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“The cottages are a disappointment”
Review of White Elephant

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White Elephant
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Nantucket
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 September 2009

I went to Nantucket in mid-September with my dad, siblings (all in our 30s) and nephew. We read such great reviews and decided this must be the place to stay. It wasn't bad, but not great. We stayed in the Hydrangea Cottage. Just to note, I was with Kokota, who wrote the previous review.

PROS
*Location location location
*Nice clean large bedrooms / chocolate on pillows at night
*Very comfy beds / pillows
*Coffee maker (though providing only decaf w/ no stirrers or creamer) /microwave/three mini fridges (though one broken--found out AFTER the groceries spoiled)
*For the most part, staff was very attentive when we called to request things (stirrers, creamer, bellhop, taxi etc)
*Free internet access in business center
*Free stacks of Wall Street Journal, NY Times, etc. near business center
*Nice clean gym
*Beautiful surroundings outside

CONS
*Dark outdated living room
*Pretty bad ant problem in bathrooms and living room
*Breakfast muffins/scones are served until they're gone (not refilled for remaining breakfast hours)...though they do serve coffee the whole time.
*Absent minded customer service - For example we requested chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to be brought to the cottage as a gift to our dad for his birthday upon arrival. Since he arrived in town later than us, we asked that the gift be brought later but they brought it earlier. We asked the hotel to pick it up from our room and bring back to the room a few hours later. They only brought two champagne glasses knowing there were four adults so we said to make sure when they come back to bring four glasses. They still brought two when they came back. They had to come back a third time to bring two more glasses.
*Broken phones
*The thing that you twist to open and close blinds were missing from at least three blinds in our cottage

We dealt with two concierges to help us find a nice restaurant, the older gentleman was not very helpful (suggested only the hotel restaurant and one other place), but there was a woman who was very helpful and suggested a wonderful restaurant (Straight Wharf).

Sounds like the hotel rooms and residences are the way to go but residences are even more expensive than the cottages (our cottage was over $1,000/night w/ taxes).

I think the main issue for my family was that the attention to detail was really lacking in many departments. When you're paying that much to stay somewhere, you want to feel like you're staying someplace special and the attention to detail be impeccable, but was far from it.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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Thank 26gark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephant1, General Manager at White Elephant, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2010

I would like to let you know that we have redecorated and updated the one and three bedroom cottages. We will post the pictures! They look amazing!

Bettina Landt

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393 - 399 of 460 reviews

Reviewed 28 September 2009

I liked being close to shopping, local beaches, and dining. We stayed in one of the cottages. It was "New England quaint," and the service was personal and prompt. I liked being away from the main hotel so the kids could roam a bit, but did find an opportunity to enjoy the spa! We all wished the weather was a little warmer...but we'll come again.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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Thank sschonme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2009

For $1,000 a night (including taxes), I would describe our stay at the White Elephant as very disappointing. The grounds are beautiful, they provide luxurious bedding, a nice nighttime turn-down service, and it's in an awesome location. The superlatives stop there.

When we got in the staff was perfectly pleasant, but gave us no map of the grounds, and a very brief overview of what is offered at the hotel (not much).

Disappointments:
1) The hotel staff completely lacked any sense of detail. Example: We ordered strawberries and wine to be delivered to our room at 4 PM. They delivered at 2:30, and only left 2 glasses, when 4 people were staying at our cottage. They had also addressed the card to my sister when the card read "happy birthday, dad". We asked the staff to return with the goodies at 4 PM and with 4 glasses. They were late, and then returned again with 2 glasses!

2) Before I booked the room, I asked the hotel for more pictures of the cottages, since it's difficult to get a sense of how big they are by the one or two pictures on their website. They were unable to provide me with any dimensions or additional pictures. The size of the 3-room cottage was reasonable, and the decor is "rustic" which I didn't mind, but my family was disappointed that the living room was small and dark. The problem I had was that the phones were not working after a day, the mini refrigerator was broken, as well as the blinds. I definitely expect more for the price of this place! We said something about the phones, and they never sent anyone over to fix them.

3) The 6-8 complementary morning pastries are a complete joke. I was there by 7:30 AM, and after the meager plate of mini muffins (half the size of my palm) was eaten there was no refill. You snooze past 8 AM, you lose. I pointed out to the restaurant staff that their literature says they offer this complementary breakfast until 10 AM. He gave me a small plate of about 5 muffins and asked me for my room number!!

These are just a few examples of things I wouldn't expect at a luxury hotel. Unless you have money to burn, I would recommend looking elsewhere for accommodations in Nantucket.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
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Thank kokota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephant1, General Manager at White Elephant, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2010

I would like to let you know that we have redecorated and updated the one and three bedroom cottages. We will post the pictures! They look amazing!

Bettina Landt

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2009

Having stayed at the White Elephant over the years (since 1960's) our recent stay was most disappointing. Our mistake may have ben in expecting the White Elephant to live up to its billing a luxury resort. It is anything but. For a lot of money, you get a musty, damp, dark room, with barely any walking space, unworking shower, very tired and worn furniture.
This would have been ok, if it were not for the cost of the room (over $800.00 per nignt)
For that we expected a relaxing luxury get away. Perhaps we are just out of tune with Nantucket. Our strong advice is to ask to see the rooms prior to commiting $$. Of course that is not always practical or possible. So, I would stay away from the Garden Cottages, unless you are willing to accept a room equal to a $59.00 motel for big bucks. If you have money to burn, don't mind primitive conditions, and just want to be close to downtown Nantucket, then this is the place for you!! Perhaps the main hotel provides better accommodations. Reading reviews, it sounds as if the Residences are up to par. The garden cottage accommodations are NOT up to luxury standards for the rates charged. They should tell you up front that you will be walking down unlit paths to squalid quarters for a lot of money. We have stayed all over the country and Europe and had truly luxurious accommodations for less $$$. For $800. per night I guess we just expected it to be less tired, worn etc.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank overlakers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WhiteElephant1, General Manager at White Elephant, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2009

Dear overlakers;

I am saddend to read that you did not enjoy your stay at the White Elephant. Since your identity is confidential, I would like to offer for you to contact me at your convenience to determine how we can make it up to you.

