Wednesday, December 2, 2020

 December 2020 - Virtual Nantucket

December on Nantucket has long been famous for our Dickensian Christmas Stroll, replete with cobbled streets lined with twinkling Christmas trees, old-fashioned Church fairs, a talking Christmas tree bedazzling children of all ages, carolers in period garb filling the streets with song, shopping and the warm hospitality of the island stores, Santa and Mrs. Clause arriving by ferry and taking a sleigh ride through town, culinary delights offered by local restaurants and the charm of the island’s historic inns.   2020 is different.  But while we are celebrating a bit differently this year, we are still celebrating.  The Chamber and our community have rallied and reimagined what would have traditionally been Christmas Stroll, creating the Nantucket Noel, a ‘shop local’ initiative.  The Nantucket Noel was created to allow island residents to safely enjoy the magic of the holiday season on Nantucket, while inviting our off-island friends and families, wherever located for the holidays, to support our local businesses.  It is a lovely and inclusive idea to give people missing the traditional Stroll this year the opportunity to bring a bit of Nantucket into their homes! 

The virtual tree lighting was well-received and you can view it, and some of our local proprietors sending messages to all, whenever you’d like…and as many times as you’d like via YouTube.

 Tree decorating, a much loved tradition, is taking place now thru December 4th.  Judges will choose, and announce, the winner via social media and e-blast.  People’s Choice opens December 5th.  You can vote virtually for Best Storefront, Best Tree, and Favorite Ugly Sweater!  You may want to submit your own Ugly Sweater to the competition (deadline is December 3rd).  The Chamber has also partnered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in establishing Shop Santa’s Village.  Shop Santa’s Village partners nonprofits/businesses that have storefronts in an effort to help ALL businesses have a successful year-end.



Double-red tickets are in play at participating businesses on 12/5, 12/12 & 12/19.!

Winners will be announced, virtually, December 24th @ 3pm ET. 2020 has been a year of many firsts, and for the first time this year, you don’t have to be present to win!  Simply tune into local cable NCTV Channel 18, NCTV's YouTube Channel, the Chamber's social media channels, and 97.7 ACK FM to see if you're a winner.

While we cannot all come together in person, we share in countless other ways.  Do you have a favorite Christmas Stroll memory you would like to share?  Submit it to the Chamber here, via images, words, and/or video for all to enjoy!  

And, let us not forget Santa!  You can write to Santa, or sign-up to meet with Santa via Zoom video!!  Yes, even the North Pole has Wi-Fi.  😊

Courtesy Nantucket Chamber of Commerce


Looking for holiday gift ideas or dreaming of a trip once this pandemic is in our rearview mirrors?  Why not buy a Martin House Inn gift certificate, for yourself, friends, family, loved ones between now and December 31, 2020 and receive a 15% discount on your total purchase?  You can reach us at (508) 228-0678.  We can email it directly to you or recipient(s).   What better way to usher in a fresh new year than a getaway to our charming little hamlet!

The past year has been challenging and heartbreaking and frightening; we know this.  It has forced us to slow down, to reset.  It has also been heartwarming to witness the way communities have stepped up, joined together, and taken care of one another.  The scarcity and absence makes us more grateful for the abundance and for the connections with those we love, staying at home makes the thought of future journeys and a simple shared meal that much more joyous, and our friends and neighbors help us remember the innate goodness of people.  That goodness, in and of itself is the best Christmas gift we can think of!  We wish you all health, happiness, hope and joy this holiday season, and look forward to seeing you in the not-too-distant future! 


Monday, November 9, 2020




As we leave Indian Summer and the month of October 2020 behind and walk through the last of the falling leaves into the more quiet month of  November, with the Thanksgiving holiday to look forward to and a multitude of reasons to be grateful, we  take time to  reflect and to remind ourselves of all the reasons we are thankful.  

