Monday, June 1, 2020

photo - Immanuel Chac

Nantucket - A Blissful Oasis During Troubled Times

photo ~ Immnuel Chac
Finally, we are nearing our June 8th anticipated re-opening!  Like the rest of the Massachusetts hospitality industry, the Martin House Inn falls into the second phase of the reopening guidelines. In anticipation, we have been bustling about, energized by the thought of welcoming you back to this beautiful oasis of an island!  Ferns rustle gently in the breeze on our gracious veranda.  Our window boxes and planters are filled with vibrant flowers; the herb garden is bountiful, overflowing with fresh herbs to complement our recipes.  The fountains again create a peaceful trickling backdrop to our serenity gardens, awaiting only your presence.  In our many gathering areas, there is ample room for relaxation and social distancing.

We are excited to welcome you home to the beauty that is Nantucket, to the endless walking trails and empty beaches, the island’s culinary and cultural offerings, and to the extraordinary health benefits of being ocean bound.  Restaurants island-wide have opened for curb-side pick-up and will open further during this next phase.  Once again, we savor the tastes of a Nantucket summer- the sweetness of Bartlett’s fresh tomatoes and corn, ice-cream in waffle cones at the Juice Bar, Sayle’s lobster bakes, Wicked’s morning buns, the ‘Sconset Market’s croissants and coffee, and Cisco’s cold beers.  We revel in how the sun and the breeze feel as they move across our skin, and we awake and end the days to the haunting  sound of the ferry’s horn as it rounds Brant Point, reminding all of how carefree and timeless a summer day on island can be, and knowing it will soon bring you to us.   

COVID has changed us in ways we couldn’t have envisioned- allowing us to catch up on our reading, learn to cook, bake or meditate, take a virtual course, get in shape, and fall in love with ourselves and others and Nantucket all over again.  We have had time to adapt, to reinvent ourselves when we needed to and to find ways to adjust the parts of us that needed adjusting.  Each day, we learn how little we really need to survive, and in the process we learn what is truly important.  Put simply, we consciously choose positivity and possibility, and connection, as socially distanced as that may have to be; we stay connected through social media and the wonders of technology.  As we moved through these months, we have been increasingly astounded and inspired by the sense of community that has enabled Nantucket to reenvision the summer of 2020.   Our island and its businesses embraced the necessary changes with creativity and optimism, sustaining residents and visitors alike in the knowledge that we are all interconnected and that we will all do everything we can to foster and ensure the safety of all who come to our shores. 

As our shelter in place orders slowly lift, and the island reopens in baby steps, there is still time to love ourselves and each other more fiercely, to cherish our time together and our time apart, to believe in the best that is in us, to redefine success and to be governed not by hope or by fear but by the realization of how interconnected we all are - each person and each nation.  We can learn to remain open to the future unfolding in all of its tainted glory, and to love it nonetheless.  We move forward in  the knowledge that in the end, we become only what we believe we can be.  So believe in the best that is in you and in each of us. 

We at the Martin House Inn look forward to welcoming you home, to a sweet and peaceful respite, on a magical far-away island.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Some people say that the daffodil is the harbinger of springtime.  Shaped like a trumpet, it announces to the other plants and flowers that spring has arrived!

This year’s vernal equinox marked the beginning of the earliest spring in the United States in the past 124 years, and also the most unusual spring in our lifetimes. On March 20th, the sun appeared to rise exactly east and to set exactly west in Nantucket, and night and day were equal. Since then, the days have grown longer, the sun has glowed brighter (between the showers that April brought), the birds have sung louder and the earth busied itself nurturing glorious new life. As we enter May more secluded than all of the previous Mays I have known, I have become acutely aware of the rebirth that spring embodies. The early morning wake up calls of the beautiful cardinals, chickadees, and red breasted robins start each lengthening day off with the purest of songs. Each sunrise is a new beginning. Each bud a miracle, each flower a gift. Rain or shine, the offerings of a spring day provide a wonderful reminder of all the hopefulness and beauty that exists in our world and on our island 26 miles out to sea. And each signifies a healing and new beginning.

As some of you may know this past weekend would have been Nantucket’s 46th annual Chamber of Commerce Daffodil Festival. Due to the current COVID situation, the regular Daffodil festivities were postponed.  That didn’t stop the spirit of Nantucketers though! 

Beginning Friday, April 24, Nantucket kicked off the iconic rite of spring weekend with a virtual Flower Power Party via @ACKHistory Instagram live and on 97.7 ACK FM radio. In the true spirit of our wonderful community, and to honor past tradition, a group of individuals decorated  a parade of cars and drove them out to ‘Sconset.  Some folks parked and enjoyed picnics in the ‘Sconset sunlight, complete with gentle ocean breezes, while socially distancing, of course.   