I can be reached at 508 228 2500 ext. 3418

Sincerely,

Bettina Landt

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2009

I consider myself a pretty sophisticated traveler, and have been all over the world. Sometimes the best things are close to home. As a MA resident, Nantucket is the perfect getaway. Making that experience second to none was staying at the brand new White Elephant Residences (NOT to be confused with the White Elephant Hotel, which it IS a part of, as the newly added on cottages down the block).

We stayed in a "cottage" that I would describe as beautifully decorated in modern, clean and elegant lines. Every detail is attended to. The staff are extremely eager to help and accommodate every need. The rooms are impeccably clean and the cleaning crew visit at least 3-4 times a day to ensure all is kept that way. Although property management states "there is no kitchen" - there IS. It simply does not include a stove or oven, but you will find every other convenience and appliance a furnished residence would offer, from toaster, paninni maker, Bosch dishwasher, etc. Also included are W&D, central air, lovely window treatments (black-out in the bedroom), umbrellas, blowdriers - beach towels, beach chairs and shuttle to the beaches. You get the idea. Additionally, there is a nice little gym, a lovely outdoor pool with super comfortable chaise lounges when you are feeling lazy, along with pool-side service for lunches, wine/beer and bites.

The property is very conveniently located just across the street from the Cliff Road bicycle path that leads to Madaket, a beautiful stretch of bicycling. The island is of course, known for its extensive bike routes, the two primary ones being the 12.4m round trip (aforementioned) and the easterly 18.2M route, (round trip) between Polpis and Mainline Roads. I would recommend the former if you are interested in a shorter route that does not traverse through town and its extensive deeply rutted/cobblestone roads. We did not mind the long route, as the effort is worth it.

For dining, I would stay away from the Brant Pointe Grille (part of the White Elephant Hotel) unless you are there for dinner OUTSIDE on the deck - and mainly for the view -- we did not find it to be the best meal for the steep price charged. A palate awakening dinner was had at Oran Mor, just steps away for a divine meal in an intimate setting. New French dining, where the crowds get thick after 9PM on weekends. Memorable meal and service.

I am eager to book another stay at this elegant getaway - in summary, I always think of Nantucket accomodations as antique-y B&Bs with "cozy" country and Americana - for a refreshing change, try the Residences.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jlauftravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2009

I loved my stay at The White Elephant Residences! It was a wonderful experience from the moment the property's van picked us up at the airport, to when they returned us three days later. The residence we stayed in had two bathrooms/ two bedrooms (beds were super comfy!), a rather large living area and a kitchenette containing everything you could ever need. There were also chocolate covered cranberries on the nightstand- delicious! The location was great. Far enough from downtown that you weren't constantly dealing with crowds, but close enough that it was a short walk to any where you needed to go. The restaurant at the main hotel was good, not great. I would highly recommend a restaurant called Lola (very close to the property). The sushi was excellent! I would also suggest booking a massage at the spa. Very professional team and massage was great! I went with a friend, but think this property would be more than perfect for families too. Plus, Children's Beach is only a couple of blocks away and there is pool (which is only available to guests of the Residences - not the main hotel) nearby as well.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank lulu024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2009

The White Elephant came highly reccommended to us by a friend.
We chose to take the regular ferry to Nantucket, and made arrangements for The White Elephant van service to pick us up at the dock. The van wasn't there, so the dock concierge called the hotel for us, and the van eventually came. Dissapointing.
The hotel was stunning, the front desk and bell staff were great.
We were on our honeymoon, so we were pleased to see a gorgeous room with complimentary chocolate covered strawberrys and a nice card. That night we had an exceptional dinner at the hotels Brant Point Grill.
We stayed only one night, so in the morning, we had a very expensive in room breakfast before we checked out.
We were dissapointed again to discover that they were reluctant to drive us back to the ferry ( a service that they were supposed to offer). They agreed to drive us when they were taking other guests, which would have been within 5 minutes of our departure time. The whole thing was a silly and unneccesary problem as the dock was only a 5 minute drive. We could have walked but it was raining, so we ended up calling a cab.
Overall, our experience was good. It is a beautiful and luxurious hotel. We just had some unfortunate snags. If you stay here, we reccommend taking the fast ferry, they unfortunately don't accommadate for the regular one.
Watch for the "hot dates, cool rates" deals.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank leafsfans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about White Elephant

Address: 50 Easton St, PO Box 2580, Nantucket, MA 02554-2258
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Massachusetts > Nantucket
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Nantucket
#3 Luxury Hotel in Nantucket
Price Range: £184 - £1,333 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — White Elephant 4.5*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The White Elephant has been an exclusive summertime retreat since the 1920s. The height of preppy New England elegance, this is the place where brides dream of being married and families come for generations. A stone's throw from the center of town, this 64-room island treasure has accommodations ranging from garden cottages to suites on the harbor. The hotel's mascot, a white elephant named Trunket, presides over its greener than green lawn. Set with plush lounge chairs, it overlooks bustling Nantucket Harbor and calm Children's Beach. Brant Point Grill serves up a famed Sunday brunch, with their signature Lobster Bloody Mary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
White Elephant Nantucket

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