Many have said it; it has been a challenging year.  At the Inn and in the world, it has been a year different from any other- one that challenged all of us and brought out the very best in so many of us.  It’s also been a year to reflect, redesign, rethink, and reimagine.  We have all struggled, but we have also been remarkably enriched by the way our society has pivoted and reinvented itself this year.  At the Martin House, we are in the business of taking care of guests who choose to stay with us.  They are the extended family who we do our utmost to take care of.  For three lonely months, we were unable to do so.  We are thankful that the ban was lifted and we again were able to welcome back returning guests and to come to know guests new to us.   It has been one of the great pleasures of our year to talk with all of you about how you were doing, what your hopes were, what you were thankful for.

We had to redesign how we ran the business.  From sanitizing to breakfast service, we took a step back and made an effort to deliver to our guests a safe environment.  Our incredible staff worked within the CDC guidelines to ensure the rooms were meticulously cleaned using the new procedures.  We modified our breakfast and offered heated outdoor seating areas so that guests could socially distance but still enjoy one another’s company, and a hearty meal to begin their days on this glorious island.  We are thankful that we were able to do so, and were so thankful for all the positive feedback and comments and reviews we received.


Restaurants and shops and theaters, having a similar situation upon reopening, had to rethink how their businesses would accommodate visitors to the island.  They went above and beyond, working with the Town, setting up beautiful outdoor seating areas (some with wood dance floors!) with heat lamps so that guests could once again enjoy the delectable delights their menus offered.  They offered virtual entertainment, often at no charge.  We are thankful that we have such a great, imaginative, generous and resourceful community.


We continue to hope that the world will soon return to normal but since the timing is at best uncertain, we will continue to reimagine how we can continue to improve and enhance the guest experience.  We are so thankful to be able to host our guests and to welcome so many of you back over and over again.  We look forward to continuing on that journey, and as always, are very thankful for those who make the journey with us.

As a token of our gratitude we are offering a Holiday Season special, 15% off certificates purchased as holiday gifts for use in the future.  Give someone the gift of Nantucket, of a special stay at your home away from home!  Mention “Holiday Gift Certificate” when you call!  Or treat yourself and come to Nantucket between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we will offer you the same discount!


Perhaps you would like to share what you are thankful for?

Friday, October 2, 2020

Come Home To Us                                               


Autumn in Nantucket, especially at the Martin House Inn, is a step back into simpler times, the familiar feeling of a free-fall into the pile of leaves you loved in your youth, a sweet respite of ocean air, gentle breezes, comfortable beds with fluffy down comforters, fireplaces, and the pampering we all need, especially now. 


Despite the turmoil of this year, the fall of 2020 keeps getting better for the Martin House!  Recently voted the best bed and breakfast on Nantucket, featured on Bloomberg news, the subject of at least three videos you can view on our website, our property glowing in three recent photo shoots by Jack Vatcher, Michael Silvia/the New Bedford Guy, and Georgie Morley/Happy Place, the Martin House Inn is feeling grateful and loved. 

As we move into Indian Summer, the season extended by our fire towers and fire pit, we urge you to come for a shoulder season visit, when our rates are significantly lower, the island is still vibrant (but less crowded), and the autumn wraps around you like its hallmark sweaters.  Fall is a beautiful time to discover and enjoy all that Nantucket has to offer. While there won’t be a formal cranberry festival this year, the cranberries will still turn crimson, ripen and be harvested, and we will be offering decadent chocolate/cranberry scones, and many other seasonal treats.  And maybe Halloween won’t happen in its traditional sense, but we have hundreds of candy bars for the taking! 


From the moment the sun peeks over the horizon, the colors of autumn will continue to intensify and you will be greeted by the golden and orange hues of changing leaves, the pumpkins and scarecrow on our porch, the fall offerings in our serenity gardens, and so much more.  Or you can sit inside in front of a roaring fire with a good book or enjoy a glass (or a bottle) of wine on our roof walk, observing the routes of ancient sailing ships and reveling in the timelessness of island life.


Once you are here, there is much to fill your days. Enjoy beaches, hiking and biking trails, the crashing surf, outdoor dining, glorious sunrises and romantic sunsets,the magic of  

the island's vibrant night skies, repleat with bright planets and thousands of stars.  Nantucket is truly a haven in the autumn- leisurely shopping, fall fishing, sunset cruises, the harvests at the cranberry bogs and at Bartlett’s Farm (be sure to visit Cisco Brewers while you are out that way), and so much more. 