Courtesy NISHA

On Facebook, #dailydaffodil had members posting photos of daffodils every day in the month of April for folks far and wide to enjoy.  The Chamber set up on Instagram the hashtag #ACKDaffy, and tag @ACKChamber.  People posted photos of the event from past years. Many held picnics in their yards, decorated hats with glorious, imaginative designs.  The NISHA Daffy Dog Parade even went ahead virtually with pets sporting their best daffy attire.

Every week from April 9-April 30, The Inquirer and Mirror ran a Virtual Daffodil festival, featuring stories of the history of the festival, of how to hold your own backyard daffodil picnic (with recipes by Sarah Chase), and of how to pick, preserve and place your own daffodils in a beautiful arrangement.  And between the local news and the miracle of social media, everyone world-wide was able to partake in the ebullient spirit of this beloved event that has for almost 50 years marked the real start our island season.

Although we were not able to share all the Daffy-delights  with you in person,  it is heartwarming to watch the  island awaken and the people who love Nantucket come together in person and virtually,  with spirits uplifted, to celebrate life, friendship, nature and springtime.  While we are facing an unknown, we find our joy where we can, and there is a spring in our step as we honor our traditions.  

Seneca said that “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”  We look forward to a sweet, post-COVID era when it is once again safe to welcome you to our shores and through our doors.  You are the reason we became innkeepers.  We enjoy your company, your stories, your ability to lift our hearts just by being here.  Until we meet in person again, we will continue to reach out to you virtually, to remind you of the beauty that is Nantucket, and that you are a major part of what makes it a place to love!

Be well, stay safe, stay in touch (albeit from a distance), and Happy Mother's Day!

Searching for a Mother's Day gift idea?  Martin House Inn gift certificates, when purchased in the Month of May 2020, will receive a 15% discount on future stays.*

*Cannot be combined with other offers. Not available for holiday or special events.

Friday, April 3, 2020

People are drawn to Nantucket’s timeless shores, cobbled streets, gourmet restaurants, unique shops and historical treasures.  At Martin House Inn, they are catapulted back to a simpler time, to a slowing of pace, an allowance of connectiveness, the joy of reading a book, feeling the caress of a sweet breeze as it glides across our veranda, sipping wine to the peaceful sounds of water trickling from the fountains in our serenity gardens, watching the sun dawn on another new day or set on the sweeping horizon visible from our roofwalk.

But people come back to Nantucket, again and again, to revel in our unique sense of community. Our people, and the guests we attract to this beautiful island 30 miles out to sea, are our true treasures. We support each other, and celebrate both our individuality and our sameness.


As the island awakens this spring, we find ourselves in uncharted territory. We want to be surrounded by friends and family, but we keep our distance. And in the process, we somehow become closer to who we are, to those we love. We lament that our family, guests and friends can not necessarily be here during these uncertain times of social distancing, but hope that steps that separate us today assure a safer and healthier future. That memories of times together, of prior visits, of plans for future gatherings bring solace. We miss you, our guests.

While most restaurants and businesses are closed and many events have been cancelled or postponed, those who live here in the off-season have, of necessity, embraced social distancing in our vast open spaces - enjoying long walks on beaches and through our bogs and hidden forests and conservation lands, practicing yoga and tai chi on our beaches. While at home, we try new recipes, read our local artist’s works, write, work out via video with yoga or dance or Pilate’s instructors, and reach out virtually to friends and family.

During these days of sequestration, our community rises to become part of the solution, with beautiful and astounding collective generosity of spirit. The medical professionals bravely showing up each day, our government officials providing timely information and assuring that help is on the way in many forms, our restaurants opening for take-out and also partnering with Nantucket Public Schools and the Health and Human Services Department to provide free meals to school children and to seniors, yoga and other fitness instructors providing free or contribution-based on-line classes, mental health organizations and the animal hospital continuing to provide much needed support, individuals grocery shopping and picking up medications for those who cannot risk doing it for themselves, adults and children alike making masks and sanitizer.  On island, there are fuel assistance programs, home deliveries from the food pantry, small business loans, bank mortgage deferrals. People show up every day to provide essential services- grocery stores, take-out services, fuel providers, the Chamber of Commerce and town officials and the vast network of unsung heroes who keep our essential services intact.  And the island responds with gratitude every night at 8 p.m. when, inspired by a program originated in the U.K. and now practiced world-wide (Clap for Carers), people stop whatever they are doing and clap to show their appreciation to those caring for people affected by Covid-19.   The list goes on and illustrates what we most love about our community.  

