island manages to combine a cobbled traditional feel with a modern, escapist sensibility. And, in the, case of the White Elephant, simply marvellous food.

A word of warning though: men who holiday here regularly are supposed to fit in by wearing lobster-coloured shorts and trouser (which can be bought in many of the shops here). If you do this, then we will simply not allow you to buy this magazine ever again.

Scott Dunn offers four nights at the White Elephant. Nantucket from £1.995 per person. This is based on two people sharing on a B&B basis and includes flights with British Airlines, domestic flights and private transfers.

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