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
We had a lovely weekend stay at the Hotel Pippa, very friendly staff greeted us and really so nicely went out of their way to help us find places to eat or visit. We appreciated an email in advance about local restaurants. The hotel has a nice wine bar, and a very nice continental breakfast. The location is great to walk everywhere very easily. The room had lovely simple decor and colors. Our only concern was the mattress, in room 5, the mattress was a platform bed and the mattress was incredibly hard. With so much nice attention to detail, we were disappointed how beyond firm the mattress was, which didn’t make our sleep restful. That said, a simple mattress topper might take care of it. Other than that it truly is a lovely place.
When we booked our room I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email with suggestions for dinner reservations, as this was a holiday weekend. The hotel is a short 1/2 mile walk from the ferry pier and is located on a quiet side street. Our room was located on the 3rd floor, had great light and was nicely decorated. Because the building is old, Victorian era possibly earlier, the ceilings were low in the corners and the bathroom was a bit small, especially the shower stall. For average height people the room was fine, for larger people the room may not be as comfortable.
A good continental breakfast was included in the price. The staff was very helpful and accommodating. As an example, we arrived in the morning and the desk held our bags until the room was ready. When we went back to check in we were informed that they had already taken our bags up! Would definitely stay again on a visit to Nantucket
Without doubt one of our favorite hotels in Nantucket. My husband and I did a last minute trip by helicopter being weather was looking beautiful for the weekend. We called Hotel Pippa and spoke to Giovann Lucy who was so welcoming and accommodating. She upgraded us to a 2-bedroom suite which was designed so perfectly.
We are so looking forward on returning to the island and staying at our new favorite hotel!