Vanessa Noel Hotel
What We Love
- Centrally located in Nantucket Town, just a five-minute walk from the ferry and beaches
- Name brand everything, from the lobby’s Baccarat chandelier to the Hermès toiletries
- Bold leopard-print designs in the attached shoe store and restaurant
What To Know
- Rooms are tiny, starting at 120 square feet
- Central location means audible street noise
- The lobby is open only at certain hours, depending on the season; your room key also opens the front door
- Children 12 and under are not permitted
- Free WiFi
Thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket has been an enclave of wealthy New Englanders since the whaling boom of the 1800s. But it wasn’t until New York–based shoe designer Vanessa Noel opened her namesake hotel in 2002 that the island got its first stylish boutique hotel. Noel summered on Nantucket as a child, and she handled the weathered-shingle townhouse dating from 1847 with the loving care of a local, preserving the original molding and polished pine floors.
Bed & Bath
As a shoe designer, Noel is known for her bold and edgy stilettos; as a hotelier she favors a quieter elegance. No pictures hang on the walls of the eight guestrooms, but a cream palette and fluffy white Frette linens keep the minimalist decor warm and summery. Square footage is at a premium on the island (the average house lists at $2.4 million), and the guestrooms run small. Noel pulls off some Manhattan-inspired tricks to use space efficiently, adding mirrors and relocating several sinks in the bedrooms. But even the tiniest bathroom feels luxurious, thanks to Philippe Starck fixtures, Hermès toiletries and a heated marble floor.
An adjoining shoe store offers a taste of Noel’s fashion flair, with leopard prints and Pop Art paintings, and opportunities for shopping and dining continue in every direction. The hotel fronts the brick sidewalk of Center Street, which is dotted with bakeries, galleries and boutiques. And although the island doesn’t have a single traffic light, it now has more than 80 restaurants — the best of which are just a stroll away.
How to Get There
I really wish this review had existed before I booked my stay at the beginning of the year. At this time the hotel had only been open for one summer and there weren't that many reviews to go by. A friend who lives on Nantucket had told me about this place and that it had recently been re-done and having a look on the website I figured it looked quaint and decided to give it a try. Big mistake.
I travelled all around Cape Cod and stayed in Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Provincetown, all were brilliant stays except for here sadly.
The most notable reason being the size of the room, which was an absolutely tiny hobbit sized room that I actually laughed at (out of disbelief) when I fist walked in. Now what I want to really stress to anyone reading this, is firstly I don't like to complain or talk negatively about a hotel for trivial reasons and am very sceptical of trip advisor when reviews complain about small petty things. However, this was so bad that I would like to warn anyone who plans on booking this hotel in the future.
The room was so small that I believe it to be falsely advertised and it simply cannot accommodate two people. It should be listed as single occupancy on their website and the rate should be reflective of this. Two people can barely move in this room and there was no space to even put our luggage. the doors hit the bed and the bathroom door could not fully open as the bed restricted this. The carpet under the bed was soggy and water stained when we arrived. Lovely luxury feeling a soggy carpet under your feet as you tip toe around the bed. Thanks Pippa, we loved that! We later realised why after showering and found the shower leaked in to the bedroom, despite having a high lip to contain it, the room is so small and the shower door so badly fitted that it means every time someone showers, water is all over the bathroom and bedroom floor in puddles. We contained it by laying towels down, again lovely luxury touch Pippa. Haven't seen that done elsewhere. Now I know this is Nantucket but this room was $500 per night. Paid in advance at the time of booking. An absolute disgrace is how I would sum it up. It felt like it had been designed by someone with no care for guests but rather by someone looking to turn a broom cupboard in to a bedroom and rinse its clientele for all they are worth. Well that strategy might backfire very badly as I do not know anyone who would be happy in this room, unless it was a solo traveller and the room rate was 65-70% less than what we paid. I think $150-$175 per night for this room would be acceptable (at a stretch) given the location. The only good aspect worth mentioning is the location. I felt really lied to by the website and actually burst in to tears after we had been shown our room and closed the doors. The initial laughter turned to tears as the realisation that this is where we would be staying for the next 2 nights really set in. Should a hotel charging this kind of money do this to its guests?! I have stayed all over the world both for business and pleasure, I have never ever stayed in any room so small and so badly designed. The minimalistic design that photographs well (don't be fooled like I was) for the benefit of instagram and online, will age very badly and tire quickly as the room is so badly designed it caused damage in the room that showed. As there is nowhere to put your luggage, we noticed scuff and scrape marks all around the walls as you could see the evidence of former guests who had struggled to navigate the room like us. You could hear EVERYTHING through the paper thin walls and doors. We resorted to whispering in the room and even grimacing holding in the pain without yelling out loud when bumping in to the corner of the bed and stubbing our toes on the bed corners which we both did several times. I have read other reviews saying this too and I can truly say it is no exaggeration. The room is so small we both left with bruises.
Worst hotel experience I've had in the longest time. I complained to the front desk shortly after check-in and they offered to give us another room for the first night and then move us back for the next night. I declined the offer as there seemed little point and if anything I just wanted to get out by this point.
My takeaway would be, the hotel really needs to correctly list the rooms and accurately show the size on their website. They don't because they know they won't get the bookings if they do. Also breakfast was the worst of any of my stays in Cape Cod and the Islands. We ended up going to Island Kitchen for breakfast which is exceptional and was the best breakfast of our entire stay, so all was not lost.
We stayed in Room 3, which front desk agreed was probably the worst (lucky us) and had received numerous complaints. Not at all surprised to hear that.
Should of been refunded or at least partially refunded but didn't kick up enough fuss and just wanted to get out. Fortunately our next hotel in Provincetown was amazing and helped us get over such a bad experience. Shame on you Pippa, I'd love to meet the owner, we were told it was their first hotel venture. It shows!
This sweet and charming hotel made my stay in Nantucket super special. Located just up the street from the heart of town, across the street from a super impressive art Gallery (Coe&Co.) and next to a delicious bakery (Born&Bread), Hotel Pippa was the perfect place to perch for a few days. I loved Hotel Pippa's boutique feel and quaint queen room with Italian Davines amenities, crisp cotton sheets and super comfortable bed and pillows. I slept so well, I especially enjoyed nightcaps of marmalade manhattans in the comfortable courtyard taking it all in and just pausing at how sweet this place was. I advanced planned with LeighAnne/Lexy and Corey/Daniel helped me add on adventures once I was there. Ieva gave me insight to hideaway beaches and te team approved of my off the beaten track food truck finds and sunset treasure beaches. I wouldn't stay anywhere else, Hotel Pippa felt warm and cozy all around. I was in my happy, happy place. I highly recommend Hotel Pippa for your next stay in Nantucket and maybe I'll see you there because I won't be staying anywhere else!
We stayed at Hotel Pippa for the film festival and were very pleased with the hotel. It is new, very clean. The rooms are a little small, but the staff was so helpful and friendly and made our stay very enjoyable. They had a happy hour in the evening, and breakfast in the morning. The hotel is centrally located, so we walked to all of the film festival events and restaurants. We would stay there again for our next trip.