A Nantucket Icon for over 120 Years
Opened as the Point Breeze for the summer 1891 season, the hotel consisted of forty “sleeping apartments” equipped with fine furnishings and connected to electric bells in the hotel’s office. Early advertisements boast running water on each floor, two dining rooms, billiards, water views, and that the hotel is “first-class in every particular”.
By all accounts, the Point Breeze was an elegant center of activity and summertime respite. Welcoming porches invited guests to linger after a game of tennis on the hotel’s lawns, and evening dances were held in the hotel ballroom after dinner. While the croquet lawns are gone, The Nantucket Hotel has held onto some of the Point Breeze’s cherished traditions, including live music in the evenings and old fashioned New England Clambakes on Mondays in the summer.
In the days before air-conditioning, fresh sea breezes were among the most desirable features of the grand 19th century resort hotels. Situated on Brant Point, the hotel benefited (and still does!) from cool breezes off the Nantucket sound to the north and Nantucket Harbor to the west.
Formerly the site of shipbuilding activity, Brant Point quickly developed into an attractive summer community after the decline of Nantucket’s whaling economy in the middle of the 1800’s.
The hotel’s popularity allowed expansion in early 1900, when the hotel took the shape that we know today by adding a east wing to the 1891 building.
“The stock market crash of 1929…was not kind to Nantucket and its grand hotels” says David Worth, grandson of the Point Breeze’s owner in the 1920’s. Four years earlier The Point Breeze suffered a fire which razed the west wing and its iconic tower. The days of the grand hotels was coming to an end for the moment.
In the mid-1930’s, Gordon Folger Jr. (grandson of the Point Breeze’s original proprietor) purchased the hotel, renaming it after himself and opening The Whale, a restaurant whose dining room and terrace are the precursor’s to today’s Breeze Bar and Cafe. The Gordon Folger Hotel was purchase in the 1990’s by the Gonella family, who restored the hotel’s original name and turned the hotel’s iconic porch into a popular spot for live music and cocktails.
Since restoring the Point Breeze Hotel in 2012 and renaming it the Nantucket Hotel and Resort, our commitment has been to create a home away from home for our guests and a year-round hotel that is an essential fabric to the island community. We are the only full-service hotel open on the Island year-round. It is gratifying to see how supportive our loyal guests and the community have been. During the season our guests are here to play, relax and unwind- all are treated like family. When the power goes out during a winter storm, we are here, with our generator to keep everyone warm; our restaurant Breeze has grown to be an exciting destination not only for dining but for all major holiday events- Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, the holidays and New Years! Our Nantucket Club is busy all year long with Hotel guests, seasonal members and locals enjoying the opportunity to work out, socialize and then to enjoy a drink or dinner afterward in Breeze. The Club has grown extensively with summer membership opportunities from weekly to seasonal use, including our swimming pools, children’s program, and gym. The hotel is an exciting place to be all year long, regardless of the weather or the season continuing in the same tradition as the old Point Breeze when it was first built in 1891.