28 August 2008

Behind the Beauty

Behind every beauty there is hard work. At least when it comes to Century House. The abundant flowers makes Century House and Nantucket an unforgettable site. This issue features "the gal behind the flowers" at Century House!! Landscaper Joan Libby has been a friend and Nantucket year-rounder since we first met 25 years ago, ourselves as bright eyed neophytes as the Innkeepers of Century House. At the time, there was this terrific - and would you believe, reasonable year round restaurant called the North Wharf Fish House where Joan waitressed. Friendly, sincere and hardworking, Joan ventured off and establish her landscaping business with Century House becoming one of her early and faithful clients. Not only does she keep the property a'blooming in Season, she nurtures the flora and shrubbery through-out the dormant Winter months so that the Spring flowers soar through the rich earth with joy!!! Joan uses only eco friendly products to prevent contamination of soil and Nantucket waters. Pictured above is Joan with Innkeeper Gerry enjoying the fruits of her labor.

26 August 2008

Why Nantucket in the fall?

We are reviving an article written by Susan Fogwell about Nantucket in the fall! You may find special fall deals, the best way for a weekend gettaway! Call Century House Bed and Breakfast Inn for some favorite specials. Enjoy.

Early Autumn in Nantucket is Best!
By Susan Fogwell

(Nantucket Island, Massachusetts)

If you’re a bibliophile, you’ll feel right at home staying at the Century House on Nantucket. Innkeeper owners, Gerry and Jean have the best of both worlds, dividing their year between Palm Beach and Nantucket. The inn is a home away from home for their new and regular stream of returning guests. A number of their guests are friends and former Nantucket homeowners who return each summer. For the past 22 years, they have personalized the inn with everything from their portraits and photographs to old license plates and a large, eclectic selection of books. Jerry, who is a former corporate bigwig and prolific reader, reads a book everyday, which accounts for the well-stocked bookcases and shelves throughout the inn. In my third floor room, Bayberry, there were books stacked on the steamer trunk, under the television and on the bureau.

Located thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the well-heeled island is not the easiest place to reach, but well worth the effort. From Hyannis, it takes one-hour on the Steamship Authority high-speed ferry to reach Nantucket. The roundtrip ticket is $59.00 and reservations are required. www.web2.steamshipauthority.com/ssa The ferry provides parking in Hyannis for $12.00 per day and a shuttle is provided from the parking lot to the ferry wharf.

Upon arriving at the wharf, taxis are available for the brief ride to the Century House. If luggage is at a minimum, the inn is about a ten-minute stroll away. From the wharf, take a right on North Water Street where you will reach Cliff Road. The Century House is on the left.

There are several options in exploring the three ½ by 14-mile island. Many visitors rent bicycles. There are bicycle paths, which cross the island from Nantucketown to Madaket on the western side. This is a safe and fun way to see the flat island. Another option is renting a moped, which is discouraged by residents, due to the danger of driving on the roads with SUV’s, delivery trucks and cars looming up from behind. Moreover, patches of sand on the roads can cause a serious wipeout. There’s a reason why locals call moped drivers organ donors. The third option is renting a car at the airport, although expensive, it’s probably the best option if bicycling is not of interest, or if time is limited. Last, but not least, the NRTA shuttle bus transports most visitors as well as residents all over the island. www.shuttlenantucket.com

To put it succinctly, Nantucket is the last bastion of preppiness. Women clad in Lilly Pulitzer and men in pink oxfords with code flag belts are de rigueur. Cedar shake homes, from cottage-size to quite-ample-in-size dot the island. Hydrangea shrubs and American flags flank the majority of homes. For generations, summer residents have escaped to this exclusive 12-mile width island along with throngs of tourists who inundate the island on weekends.

Although known as a summer colony, perhaps the best time of the year to avoid monolithic crowds is in the early autumn. After Labor Day, the wall-to-wall packed sidewalks in the center of town, which is called Nantucketown, have, by then, thinned out. The humidity has been replaced by crisp, cool days, and seasonal shops and restaurants are still open for business. If you’re a crowd dodger, there isn’t a better time to visit. The Nantucket Arts Festival, an annual week-long event slated for September 30th thru October 8th celebrates extraordinary talent working on the island. Don’t miss the wet-paint sale in which you can bid on works completed that day by local artists. www.nantucketchamber.org

Also, during the month of September, a guided whale watching tour by Shearwater Excursions offers a unique voyage where you have the opportunity to spot whales, dolphins, sharks and more. Another popular outing is the 2 and ½ hour Seal Cruise to Muskeget Island, which is a brief thirty-minute boat ride away. The island is home to an estimated population of 2500 grey seals who live there year-round. www.explorenantucket.com

Aside from the ferries, Us Airways Express and Continental Express fly into Nantucket Memorial Airport.