Getting here is easier now with Southern Airways new fast daily flights from Boston/Norwood, New Bedford, Providence and Hyannis airports.  Flights take less than 30 minutes!  So why not treat yourself and someone you love to a weekend or even an overnight stay at the Martin House soon!  Southern Airways is offering Martin House guests a 20% discount for travel through December 22, 2020. Book online at, or call Southern at 800 329-0485 and use the code ONESOUTH25.  Or if you prefer to come by boat, both the Hyline (508 778-2600) and the Steamship (508 477-8600) offer daily service and are just a short walk from the Martin House.  For new bookings for stays between October 15 and Thanksgiving Day, we are offering a 15% discount from our regular rates if you mention FALL-FOR-US when you book direct. 

Looking forward, you may have read that Christmas Stroll 2020 has been postponed until 2021.  Certain events that involve large gatherings - the Stroll parade, the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and the in-person red-ticket drawing will not be a part of the island’s holiday activities this year.  With public safety a priority for all of us during these days of Covid, however, the Town of Nantucket has reimagined the Thanksgiving/Christmas celebrations, to spread out the festivities from November 27th through December 31st this year.  Come home to the Martin House during our extended holiday season and enjoy a Dickensian old-fashioned holiday and a 10% discount from our regular rates for a 2 night stay (or a 15% discount for a three night stay) for new bookings simply by mentioning the code NANTUCKETNOEL.  The Nantucket Noel is a shop-local initiative which has been created to allow residents and visitors alike to safely enjoy the magic of the holiday season on Nantucket and to find unique Nantucket gifts for the holidays.


Our partnership with Southern Airways will make getting here easier, quicker, and less expensive, or you can simply hop on a ferry (taking the slow or fast boats offered by the Steamship and/or the Hyline) for a more leisurely journey.  For those who worry about going inside restaurants during their Nantucket Noel visit, we have you covered.  We have partnered with the Centre Street Bistro  on-line and the Nantucket Tap Room to offer take-out dinners and will continue to explore additional take-out options which you can enjoy in the comfort of your room or in one of our several gathering areas if you book your stay with a dinner package.  An added bonus, for your December stays, this year’s holiday gift from us to you is homemade and will serve as a sweet reminder of your stay with us throughout all of 2021. 

We are still here for you.  Come home to us!

Thursday, September 3, 2020


September on Nantucket


On this first day of September, we woke to cool, crisp air, blue skies with wispy clouds, and a subtle woodsy  scent carried by gentle breezes.  There is a magical quality to Nantucket in September– as the days shorten, at once a saudade for the light and joy of the Nantucket summer and a longing for the slowing and colors as well as sweet treats (sweater weather, tomato and pumpkin picking and Halloween candy) that autumn offers.   


Already, the momentum has slowed just a bit.  The traffic on streets and beaches is lighter, restaurants have more availability and it remains temperate enough for meals Parisian style at outdoor bistros, and people are wrapped in comfortable sweaters at nightfall. 


Indian Summer on Nantucket may be our favorite time of the year here. The days are still warm enough to visit your favorite beaches to revel in a sunrise or walk or bike one of the meandering Nantucket Conservation trails.  Their Family Staycation Scavenger Hunt is back!  September 1st to 15th there are 6 new self-guided path to enjoy. 


Evenings are cooler- perfect for cozying up for a romantic evening in front of our fire pit in the beauty of our serenity garden, or simply relaxing on our veranda in the warmth and glow of our standing fire towers.


In between, there is much to do, starting with our wonderful breakfasts.  Cranberry season is fast approaching and soon, you’ll be able to take Nantucket cranberries, home with you to use in your favorite recipes.  Just this morning we served our dark chocolate cranberry scones!  

From stores and restaurants, to Cisco Brewery or a sojourn to the quaint village of ‘Sconset (and its sweeping views of the Easternmost shores of the United States) or Madaket for its magnificent beaches, or to simply an afternoon reading in one of the Martin House nooks, you won’t be disappointed.