Some examples, as well as links to help you stay connected to this beautiful island and community while you cannot be here in person:

  • To keep theatre alive in our hearts, The Theatre Workshop of Nantucket is producing a virtual show, featuring anyone who submits a video of themselves singing “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.
  • In an effort to help spread happiness and good cheer during these difficult times, The Nantucket Comedy Festival,  in partnership with Nantucket Community Television, will be broadcasting live on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. a new weekly comedy show called "The Best Medicine".  You can tune in to channel 18 (locally) or via YouTube. 
  • Nantucket Book Festival is working to produce a “virtual Festival” this year, featuring conversations with its 2020 authors, and hopes to celebrate our local authors later in the year.
  • The Nantucket Film Festival, in celebration of its 25th anniversary, will soon announce new festival dates, but in the interim, in an effort to offer inspiration, beauty, humor, solace, it is sharing with us one to two films from each of its last 24 years of programming .
  • Nantucket Cycling and Fitness is offering online workouts via YouTube, and Caitlin Marcoux and other instructors are offering online workouts via Zoom.
  • The Nantucket Historical Association is providing its own “University”- a weekly resource featuring videos, history topics, artifacts, transcription projects.  This week, with our friends in New York City in our thoughts and prayers, we were delighted to read about the commonalities shared by the islands of Nantucket and Manhattan and the fact that Nantucket was actually a part of New York until 1692!
  • The Maria Mitchell Association has ‘re-imagined’ its Science Festival as an online event.  Visit their website and explore fun, educational, and easy to do at-home experiments developed by the association’s science educators and partnering organizations.
  • The Nantucket Atheneum is offering virtual classes, online virtual story breaks, and an online writer’s group. 
  • And, to raise money for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital while bringing the community together and emphasizing the importance of staying at home for now, The Front Steps Project is photographing families on the front steps of their homes during this time of isolation.  

The adherence to social distancing, while difficult for all of us, is the most important act of love we can give each other at this time.  And at each turn, we know that, while we are an island, we are not alone in this.  In 2020, we finally view our world with the 2020 clarity that we are interconnected, globally.  While we keep our distances physically, we come together in all the important ways, as part of the same world-wide community.  We heal, the earth heals, and before too long, our worlds will right themselves.   And we will be welcoming you back to our inn and our magical island with open arms and hearts full of gratitude. 

Thank you all for being a part of our family.  We wish you good health and safe-keeping, until we meet again.  Sending love from our hearts to yours.


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Celebrate the beauty and serenity of March in Nantucket!

(And use the 25% you save on your room rate to pamper yourself!)

It has been said that one of the best times to visit Nantucket is during the shoulder months of March, April, September and October.  In the pre and early spring, the island glows with a tranquil beauty, a walk on our cobbled streets may lead you to unexpected retail treasures, and you may feel as though you have stepped back in time to a haven where lines at restaurants, museums and movies are nonexistent and where you can quietly read a novel or the newspaper in one of our quaint coffee shops or the wonderful Nantucket Athenaeum.  There is no shortage of natural beauty, historical sites, restorative activities or fine food.  Paris has nothing on Nantucket in the spring!  Why not treat yourself to a relaxing, restorative stay at Martin House Inn  and feel your spirits soar as the temperatures rise, the buds of hyacinths peek out of the earth, the waves caress our quiet shores, and the island welcomes you and spring?


Nantucket Conservation offers an array of hiking trails. Observe and marvel at variety of habitats native to Nantucket -- barrier beaches and dunes that shelter the island from the open waters of Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.  Gaze at the myriad of colors found within the salt marshes many plant species and perennial grasses.  Look for white-tailed deer and black-crowned night herons, snowy owls, ospreys, hooded mergansers, buffleheads, Canada geese, mallards and many other species of birds along the ponds and bogs.  Nantucket is one of the last remaining sites of grasslands and heathlands.   Visit the famed Nantucket cranberry bogs – a glorious 234 acres of trails off Milestone Road.  View the panorama of Nantucket’s Serengeti.  The sandplain grasslands found on the southern side of the island are not unlike prairies found in the Midwest.  Coastal heathlands – known locally as “moors” – contain black huckleberry, lowbush blueberry, bayberry and pasture rose. Visitors dating back to the 1700’s found the island to be nearly treeless.  While hardwood forest areas remain relatively rare, they do exist in limited areas, most notably in our verdant Hidden Forest. The early 1900’s, following the elimination of livestock grazing, brought the gradual return of tall shrubs.  

For those of you who prefer to pamper yourself, book a spa treatment or massage, a manicure or a pedicure.  Lavender Farm Wellness offers deep-tissue massage, Cranial Sacral therapy and Zen Body (Rolfing).  Darya’s Salon + Spa offers a vast array of pampering treatments, and you always emerge feeling younger and more beautiful than you felt upon entry.  Brooke Tejada Restorative Bodywork offers wonderful massages, biofrequency therapy, and a soothing “feet treat” option.  Monarch Face & Body provides facials, massage, reiki and reflexology.  Visit the Graceline Institute for meditation, yoga and sculpting, Tai Chi, spiropathix sound and whaling, a cleanse, and the restorative effects of a half hour in its far infrared sauna and magnesium chamber where you immerse yourself in its many health benefits (including improved circulation and heart function, stress reduction, and skin rejuvenation). Take a Pilates or Melt class with Lisalates or a restorative or flow yoga class at the Yoga Room or Supta Yoga

Following your day of adventures, return to the Inn for a sweet treat and hot cup of tea.  Or perhaps enjoy a complimentary cordial, and relax while perusing your dinner options!