A three or four night stay on Nantucket is an ideal amount of time to sample the restaurants, shop, checkout the beaches, or simply relax.

Information and photos submitted by:

The Century House
10 Cliff Road
Nantucket, MA
(508) 228-0530

Find article about fall on Nantucket

23 August 2008

Win a Stay on Nantucket Island


Enter to Win A Two-Night stay from September until October 15, 2008 to the Century House Inn Bed & Breakfast in beautiful Nantucket!

Gerry's Berry Buffet breakfast offered daily & a welcoming bottle of Champagne for two to start your celebration!

Amenities include Molton Brown toiletries, homemade cookies and refreshments in the afternoon, wrap-around veranda, in-room library, computer station on every floor, and excellent location near beaches, museums, shopping & art galleries.
* Please inquire within as certain rules & restrictions do apply*

So Why wait?! Go ahead and enter!

Enter Here

To See the Summer 2007 Upscale Living Article on Century House Read Here

Century House Inn
Art is the Inn Thing at Nantucket’s Century House
By Paul Kandarian

Art is many different things to many different people. To Gerry Connick and his wife, Jean Ellen Heron, it is a vital part of their cultural lives. And at one time it was a very pretty way to cover up holes in the wall.

“There were a lot of holes,” Connick says now, who with his wife are innkeepers at Century House on Nantucket, which was built in the 1840s and is the oldest continuously operating guesthouse on that picturesque island. “For awhile we didn’t have enough art to cover them all.”

The do now. The couple, corporate dropouts as they call themselves (he was a capital equipment manufacturing executive, she a medical systems sales director), have run the inn since 1984, taking it over when it was in such disrepair holes abounded throughout the three-story antique structure. They have instituted an artist-in-residence program at their quaint boutique inn, a business that Forbes.com once billed in the top five for American summer inn destinations.

This year marks the inn’s third annual educational art charrette that is taking place throughout the season in to mid-October when the inn closes for the winter. Connick is hosting the artists-in-residence program and while regular guests cannot participate in the creative process of the artists’ group, they are welcome to connect with the artists during their stay.

Renowned artists who have visited in the past seasons include Jacob Collins, George Augusta, Julia O’Malley Keyes, Marla Korr, former Boston Celtic Tom Heinsohn, Lori Zummo and Robert Farber.

When the inn began, the innkeepers had artists create pieces for them in lieu of paying for their stay. It’s worked out well, because now art abounds on the inn’s walls, taking up nearly every available inch, making the entire establishment a living landscape of creativity. Art is a key part of the innkeepers’ lives. Heron, who also sells real estate in Palm Beach, Florida, is a senior docent at the Norton Museum of Art in that community.

The couple was looking for a change of pace when they decided to get into the inn business, knowing nothing of the hospitality trade other than having a love of stying in fine hotels an dining in the best restaurants. The Century House was a “rundown mess” when the couple took it over, Connick says, complete with the aforementioned holes in the walls.

The transformation of the handsome old building has been impressive, the 16-room inn a showpiece on an island brimming with inns and B&Bs. The home was built by seafarer, Capt. Robert Calder, and in the early 1870s became a boarding house for islanders during the winter months and gust home during the summer.

The building boasts a wraparound veranda and a breezy, hilltop location in the elite historical district on prestigious Cliff Road, a very short walk away from downtown Nantucket, with its fabled cobblestone streets and myriad of stores. Still very much within walking distance are some of the most spectacular beaches on the East Coast.

If the building looks familiar to you, perhaps you’re a fan of the old television show “Wings.” In 1989, the executive producers of that show chose Century House as their place to stay while they scouted locations for the series. The inn became a sporadic star, making cameos during the series with the innkeepers themselves once getting a walk-through appearance in one show.

The rooms of the Century House are small and very well appointed with such amenities as luxurious Molton Brown toiletries. Various rooms are completely renovated each year and deluxe rooms included non-operational fireplaces. The “Red Dahlia Room,” for example, features a marvelous antique ornate red dresser, a mustard-yellow secretary, marble fireplace, baby-blue trey ceiling and spectacular bulls-eye molding. Completing the lush appointments are lace curtains and a king bed with upholstered headboard.

Every room has up to 50 books, most of which Connick has read (“I don’t watch TV,” he says. “I read.”) Help yourselves to any you’d like to take home, and feel free to leave any you’d like to swap out in return.

Not to be missed is Connick’s “Gerry’s Berry Buffet Breakfast,” a massive and tasty spread that includes his famous granola, yogurt, island berries, frit, bagels, muffins, homemade coffee cake, pastry, juices, jams, jellies, teas and the best perked coffee you’ll likely ever find, this magnificent morning repast has been mentioned in Forbes.com and a Zagat guide.