We enter this September with a deep sense of joy and gratitude for the honor bestowed upon us by our family of guests in voting us Number 1 Bed and Breakfast in Nantucket.  Thank you for all the love and support!  In return, we are offering a 15% discount for new September stays if you book direct and mention Best of Nantucket!  Be safe, and come home to us soon!



Monday, August 3, 2020

If You’re Lucky Enough to Be on Nantucket, You’re Lucky Enough

Early morning on Nantucket is my favorite time.  Whether the day is sunny or blanketed by a thick fog, swelteringly hot or bitter cold, I breathe in the fresh Nantucket air, revel in the melody of birds’ songs and the rhythmic rush of the waves to the shore, and I take time for myself.  The first part of my morning walk is the time I devote to making a mental list of everything I am grateful for.  Having done this for many years, I have learned that the saying that “we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time” is true and that as I practice gratitude, thoughts of whatever I think I lack dissipate until all I feel is a sense of abundance.  And so each day begins.

As I walked back from Sankaty lighthouse on the cliff walk overlooking the pristine easternmost shores of the island today and contemplated the blessings we share, I saw the tagline of this blog painted onto a piece of driftwood.  

And it reminded me, once again, of how privileged we all are to spend time on this magical island thirty miles out to sea.  It reminded me of the rich history of the island, its people, its architecture, its ecosystem, its healthcare and its governance.  It reminded me that a very small island can engender a very large amount of gratitude.  And it reminded me of why I first came to Nantucket, and of why you come back to us again and again.

 Today, the State’s travel order becomes effective, adding another challenge to an already faltering Nantucket economy- especially in the hospitality sector which already faced a 3 month shutdown, an influx of new rules and a need to implement new safety and serving standards to protect our guests and staff.  The order requires that visitors to the island complete an on-line travel form and quarantine for 14 days or test negative for Covid-19 in a test taken within 72 hours of arrival unless they are coming from one of the states labeled “lower risk”.  To those of you coming from one of the 42 states that are not lower risk states who cannot get a test result in that timeframe and don’t have the luxury of staying for 14 days, we are truly sorry, will miss you and hope that you will come back to us when it is safe to do so.  The good news is that both the State of Massachusetts and the Town of Nantucket and its various departments take the health of all residents and visitors very seriously and have consistently made difficult choices in their quest to balance serious health and safety concerns with the health of the State’s and Island’s ailing businesses.

A 100% woman-owned and operated business, we are honored to be the custodians of the over 200 year old Martin House, a piece of Nantucket history, formerly a sea captain’s home and now a gracious inn making Nantucket accessible to you. 

We are grateful that, despite all the uncertainties swirling around the pandemic, you are still traveling to us when permitted to do so.  We are in this business because we love to host you.

We are indebted to and blessed by the selfless dedication of Claire, our innkeeper, and Sari, our head of housekeeping who are truly the faces of the inn, as well as our other staff.   All have gone above the call of duty and are working harder and longer to make the inn a warm and welcoming respite that complies with all CDC guidelines.

We are thankful for our own good health, and that of our families and friends, staff and guests, and are committed to taking good care of you when you visit. 

We are happy to welcome you into the Martin House, your Nantucket home, when you come.  We find your joy and relaxation infectious and your presence makes us joyful in turn.

We appreciate everything the Town and the State are doing to keep the island thriving.    Because of their insights and foresight, the island is open and adjusting to the impact of the pandemic as the community and visitors work together to flatten the curve.  The Martin House is open for business and offers many open air gathering spaces for you and your friends.   

If you are coming from one of the 8 lower risk states, please consider visiting us.  While many events are cancelled, there is still much to do while you are here.  Restaurants are open with new al fresco dining reminiscent of outdoor cafes in Paris and Italy; fishing and excursion boats and tours are running, the island’s multitude of trails and beaches and bike paths are open and offer opportunities for solitude and unprecedented beauty, and our own veranda and roof walk and serenity garden provide forums for reading and quiet times with friends.  Come home to us and make new memories.  We remain grateful for and honored by the opportunity to host you! 

Lisa Soeder, Owner (On behalf of Martin House Team)
August 1, 2020