There are many decadent and delightful restaurants on Nantucket, from the more formal venues to the casual pubs.  Most are within walking distance.  Queequegs’ cozy and intimate dining room is the perfect backdrop for its eclectic American Cuisine that employs fresh seasonal ingredients.  Dune has three distinct dining rooms that combine ‘a blend of sophisticated elegance and soothing comfort’.  Its menu is ever changing and features some of the finest local produce, fish, and meats from regional farms.  The meals tantalize your senses of taste, touch, and sight and the desserts can only be described as decadent!  Town offers dining that is both inspired and playful, combining sumptuous flavors and Asian, Indian and mouth-watering entrees that span the seafood (including Sushi), steak, and chicken varieties – there is something for everyone.  For a more casual but cozy environment, saunter around the corner to Brotherhood of Thieves. Whether you order the lobster bisque, burger or seafood linguini, you will not be disappointed.  The Charlie Noble is also a great place to kick back and enjoy the local’s scene.  The ambiance may be simple but the meals are not.  From the all-day raw bar and house made Chorizo Stuffies to the local Bluefish pate and tacos, the lobster quesadilla and
the chicken wings, The Charlie Noble will not disappoint.

At the end of each day, melt into the warmth and comfort of our beds and many pillows, perhaps build a fire and snuggle with someone you love, or laugh sharing stories with your best friend until you can no longer keep your eyes open.  Wake refreshed to the aroma of home-made scones and rich coffee.  And feel the resurgence of energy and hope that spring embodies.  We promise, you will go home with spring in your steps!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Fall in Love Again this Valentine’s Day– Visit Martin House on Nantucket Island!

Valentine’s Day is not about flowers and heart-shaped pendants, chocolates or expensive gifts, but rather it is a day to celebrate love, in all of its iterations.  Love for self, first and foremost.  Romantic love that makes your heart beat faster, love of nature’s daily offerings, love of friends who make you laugh until your belly hurts, love of family that loves you unconditionally, and the innocent devotion of a pet that makes your heart expand in wonder.  Valentine’s Day is about gratitude.  What better place to honor all the love in your heart than at the most romantic inn on Nantucket-the Martin House Inn!  And what better time than February, when the pace of life slows down, the cobblestone streets glisten in the quiet of the early hours, the restaurants are warm and inviting with seasonal offerings, the stores feature unexpected sales that make spirits soar, and you can walk from Steps Beach to Brant Point and see unparalled beauty but not see another human.   In our quiet season, there is opportunity to explore the oceans and paths and trails and to imagine this enchanting island as it was hundreds of years ago.  There is opportunity to step back in time, to a simpler era, to reconnect to yourself, and to whoever you chose to share Valentine’s weekend with.   

Martin House Inn is a short walk to downtown and the ferries.  Restaurants,shops and boutiques are open, and ready to welcome you with their myriad of culinary delights and beautiful treasures.  Come stroll our charming cobblestone streets, hike the many vistas of preserved open land trails, or visit the many beaches to collect winter sea glass and shells, to take home as a romantic reminder of your stay.   You may even choose to:

  •        Rent a Jeep or take a tour or hop on a bus operated by the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority to visit the outskirts of town;
  •        View the beautiful lighthouses that bring ships safely to port;
  •        Sign up for the Nantucket Culinary Cooking Demo + Dinner;
  •        Treat yourself to a yoga class, a restorative massage, a soothing facial or a mani pedi;
  •        Head out to a tour and tastings at Cisco Brewers, Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyard, and enjoy some live music while you are there;
  •        Weather permitting, bike out to Bartlett’s Farm – Nantucket’s original source for farm fresh goodness; 
  •        Drop by the historic Whaling Museum.  With over a thousand works of art, artifacts and treasures on display, it tells the Island’s fascinating stories over 4 centuries,
  •        Enjoy a movie at the Dreamland or an evening of laughter at the White Heron, featuring the Nantucket Comedy Festival’s Stand-Up and Learn Program, or both! 

Van Goh could have been speaking of Nantucket when he said, “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere".  Everything is beautiful when seen through loving eyes.  Look in the mirror, at a loved one, at nature, at life; fall in love again this Valentine’s Day!

For 15% discount on reservation, please call and mention the code “LOVE”.

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