Gazing out from the top deck of the ferry, excitement rises, as land ebbs into focus. The outline of the vintage, white picket fences, bobbing boats and luscious green foliage draws closer. This is Vineyard Haven, one of the six main towns on Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard, or ‘the Vineyard’, is an island located south of Cape Cod. A haven for the wealthy, it has long been associated with the rich and famous as a summer retreat. And boy is it expensive. The cost of living is 60% higher than the national average.
The Kennedys holidayed here, First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, kept a residence at Aquinnah in the south of the island until her death in 1994. Former presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama frequent, alongside a raft of Hollywood celebrities. Although it has been labelled as ‘Hollywood East’, the Vineyard maintains a low key quiet approach and has an immensely laidback feel to it.
When the ferry docks, the 45-minute journey seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. Within ten minutes, we have disembarked and are venturing through the main street, camera in hand, head spinning taking in as much as possible. Its picturesque… Nobnocket was the original Wampanoag, the local Native American Tribe, name for Vineyard Haven.
Driving down a residential street, the homely feel begins. The Inn is at the end of the street. It has oodles of charm with striking red brick and white window frames, it stands out from the rest. It’s set in vast manicured gardens, 1.8 acres to be precise, with a hideaway patio overlooking a forest at the bottom of the garden, secluded walkway and outside veranda for breakfast.
There are also a smattering of turkeys gobbling around for your enjoyment. Thankfully Thanksgiving is a way off. The red tailed hawks swoop by the trees, making a very distinct calling sound, one that you get used to the longer you stay.
This is no ordinary home. Its luxurious from start to finish. Attention to detail is everywhere. Simon and Annabelle, the English owners make sure of that. They purchased the Inn in January 2016 and have completely renovated it. When you enter the reception area a large Champagne cooler is filled with distinctive plants – there is your first hint of luxury. The Inn is laid out beautifully, open spaces, wooden floors, wide fireplace and local artwork. There is a mini kitchen for the guests to help themselves to tea, coffee, sodas, snacks and a night cap if they wish.
There are seven rooms in all, custom-designed with en-suite bathrooms. Two of the rooms have soaking tubs and the larger ones have gas fireplaces to enhance that cosy feel. The décor is chic, taupe walls with sumptuous carpets and crystal lights lead the way to the rooms. You’ll find prints on of the Beatles and Liverpool tastefully dotted around; Simon hails from the city of Liverpool, and they have put their heart and homeland into this venture. Once inside the white shutters and local seaweed artwork are welcome finishes. Local artist Corinna Kaufmann collects the seaweed and morphs it into beautiful art. It is sold at the Inn if one takes your fancy.
The bed linen is soft and crisp. The rooms have Gilchrist and Soames toiletries, again a throwback to the home counties. At night, chocolate brownies are left for your evening nibble, along with pillow mist and eye comforters to aid a restful night’s sleep. A helpful note with the next day’s forecast is on the pillow, along with the next day’s twist – for example a walking tour at Edgartown. A water bottle with the logo is a gift for all guests, be sure to take it on your exploration of the island.
There is a TV in the room with a built in DVD player. You will find a raft of DVD’s in the lounge. Why not watch Jaws? In 1974, Steven Spielberg filmed the movie Jaws on the Vineyard, set yourself up with a reminiscent movie and see if you can spot where filming happened. Hopefully without meeting Jaws himself. That would be another movie entirely.
Breakfast is a treat. Each day you are served a gourmet delight, such as peaches and cantaloupe with vanilla yoghurt ad homemade granola, followed by a basket of local pastries and jam. Chilmark, a town nearby produces its own coffee, which isn’t to be missed, again this served at breakfast.
Simon and Annabelle will provide you with local knowledge, everywhere on the island is within 30 minutes drive. They can also recommend and book local restaurants for evening meals, try out Beach Road Restaurant, fantastic emphasis on local seafood. You could order a picnic to take with you, Nobnocket nosh on the run. There are board games downstairs too, if the weather turns misty, a good old game of scrabble always lifts the spirits.
The Inn won the ‘Best Martha’s Vineyard Inn’ in the ‘Best of Boston 2017’ Awards. This is mammoth, as Boston Magazine hasn’t awarded any property that for the last four years. It’s based on a secret visit, so its authentic and sought after. Definitely deserved.
Nobnocket Inn has grace and elegance. A home away from home. Annabelle and Simon make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed, nothing is too much trouble. A charming spot on a charming island, I can see why Presidents flock here. It is well worth the ferry ride.
To book go to:
Lux Room is $160-$350
Deluxe Rooms are $180 – $395
Luxury Suite Room are $230 – $450
Luxury Grand Rooms are $230 – $475
Prices per night and based on double occupancy.
No pets and no kids under 16 yrs.
Getting here you can fly into Boston, Providence or Martha’s Vineyard (from JFK or Boston). Year round ferries from Woods Hole. Seasonal ferries from Falmouth, Hyannis, New Bedford, Manhattan and Rhode Island.
Belfast – Providence:
- Norwegian fly a twice weekly summer service direct between Belfast and Providence, Boston ideal for leisure and business travellers.
- Fares start from £129 one way.
- To book visit norwegian.com/uk