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The Jared Coffin House, a former whaling shipowner’s home turned hotel located in the heart of Nantucket, expanded late this summer with the opening of five new accommodations.

Additionally, the Tap Room, a fixture in the downtown dining scene for more than four decades, re-opened earlier this season after a 14-year hiatus. Celebrating 175 years, the three-story brick mansion offers a total immersion into Nantucket’s whaling history. 

Nantucket local and interior designer Audrey Sterk was selected to ensure careful preservation of the pre-civil war landmark while incorporating the island’s nautical feel into the design. While the property’s footprint remained the same to retain the historic architecture of the 19th century building, portions of the ground floor have been transformed from a former restaurant space into the new accommodations.

Inspired by the colors of the sea and sand, the interiors feature a color palette of foggy greys, robin egg blues, and soft neutrals. In the individually designed rooms, custom furniture including four-poster King Beds, tulip-style coffee tables and walnut brown desks with lacquered inlay are paired with original refurbished wood floors from the 1840s.

For those looking for extra privacy, one suite features a private entrance that can be connected with the guest room to create a two-bedroom option. To complement views of Nantucket’s historic streetscape, an extensive collection of original oil paintings is also on display—each piece hand-selected by the hotel’s owners to highlight Nantucket’s whaling days. 

The Jared Coffin House is steps away from what was historically called “Petticoat Row.” Men of the whaling heydey were out to sea for years at a time, spurring the ladies to become entrepreneurs that operated in the area close to the hotel. As a nod to the island’s history making women, each of the four new suites is named after influential women.

The rooms pay homage to Anna Gardner, who was instrumental in calling an anti-slavery meeting in 1841 in which Frederick Douglass gave his first speech as an abolitionist speaker, as well as Lucretia Coffin Mott, who participated in the country’s first meeting about women’s rights in 1848. Guests can opt for the Maria Mitchell suite, honoring the first professional female astronomer who opened her own school in 1835 that was desegregated, a controversial move at the time. Lastly, the Mary Coffin Starbuck suite celebrates the woman who brought Quakerism to Nantucket in the early 1700s. She ran the family’s trading post that served as the island’s commercial center. 

The 2020 season also brought changes in dining at the hotel. The Tap Room, located on the lower level of the hotel beneath the lobby, has been resurrected. A popular gathering spot for locals and visitors alike for more than 40 years, the restaurant shuttered in the early 2000s.

Boston-based Carroll Design Studio was brought on to re-imagine and re-design the pub-style outpost, which now offers indoor and outdoor dining. The two-toned interiors embody the essence of modern dining. An exposed brick wall is paired with ocean blue and cream shiplap that provides the backdrop for hanging bare bulbs and original dark wood ceiling beams. The semi-circle bar is at the heart of the space, while camel tan colored dining booths line the perimeter.

The menu offers a modern interpretation of celebrated Tap Room staples including traditional New England clam chowder, French dip sandwiches, grilled local swordfish and Welsh Rarebit consisting of melted cheese poured over slices of toasted bread. A full-service bar with beers from local Cisco Brewery and craft cocktails like Nantucket Red Margaritas are also offered.

“The Jared Coffin House has been a beloved Nantucket getaway for years and we’re excited to unveil our refreshed look and new restaurant,” says Jason Curtis, general manager of the Jared Coffin House. “Preservation was at the heart of the project, ensuring the historical feel remained, while updating with modern touches.”

Originally constructed in 1845, the Jared Coffin House was the first mansion built on Nantucket. In its almost 200-year history, many distinguished guests have passed through the doors, including Moby Dick author Herman Melville and President Ulysses S. Grant. The Jared Coffin House as we know it today officially arrived on the scene in 2004 when it became part of White Elephant Resorts. Today it’s one of the most cherished properties on the island and serves as a centerpiece of the Nantucket Historic District. Guests enjoy access to a complimentary BMW courtesy car and use of Priority Bicycles.  

The starting rate for a guest room is $195 per night and the starting rate for a new suite is $395 per night. The Jared Coffin House’s main building closes for the season on December 7, while the next door Daniel Webster building, with thirteen rooms, is open year-round. 

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