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cappuccino, and espresso are available throughout the day and then “cookies and cream” or afternoon snacks roll into the cocktail hour. Late afternoon and early evening is the best time to relax with a glass of wine on the veranda before walking into town for dinner. And Century House in general is a great place to escape the relative rush of downtown Nantucket; those cobblestone streets are quaint, but get pretty crowded in mid-summer. Take a break, sit outside in the setting sun and then come back inside to admire the fantastic paintings that grace the inn’s walls.

Those holes are long gone but thankfully, the art remains.

For more information on the inn, visit www.centuryhouse.com

19 August 2008

The New Guest on Nantucket

Nantucket has always been known for its savvy travelers. Savvy travelers know a good place, a relaxing place; a spot in the universe where you can just get away, let your hair down and breathe freely.

Nantucket is just that, for those who travel to relax. It is not Palm Beach, nor will it ever be. Not with old restored homes, and cobblestones paved streets. Our inn welcomes the Palm Beach guest who loves the real Nantucket: the Nantucket we love, appreciate and preserve. Sometimes we have to educate the travelers. No, we do not have limos, nor do we encourage the ladies to wear spike Jimmy Choo’s heels. There is no need for a tie or pressed shirts and trousers since there isn’t anyone needed to impress. On Nantucket everyone waits in line and famous people walk around without bodyguards. Nantucket is not for the glamorous; it is for the glamorous who needs to relax without any pretensions.

Most guests came to Nantucket to relax, and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, or the social scene. You sure do 30 miles out in the ocean, with no way to get out if the fog descends upon the island. This still remains true today. At least at our inn. It’s a haven for the rich, yes, we know. The rich still fly in their private planes or arrive in their double digit million dollar yacht. But they’re human too. And they sometimes just need and want to be left alone.

We’re known for providing a haven for the weary. We continue to allow Nantucket to be Nantucket. Not Manhattan. Not Palm Beach. Not Hollywood. After 175 years of hospitality, we still remain true and loyal to The Gray Lady. Today our three-week vacationers left. They brought their brood and they had a good time exploring and discovering the island. They no longer wished to own a home on Nantucket. They wanted some good Nantucket food, not the fancy-schmancy. They preferred a home away from home, with the family. Without the nannies, the butlers, the cooks. Just the five of them.

Why not renting a cottage for three weeks? I ask the innkeeper. “Well, they don’t want to cook, clean or bring their staff to do the work. They want the comfort of a home. But they want to be left alone.” I suppose this is true. Sometimes you just want to be left alone. Not bothered or catered to. They want to be real, unpretentious, and comfortable as a family. They’re parents. Like regular parents, who want to get sweaty and dirty with their kids or eat cotton-candy ice cream without the worry of appearing undisciplined and un-kept. We are a bed and breakfast. And we offer just that: a bed and breakfast. But we offer more than that. An experience you will likely never forget. One with your family or friends or your other half. We offer you the real Nantucket as we see it and as we enjoy and love so much. And of course at our inn we welcome children with parents who want to explore and discover Nantucket.

Century House Nantucket
A Luxury BB for 175 years

02 August 2008

The Sweet Aroma of Nantucket and Century House Awaits You!

We love the island this time of the year. Each month is unique on Nantucket. Even more so, each day. Gone are the daffodils now. In their place you can see the next crop of flowers. Walking down the streets you can smell the aroma of the lilacs and the lily of the valley; roses coming up in July and August; Hydrangeas in the fall. Or just walk into our inn and you'll likely smell our freshly baked cookies. A couple days ago we giggled at one of our returning guest, who was married here. He was anxiously pacing around in our living room area with a very confused look on his face. At my question "Could I help you?," he quicky replied "Oh, no!. I'm just waiting around for the cookies."

Well, we burned the first batch, dropped the second batch on the floor, and were in the process of baking the third batch. All in all this was a fantastic day in the life of our historic inn. Our guests are part of the family and they experience our inn as their special "home away from home."

We do our best every day. And we pride ourselves on a true Nantucket home-like experience. When you're here you're family, you're in your home away from home or as forbes.com puts it to "feel like their very own, or at least their new Nantucket best friend's--and a very generous best friend at that." The cookies are what makes this place extra special, like being at your grandmother's house. But just like any place we have our adventures. We are experts in hospitality, and the majority of the time trainees in everything else. Even after so many years of innkeeping, we are learning every day.

We guarantee you an unforgetable experience and great cookies to the best of our abilities. But I guess once in a while we do need that extra special memorable smell in the house to go with our new designs and property renovations of the season.

With love,
Century House